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Students work in the greenhouse

Diversity & Inclusion

The Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources supports the University of Georgia’s core values with respect to diversity and inclusion. We strive to create an environment of acceptance and respect in which all students, faculty, staff, and visitors feel welcomed and included. Our vision is of a school that is diverse, inclusive, and welcoming; in which students, staff, and faculty members enjoy equal access to opportunities; and where diversity is celebrated in our teaching, research, and outreach.


Our Diversity Committee works to produce DEI-related events each semester. These events may be standalone events organized by the committee, or it may involve coordinating events with student groups and others in Warnell to support a variety of voices as part of our educational mission.

Warnell faculty and staff are also taking part in ongoing seminars toward UGA's Diversity and Inclusion Certificate. Based on the high demand from within the Warnell community, these trainings are organized through UGA's Pathways program, which provides content for certain courses to units in order to meet the high demand for them. These courses are offered about once a semester.

Diversity Committee

The Mission of the Diversity Committee is to assist Warnell in achieving its vision of diversity and inclusion. We believe that the promotion of a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment is a responsibility shared by each member of the school community. The role of the Diversity Committee is to help lead this effort. We will accomplish this by:

  • Identifying and supporting opportunities to enhance diversity in education, teaching, and research
  • Generating and providing information to help monitor trends related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Promoting training and learning opportunities for students, faculty, and staff
  • Identifying resources that can help to foster a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and welcoming environment
  • Providing recognition for existing efforts that support the diversity and inclusion vision
  • Acting as a resource for inquiries and problem-solving related to diversity and inclusion
  • Working with existing committees and processes to support actions that help us reach this vision


Jesse Abrams (chair) Michel Kohl Kate deDufour
Matt Head Michelle Scott  
Kristen Morales Mikell Gleason  
Christian Bourke Undergraduate Representative
Behnoosh Abbasnezhad Graduate Representative
Aubrey Pawlikowski Young Alumni Committee Representative
Jon Balkcom Alumni Steering Committee Representative

This committee is set by the dean each year and meets regularly throughout the semester. Please reach out to our chair to give any suggestions or feedback about the diversity committee. Please use our anonymous feedback survey to give suggestions or feedback about the climate at Warnell.



Past DEI News & Updates

  • As part of the university's efforts to complete a strategic plan for diversity and inclusion, Warnell is has created its own strategic plan to support these goals. This plan has been accepted by the university.


  • In 2021, Dean Greene appointed a 21-member Diversity Plan Working Group to help define Warnell's goals within three areas: academics, outreach, and research. the plan linked above is the result of those efforts.
  • In September 2021, faculty across all disciplines decided, unanimously, to revise learning outcomes to better incorporate and reflect diversity, equity, and inclusion. Read more about the changes in learning outcomes.
  • In April 2021, the committee worked with Warnell's Speaker Series to invite alumna Danielle Atkins to speak on female landownership and how increasing access is vital to the future of forestry. Atkins runs the forestry consulting business Land & Ladies and has been working with faculty members Puneet Dwivedi and Bob Izlar on a series of workshops that breaks down barriers for women landowners.
  • In February 2021, in conjunction with UGA's celebration of the 60th anniversary of desegregation on campus, Warnell hosted a virtual presentation and Q&A with the school's first African American undergraduate alumnus, Rex Benham.
  • In October 2020 we welcomed Dr. Carolyn Finney as part of the UGA Signature Lecture Series. Titled "What's Race Got to do With It? Christian Cooper, John Muir, and the Nature of Green Space," Finney gave us some wonderful insights into the great outdoors and who is welcomed there. Check out her presentation if you haven't seen it yet!

Support Warnell

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.