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Dr. Drew Lanham receives the 2021 Tommy Wyche Land Conservation Champion Award

May 19th, 2021

For his decades of teaching, research, and writing that have made the field of conservation more accessible and inclusive, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University Dr. Drew Lanham is the recipient of the 2021 Tommy Wyche Land Conservation Champion Award.


Dr. J. Drew Lanham is a native of Edgefield and Aiken, South Carolina. In his teaching, research, and outreach roles, Drew seeks to translate conservation science to make it relevant to others in ways that are evocative and understandable. As a Black American he’s intrigued with how culture and ethnic prisms can bend perceptions of nature and its care. His “connecting the conservation dots” and “coloring the conservation conversation” messages have been delivered internationally.

Drew strongly believes that conservation must be a blending of head and heart; rigorous science and evocative art. He is active on a number of conservation boards including the SC Wildlife Federation, South Carolina Audubon, Aldo Leopold Foundation, BirdNote and the American Birding Association. He is an inaugural Fellow of the Audubon-Toyota Together Green initiative and is a member of the advisory board for the North American Association of Environmental Education. Drew is a Fellow of the Clemson University Institute for Parks and was a 2016 Brandwein Fellow for his work in Environmental Education.

Dr. Lanham is a widely published author and awardnominated poet, writing about his experiences as a birder, hunter and wild, wandering soul. His works The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature and Sparrow Envy: Field Guide to Birds and Lesser Beasts are available now.

Click here to read "Blue Wall High," an essay by Dr. Drew Lanham for Upstate Forever

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