University of Georgia professor Michael Dirr will receive the prestigious D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Public Service for teaching Oct. 2 in Athens, Ga.
Dirr has a distinguished teaching record at the university that has spanned more than two decades. He has been cited by students for his passion and enthusiasm for his subject and his encyclopedic knowledge of woody ornamental plants. The recipient of more than 20 awards for teaching and research, Dirr has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to horticulture, both in and out of the classroom.
Nationally Known Teacher, Author
He was named the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Outstanding Teacher in 1998. He also won the L.C. Chadwick Educator's Award from the American Nursery and Landscape Association and the American Horticultural Society's Teaching Award.
Dirr's text, Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, is used in more than 90 percent of landscape materials classes taught in the United States. He has written six other books and authored or co-authored more than 50 research papers and 300 articles. He is widely recognized as a preeminent expert in the landscape industry. He was instrumental in establishing the UGA Campus Arboretum and in preparing materials for the Walking Tour of Trees.
D.W. Brooks Awards, Lecture
The annual Brooks awards are presented to UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty who excel in teaching, research, extension and international agriculture. The awards include a framed certificate and a $5,000 cash award. Other honorees this year are: Eddie McGriff, county extension programming; Steve L. Brown, extension; John Ruter, research; and Manjeet Chinnan, international agriculture.
Before the awards ceremony, William F. Kirk, vice president of DuPont Biosolutions Enterprise, will deliver the D.W. Brooks Lecture: "The 21st Century -- An Agribusiness Odyssey."
The lecture and awards are named for the late D.W. Brooks, founder and chairman emeritus of Gold Kist, Inc., and founder of Cotton States Mutual Insurance Companies. Brooks was an advisor on agriculture and trade issues to seven U.S. presidents.
(Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)