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Auburn University and the U.S. Army cemented a partnership by signing a historic 10-year agreement to provide natural resource management services to eight military bases in the southeastern region of the United States, including Redstone Arsenal and Fort Rucker in Alabama; Forts Benning, Gordon and Stewart in Georgia; Fort Polk in Louisiana; Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Jackson in South Carolina.
The Revolving Intergovernmental Service Agreement, or IGSA, is the first of its kind in the country to include eight military bases.
“To implement the agreement, Dr. Vini Nathan, Acting Provost of Auburn University, approved the establishment of the Center for Natural Resource Management on Military Lands at the College of Forestry, Wildlife and environment,” said Janaki Alavalapati, dean of the college.
Through this collaboration, the center will provide technical expertise and resources to deliver services ranging from forest management and surveys of threatened and endangered species, to surface water delineation and climate vulnerability assessments. climate change. The center will also provide technical GIS and database support tools to manage the military bases’ vast natural resources.
For the U.S. Army, IGSA will be a regional acquisition strategy that provides natural resource services in all southeastern states that will improve efficiency and deliverables while ensuring compliance with state laws and regulations. and federal.
“The agreement will ensure that government management and various uses of the Army’s more than one million acres of military land within these bases are maintained in order to accomplish the Army’s mission at the future,” said William G. Kidd, director of G4 Installations and Logistics, U.S. Army Installation Management Command.
“The partnership was designed to expand to include research and student learning opportunities as the university strengthens its administrative infrastructure and service capabilities,” said Daowei Zhang, alumnus and Professor George Peake. Jr. and Associate Dean of Research at the College of Forestry, Wildlife. and Environment, which will coordinate services with the military.
This collaboration, while unique in its magnitude, represents another mutually beneficial alliance between Auburn University and the Department of Defense in addressing critical Army needs and issues.
“The ROTC program and the Military Reach project to provide quality housing for military families, as well as the McCrary Institute to develop innovative strategies to defend against current cybersecurity and infrastructure threats, are just a few examples. of the profound impact such a partnership can have for both institutions,” said Lt. Gen. (Retired) Ron Burgess, Auburn’s executive vice president and 38-year U.S. Army veteran.
As part of its land-grant mission, the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment at Auburn University has long leveraged these government partnerships to advance its teaching, research and outreach programs to benefit teachers, students and citizens.
“I am confident that this newly established partnership will enhance the Auburn experience for our students, expand transformative research, provide impactful service, and engage faculty from multiple colleges and beyond,” said Christopher B. Roberts, President. from Auburn University.
A signing ceremony attended by Auburn University and U.S. Army leaders was held Sept. 7 at the College of Forestry, Wildlife, and Environment on the university’s campus.