J. Drew Lanham

Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology
Master Teacher and Certified Wildlife Biologist
Forestry and Environmental Conservation Department

Office: 115 Lehotsky Hall
Phone: 864-656-7294
Email: lanhamj@clemson.edu
Vita: Download CV
Personal Website: http://drewlanham.wixsite.com/blackbirder


 Educational Background

Ph.D. Forest Resources (Wildlife)
Clemson University 1997

M.S. Zooology
Clemson University 1990

B.A. Zoology
Clemson University 1988

 Courses Taught

Conservation Ornithology -WFB 4760/6760
Wildlife Conservation Policy - WFB 4300/6300
Hunting and Wildlife Management - WFB 3070
Creative Inquiry (Citizen Science/Ornithology) - FNR 4700


J. Drew Lanham (B.A. Zoology 1988; M.S. Zoology 1990; PhD Forest Resources 1997) is a native of Edgefield and Aiken, South Carolina. In his twenty years as Clemson University faculty he’s worked to understand how forest management impacts wildlife and how human beings think about nature. Dr. Lanham holds an endowed chair as an Alumni Distinguished Professor and was named an Alumni Master Teacher in 2012. 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 most recently named a 2016 Brandwein Fellow for his work in Environmental Education.

Dr. 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 Editions, Minneapolis MN) will be published in 2016-17.

 Research Interests

"Connecting the conservation dots" is how I envision my research mission. My past work has focused on the impacts of forest management and other human activities on songbirds, herpetofauna, small mammals and butterflies. More recently I've begun to investigate how ethnicity (especially Black Americans) relate to wildlife and other conservation issues. I'm also interested in how birders and hunters might bridge philosophical gaps to effect conservation in a more holistic way.

 Extension and Outreach

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. As a birder, I use birds and the conservation issues surrounding them as the inspirational vehicle to connect others to the outdoors and advocate for their protection.


Straka, T.J., J.D. Lanham, and T.A. Brown. 2015. Chopping up the forest: How fragmentation and parcelization represent a related but different set of forest problems. Forest Landowner 74(2):34-38.

Zachary D. Miller, Jeffrey C. Hallo, Julia L. Sharp, Robert B. Powell & J. Drew Lanham.2014.Birding by Ear: A Study of Recreational Specialization and Soundscape Preference. Human Dimensions of Wildlife: An International Journal 19 (6)

Lanham, J.D and M.A. Whitehead. 2011. Managing Early Successional Habitats for Wildlife in Novel Places Pp.209-225 in Greenberg, Cathryn; Collins, Beverly; Thompson III, Frank (Eds.). Sustaining Young Forest Communities, Springer Press. NY. 305pp.

Kilpatrick,E.S, J. D. Lanham, and T. A. Waldrop. 2010. Effects of Fuel Reduction Treatments on Avian Nest Density in the Upper Piedmont of South Carolina. Open Environmental Sciences, 2010, 4, 70-75.

Kilpatrick,E.S, T.A. Waldrop, Joseph D. Lanham, Cathryn H. Greenberg, Tom H. Contreras. 2010. Short-Term Effects of Fuel Reduction Treatments on Herpetofauna from the Southeastern United States. Forest Science 56(1):122-130.

O’Keefe, J.M., Susan C. Loeb, J. Drew Lanham, and Hoke S. Hill, Jr. 2009. Macrohabitat Factors Affect Day Roost Selection by Eastern Red Bats and Eastern Pipistrelles in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, USA. Forest Ecology and Management.

J. Drew Lanham. 2015. Carolina Writers at Home. Reid and McDonald, eds. Hub City Press. Spartanburg, SC.

J. Drew Lanham. 2015. Because of Black Hands. http://www.flycatcherjournal.org/005-lanham.php

J. Drew Lanham. 2014. Musings as to Why Negroes Don't Ornithologize. http://www.flycatcherjournal.org/lanham.php

J. Drew Lanham. 2013. No Forever for Old Farms in State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love. A. Rogers., ed. Univ. of SC Press. Columbia, SC.

J. Drew Lanham. 2012. Dog Hands in South Carolina Authors and Their Dogs. B. Teeter, ed. Hub City Press. Spartanburg, SC.

J. Drew Lanham. 2011. More than Birds: A Crisis in Birder Identification. Orion Magazine.

J. Drew Lanham. 2011. More Than Birds in The Colors of Nature. L. Savoy, ed. Milkweed Editions. Minneapolis, MN.

J. Drew Lanham. 2010. Bartram on Blacktop. Pp. 403-413 in Bartram's Living Legacy. D. Dallmeyer, ed. Mercer University Press. Atlanta, Ga.

J. Drew Lanham. 2010. Hunting Deer in Broken Country. Pp. 41-45 in Outdoor Adventures in the Upcountry. M.Stone, ed. Hub City Publishing, Spartanburg, S.C.


Wild and in Color -Nature Writing Blog
Why I am a Birder -Audubon
Birding While Black- NPR Story
Nine Rules for the Black Birdwatcher -Video