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 About the Director: Dr. Jack Turner

Jack TurnerThe Watershed Ecology Center was founded at the University of South Carolina Upstate by Dr. Jack Turner in 1999. Dr. Turner's vision for the center includes scientific research on the watershed ecology of the region, community outreach, and educational programming for local schools. The center is a privately funded endeavor supported by local businesses, water utilities, and grants.

In August 2001, the Watershed Education Program was started as an outreach program because the center believes that reaching a child, reaches a family, which in turn reaches a community. WEC programming is designed to educate children in grades kindergarten through 12th grade about the value of aquatic environments and the need to be caretakers of our water resources. The programs are designed around South Carolina science standards. Most programs are offered at no charge. 

During the center's first year of educational outreach, over 3,389 students were reached under the leadership of Ingrid Q. Norris who only worked part-time. Ingrid began the center's educational programming by offering just one type of program, but quickly developed a variety of programs that required a full-time educator.

Currently, the center serves more than 17,000 students and adults in our educational programming and community outreach events, and is staffed by four part-time educators. Programming has extended into the summer through Discovery Camps. Representatives of the center can also be found at special community events throughout the year.

Today, the center continues to grow. At this time, over 100 animal artifacts, specimens and live animals reside at the center. The WEC continues to pursue scientific research and development of new environmental education curriculum. 

Read more about Dr. Turner here.  

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Jack Turner

Lanita Wilson
WEC Program Manager

Beth Button
Community Outreach Coordinator
Summer Camp Coordinator

Athena Campbell

Rita Zollinger

Watershed Ecology Center 
USC Upstate
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Phone: 864-503-5728
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