Celebrating its 10th anniversary—and the 50th of its precursor, the Institute of Ecology—UGA’s Odum School of Ecology, the world’s first school devoted to the study of ecology, is the focus of an exhibit at the UGA Special Collections Libraries.
The history of the school actually can be traced back to 1940 when Eugene P. Odum came to UGA as a lecturer in zoology. Often called the “father of modern ecology,” Odum is widely credited with making “ecosystem” a household word. At UGA he led the way in establishing ecology as an academic discipline and was instrumental in founding two off-campus research groups in the 1950s – the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and the marine Biological Institute (now the UGA Marine Institute) on Sapelo Island.
Following the first Earth Day in 1970, Odum became a major voice in the growing environmental movement.