News & Events

UGAMI Welcomes Students to the 2023 Coastal Summer Semester

The Coastal Summer Semester students arrived on Sapelo Island Sunday afternoon, June 4th. The program is off to a great start! Thus far students have trawled on board the R/V Spartina, learned about oyster ecology, salt marsh dynamics, black gill in shrimp, and nearshore plankton communities, as well as discovered various marine invertebrates and vertebrates along the way. Lab and field activities have included phytoplankton... Read more →

The Ocean Memory Project Visits UGAMI

The Ocean Memory Project , a growing group of thinkers spanning divergent scientific and artistic practices who work to broaden understanding and awareness of ways in which the ocean retains, expresses, and loses memory, recently hosted a workshop at UGAMI, organized by UGA Professor Mandy Joye, focused on the topic of memory loss in relation to system processes and human memory.  They had formal presentations (at the Institute,... Read more →

Job Announcement – Building Services Worker

The University of Georgia Marine Institute (UGAMI,, located on Sapelo Island, Georgia, seeks a new Building Services Worker. Work involves cleaning and general custodial care of Marine Institute buildings and facilities. This includes offices, laboratories, general access areas and restrooms. Experience with cleaning and custodial care and references that reflect quality work and ability to carry out instructions independently and completely is preferred. Some kitchen/ group... Read more →

Job Announcement – Director of Operations

The University of Georgia Marine Institute (UGAMI,, located on Sapelo Island, Georgia, seeks an Assistant/Associate Director for Operations to assist with departmental oversight, staff management, and facilities planning. The candidate will report directly to the UGAMI Director and will be involved in developing major policies and procedures, establishing Institutional priorities, and budget allocation. The Director for Operations provides daily oversight of UGAMI, represents the... Read more →

Internship Opportunities

The Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research Program (GCE LTER) is recruiting for five paid summer internships in coastal ecology for summer 2023! Note that some opportunities are limited to current undergraduate students. All interns will be paid a stipend. Most internships last ~8 weeks between May and August, however, start and end dates are flexible based on the schedule of the intern and... Read more →

Job Announcement – Assistant Director for Academics

The University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island is seeking to hire an Academic Professional to develop and provide oversight of the Institute’s residential instructional programs for University students. The candidate will also serve on the UGAMI leadership team as the Assistant Director for Academics, mentor students conducting independent research, and teach field courses in their area of specialization. The position is based primarily... Read more →

Welcoming Dr. Resetarits as our new Scientist-in-Residence!

We are very excited to announce Dr. Emlyn Resetarits will be joining UGAMI as our inaugural Scientist-in-Residence.  Dr. Resetarits has been teaching as part of our Marine Biology Spring semester for several years and will be joining the UGAMI faculty full-time in Spring 2023.  She has already begun setting up her research in a dedicated space in the newly renovated north wing of the main... Read more →

A Close Call

Sapelo Island was hit by the storm surge from Tropical Storm Nicole last week, which came in about two feet higher than predicted. GA DNR reported 12” of water in the lighthouse and water over many roads, including the Marsh Landing parking lot. UGAMI was very lucky during the storm, but we did have minor flooding in both the carpenter’s shop and first floor labs.... Read more →

Odum PhD Cohort visits UGAMI

The new cohort of PhD students from the Odum School of Ecology visited this month for a whirlwind tour of everything UGAMI and Sapelo Island has to offer young ecologists! This post comes to us from the trip’s organizer and faculty member at Odum, Dr. Ford Ballentyne: ECOL8000 Field trip The field trip is an integral component of ECOL8000, the only required class for PhD... Read more →

The Sun Sets on another Summer Semester ☀️

After four weeks of buzzing activity in the field and lab, UGA’s Coastal Summer Semester just wrapped up!  The students left this past weekend having completed their independent projects under the supervision of Drs. Chuck Hopkinson and Emlyn Resetarits. This summer’s projects took students to diverse habitats all across the island, from tagging along with the GADNR to track turtle nests to getting chest-deep in... Read more →

It’s Field Sea-Sun!

It’s going to be a busy summer at UGAMI!  Last week, we hosted our annual barbecue to welcome our summer visitors. Drs. John Schalles (Creighton) and Steve Pennings (UH) are back for another summer, as are graduate students Matt Pierce (UGA), Harrison Currin (GSU), and Tommy Pudil (GSU) .  We also have a group of interns joining us to work with GCE investigators. They hail... Read more →

Job Announcement: Research Professional

The Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research program (GCE LTER) seeks a Research Professional to assist with coastal ecology research on the Georgia coast. This person will serve as lead technician and manager of a field crew in performing research in a wide range of disciplines including water quality, remote sensing, soils, climate, and wetland plants and animals. The Research Professional will serve as... Read more →

UGAMI Hosts SAML Conference: Third Time’s the Charm

UGAMI hosted the annual meeting of the Southern Association of Marine Laboratories (SAML). SAML is a regional chapter of the National Association of Marine Laboratories (NAML). SAML’s Member institutions range geographically from Maryland through Texas, including Bermuda. The mission of SAML is to promote collaboration among member institutions; encourage the wise use and conservation of marine and coastal resources; demonstrate the importance of marine research... Read more →

More Facilities Improvements at UGAMI

We have recently completed renovations of the library wing of the main lab.  This building was originally constructed in the 1930s as a dairy barn.  When UGAMI was founded in 1953, the dairy barn was converted into a laboratory.  The goals of this renovation project were to bring it up to modern building codes, improve aesthetics, and to optimize spaces to serve our strategic needs. ... Read more →

Job Announcement – Field Research Technician

The Georgia Coastal Ecosystems – Long Term Ecological Research Program (GCE LTER program) seeks a research technician to assist with studies of coastal ecology. Work will involve studies of water quality, soils, and wetland plants and animals. This Research Technician II position is based at the University of Georgia Marine Institute (UGAMI) on Sapelo Island, GA. The selected individual will work with other technicians, faculty... Read more →

Job Announcement – Scientist in Residence

The University of Georgia Marine Institute (UGAMI) is seeking to hire an Assistant Research Scientist who conducts research in Georgia’s coastal ecosystems. This is a “Scientist-in-Residence” position for a scientist who will live at the Institute (housing is provided). This is a limited-term position for two years, with the potential to add an additional year with approval. The position is targeted towards an early career scientist... Read more →

Internship Opportunities

The Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long-Term Ecological Research program is recruiting for five paid summer internships in coastal ecology. Some positions are limited to students who have not graduated yet, but others are open. The deadline for applying is March 7. Follow the link for more information and to apply. Read more →

Job Announcement – Assistant Director for Academics

UGAMI is seeking to hire an Academic Professional to develop and provide oversight of the Institute’s residential instructional programs for University students. The candidate will also teach field courses in their area of specialization, mentor students conducting independent research, and serve on the UGAMI leadership team. The position is based primarily at the UGA Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, with travel to the UGA main... Read more →

Summer 2021 Intern Recap

UGAMI saw several interns over the summer working on various GCE LTER projects. A few of the interns visited Sapelo for a week or two while others lived on the island for the entire summer. Here is what five of the interns had to say about their projects and Sapelo experience! Sydney Speir “My name is Sydney Speir and I am from Brookline, New Hampshire.... Read more →

Students explore coastal housing challenges

Four students from the UGA College of Engineering visited UGAMI last week as part of a project focused on exploring new housing options for visiting researchers. The project is part of their capstone senior design course, a year-long class that provides students an opportunity to work on a real-world engineering challenge with a client – in this case, the Marine Institute. Working with a larger interdisciplinary... Read more →

UGAMI Coastal Semester 2021

The students in the UGAMI Coastal Summer Semester finished up this past week with presentations of their independent study projects. The students covered a wide range of topics, from studies of marine organisms (e.g. sand dollars, hermit crabs, gelatinous zooplankton) to salt marshes to plastic pollution. We also had students who studied birds, gopher tortoises, and fish. The independent projects capped off an intense four... Read more →


A film crew from PBS visited the UGA Marine Institute this past winter and did a segment on salt marshes (and GCE-LTER research in particular) for their “Changing Seas” program. The show is due to be broadcast on June 23 at 8:30 pm. The preview is here ( and the show itself will be available at Read more →

Congratulations to Dr. Nik Heynen and Dr. Mary Ann Moran

Two regular researchers at UGAMI, Dr. Nik Heynen and Dr. Mary Ann Moran, are being honored for their work. Dr. Nik Heynen, professor in the Department of Geography at UGA, was recognized as a Distinguished Research Professor 2021. Dr. Heynen is the co-director of UGA’s Cornelia Walker Bailey Program on Land and Agriculture and a principal investigator on the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological... Read more →

All Aboard!

Mary Price, who was one of our dedicated employees, passed away last March. There has not been a formal memorial service due to COVID-19. However, this past week the UGAMI staff gathered to dedicate the newest boat in our fleet in her honor, the “M.T. Price”. This new Carolina skiff will be an invaluable asset for the education of our students, and we are looking... Read more →

GCE Summer Internships – Apply Now!

Applications are now being accepted for the 2021 GCE Undergraduate Summer Internships! There are nine potential internships available. Depending on COVID restrictions and available funding, all positions may not be filled. Most of the internships are in person, but two of them can accommodate remote work. The application deadline is Monday, March 8th at midnight. For more information and to apply, please visit Read more →

Sapelo marsh paper highlighted in Scientific American

A recent paper that looked at changes in tidal creeks in southeastern marshes found that the purple marsh crab, Sesarma, is reshaping the landscape. The paper, which appeared in PNAS, was highlighted in the January 2021 issue of Scientific American. The researchers provide evidence that rising seas are increasing inundation of tidal creeks, making them softer and hence easier for the crabs to burrow. This... Read more →

PBS salt marsh documentary

What better place to learn about salt marshes than Georgia! UGAMI had a crew from PBS on site last week shooting footage for a program focused on salt marshes as part of a series called Changing Seas ( The crew went out in the field with GCE-LTER researchers to film them in action at the long-term plots and sampling the vegetation near the flux tower, and they... Read more →

Virtual Study Away Fair on Sept 15!

Attention Students! Are you interested in learning more about student opportunities at UGAMI? We will be participating in UGA’s virtual study away fair next Tuesday, Sept 15th. To chat with us, please register here. You can also get an idea of what a virtual fair will look like here. Hope to see you there! Read more →

Bringing the salt marsh to students

UGAMI, along with two other university field stations, is collaborating to produce a suite of virtual estuarine field experiences for undergraduate students. This project will develop products that address widespread educational challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to develop educational content and experiences that provide access to outdoor, field-based learning for all students. The virtual modules will be filmed at the University... Read more →

Operations Notice

Due to the threat of COVID-19, UGAMI will be closed to visiting class groups until further notice. Researchers wishing to visit will be accommodated on a case-by-case basis. We hope everyone stays safe out there. Read more →

UGAMI’s visitor center & gift shop is now open!

For the past six months, we’ve been hard at work designing a brand new visitor center and gift shop. We are excited to unveil this new UGAMI addition that we hope excites others as well! Next time you are at UGAMI be sure to stop in the main administrative building. In the visitor center, you can experience UGAMI’s early days with artifacts, photographs, and even... Read more →

2020 GCE Undergraduate Summer Internships

Applications are now being accepted for the 2020 GCE Undergraduate Summer Internships! There are four internships available with three opportunities based on Sapelo Island, and one internship based at the University of South Carolina. The application deadline is Sunday, March 8th at midnight. For more information and to apply, please visit…/summer_internships_2020.asp. Project descriptions listed below: Salt marsh invertebrate ecology. Supervisor: Dr. Christine Angelini (University of Florida).... Read more →

New CreekCam Installed

The first law of Marine Science is that electronics and saltwater don’t play well together. Anyone who has owned a boat or deployed an electronic instrument near the ocean can attest to this truth. UGAMI’s CreekCam, installed in 2016, became a victim of the corrosive effects of salt spray and died a slow death last summer. But a new camera was installed at the same... Read more →

Brand New Spring Semester at UGAMI

Historically, January has been a quiet month at UGAMI.  At this time, faculty and students are just beginning their spring semester classes at their home institutions. But this year is different. UGAMI is now offering a full slate of undergraduate classes in its inaugural Marine Biology Spring Semester. Students from UGA and four other universities started classes at UGAMI on January 7th and will be in... Read more →

Building New Bridges at UGAMI

Dear Friend, We recently received a note from Dr. Benjamin Ehlers, Director of the Franklin Residential College at UGA, who said: “We had a great trip: Sapelo encompassed everything we are striving for at FRC, in terms of academic rigor, contributing to the community through service events, and building community among our residents.” We couldn’t agree more—Sapelo is a magical place, and the opportunities for... Read more →

The GCE LTER is hiring!

Field Research Technician, Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research Project The GCE LTER program seeks a research technician to assist with studies of coastal ecology. Work will involve studies of water quality, soils, and wetland plants and animals. This Research Technician II position is based at the UGA Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, GA. The selected individual will work with other technicians, faculty and... Read more →

Georgia Legislators visit Sapelo Island and UGAMI

State legislators participating in the Environmental Policy Academy visited the coast this week to learn about issues facing these communities. On Thursday they visited UGAMI to see our facilities and learn about our education and research programs, particularly those related to coastal resiliency. While on Sapelo Island, the legislators also toured and met with representatives of the Hog Hammock Community, the Sapelo Island National Estuarine... Read more →

Summer 2019 Intern Recap

UGAMI saw several interns over the summer working on various GCE LTER projects. A few of the interns visited Sapelo for a week or two while others lived on the island for the entire summer. Here is what five of the interns had to say about their projects and Sapelo experience! Bryanna Sanders “I am from Pensacola, Florida and I have recently graduated cum laude... Read more →

New Scholarship Award for UGAMI’s Marine Biology Spring Semester!

The Ecology Wildlife Foundation has established a new funding award to support a student in UGAMI’s Marine Biology Spring Semester. The $5,000 award will offset the student’s program fees (housing and meals). Students from any college or university are eligible for this generous award. For information on the Marine Biology Spring Semester, this award, and other scholarship opportunities, go to the Marine Biology Spring Semester’s... Read more →

Hurricane Dorian Redux

Hurricane Dorian passed offshore of Sapelo Island on Wednesday, Sept. 4. Thankfully, the water did not rise any higher than it does during a spring tide, and the Institute did not flood. The winds at Marsh Landing were over 40 mph for several hours, with a high of 55 mph, but we have not had reports of any damage. The Institute will re-open for regular... Read more →

UGAMI prepares for Hurricane Dorian

With Hurricane Dorian approaching, the UGAMI staff spent last Thursday and Friday getting things tied down and out of harm’s way. Vehicles were moved to higher ground, small boats were pulled out of the water, and the R/V Spartina was moved up the Duplin River to Hunt Camp. We are quite concerned about a storm surge, as the predictions for Dorian rival those of Hurricane... Read more →

Dr. Merryl Alber to Receive Award

Dr. Merryl Alber, Director of UGAMI and Project Director of the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER, will be receiving an award at the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation meeting in November. She will receive the Margaret A. Davidson Award for Stewardship, recognizing her outstanding achievements in supporting management of coastal systems. Congratulations, Dr. Alber! From the CERF website: “Dr. Merryl Alber has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, service,... Read more →

“UGA Marine Institute undergoes a structural revival”

McIntosh Life recently published an article “UGA Marine Institute undergoes a structural revival” in their Summer 2019 magazine. In the article, Dr. Merryl Alber is interviewed about the changes that have taken place in the last six years since she took over as director. You can read more about these changes by clicking the image below. The article starts on page 46. Read more →

Medeiros Lab Highlighted in Eos – Research Spotlight

“Dissolved organic matter supports aquatic food webs and holds as much carbon as the atmosphere. A new study tracks which sources and processes play the biggest role in coastal systems.” Medeiros lab work on the dissolved organic matter dynamics in the Georgia coast (“Dissolved organic matter composition in a marsh‐dominated estuary: Response to seasonal forcing and to the passage of a hurricane” by Letourneau and... Read more →

Maymester & Summer Courses About to Get Underway at UGAMI

Several field courses are set to kick off at UGAMI. Just as most university campuses are winding down for the summer, UGAMI is shifting into overdrive. UGAMI’s research and teaching activities peak in summer. We are excited to meet this year’s students and immerse them in the Sapelo Experience! Maymester courses include Geography of the Georgia Coast, where students will learn about the historical-geography of... Read more →

Former Students Present at UGA’s CURO Symposium

Congratulations to 2018 Coastal Summer Semester students Sadneya Ghag, Danielle Jenkins, and Bailey Reins who presented the results of their independent research at UGA’s CURO Symposium (Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities). The annual CURO Symposium highlights excellence in undergraduate research at the University of Georgia through students’ oral and poster sessions. Read more →

The Adventures of Jacob the Technician

Ever wonder what it would be like to work as a field research technician studying coastal ecology? The real-life adventures of “Jacob The Technician” are now chronicled in a comic book. The story was written by Professor Steve Pennings, who is the field director and co-principal investigator of the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research program (GCE). The story’s characters have an uncanny resemblance... Read more →

Long-Term Ecological Research Grant Renewed

The Georgia Coastal Ecosystems – Long Term Ecological Research project (GCE-LTER), a research program based at the UGA Marine Institute, has been renewed by the National Science Foundation for another six years. The GCE-LTER first started in 2000 and will continue investigating long-term change in coastal ecosystems, including the salt marshes surrounding Sapelo Island and the tidal freshwater forests of the Altamaha River estuary. For... Read more →

GCE Summer Internships – Now Live!

The GCE-LTER is now accepting applications for their 2019 undergraduate summer internships. There are seven projects total with 4 based on Sapelo Island; one in Athens, GA; one in Bloomington, IN; and one in Savannah, GA. GCE will start reviewing applications February 15th; the deadline for all applications is 05:00 PM EST on March 1, 2019. For more information, please visit Please share with... Read more →

Follow us on Facebook!

UGAMI now has a Facebook page where you can keep up to date on research, available courses, visitors, and general happenings on site. Please “like” our page and share with your colleagues and friends! Read more →

Here we go again…

A familiar occurrence is happening again at UGAMI: another infrastructure improvement project is getting underway.  The process begins with the arrival of a barge loaded with equipment and construction materials.  Then the workers arrive on the ferry, many of whom are now our old friends; veterans from previous construction projects at UGAMI.  The current project is the second phase of renovations on the Main Lab... Read more →

Jacob Shalack earns Certified Educational Facilities Professional credential

UGAMI is proud to announce that Jacob Shalack has earned the Certified Educational Facilities Professional (CEFP) credential from APPA. The CEFP credential recognizes leaders in educational facilities management and is a way to validate the unique knowledge and competency required of an accomplished professional in the educational facilities field. Jacob wears two hats at UGAMI.  He splits his time between being UGAMI’s  Assistant Director for... Read more →

Cornelia Walker Bailey Program Launches Website

The University of Georgia’s Cornelia Walker Bailey Program on Land and Agriculture recently launched their own website. This program focuses on the history, present status, and future of agriculture on Sapelo Island, GA. The program facilitates meaningful partnerships among UGA faculty and students, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the Hog Hammock community. It also complements the... Read more →

UGAMI’s New Spring Semester Featured in UGA Columns

We are a little late posting this one, but UGAMI’s undergraduate residential program was featured in the UGA Columns. Students can now live and study on Sapelo Island during the spring and summer semesters. The Marine Biology Spring Semester ( is a residential program open to 14 undergraduates interested in studying marine biology. Students spend the majority of their days in the field doing hands-on science as... Read more →


We do…the Georgia Association of Marine Education, that is. GAME provides networking opportunities for its members, equips educators to teach marine science concepts more effectively, and celebrates the wonder of the aquatic systems of Georgia. GAME held its annual meeting at UGAMI on Nov 2-4, 2018 with a theme of the Collaborative Nature of Science. In addition to a full agenda of lectures, discussions, and teaching... Read more →

UGAMI Announces Marine Biology Spring Semester

  The University of Georgia Marine Institute is pleased to announce the creation of a new academic program, the Marine Biology Spring Semester.  This exciting opportunity is open to undergraduate and graduate students, from any college or university, pursuing a degree in biology, ecology, chemistry, geology, fisheries biology, wildlife biology, environmental science, marine sciences, oceanography, or related field.  Students will be immersed in field-based learning... Read more →

Dr. Mary Ann Moran named UGA Regents’ Professor

UGAMI Faculty Member, Mary Ann Moran, was named Regents’ Professor.  Dr. Moran is the Principal Investigator of the Sapelo Island Microbial Carbon Observatory and founder of the Coastal Summer Semester Program, both of which are based at UGAMI. See this article in UGA Today for more on Dr. Moran’s Accomplishments.  Congratulations, Mary Ann! Read more →

Spring “Break” at UGAMI

As university campuses across the country pause for spring break, teaching and research activities at UGAMI ramp-up.  Faculty and students from universities all over the U.S. take advantage of the break in the normal class schedule to come to UGAMI to conduct research or to bring their classes on extended field trips.  March is one of the busiest months in the UGAMI calendar.  Visiting faculty... Read more →

Undergraduate Internships Available

Applications are now open for undergraduate internships with the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems – Long-Term Ecological Research program (GCE – LTER).  This project is part of the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research Network.  The GCE – LTER is centered at the University of Georgia Marine Institute, and many of these internship positions will also be based here. Internship descriptions and a link to the online... Read more →

Renovations of the Administration and Carriage Buildings

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!  For the past few years, UGAMI has been implementing an infrastructure improvement plan.  Hurricane Irma was certainly a setback to those plans (see earlier posts on Hurricane Irma’s damage and subsequent recovery efforts).  However, Irma has also presented some opportunities.  In fact, Irma has allowed renovations of the Administration Office Building and Carriage Building to take place much... Read more →

Update on Hurricane Irma recovery

The Bad News: On September 11, 2017, the University of Georgia’s Marine Institute was flooded by storm surge caused by Hurricane Irma.  Three-quarters of all the buildings on the campus were affected (16 buildings and several small out-buildings), including research laboratories, teaching facilities, dormitories, faculty/staff housing, administrative offices, Facilities Maintenance shops, the small boat hoist, and dining facilities.  The depths of floodwaters inside buildings ranged... Read more →

Spring tides and Ice storms

Spring tides are the highest tides of the monthly lunar cycle, and this month’s spring tide was one of the highest of the year (sometimes called a “King Tide”).  By coincidence, this spring tide corresponded with a very rare ice storm on January 3rd; something that hasn’t occurred on this part of the Georgia Coast in over two decades. The storm prompted the Sapelo Island... Read more →

Seafaring gators connect marine and freshwater habitats

Research conducted at UGAMI shows that American alligators are an important link between freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems.  James Nifong and Brian Silliman, part of the NSF-funded Georgia Coastal Ecosystem – Long-Term Ecological Research Program, used radio telemetry and GPS trackers to follow the movements of alligators, and discovered that they spend a lot more time in marine environments than previously thought. Their research demonstrates... Read more →

Hurricane Irma Hits UGAMI

Hurricane Irma hit UGAMI pretty hard.  About ¾ of our buildings had some storm surge flooding, including research & teaching labs; the BIRL dormitory; The Powerhouse (lecture hall/dining hall/kitchen); administrative offices; electrical, auto & carpentry shops; houses; and storage facilities. The main lab and nearby buildings suffered the worst damage, with over a foot of water inside. Electrical power to Sapelo Island was out for a... Read more →

UPDATE, 11:00 AM 9/7/17: UGAMI Closing for Hurricane Irma

The Governor has just ordered a mandatory evacuation for Georgia’s barrier islands. To comply with this order UGAMI will be officially moving its closure to 4:30 PM today. We will remain closed through at least Tuesday Sept 12. Check back at this web site for further updates as the situation unfolds. Read more →

UGAMI Closing for Hurricane Irma

Due to the approach of Hurricane Irma, UGAMI will close at 12:00 pm on Friday Sept 8 and remain closed through at least Tuesday Sept 12. A state of emergency has been declared for the coastal counties of Georgia, including McIntosh. The eye of Hurricane Irma is forecast to pass just east of Sapelo Island on Monday afternoon. Regardless of the path that the storm takes, Sapelo... Read more →

12th Annual Sapelo Island Lighthouse 5K Run

  One of the Independence Day traditions on Sapelo Island is the Sapelo Island Lighthouse 5K Run.  The race course goes from the Nannygoat Beach Parking Lot to the iconic Sapeolo Lighthouse and back to the beach.   GCE LTER technicians dominated the field of 30 participants (28 humans and 2 dogs).  Dontrece Smith jumped out front early and built a 100-m lead by the... Read more →

UGAMI Staff Appreciation

On Thursday, May 11, the staff of UGAMI gathered for our annual staff appreciation.  Even that infamous pirate, Captain E.C., was in attendance.  There was much merriment and cake, too. Sapelo Island’s remote location often means that extra effort is required to get things done.  This group goes the extra mile, every day. Read more →

UGAMI installs new seawater system

With funds from an NSF Field Stations and Marine Laboratories grant, we completed renovations of the systems supplying water to UGAMI’s seawater laboratories.  These facilities allow us to maintain a large variety of tanks and aquaria for studying marine organisms in a controlled setting. The new system is far superior to the one it replaced.  It can supply up to 75 gallons of seawater per... Read more →

Chris Craft publishes new book on wetland restoration

Indiana University Professor and UGAMI Faculty Affiliate, Christopher Craft, has just published a new book titled Creating and Restoring Wetlands: From Theory to Practice. Given the challenges and opportunities facing wetlands in the coming century, this book will undoubtedly become an essential tool for restoration practitioners. Publishing a book of this magnitude is a monumental achievement.  But Chris is quick to credit the UGAMI scientists... Read more →

UGAMI gets new small boat docks

To get to ocean and estuarine habitats, marine scientists depend on boats; they’re a basic tool of the trade.  Most people understand the importance of boats to our work.  But there are other, somewhat less exciting, tools that are just as important.  For example, a boat is fairly useless unless you have a dock that allows you to get onto your boat. With that in mind,... Read more →

Whiting-Turner work weekend at UGAMI a success

Since 2015, the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company has sponsored an annual volunteer work weekend helping to improve the UGAMI facilities.  Eighteen Whiting-Turner employees and their spouses spent this past weekend on Sapelo Island working side by side with UGAMI staff, Beth Richardson (Friends of UGAMI), and representatives from campus (David Lee, VP for Research; Carl Bergmann, Associate VP for Research; and Gwynne Darden,  Associate VP for... Read more →

It’s five o’clock somewhere…but not always on Sapelo Island

Although Jimmy Buffet is almost correct when he sings “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” now it’s only five o’clock twice a day at UGAMI. The 1937 Seth Thomas clock on the front of the Main Lab building had been stopped for many years; its antique gears had worn out and its hands constantly insisted that it was 5:00.  Then one day last year, UGAMI’s assistant director... Read more →

UGAMI begins major renovation of main lab

              Last month, work started on a major renovation of UGAMI’s main laboratory building.  This project represents the first phase of a multi-year plan to completely renovate and modernize the Main Lab.  At 20,000 square feet, the Main Lab is UGAMI’s largest building, and is critical to the Institute’s mission. The main lab was built in the 1920s and... Read more →

SINERR turns 40

On December 22, 2016, the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve (SINERR) celebrated its fortieth anniversary.  The 6,100-acre reserve covers a swath along the western and southern flanks of Sapelo Island, including the UGAMI campus. SINERR’s research and education initiatives focus on the natural ecosystems, cultural resources, and history of Sapelo Island and the surrounding estuary. There is a long tradition of collaboration between UGAMI... Read more →

New signage for the Alligator Pond/Water Garden

The Friends of UGAMI spearheaded a project to install two new interpretive signs for the Alligator Pond on the UGAMI campus.  One sign describes the history of the artificial pond, which was created in 1923 when Howard Coffin owned what we now call the Reynolds Mansion.  The second sign covers the ecology of the plants and animals that inhabit the pond.  The pond is home... Read more →

Job opening at UGAMI: Research Technician II

Research Technician II Target Audience(s): Technician/Staff Institution: University of Georgia Marine Institute Institutional Web Link: Position Description: This position is based at the UGA Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, GA. The selected individual will serve as a field technician for the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research Program ( and will work with other technicians in residence at the Marine Institute. Minimum Qualifications:... Read more →

Friends of UGAMI work weekend

The Friends of UGAMI held one of their regular work weekends on the UGAMI campus.  Originally scheduled for the weekend during which Hurricane Matthew struck, they rescheduled for the weekend of November 11-13. Twelve members participated in the work weekend, working on the Barrier Island Research Lab dormitory (BIRL), Teal Boardwalk, Sears House, and garage.  At the BIRL dorm, new light bulbs were installed in... Read more →

Franklin Residential College visits UGAMI

UGA’s Franklin Residential College (FRC) visited UGAMI during fall break on Oct 28-30.  FRC is a student-governed residential college program modeled after the residential colleges found at Ivy League institutions, giving the feel of a small college within a great university and offering its members opportunities to participate in intellectual and cultural events.  FRC students traveled to UGAMI to learn about the natural history and... Read more →

GCE fall monitoring

A large number of researchers, students, and volunteers associated with the Georgia Coastal Ecosystem (GCE) – Long Term Ecological Research Project (LTER) gathered at UGAMI during the week of October 24-28 for the GCE’s annual fall monitoring. The goal of fall monitoring is to collect an extensive, standardized set of information during the same period every autumn from the GCE’s core sampling sites for use... Read more →

UGAMI is back to normal operations following Hurricane Matthew

As of Wednesday, Oct. 19th, UGAMI is open for business following its brush with Hurricane Matthew.  The storm caused no major damage to buildings, boats, or vehicles (see Oct. 10 Post on the effects of Hurricane Matthew). Initially, Georgia Power estimated that it would take 4-5 weeks to restore power to Sapelo Island.  Thanks to the monumental responses of the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources... Read more →

Sapelo weathers Hurricane Matthew

The Southeast Georgia Coast experienced its first major hurricane strike in over a hundred years with Matthew this past week. While only minor damage was incurred, power is currently out, and the Institute remains closed at this time. Read more →

New seawater system to support future growth of UGAMI

UGAMI received a National Science Foundation award through the Field Stations and Marine Labs (FSML) program to upgrade the UGAMI seawater system. Completion of the new system, which will support future growth of UGAMI, is anticipated by mid-September. Read more →

UGAMI welcomes summer visitors

Visitors include researchers from Creighton University and University of Houston, as well as graduate students and interns, and undergraduates from UGA's Coastal Summer Semester and Interdisciplinary Field Program. Read more →