Office of Environmental Management

SRS Museum Unveils Environmental Stewardship Gallery

January 29, 2019

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Officials gather for a ribbon cutting ceremony to open an environmental stewardship gallery at the SRS Museum.
Front-Walt Joseph exec dir SRS Museum; Paula Joseph volunteer; Chris McBride asst dir SR Ecology Laboratory; back-Aiken County Chairman Gary Bunker; US Forest Srv -SR Asst Mgr Research Andy Horcher; David Jameson, president/CEO Aiken Chamber of Commerce.

AIKEN, S.C. – The opening of a museum gallery here displays the Savannah River Site’s (SRS) historic and ongoing role in environmental stewardship to the public.

   The SRS Museum recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony to open an environmental stewardship gallery, a collaboration of the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) and the USDA Forest Service-Savannah River (USFS-SR).

   The project highlights the ecological research and land management practices that began in 1951 after SREL and USFS-SR accepted the Atomic Energy Commission’s invitation to conduct work on what would become the SRS.

   Walt Joseph, the executive director of the museum, said both entities are integral to the site’s story, so this was a natural collaboration.

   “I wanted to see the museum reflect all aspects of the site. Initially, the museum’s focus was on nuclear production and research,” Joseph said. “We had nothing to show the vast research that focuses on protecting the environment.”

David Jameson, president and CEO of the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, studies the historical timeline of Savannah River Site accomplishments.
David Jameson, president and CEO of the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, studies the historical timeline of Savannah River Site accomplishments.
From left, Kurt Buhlmann, senior research associate at Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, holding a gopher tortoise shell, and Charlie Davis, forest ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service-Savannah River, pose with Smokey Bear.
From left, Kurt Buhlmann, senior research associate at Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, holding a gopher tortoise shell, and Charlie Davis, forest ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service-Savannah River, pose with Smokey Bear.

   Visitors to the museum can view a timeline that features milestones, accomplishments, and conservation efforts. The room also features photographs, illustrations, and interactive exhibits. Vivid life-sized details of the various habitat types and associated wildlife are also on display.

   Joseph said exhibits in the gallery will be updated regularly to reflect future achievements in environmental stewardship at SRS.

 

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