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Captain Joseph Hughart

Title: Lecturer of Earth & Environmental Science

Office: Cumming
Areas of Expertise: Geology, hydrology, environmental health, natural disaster response

Courses Taught

  • GEOL 1121: Physical Geology
  • GEOL 1122: Historical Geology


  • M.P.H., Environmental Health, Emory University, 1991
  • M.S., Hydrogeology, Ohio University, 1982
  • B.S., Geology, West Virginia University , 1979

Research/Special Interests

Captain Joe Hughart is currently involved in preparing communities to respond to earthquakes, floods, droughts and hurricanes. Over the past five years, he has trained and equipped hurricane and flood water rescue teams for 16 islands in the Bahamas covering 98% of the Bahamian population. He has also recently trained and equipped hurricane and flood water rescue teams in 15 states in Mexico. In addition to holding professional certifications in environmental health and geology, he also holds technical certifications in swift water rescue, fast rescue boat operations, technical rope rescue, hazardous materials emergency response, and collapsed structure rescue.


  • Bahamas Surface Water Rescue, Levels I and II, U.S. Department of Defense Northern Command and U.S. Public Health Service, Captain Joe Hughart, 2016
  • Rescate Acuatico, Niveles I & II, Comando Norte del EEUU y Servicio de Salud Publica del EEUU, Captain Joe Hughart, 2015

Work Experience

Captain Hughart is a senior Environmental Health Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. In the current decade, he works with the U.S. Department of Defense to train and equip disaster response teams in North America. In the first decade of the millennium, he responded to earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, typhoons and tsunamis worldwide as a member of the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.

In the 1990s, he managed national programs to investigate health hazards resulting from environmental contamination released by U.S. military bases and nuclear weapons facilities. In the 1980s, he investigated groundwater contamination at hazardous waste sites nationwide, and served as the Regional Expert Hydrologist for the U.S. EPA in the southeastern United States.

Military Experience

Captain Hughart's military experience includes serving as a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman with the Marines, and leading a Medical Operations Team in a U.S. Army Special Forces battalion. He served as the Chemical, Biological, Radiation, Nuclear and Explosives Safety Officer on the U.S. humanitarian assistance team deployed to Iraq in 2003, and has also served in conflict zones in Rwanda, Croatia, North Africa, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.

Personal Information

Captain Hughart's favorite thing about UNG is working with UNG students to help them apply the principles of geology and environmental health to solve practical problems they may encounter in the north Georgia environment.

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