Sustainability superstars


Four members of the UGA community received 2013 Sustainable UGA Awards, presented by the UGA Office of Sustainability, as part of Athens-Clarke County’s GreenFest in April. Junior Matthew Tyler, graduate student Zach Richardson, faculty member Alfie Vick and staff member Katy Smith were recognized by their peers for demonstrating dedicated efforts to conserve natural resources, advance sustainability initiatives and improve quality of life both on and off campus.

Tyler received the 2013 Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. As a leader of Students for Environmental Action, Tyler has helped spearhead hands-on projects aimed at improving the quality of life on campus and in the community. His involvement ranges from the Lunchbox Garden Project, where he teaches gardening and nutrition to local elementary school students, to a student-led energy audit of UGA’s Park Hall and coordination of UGA Earth Week.

Richardson was honored with the 2013 Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Richardson volunteers in the UGA and Athens communities and, in particular, talks about land use, water quality and innovative solutions to everyday environmental challenges. With the help of a 2012-13 Campus Sustainability Grant, Richardson established the Tanyard Creek Chew Crew (see above left).

Vick, an associate professor in the College of Environment and Design, received the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award. Through collaboration and service, he conveys his passion for establishing healthy communities through appropriate ecological design to his students and community members alike. From the Athens Land Trust to the Institute of Native American Studies and the U.S. Green Building Council, Vick shares his time and expertise beyond campus to improve people’s quality of life and the natural environment.

Smith, a water quality program coordinator who works in the UGA Marine Extension Service in Brunswick, was honored with the 2013 Outstanding Staff Award. From reusing and recycling to improving water quality and marine ecosystems, she teaches students of all ages how to make a difference environmentally through simple, tangible actions that can be integrated into daily lives.

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