2000 D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Teaching
Dr. Michael Dirr, Professor in the Department of Horticulture, has a distinguished record of teaching at the University of Georgia that has spanned over two decades. Letters and evaluations from former students confirm his effectiveness and enthusiasm as a teacher and mentor. They consistently cite his passion and enthusiasm for his subject and his encyclopedic knowledge of woody ornamental plants. Many consider him to be the one educator who inspired them to become horticulture professionals.
A recipient of more than 20 awards for teaching and research, Dr. Dirr has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to horticulture, both in and out of the classroom. Recent teaching awards include the 1998 CAES Agricultural Alumni Outstanding Teacher award, the L.C. Chadwick Educator's Award from the American Nursery and Landscape Association (1998) and the American Horticultural Society's Teaching Award (2000).
Dr. Dirr has impacted horticultural programs nationwide through his text, Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, which is used by more than 90% of classes on landscape plant materials taught in the US. He has written 6 other books and authored or co-authored over 50 scholarly research papers and more than 300 articles for the popular press.
He is widely recognized as a preeminient expert in the landscape industry and has presented hundreds of invited presentations to industry and professional groups.
Recently Dr. Dirr was instrumental in establishing the University of Georgia Campus Arboretum and in preparing materials for the Walking Tour of Trees.
Dr. Dirr clearly embodies D.W. Brooks' ideal of exceptional creativity and excellence in instruction throughout his outstanding career as an educator at the University of Georgia.