Shana Jones, program manager of planning and environmental services with the Institute of Government, was honored with the 2020 Walter Barnard Hill Award for Distinguished Achievement in Public Service and Outreach as part of Honors Week at the University of Georgia.
The Hill Award recognizes distinguished achievement in public service and outreach by UGA faculty members and service professionals who have made contributions to the improvement of the quality of life in Georgia that greatly exceeds the normal accomplishments of a productive faculty member.
Jones’ work with the Institute includes creating the Georgia Sea Grant Law Program and conducting research on the impact of increased coastal flooding and sea level rise on local governments and coastal management and policy.
Through her work with the Environmental Policy Academy, a project funded by the Dobbs Foundation, Jones has provided key legislators detailed information on the state’s most critical environmental issues. Under her leadership, the academy has developed a reputation for providing quality programming and encouraging important discussion. The annual event draws current and new members of the House and Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Committees to locations where they can get a hands-on look at the state’s environment successes and concerns.
Jones created the Georgia Sea Grant Law Program in 2015 in partnership with UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. The program addresses critical environmental, economic and hazard mitigation concerns in coastal Georgia. Each year, two to three law students work as Georgia Sea Grant Legal Fellows, conducting law and policy research to support coastal projects. Since the program’s establishment, Jones has mentored 12 fellows.
Over the past four years, Jones has overseen $2 million in contracts and grants. Her research agenda focuses on coastal hazards and risks; oyster aquaculture; local property rights; and environmental law and policy. Her research collaborations include UGA colleagues as well as faculty members from other states, including the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at the College of William & Mary.
“Shana is a great listener and organizer with invaluable outreach and public service skills. She is a pleasure to work with and a quick problem solver whenever unexpected situations arise,” said State Rep. Lynn R. Smith, chair of the Georgia House Natural Resources and Environment Committee. “She fulfills the university’s public service mission in all regards in her work to make the academy the success it has become.”
The award is named in honor of Chancellor Walter Barnard Hill, who led UGA from 1899 until his death in 1905 and first articulated the university’s modern public service and outreach mission. Hill Award winners receive a medallion and a framed certificate and become eligible for the Walter Barnard Hill Fellow Award, UGA’s highest award in public service and outreach.
For more information about PSO’s amazing award winners and their unique work, visit t.uga.edu/5RU.