Professor of Wildlife Ecology Awarded 2012 Alumni Distinguished Professorship Award

Joseph Drew LanhamClemson -- Joseph Drew Lanham, professor of wildlife ecology in the School of Agricultural, Forest and Environmental Sciences (SAFES), was recently awarded the 2012 Alumni Distinguished Professorship Award. The award is given annually by the Clemson University Faculty to an outstanding colleague holding the rank of Professor. 

“Recognition as a Clemson University Alumni Distinguished Professor is one of the most significant awards given to Clemson University faculty,” said Doris Helms, Clemson vice president for academic affairs and provost.

Lanham’s research interests include songbird ecology and conservation, integration of game and nongame wildlife management, and the African American land ethic and its role in natural resource conservation.

“Drew continues to distinguish himself through his innovative teaching and research,” said Patricia Layton, professor and director of SAFES. “We already knew that he was loved by his students. This award shows that he’s also respected by his colleagues.”

Lanham uses field experiences to bring his students face-to-face with nature and he asks them to consider the art behind the science. He also shows his students how the bio-political process can sometimes put outside interests ahead of science when it comes to issues of wildlife conservation. In May, Lanham was nominated by the student body and named the 2012 Alumni Master Teacher for his outstanding undergraduate classroom instruction.

"To be honored first by the students as a Master Teacher and then by my peers with the Distinguished Professorship are both humbling events. It is high praise to receive this recognition and I am proud to call myself a Clemson alum," said Lanham.

In addition to his teaching and research duties, Lanham is writing a book examining the African American land ethic through his relationship with his family’s land in Edgefield County, South Carolina. Tentatively titled, "The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature." The book is due to be published late in 2013 by Milkweed Editions of Minneapolis, MN.