The University of Georgia Local Food Systems Certificate


Mr. David Berle, Associate Professor of Horticulture (BS, MAg., MLA) has experience as an Extension Agent and Specialist, and currently has both teaching and Extension responsibilities. He is a past Service-Learning Fellow and Service Learning Senior Scholar through the UGA Office of Service-Learning, focusing on curriculum issues. He has also served on the CAES Curriculum Committee. He currently sits on the Organic Farming Certificate Advisory Committee. As a part of the LFS Certificate team, Berle will serve as adviser to LFS Certificate students. He will also serve as Project Director for the NIFA grant and coordinate evaluation and report submittals.

More info: www.hort.uga.edu/Personnel/faculty/profile/FacDB.html

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Dr. Hilda Kurtz, Associate Professor of Geography (PhD) has over ten years of experience in instruction and research related to food systems and local food provision and teaches three upper-division courses on agrofood systems. She is a past Service-Learning Fellow and Service-Learning Senior Scholar in the UGA Office of Service-Learning. She will assist Prof. Berle in overseeing the program, will be directly involved in the service-learning faculty workshops, will teach two courses in the policy and decision-making cluster, and will work with the two other faculty who offer GEOG 4890 to recalibrate it as one of the capstone courses. In addition, Dr. Kurtz will play a central role in the evaluation of the certificate program.

More info: http://www.ibr.uga.edu/directory/faculty/kurtz.htm

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Ms. Susan Varlamoff (Director, CAES Office of Environmental Sciences has more than 30 years of experience working as a community organizer with environmental nonprofits and is a lifetime member of the Georgia Master Gardener Association. As a member of the Atlanta Urban Agriculture Partnership that supports the Atlanta Local Food Initiative, she will seek candidates for the certificate program, additional collaborators, and opportunities for student internships. Ms. Varlamoff will also assist in writing and editing the promotional material for the program including the web site. She will use her wide network of contacts to ensure statewide representation of partner agencies.

More info: http://environmentalsciences.caes.uga.edu/

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Mr. Brad E. Davis, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture (BS, MLA) is a licensed landscape architect with practice experience across the southeast and a past Service-Learning Fellow. As a part of the LFS Certificate team, Davis will develop service-learning coursework in a new capstone studio. He will assist in site analysis, site selection and design for the new demonstration garden. He will also assist in the design of post-test instruments including questionnaires and focus group interviews to be given to all students enrolled in the capstone course, and in evaluation of the impacts of the program on student and community participants.

More info: www.ced.uga.edu/index.php/directory/profile/70/

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Dr. Elizabeth Little, Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology (BS, PhD), teaches and has an extension appointment in sustainable IPM for community/local agriculture. She is the department representative in the UGA organic certificate program and teaches a section of Soil Fertility and Pest Management in Organic Agriculture. She has a local community outreach project on sustainable landscapes for managing water quality and quantity, and is developing a regional outreach program on community organic and sustainable agriculture. Little's role in the certificate program will be to continue to teach integrated pest management using organic methods, provide service-learning opportunities for students, and form networks between UGA extension and community organizations for the delivery of information on local food systems.

More info: www.plant.uga.edu/faculty/Little/index.htm

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Dr. Robert Nielsen, Assistant Professor of Housing and Consumer Economics (BS, BS, MS, PhD), focuses on the relationship between families’ consumer decisions and their physical, interpersonal, and economic well-being. In particular, he investigates the quantitative methods by which researchers and policy makers estimate and evaluate this information. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Georgia, Dr. Nielsen was an Economic Statistician in the Poverty and Health Statistics Branch of the U.S. Census Bureau, where he investigated how various survey research methods contribute to our understanding of social and economic conditions. He is a past Service-Learning Fellow at UGA. As a part of the LFS certificate team, Nielsen will teach two courses in the policy and decision making cluster, including a service-learning research methods course that will allow students to support the research and evaluation goals of the LFS team.

More info: www.fcs.uga.edu/hace/faculty.php?id=13

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Dr. Jenna Jambeck, Assistant Professor of Engineering (BS, MEng., PhD), has over ten years of experience researching environmental engineering (ENVE) issues related to solid waste and sustainability. Her work often interweaves social context and sciences with technical aspects. She also has five years experience facilitating student design projects with her students winning awards at several national competitions. Besides teaching an Urban Systems course that is a part of the certificate program and encouraging the involvement of ENVE students in the program, her primary role in the project will be to incorporate environmental engineering and students into the design, construction and operation of the community outreach and demonstration garden or other community projects. She and ENVE students will also help evaluate the resource savings (e.g., water, energy) from conservation efforts and innovative technologies incorporated into the garden or other community projects.
More info: www.engr.uga.edu/directory/individual.php?user_id=922

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Dr. Shannon Wilder is the founding Director of the University of Georgia Office of Service-Learning (OSL). The OSL's mission is to support the development of academic service-learning and experiential learning opportunities through a range of faculty development and instructional programs, services, and funding opportunities. Dr. Wilder will oversee implementation of faculty development workshops for the program’s service-learning courses and will administer course development and capstone course grants to faculty members developing courses for the LFS program from the related NIFA grant. In addition, the OSL’s student course survey will be used for evaluating the LFS Certificate program.

More info: servicelearning.uga.edu/blog/about/staff/

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Ms. Sharon Gibson, Public Service Assistant (BA, MS), has over 25 years experience working in rural community development, youth and adult leadership and cultural competency. As Multi-Cultural Specialist, her outreach focuses on adapting Extension Programs for new audiences, particularly recent immigrant populations and families and individuals living on the margins. She is currently a member of the Southern Rural Development Center’s multi-state project “Turning the Tide on Poverty,” a research working group exploring the use of public deliberation as a community capacity building tool. As a part of the LFS certificate team, Gibson will develop cultural competency coursework. She will assist in identifying community partners; provide pre-internship training for the students; and train and support community partners on issues related to community, faculty and interns project expectations and interaction.

More info: www.caes.uga.edu/applications/personnel/profile.cfm?id=8403

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Faculty contact information:

Hilda Kurtz,

Susan Varlamoff, varlamof@uga.edu

Robert Nielsen, rnielsen@uga.edu

Brad Davis,

Jenna Jambeck, jjambeck@engr.uga.edu

Sharon Gibson, smsgibs@uga.edu

Elizabeth Little,

Shannon Wilder, swilder@uga.edu

David Berle,

Julie Velasquez Runk, julievr@uga.edu

Shane Hamilton, shamilton@uga.edu

Sponsored by:
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Family and Consumer Sciences,
College of Environment and Design, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

With funding from
NIFA (USDA) Higher Education Grant