South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium

2007 Symposium Speakers

Dr. Jim Hook is Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences at the UGA College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. For the past 29 years, he has researched irrigation, tillage, and water resources management for several crops. He is a leader in water use and conservation, particularly for agriculture, and serves on many state, regional and national water planning groups. He also teaches Soils and Hydrology, and Soil and Water Conservation at the UGA Campus in Tifton. Hook, a native of Maryland, received degrees in Agronomy at Penn State with minor studies in hydrogeology and environmental engineering. Before moving to Georgia, he conducted research there and at Michigan State University on land application options for wastewater and sludge.

Linda Chafin is Conservation Botanist with the Plant Conservation Program at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia/University of Georgia, in Athens. She is the author of the "Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Georgia," being published in 2007. She has a M.S. in Botany from UGA (1988), where she studied under Dr. Samuel Jones, Jr., writing her thesis on the floristics and ecology of southern Appalachian boulderfields. She has conducted rare species surveys and natural community inventories throughout the southeast, including Florida, where she worked for 11 years as Senior Botanist for the Florida Natural Areas Inventory, and authored "The Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Florida." She is a native of Atlanta, Georgia.

Tommy Dodd, III was born in Mobile, Alabama into a Nursery family. Dodd attended The Citadel before joining the U.S. Army. After serving in Viet Nam, he attended The Citadel where he earned a B.S. in Biology. He later studied Marine Biology at College of Charleston. Dodd was a Chemist with Ciba-Giegy for two years. In 1976, he joined the team at Tom Dodd Nurseries and was there until 1988. He moved to Charleston to set up a nursery in 1988 with wife, Thayer. They watched it blow away in Hurricane Hugo in 1989. He and Thayer moved back to Mobile in 1991 and started Dodd & Dodd Nursery, which has since been hammered by Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina. (He is still there doing native plants and other stuff.) The Dodd's have four children, a growing number of grandchildren, and an assortment of pets.

Dr. Gil Nelson is a writer, naturalist, and photographer who lives in southwest Georgia, near Thomasville. He writes, speaks, edits, and consults on botany, natural history, ecology, outdoor recreation, and environmental science topics. Nelson is a field botanist and holds a research associate appointment at the Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium in the Department of Biological Sciences at FSU, where he has taught graduate courses in ecosystems of Florida and assisted in the development of the herbarium's online database. He also holds a Beadel Fellowship at Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy where he is assisting in the design and development of a relational database management system for the station's herbarium. Nelson holds B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Florida State University and worked as a professional educator for more than 30 years.

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