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‘Sustainability and Rivers’ topic for Santee Cooper Lecture Series April 24

Photographer, award-winning author Tim Palmer to speak

Tim Palmer 383x255
Tim Palmer's writing and photographic works have braided together his love of rivers and nature with his drive for creative expression and his deep commitment to conservation. (Photo by Anthony Clark)

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Photographer and award-winning author of 20 books on rivers, conservation and the environment Tim Palmer will be the guest speaker on Tuesday, April 24, in theSantee Cooper Lecture Series on Energy and Sustainability Issues, hosted by Wofford College’s Environmental Studies Program.
  The presentation, the third in the 2011-2012 Santee Cooper Lecture Series, will be held at 7 p.m. in Leonard Auditorium of Main Building on campus. It is free and open to the public.

Palmer’s talk about wild rivers of America also will include a slide show of some of his beautiful and inspiring photographs of those rivers and other scenes from America’s natural landscape. He has one of the most complete collections of photographs of rivers in the United States.

During the event, Wofford will announce a major new initiative through its environmental studies program to develop awareness and increase the protection of local rivers.

“Tim Palmer was kind enough to agree to arrive several days early and he will accompany a few Wofford faculty, staff and friends on an overnight river trip on the Upstate’s Pacolet and Broad rivers,” says John Lane, director of Wofford’s Goodall Environmental Studies Center, professor of English and environmental studies, and himself an author of writings on nature and the environment. “I’m looking forward seeing how we might learn from Tim’s vast experience of the world’s rivers and how we might even discover ways to sustain our local streams.”

For more than 25 years, Palmer’s writing and photographic works have braided together his love of rivers and nature with his drive for creative expression and his deep commitment to conservation.

After receiving a bachelor of science degree in landscape architecture from the Pennsylvania State University, Palmer worked for eight years as a land-use planner on land use and environmental topics from 1971-1980. He started to write full-time in 1980. Throughout his career, he also has been involved in river conservation.

He is author of dozens of magazine articles and river studies, display packages, and brochures for conservation campaigns, including publications for the successful effort to designate the Kings River in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and to protect the South Yuba River in the California State Scenic Rivers System. Most recently, he authored the Western Rivers Conservancy’s “Great Rivers of the West” report, a survey of the natural qualities of rivers in 11 Western states.

Palmer also has served on the board of the national river advocacy group American Rivers and on the board of the national river organizing group River Network.

An inveterate river-lover, Palmer has canoed or rafted on more than 300 rivers in the United States and western Canada. He lived for 22 years as a nomad in his van, traveling throughout the country to do research, writing and photography for his book projects.

Palmer’s book “The Heart of America: Our Landscape, Our Future” was awarded the best book of the year in the essay and travel category by the Independent Publishers Association. “California Wild,” with text and color photos by Palmer, was the winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award as the best American book on nature and the environment in 2005. “The Columbia” won the National Outdoor Book Award in 1998. “Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness” received the Director’s Award from the National Park Service for the outstanding publication about a national park in 1996, and “Pacific High” was a finalist for the Benjamin Franklin Book Award in 2002.

In 2011, Palmer received the National Conservation Achievement Award (“Connie”) for communications by the National Wildlife Federation. For his conservation and creative river work, he was the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Rivers in 1988. He was granted the River Conservationist of the Year Award by Perception Inc. in 2000. In 2002, he was given the Peter Behr Award from Friends of the River. In 2010, he was given the Marc Dubois Award from Friends of the River.

Palmer was named one of the nation’s “10 greatest river conservationists” and one of the “100 paddlers of the century” by Paddler magazine. In 2005, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Arts and Architecture at the Pennsylvania State University.

He also has been a Finalist for the Galen Rowell Award for Art, Adventure, and Conservation.

Wofford and Santee Cooper, the state-owned utility, began the Santee Cooper Lecture Series on Energy and Sustainability in 2009 to provide the college and the Spartanburg community with a forum for discussing timely and pressing environmental issues on energy and sustainability with leading experts from around the world.

For more information about the Santee Cooper Lecture Series, contact John Lane at 864-597-4518 or