UGA’s Dorinda Dallmeyer wins SELC award, UGA Press given special recognition


Friday, June 17, 2005

Contact: John McLeod, 706/369-6160, jmcleod@ugapress.uga.edu

UGA’s Dorinda Dallmeyer wins SELC award, UGA Press given special recognition

Athens, Ga. – The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) has announced the winners of this year’s Phillip D. Reed Memorial Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment. Special recognition has been given to the University of Georgia Press and Dorinda G. Dallmeyer for Elemental South: An Anthology of Southern Nature Writing. The book did not fit into any of the categories of the award but the SELC felt so strongly about Elemental South that they decided to give it special recognition. Dallmeyer is the associate director of UGA’s Dean Rusk Center–International, Comparative and Graduate Legal Studies.

Dallmeyer also won the advocacy category for her essay “Waiting for a Train,” in which she recalls her dread the day a train loaded with nerve gas and bound for burial at sea came through her hometown of Macon when she was 17. Watching the train from a distance, she prayed for its safe passage through her community, and for the rabbits on board who served for authorities as alarm systems of toxic leaks in the tankers. In the end she wonders what, in our chemical-ridden world, we are willing to do to ourselves and others, “all of us sentinel rabbits on a nerve-gas train.”

“All across the South we need to help people understand that we are absolutely dependent on the land and seas, and that to be fully human means that we must be engaged with our landscapes and their native communities,” said Dallmeyer. “I am delighted that both my essay and Elemental South are being honored by the Southern Environmental Law Center. The Reed Award will help me engage a wider audience in the effort to conserve this land I love.”

Dallmeyer is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, past vice-president of the American Society of International Law, a member of the American Bar Association, and is currently serving on the National Research Council committee investigating ecosystem effects of over-fishing. Her research has taken her to Jamaica, the Great Barrier Reef and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In her spare time, Dallmeyer has served as a ship-board lecturer and naturalist for cruises in the Antarctic, South America and Alaska. At her home in rural Madison County, Ga., she enjoys gardening, beekeeping and raising aquatic plants.

In 2001, Dallmeyer began to work with Janisse Ray and other Southern nature writers to develop a vision for a series of events that would stimulate writing about nature in the South. This multifaceted Southern Nature Project 2002 included a live radio broadcast, public readings at UGA, a day-long workshop for aspiring nature writers and a radio series on nature writing for national broadcast. Elemental South is another manifestation of that effort.

The SELC’s mission is to restore and safeguard the quality of the region’s air, water, forests, wildlife habitat, rural landscapes and other critical resources. As the leading advocacy organization for protection of the southern environment, the organization maintains close contact with the environmental community in other parts of the country, sharing their expertise and helping to shape national policies. For more information on SELC, visit www.southernenvironment.org/.