Q&A: Ecotones Mixes Music, Sustainability To Support Upper Oconee Watershed Network 

Lily Thomas, a sophomore international affairs student from Eatonton, Georgia, is the eco chair for the Ecotones, an a capella group at the University of Georgia that supports the Upper Oconee Watershed Network through water sampling to learn more about the environment. Comments trimmed for length and clarity.


Q: How did you initially get involved in Ecotones? 

I saw some representatives they had at the Engagement Fair, and so I gave them my email. They reached out to me when they did auditions. I auditioned in the fall of my first semester, and I got in. I’ve been in since then. 


Q: Would you say that most members also kind of have either their major or like a certificate also has to do with sustainability? 

Not necessarily. There’s a lot of different interests, but I think it’s cool that we all kind of share a shared interest of environmental conservation. 


Q: What does a typical rehearsal or like week as an Ecotones member look like for you? 

We have rehearsals twice a week, and they take place in the Odum School of Ecology in one of their lecture halls. It’ll start with maybe we go around the circle and like talk about our weekend, and then we’ll do a couple of warm-ups. Then it just depends by the day like what we’re doing musically. Since it’s towards the beginning of the semester, we’re workshopping a lot of arrangements.


Q: Weekly do y’all do like sustainability type things, or is that more of a like, like a goal that you work towards like throughout the semester? 

So as the eco chair, I work with one of the Upper Oconee Watershed (Network’s) outreach coordinators and basically we have a water sampling event every semester. We’re always involved with that. That’s our big semesterly like thing that we do and look forward to. Also, like proceeds from concerts and stuff will go back to the Upper Oconee Watershed Network.


Q:  What has been the greatest achievement either like you in the Ecotones or like the Ecotones as a whole have accomplished here at UGA or Athens?

This past spring, we got invited to receive an award from the Upper Oconee Watershed Network for our like conservation efforts. I can’t remember the name of the event, but it was kind of just highlighting a couple of like sustainable like companies in the Athens area that are like doing good, like green work. 


Sarah Krisak is a third year majoring in public relations. 



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