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2017 Keynote Speaker: James W. Porter, Ph.D.

2017 Keynote Address:
The Environmental Legacy of War: Human and Environmental Health Concerns on Vieques, Puerto Rico

Dr. James PorterJames W. Porter is the Josiah Meigs Distinguished  Professor of Ecology at the University of Georgia. He received his Bachelor of Science from Yale in 1969 and his Doctorate from Yale in 1973.

He was a Smithsonian Pre-Doctoral Fellow from 1971-1972 at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. After teaching at the University of Michigan from 1973 to 1977, he joined the faculty at the University of Georgia. Dr. Porter is a world-renown lecturer. In 2002 he received the University of Georgia's Meigs Outstanding Teaching Award and in 2005 the Environmental Educator of the Year Award from the Ecological Society of America.

Professor Porter became the editor of the professional journals Ecology and Ecological Monographs in 1977, and served in that post for four years. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Naturalists, and the Great Barrier Reef Committee.

In 2006, he was elected President of Sigma Xi, a scientific honor society with more than 160,000 members worldwide, including all living Nobel Laureates. Dr. Porter's award winning photographs have appeared in Life Magazine and the New York Times. His work has been featured on ABC World News, NBC Nightly News, CNN News and the CBS Evening News.

Dr. Porter is a marine ecologist specializing in the biology, ecology and assessment of Floridian and Caribbean coral reefs. He has investigated the effects of naval bombardment on coral reefs on Isla Vieques, Puerto Rico and has worked with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta to investigate the link between Underwater Unexploded Ordinance (UWUXO) and human health concerns on the island.

He has testified before Congress five times, most recently on the effects of global warming on coral reefs. His most recent work is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the relationship between the bacterial pathogen, which causes human serratiosis and white-pox disease in reef-building corals.

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Dr. Melissa Pilgrim
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Phone: (864) 503-5781