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Dan Suiter has a superpower: He can walk into a restaurant and tell if it has rats or roaches, just by the smell. “Rat urine is kind of pungent,” he says. “Roaches are more musty.”
Agriculture is the state’s largest industry, contributing more than 350,000 jobs and more than $74 billion to Georgia’s economy. With high risks and, often, thin profit margins for family-owned farms, social isolation, the vagaries of weather, and the burden of a multigenerational family legacy, the work can wreak havoc on mental health.
With one-third of the salt marshes on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, the Georgia coast is celebrated for its natural beauty—but natural can be a deceptive concept. Humans are part of nature; to effects good and ill, we’ve shaped the world around ourselves. That includes the coast.
When Sabrina Orah Mark began to delve into the world of fairy tales, it was Geppetto—who carves his own son from a block of wood—whom she connected with most. “Pinocchio lies to him, steals from him, runs away from him, comes back, saves him, and breaks his heart,” Mark says. It’s a tale as old as time: The things that we create—that lie to us, steal from us, and break our hearts—might be the things that save us in the end.
“It’s just getting harder for bees to do what they do,” Keith Delaplane says. Increasingly, honeybees and other pollinators face survival challenges from climate change, pesticide use, and habitat destruction—in addition to bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can swiftly decimate a hive. But researchers like Delaplane, a professor of entomology at the University of Georgia and the director of UGA’s Bee Program, are working to offer beekeepers tools to combat at least some of these threats. Next year, Georgia—home to one of the biggest commercial beekeeping industries in the country—might also be home to the world’s first vaccine for honeybees.
In June, lightning struck St. Catherines Island 157 times, sparking massive fires on land already parched by drought. An uninhabited sea island south of Savannah, St. Catherines is privately owned and home to numerous wildlife conservation projects, with animal residents including ring-tailed lemurs, sandhill cranes, and sea turtles. Scorching more than 2,000 acres, the blazes threatened historical and archaeological sites including the remnants of a 16th-century Spanish mission—but some animals may have benefited.
Today, the orchard is home to 140 heirloom varieties, grown from wood cuttings snipped from trees found in niche orchards, rural backyards, and other sources across the Southeast—two trees of each, or “a Noah’s Ark of Southern apples,” as both Fuder and Mihm describe it. The work has yielded not just a cache of apple trees but also of oral histories from across the state.
Following the oral arguments in Dobbs this past December, we began asking public health and women’s health experts from Emory, the University of Georgia, and Morehouse School of Medicine to weigh in on the broader ramifications of a Roe v. Wade reversal in the state. Here are some of the concerns they shared about what will happen to public health in Georgia if the decision is overturned.