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Gary Hawkins

Dr. Gary L. Hawkins is the Water Resources Management and Policy Specialist in the Crop and Soil Science Department based out of the J. Phil Campbell Research and Education Center in Watkinsville, GA.  His appointment is 80% Extension and 20% Applied Research.  Even though he is in the Crop and Soil Sciences Department, he is an Agricultural Engineer by training with degrees from three Orange Universities around Georgia – Clemson, Auburn, and Tennessee.  Hawkins says he was triangulating Georgia as a place to work.  He studied overland flow with swine waste while attending Auburn University, and then anaerobic digestion of dairy waste at the University of Tennessee.  Between his years at Auburn and Tennessee, he worked as an Environmental Engineer for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management where he was in charge of permitting and closing landfills. 

Hawkins started working for the University of Georgia in April 2001 in Tifton as the Pollution Prevention Specialist.  In that role, he worked with farmers, Extension agents, NRCS, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and other groups to promote, educate and assist in reducing erosion from land surfaces.  One main way of reducing soil erosion in agriculture is through conservation production (or conservation tillage) of farming.  He is still involved with the annual Conservation Production Systems Conference/Workshop in cooperation with Seven Rivers RC&D Council in Baxley, GA. 

Beginning in 2015, Gary became the Water Resource Management and Policy Specialist at UGA.  In this role, he still works with the same groups as before, along with a few others in the areas of improving water quality and quantity. Hawkins’ Extension programming involves erosion control, water resource management, water conservation, stormwater management, well water, on-site waste treatment and alternative energy. His educational programs are delivered through agent trainings, workshops, conferences, and field days and reach a wide audience including Extension agents, various civic groups, school age students, college students, and industry practitioners.  Hawkins also provides annual updates to the Homeowner and Commercial Pest Management Handbooks on the proper calibration of sprayers in order to provide proper pest control while also protecting water resources. 

From an IPM standpoint, the significance of Hawkins’ work in the area of water resource management helps reduce aquatic weed pressures by helping control nutrient movement from the land to the water. Additionally, his work in conservation production systems functions as a means to reduce pest pressures in agricultural production.

Hawkins has been married for 26 years.  He and his wife have two daughters.  He is an Eagle Scout and also a registered Girl Scout Leader.  He has trained other Girl Scout Leaders how to teach the “Wonders of Water” Journey and other outdoor skills.  He enjoys helping his daughter’s Troop and other leaders learn ways to enjoy the outdoors while protecting water and soil resources.