The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory’s research program reflects its dual role as both an academic outpost of the University of Georgia and a long-term partner in the U.S Department of Energy’s stewardship and management of the Savannah River Site—researching ecological impacts of the site’s operations. The lab’s diverse expertise allows DOE to understand and address site impacts on all levels from physical and chemical contaminant transport processes to effects on biotic communities, human risk, and appropriate ecological indicators for remediation. SREL’s risk assessment capabilities lead to scientifically sound cost-effective management strategies. For example, when the SRS Citizens Advisory Board made a recommendation to DOE that radiological monitoring resume in the Central Savannah River Area of the state of Georgia, SREL scientists used their diverse subject matter expertise to evaluate the function of existing environmental monitoring systems and recommended a course of action to DOE through a technical report.
In addition to research in support of DOE management goals, SREL’s expertise extends beyond the site to regional, national, and global projects. The lab collaborates with on-site and external organizations. Collaborators include Savannah River National Laboratory, USDA Forest Service, Savannah River Remediation, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, U.S. Dept. of Defense-Navy, City of Augusta, GA, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, University of California-Davis, National Science Foundation, Institute for Radioecological Protection and Nuclear Safety–France, Polesie State Radiological Reserve–Belarus, National Wildlife Research Center, Joseph E. Jones Ecological Research Center, and the National Fish and Wildlife Service, and many others.