Clemson University

A Conversation on The Future of Conservation in America

The challenges facing conservation in America are mounting.  Assaults on environmental protection, threats of climate change, biodiversity loss, and disparity of environmental justice are endangering America’s natural and cultural heritage.  This interactive panel discussion features three distinguished faculty and a graduate student researcher and leader, each of whom will give their perspective on the future of conservation in America, based on their work and expertise. There will be an opportunity for questions from the audience after the presentations.  At the conclusion of the forum, Dr. Gary Machlis will be signing copies of his new book, The Future of Conservation in America:  A Chart for Rough Water. 


Dr. Gary Machlis

Professor of Environmental Sustainability

Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation

Clemson University


Dr. Gary E. Machlis has worked on conservation issues worldwide, and is Professor of Environmental Sustainability at Clemson University. From 2009-2017, he served as the first scientist appointed to the position of Science Advisor to the Director of the National Park Service. He has worked on conservation issues throughout the United States, as well as in China (on the giant panda), Kenya (on wildlife management), the Galapagos Islands, Haiti, and other locales. He is the co-author of a new book, The Future of Conservation in America: A Chart for Rough Water (University of Chicago Press), copies of which he will sign at the conclusion of this event.


Dr. Rob Baldwin

Professor of Conservation Biology-GIS

Chair, Margaret H. Lloyd-SmartState Endowment

Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation

Clemson University


Dr. Rob Baldwin's understanding of conservation has come from many years of working with people to conserve land.  He is Professor of Conservation Biology and GIS, and Margaret H. Lloyd -SmartState Endowed Chair in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation at Clemson University.  He has traveled and taught widely, and has a long record of publishing in the scientific and popular press on issues related to conservation. His recent article, the Future of Landscape Conservation, was co-authored with leaders from the conservation world. In South Carolina, he is working extensively with partners in the business and conservation arenas to produce a sustainable plan for the State's future (Palmetto Green).


Dr. J. Drew Lanham

Certified Wildlife Biologist

Professor of Wildlife Biology

Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation

Clemson University


Dr. J. Drew Lanham is a native of Edgefield, S.C.  A conservation ornithologist, naturalist and hunter-conservationist, Drew is also an Alumni Distinguished Professor and Alumni Master Teacher at Clemson University. He is intrigued with how culture and ethnic prisms can bend perceptions of nature and its care, and is a speaker who eloquently connects birds, race and conservation ethics.  He is the author of  The Home Place-A Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature (Milkweed Editions, Minneapolis MN) and Sparrow Envy, a book of poetry (Holocene Press, Spartanburg, SC).


Ms. Jesse Wood 

MS-WFB Student

Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation

Clemson University


Ms. Jesse Wood is a graduate student researcher and leader who came to Clemson's Master's program in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from a B.S. in Biology at Furman University, via a Western NC job in land stewardship. She is interested in exploring opportunities for conservation beyond traditional protected areas - whether in urban or rural systems, on public or private lands, with songbirds or large mammals. With Dr. Beth Ross and the SC DNR, she is currently studying bird communities on private SC agricultural lands enrolled in Farm Bill conservation programs.


Ms. Jane Robelot

WYFF 4 News Anchor

Greenville, SC


Ms. Jane Robelot is a Clemson University alumnus, nationally acclaimed network news anchor and correspondent, and co-anchor at WYFF News 4.  Jane began her career in radio and then moved into television, covering important international and historic events as a national anchor on both “CBS Morning News” and “CBS This Morning”.  In addition to being a two-time Emmy-award-winning journalist from her days with CBS, she was also a recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award as part of the WYFF News 4 team that produced the special, Chronicle: Paul’s Gift.

Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Strom Thurmond Institute, Self Auditorium
230 Kappa St., Clemson, SC 29634, USA