About the author

David Haskell’s work integrates scientific and contemplative studies of the natural world.  His research and teaching examine the evolution and conservation of animals, especially forest-dwelling birds and invertebrates. This research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the World Wildlife Fund, among others. He is a 2014 Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (in the category Creative Arts, Science Writing). In addition to numerous scientific articles, he has published essays and poems about science and nature.

His classes have received national attention for the innovative ways in which they combine scientific exploration, contemplative practice, and action in the community. In 2009, the Carnegie and CASE Foundations named him Professor of the Year for Tennessee, an award given to college professors of who have achieved national distinction and whose work shows “extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching.”  The Oxford American featured him in 2011 as one of the southern U.S.’s most creative teachers and his teaching has been profiled in USA TodayThe Tennesseean, and other newspapers.

Haskell holds degrees from the University of Oxford  (B.A. in Zoology) and from Cornell University (Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology). He is Professor of Biology at the University of the South, where he has served both as Chair of Biology and as an Environmental Fellow with the Associated Colleges of the South. He is a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and was granted Elective Membership in the American Ornithologists’ Union in recognition of “significant contributions to ornithology.” He served on the board of the South Cumberland Regional Land Trust, where he initiated and led the campaign to purchase and protect a portion of Shakerag Hollow, where the book is set, a forest that E. O. Wilson has called a “cathedral of nature.”

He lives in Sewanee, Tennessee, where he and his wife, Sarah Vance, run a micro-farm (with goat milk soaps available for purchase at Cudzoo Farm’s website). David blogs at Ramble, where you can read his latest explorations in natural history, science, and literature.

Photo Credit: Buck Butler

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