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News from the Hilltop

June 17, 2013

BSC professor's first book explores Alabama's biological diversity

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—A forthcoming book by Birmingham-Southern College professor R. Scot Duncan has received a grant from the Nature Conservancy to help defray publication costs.Southern Wonder: Alabama’s Surprising Biodiversity

The Nature Conservancy has donated $20,000 to the University of Alabama Press to help support the printing of Dr. Duncan’s book, titled Southern Wonder: Alabama’s Surprising Biodiversity. The book is due for release in November. Dr. Duncan is associate professor of biology and urban environmental studies at BSC.

The book takes readers on a journey through the ecosystems of the state that ranks fifth in the nation for biodiversity. With insightful prose and 132 beautiful color illustrations, Southern Wonder ranges from the coastal dunes of the Gulf of Mexico to the Tennessee River Valley; interweaves ecology, meteorology, evolution, and geology; and introduces species found only in Alabama, including the cave salamander and the beach mouse.

Dr. Duncan’s book has already been hailed by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and naturalist Edward O. Wilson as “one of the most important books ever written about Alabama ... a call to Alabama’s people to treasure and protect the state’s living heritage.” It is the featured book in the University of Alabama Press’ upcoming catalogue, and Nature Conservancy’s support shows that the book is important in the preservation of the state’s natural beauty.

About Birmingham-Southern College:

Birmingham-Southern College is a four-year, private liberal arts institution in Birmingham, Ala., founded in 1856 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It enrolls about 1,200 students from more than 30 states and 16 foreign countries. Learn more online at www.bsc.edu.