Georgia Climate Change Coalition Wins National Award, Elects First Officers

July 17, 2012, Athens, GA – The Georgia Climate Change Coalition is proud to announce the receipt of a national Merit Award from the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) recognizing the Coalition for its multi-faceted advocacy work over the last year. The award will be presented Tuesday, July 24, 2012 during the 67th International Annual Conference of the SWCS in Fort Worth Texas.

The SWCS Merit Award is given in recognition of outstanding activity or service by an organization that promotes the conservation of soil, water and related natural resources. Environmental conservation is of critical importance to the Georgia Climate Change Coalition, which formed in early 2011 with a mission of increasing awareness about climate change and its projected impacts in the southeastern United States and beyond.

In its first year of existence, the Athens, Georgia-based Coalition organized a successful march and rally, hosted a series of symposia at the University of Georgia, and developed a web-based Carbon Reduction Campaign highlighting changes in people’s daily lives that can cut carbon dioxide emissions by 10 to 20 percent using water and energy management strategies.

The four-part symposia series, which took place from November 2011 through January 2012, featured more than two dozen scientists, researchers and business professionals who gave brief presentations on the issues, impacts and solutions associated with climate change within their specific fields. Soil, water and other natural resources figured prominently in the discussion of environmental and economic impacts facing Georgia’s forests, agriculture and wetlands.

“Though our coalition is only a little more than a year old, a sense of urgency has propelled us to host, help with, or appear at more than a dozen events,” said Doug Job, Vice Chair of the Georgia Climate Change Coalition. “This timely affirmation by the Society, which has such stature in the scientific community, is wonderful for our morale. We’re encouraged now to reach thousands of Georgians with news they can use about climate change.”

Chere Petersen, Past President of the Georgia Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society and a Georgia Clmate Change Coalition affiliate, will accept the award in Fort Worth on behalf of the Coalition.

Election of Officers

The Georgia Climate Change Coalition also has made significant progress bringing together a diverse base of support from Georgia’s academic, nonprofit, business and local communities. The coalition elected officers at its first annual meeting on April 25, 2012, solidifying the interim leadership that evolved since the group’s founding. The officers are as follows:

  • Dorcas Franklin, Chair
  • Doug Job, Vice Chair
  • Miguel Cabrera, Treasurer
  • Rich Rusk, Secretary

About the Soil and Water Conservation Society

Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization founded in 1943 to serve as an advocate for conservation professionals and for science-based conservation practice, programs, and policy. SWCS has over 5,000 members around the world including researchers, administrators, planners, policymakers, technical advisors, teachers, students, farmers, and ranchers. (

About the Georgia Climate Change Coalition

Through education, advocacy and action, the Georgia Climate Change Coalition aims to increase awareness about climate change and its projected impacts; work in partnership with all Georgians and stakeholders to promote solutions and adaptations to the climate crisis; actively support local, state, national and international energy/climate change initiatives and legislation; serve as a clearing house for climate information.The group is actively seeking coalition partners from across the state. (


For additional comment, please contact:

Meredith Foley
Project Coordinator, Soil and Water Conservation Society
(515) 289-2331 ext. 112

Doug Job
Vice Chair, Georgia Climate Change Coalition
(706) 389-0123

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