UGA Center Receives Plant Biosecurity Grant

Randall Weiseman Field Crops, General, Georgia, Specialty Crops

Tifton, GA – The University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health has been awarded a $328,714 grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to provide high definition videos and presentation materials on high consequence plant pathogens, arthropods and invasive plants. These videos will be used by public and private sector, plant biosecurity personnel and first detector educators to educate people on detection and response procedures to new introductions. Invasive pest species cause billions of dollars in economic losses to cropping and natural systems each year in the United States. These non-native species grow and reproduce rapidly, cause major disturbance and harm to the environment and economy.

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The Center’s team, led by Dr. David Moorhead, Dr. Keith Douce, Joe LaForest and Chuck Bargeron, will develop an online system called BugwoodVideo that brings together new and existing videos. This new system will integrate with the Center’s existing image database and other resources. All content will be available at no cost for educational use as long as the work is cited. Videos will help better illustrate complex procedures used in diagnosing identifying, and responding to new pest introductions.
The three year USDA NIFA grant is a joint effort between the University of Georgia, Colorado State University, University of Florida and Texas A&M. These organizations will work together to help farmers, foresters, educators and professionals learn about and implement strategies to safeguard U.S. agriculture.
The project will provide knowledge and decision support to anticipate, predict, prepare for, and respond to high consequence agricultural threats. It helps to meet the training needs of multiple agencies as well as the general public.
The University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health utilizes partnerships and information technology to advance invasive species, forestry and agriculture education. It is collaboration between UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The Center operates the Bugwood information systems, and collaborates with a wide range of educators and other professionals across the United States. Bugwood delivers unbiased educational information to users through a network of integrated and user-focused websites, publications and educational meetings. The Bugwood Image Database System (BugwoodImages) contains 120,000 images on 13,767 subjects and 1,640 photographers that are available for educational use. Center websites received 187 million hits and served 8.4 million users during 2009. Visit the Center’s website at