Couch to Speak at Ivan Allen College Founder's Day

Tech Alumna Carol Couch heads Georgia Environmental Protection Division

The Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Tech announces that Dr. Carol A. Couch, director of the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) within the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, will give the Allen Prize Address at the College's annual Founder's Day luncheon on March 15 at 1 p.m. at The Biltmore in midtown Atlanta. Dr. Couch's address, "The Challenges of Georgia's Changing Landscape," is open to the public.

"We are pleased that Dr. Carol Couch, a leader and proponent of environmental policy in Georgia and a Georgia Tech alumna, will help us celebrate the legacy of Charles and Lessie Smithgall, this year's recipients of the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Progress and Service," says Sue V. Rosser, dean of the Ivan Allen College. "The Smithgalls' love of the environment shows in their many gifts to the state of Georgia, Georgia Tech and other Georgia institutions so it is fitting that Dr. Couch will speak about the changing landscape in Georgia."

Couch, the first woman to lead EPD in its 35-year history, was appointed by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and the Board of Natural Resources in October 2003. As director, she is responsible for an 850-person agency that implements and enforces 26 state and four federal laws designed to protect, conserve and restore Georgia's environmental resources.

Dr. Couch chairs the Water Council, a coordinating committee charged with overseeing the development of a comprehensive statewide water plan. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Clean Air Campaign and is on the Board of Trustees of the Livable Communities Coalition.

Before joining EPD, Dr. Couch was a member of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), leading nationally distributed, multi-disciplinary teams of engineers, hydrologists, chemists and biologists in the design, conduct and reporting of water resource investigations. She also served as southeastern regional biologist in the southeastern region, and as hydrologist in the Georgia District of the USGS Water Resources Division.

Couch received her Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Georgia, her master's degree from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor's degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her graduate studies focused on the ecology of coastal rivers and estuaries.

She was born in Nuremberg, Germany and settled in Columbus, Georgia upon her father's retirement from the U.S. Army. Her love of nature grew from fishing and hunting with her father in Georgia's beautiful and diverse outdoors. Couch is an avid hiker, landscape painter, sometime golfer and is currently writing a series of travel essays.

At the Founder's Day celebration, the Ivan Allen College will honor the recipients of the 2007 Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Progress and Service-Charles and Lessie Smithgall. Previous recipients of the Prize include Jesse Hill Jr., Atlanta businessman and civil rights leader (2006); Will Wright, co-founder of Maxis and original designer of SimCity and The Sims computer games (2005); former Senator Sam Nunn, co-chairman and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (2004); Molly Ivins, nationally syndicated columnist (2003); Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President and Georgia Governor (2002); and Zell Miller, former U.S. Senator and Georgia Governor (2001).

More details about Founder's Day celebration and the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Progress and Service are available online at

Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts
Ivan Allen College was founded in 1990, and today provides a forum for extending the traditional liberal arts into new fields that address the complex relationship between technology and society. Offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees, Ivan Allen College includes the Schools of Economics; History, Technology and Society; the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs; Literature, Communication and Culture; Modern Languages; and Public Policy, as well as Air Force, Army, and Navy Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) units.