For Immediate Release
November 20, 2008
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Brockport, NY – Return to Warden's Grove: Science, Desire and the Lives of Sparrows (Sightline Books), by Christopher Norment, PhD, professor of environmental science and biology at The College at Brockport, State University of New York, has been nominated for the John Burroughs Medal. The award, named for nature writer John Burroughs (1837-1921), has been presented annually since 1926 by the John Burroughs Association to the author of a book that the association has judged to be distinguished in the field of natural history.
The John Burroughs Association is dedicated to promoting the spirit and teaching of John Burroughs, the famed Hudson River naturalist and essayist who perfected and popularized both the form and the content of the natural history essay. The award winner will be announced in early March with a presentation made at the John Burroughs Annual Literary Awards Luncheon at the American Museum of Natural History in April.
Norment’s book of creative nonfiction evolved from his doctoral field research studying the ecology of the Harris’s sparrow in Canada’s Northwest Territories (1989-91). Publisher’s Weekly wrote, “In this affecting book, he (Norment) meditates on the desire for wilderness and solitude that drew him to such a remote place, and he tells what it's like to be alone for hours in a silent, forbidding environment observing an animal in its natural habitat.”
Norment earned his PhD in systematics and ecology from the University of Kansas. He has been a member of the College at Brockport faculty since 1993, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of vertebrate ecology, avian breeding biology, grassland ecology, and the ecology of arctic and alpine environments.
He has published extensively on these subjects in academic literature. He also is the author of the book, In the North of Our Lives: A Year in the Wilderness of the Northwest Territories (Down East Books, 1989).