About UsWho We Are
The Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources public service and outreach program is designed to place the latest ideas and technology in forestry and natural resources management into real world application by the residents of Georgia to enhance the use and value of Georgia's vital renewable natural resources.
Established in 1906, the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources is the oldest program in the South that provides service and outreach programs in all aspects of forestry and forest management, water and soils resources, wildlife, fisheries, and natural resources recreation. Clientele served include private landowners and residents: practicing natural resources professionals; industry; federal, state and local agencies; K-12 educators; resource decision makers, primarily from the state of Georgia, but also from the southeast and worldwide. Outreach activities include not only landowner assistance, short courses, workshops, field days, and continuing education; but also on-line classes, publication of handbooks and manuals, and presentations at professional conferences.
We deliver high quality, research-based information to a variety of audiences through websites, smartphone applications, traditional field days, printed material, webinars, face-to-face consultations, videos, short courses, demonstration plots and more;
We work collaboratively with other UGA Colleges, Cooperative Extension, State and Federal Agencies, and NGO’s to deliver timely and high-quality educational products;
In additional to receiving regional and national awards, our programs are repeated and consistently receive high enrollments, duplication by programs in other states, website visits, downloads, and substantial competitive funding awards;
The Warnell outreach group consists of eleven faculty members and two professional staff. We were fortunate to add three new faculty over two years ago who have strengthened our programming in forest taxation, forest health and wildlife management. Each new faculty has a 75% outreach and 25% research appointment. Four faculty have teaching appointments ranging from 20 to 60% outreach. The remaining four are assigned 100% outreach responsibilities. The addition of the new faculty has allowed us to now have a more comprehensive program of outreach to serve Georgia’s forest landowners with their educational needs.
We interact frequently with the other research and teaching faulty in the School to foster cooperation aimed at sharing innovative new information made deliverable to Georgia’s over 600,000 forest landowners. Specifically, we have many areas of concentration coupled with a significant amount of crossover programming and cooperation among ourselves.
Our largest area of concentration is forest management that ranges from silviculture including stand management, growth and yield, herbicide application, fertilization, and prescribed burning to wildlife management, nuisance wildlife control, and pond management. Included to this area are topics such as timber harvesting and road construction, water quality issues, and animal damage control. One new area that has received increased attention is forest health where renewed effort has been placed on biodiversity, pesticides, pollinators, and invasive species, both plant and animal. Faculty members working in this area are David Moorhead, David Dickens, Elizabeth Benton, Charles Bargeron, Jay Shelton, Mark McConnell, Ben Jackson, and Mike Mengak. We have a Sustainable Forestry Initiative staff member, Chase Cook, assisting in this discipline.
Given that Georgia has a number of large metropolitan areas, many forest landowners live near or within the rural-urban interface areas and this impacts their decision-making, concerns and interests. We address this segment of the population by offering the Georgia Master Naturalist program, urban tree care and arboriculture, and environmental education. Faculty members working in this area include Kim Coder, Kris Irwin, Mike Mengak and staff member Gail Westcott. We know that property and income taxes, estate planning conservation easements, and intergenerational transfer of property are critically important to many forest landowners. With the addition of a tax specialist we are positioned to offer a comprehensive educational environment in those areas. One of our new faculty members, Yanshu Li, focuses on these subjects.
Finally, all of us participate in addressing the economic aspects of forestry from alternative forest products (pine straw production to non-timber forest products) to encouraging forest landowners to develop and follow forest management plans and practice detailed bookkeeping of their forestry activities. Part of this focus area naturally includes advocating strategies for forest enterprise and marketing.
We believe that we have delivered the most effective education program for the benefit of family forest owners during the past five years. Our educational materials, media, short courses, workshops, events, and electronic media delivery of state-of-the-art research, invasive species solutions, timber tax and economic data, applications to timberland and family farms and the forestland owning public are exemplary. We have established the Warnell School Outreach Program as a national leader in comprehensive family forest education delivery. Our coverage of harvesting, planting, tending, managing, improving, and developing the family forest is inclusive of silviculture, invasive species control, wildlife and environmental considerations, economic considerations and meets the diverse needs of the Georgia family forest owner.