J. Drew Lanham

Clemson University Master Teacher and Alumni Distinguished Professor in Wildlife Ecology 2016

Rosa Parks and Grace Lee Boggs Outstanding Service

J. Drew Lanham is a Clemson University Master Teacher and Alumni Distinguished Professor in wildlife ecology, with research interests in songbird ecology and conservation; Drew is an active board member of several organizations including the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, Aldo Leopold Foundation, and BirdNote. He is also a member of NAAEE’s Advisory Council.

Drew is a widely published essayist and an endeavoring poet focusing on a passion for place and internal and societal conflicts that sometimes put ethnicity and passion for nature at odds. His first solo work, The Home Place-Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature (Milkweed Editions) was recently published.

Drew views his professional passion and personal missions converging to define environmental sustainability and conservation in new ways. His personal passion for conservation and writing have made an enormous difference in our collective work to educate people about the environment. Drew has been a keynote speaker at NAAEE and other conferences around the world.

Drew has been able to bridge the gap between education and conservation and his work to translate conservation science to make it relevant to others.  As a Black American, he’s intrigued with how culture and ethnic prisms can bend perceptions of nature and its care.

In Drew’s words, he feels that “coloring the conservation conversation is my outreach mantra.” This means considering how ethnicity and other factors impact how we see nature and then conserve natural resources. 


J. Drew Lanham

Press Release

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