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Event of interest:
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council’s Annual Meeting & Conference on November 8, 2012 at the UGA Griffin Campus. For more information visit the Georgia EPP Council website.

Featured Speakers

Karan Rawlins has a Bachelor of Science Degree from University of Texas in Arlington and Graduate work at the University Of Texas with degree pending. Rawlins is Invasive Species Coordinator for the Center for Invasive Species at the University of Georgia. She worked at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge as a naturalist developing many programs including invasive species awareness. Rawlins also worked with the Texas Invaders Program as a Regional Coordinator, collecting data, training volunteers and validating data submitted by volunteers. Karan is a native of Georgia and her goal is to help preserve and restore our native habitats and landscapes.

Linda Fraser is a botanical artist who specializes in native plants of the southeastern United States. When she moved to Georgia she began collecting specimens of plants on her property for a herbarium. She soon realized the best way for her to study the plants and learn to recognize them was to draw them. In her words, “I hope my illustrations of southeastern native plants will promote appreciation of their excellent qualities, sometimes taken for granted."

Over the years she has created over 85 watercolor and colored pencil paintings of these plants, grouping those found blooming side by side in their specific environment. She also “captures the moment in a garden” by including many colorful insects and other critters hiding or chewing on those plants. A baby skink and some turtles are seen among the plants in their respective environments.

She shows the paintings in chronological order in exhibits titled A Walk Through the Calendar Year. Recent exhibits have been at the Southeastern Flower Show, Atlanta, Georgia (2009), at Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Georgia (2005, 2006 and 2009), at The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, Gatlinburg, Tennessee (2007), and at The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (2005 and 2010). Her work has been exhibited at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden and Oxbow Meadows. Linda has also shown her paintings at the South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium.

Linda and her garden were featured on Georgia Public Television in an Earth Day special, Your World, Your Choice and she has illustrated Gardening ‘Round Atlanta and Bird Watch in Georgia. She has been a board member of Georgia Native Plant Society and The Garden Club of Georgia.

Tom Patrick is a botanist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. He studies the rare flowering plants of Georgia and conducts inventories of native plants in natural areas through Georgia. He is responsible for plant collecting permits, maintains data on the distribution of plants of conservation concern, and assists with various research projects on Georgia's native plants. He is particularly interested in trilliums, orchids, and pitcher plant bogs. A native of upstate New York, he received his M.S. in Botany from Cornell University, continued graduate studies at the University of Tennessee, and has been a part of the Georgia Natural Heritage Program since 1986. Mr. Patrick lives in Monticello,Georgia and became a Master Gardener in 2000. He has served as an officer in the Georgia Botanical Society. He has a growing interest in landscaping with native plants.

Dr. John Ruter is a professor with The University of Georgia and has been with the Department of Horticulture at the Tifton Campus since 1990. Dr. Ruter’s research and extension activities are focused on nursery crop production in the southeastern United States and he has been in charge of the development of the Coastal Plain Research Arboretum since 1991. He is also an advisor for the native plant community-based landscape at the National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory.

Dr. Ruter has published over 300 scientific and popular articles. Among Dr. Ruter's awards and honors are the “Award of Merit” given by the Garden Club of Georgia, Inc. for his work in preserving and promoting native plants. In 2000, Dr. Ruter received the D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Research given by the University of Georgia. Dr. Ruter received the 2002 Distinguished Achievement Award for Nursery Crops given by the American Society for Horticultural Science as well as the William F. Kosar Award from the Holly Society of America.

Amy Carter is in charge of the Landscape & Grounds at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus. She also manages the Coastal Plain Research Arboretum, a growing collection of plants that are native to the Southeastern U.S. She is involved with education and outreach programs at the Arboretum.

Amy Carter has worked in the Green Industry for over thirty years. She was Estate Manager at Seaside Farms in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. and Landscape Superintendent at Dataw Island, Beaufort, S.C. before returning to her home state of Georgia.

Carter is an active volunteer with the Flint River Fuller Center for Housing at Lake Blackshear. She was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the Garden Club of Georgia for outstanding contributions in 2003. She is a Georgia Certified Landscape Professional, and certified in Erosion & Sediment Control. She earned a B. S. degree in Plant Sciences from Clemson University.