July 20, 2018

Dr. Donald Davis Appointed
New Executive Director

Don Davis with American Chestnut in Belgium - photo by Marc Meyer

To our ForestWatch family:

You may remember that our Executive Director Mary Topa announced her retirement in the Winter 2018 issue of Forest News. Fortunately for Georgia ForestWatch, she graciously decided to stay until the Board found a replacement for her. 

We are now happy to announce a new Executive Director, Dr. Donald Davis. Don will be officially starting on August 13 th, and Mary will remain through the end of August to ensure a smooth transition. ForestWatch members will be able to meet Don and say goodbye to Mary at the upcoming Fall Retreat on October 6th.
A Georgia native, Don was born and raised near Ringgold, GA. He has worked in the environmental field for more than three decades, including directing two Georgia environmental nonprofits, the Armuchee Alliance and the Georgia Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation. He also served on the Boards of the American Chestnut Foundation, the Coosa River Basin Initiative, and Appalachian Voices. His tenure with the Armuchee Alliance gave him the unique opportunity to work closely with Georgia ForestWatch as the Alliance and ForestWatch collaborated on forest planning issues in what was then the Armuchee Ranger District of the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Don holds a Ph.D. in Sociology with a specialization in Environmental Sociology, as well as two M.A.s in Social Ecology and Psychology, and a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion. Don was a professor at Dalton State College for 17 years, where he taught Environmental Sociology. He  is the author of several books and numerous articles in environmental journals. His 2000 publication of Where There Are Mountains: An Environmental History of the Southern Appalachians established his reputation as a leading environmental historian of the Southern Appalachian region and won SELC's 2001 Philip D. Reed Writing Award for the best book on the southern environment.

At the ForestWatch Fall Retreat on October 6th, attendees will be able to meet and hear from Don and to thank Mary Topa for her significant contributions. We hope you can make it!

Robin Hitner
Board President


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