OUTREACH PLANOur outreach efforts will be layered onto the already considerable efforts of our senior personnel (Keith Douce) who runs the Bugwood Network, an Internet clearing house for information on invasive species (www.invasives.org) with established connections to a number of local, state, federal agencies concerned with invasive species. The Bugwood Network had 119,931,849 hits in 2006. Annual workshops will specifically incorporate managers in both the U.S. and China and visit biological, agricultural and forest research stations. We hope that getting managers involved will facilitate collaboration, as well as provide insight for both faculty and managers into the practical problems of dealing with invasive species.
Outreach through service learning is an important component of our program. The Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach will assist us in establishing connections. UGA has a well-established relationship with the Clarke County public schools. During coursework at UGA, each undergraduate will adopt a local elementary, middle or high school class and, with oversight from senior personnel, teach primary and high school students about the biology of invasive species in the U.S. and China. Upon return from China, students will conduct follow-up visits to the same U.S. school. In addition to their research and teaching responsibilities, graduate students will adopt a local primary or secondary school class in both the U.S. and China. Each graduate student will teach about invasive species and will maintain a Web site to remain in contact with the classroom while in the other country. In addition, graduate students and faculty will be expected to give presentations on invasive species at local garden clubs and botanical gardens.
Finally, since our research program will make germplasm collections from a number of populations of invasive plants and phytopathogens in both the native and introduced ranges, those collections will be a valuable resource for the general scientific community. We will store and make available those stocks, with the caveats that the germplasm is stored in the country where it was collected and that any transfers out of country be in accordance with appropriate national regulatory agencies.