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2019 Doug Walker Lecture

2019 Doug Walker Lecture with J. Drew Lanham, PhD

Why I Write for Birds — The convergence of art, science and culture in making conservation more inclusive

J. Drew Lanham
J. Drew Lanham, PhD

University of Washington’s EarthLab and the College of the Environment are excited to announce our 2019 Doug Walker Lecturer, J. Drew Lanham, PhD. In this lecture, Lanham will discuss what it means to embrace the full breadth of his African-American heritage and his deep kinship to nature and adoration of birds. The convergence of ornithologist, college professor, poet, author and conservation activist blend to bring our awareness of the natural world and our moral responsibility for it forward in new ways. Candid by nature — and because of it — Lanham will examine how conservation must be a rigorous science and evocative art, inviting diversity and race to play active roles in celebrating our natural world.


When: Wednesday, October 30, 2019 | 6:30 p.m.
Where: Benaroya Hall | Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall | 200 University St., Seattle, 98101

About J. Drew Lanham, PhD

J. Drew Lanham is a distinguished alumni professor, provost’s professor, and alumni master teacher at Clemson University in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation. In his teaching, research, and outreach roles, Lanham seeks to translate conservation science, making it relevant 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.

Lanham is a widely published author and award-nominated poet, writing about his
experiences as a birder, hunter and wild, wandering soul. His first solo work, The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature (Milkweed 2016; Tantor Audio 2019), was awarded the Phillip Reed Memorial Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment in 2018. Lanham is poet laureate of his home place county of Edgefield, SC, and the author of Sparrow Envy – Poems. His essay “Forever Gone” (Orion Magazine 2018), which laments the passage of the Carolina Parakeet and the roles culture may have played in that demise. It was selected as an American Best Essay (by Rebecca Solnit) in 2019.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Founding sponsor REI

Presenting sponsor the Seattle Foundation

Friend sponsor The Wilderness SocietyFriend sponsor Filson