April 18, 2016

Whitney N. Yarber, Communications Specialist

Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment Team Earns Award for Transformational Conservation Science

Pictured is Dr. Joshua S. Reece, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology.

VALDOSTA – The Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment Team, which includes Valdosta State University’s Dr. Joshua S. Reece, has earned the 2015 Sam D. Hamilton Award for Transformational Conservation Science.

The Sam D. Hamilton Award for Transformational Conservation Science is presented by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

It recognizes the innovative application of science; emphasizes improving scientific quality, capability, and efficiency; and facilitates cultural and institutional change through increasing coordination and collaboration, tackling large scale conservation problems or decisions, and improving the USFWS’s scientific culture and infrastructure.

“This award validates a tool that I helped create for improving conservation of natural communities and imperiled species, and it recognizes the importance of landscape-scale conservation efforts,” said Reece, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology. “Dozens of people worked together to bring this project to fruition, and I am extremely happy to be a part of the team. The award includes $50,000 to be used towards conservation research in the Gulf Coast region, and I am looking forward to expanding our work with this financial support.”

Reece and the members of The Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment Team were honored for evaluating the potential impacts of climate, sea level rise, and urbanization throughout the four landscape conservation cooperatives along the Gulf Coast — Gulf Coast Prairie, Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks, South Atlantic, and Peninsular Florida.

The GCVA will continue to serve as a catalyst for improved collaboration in conservation and restoration efforts along the Gulf Coast.

The Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment Team is comprised of experts from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the United States Geological Survey, the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center, the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative; the Louisiana State University School of Renewable Natural Resources and the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences in the Agricultural Center, and The Nature Conservancy.

Contact Dr. Joshua S. Reece at (229) 219-3293 or jreece@valdosta.edu for more information.

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Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:

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