Award-winning river conservation author to speak at Lycoming College

Photo by Beth Maynor Young

Photo by Beth Maynor Young

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Tim Palmer, an award-winning author of 19 books on rivers, conservation and the environment, will speak at Lycoming College on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. in Heim Building G-09. Palmer’s presentation, which is free and open to the public, will focus on his experience with America’s rivers and how Pine Creek impacted his life’s work. Lycoming’s Clean Water Institute, Lycoming Environmental Awareness Foundation and the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy are co-sponsoring the event.

Palmer, also an accomplished photographer with one of the most complete collection of photos of rivers in the U.S., is the author of a new book, “Trees and Forests of America.” For more than 25 years, Palmer’s writing and photography work have braided together his love of rivers and nature with his drive for creative expression and his deep commitment to conservation. He has spoken at hundreds of national, statewide and provincial conferences, conservation gatherings, and at colleges and universities nationwide.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Pennsylvania State University, he worked for eight years (1971-80) as a land-use planner on land use and environmental topics in Lycoming County. He started to write full-time in 1980.

Throughout his career, Palmer has also 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 has also 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 books have won awards including best book of the year in the essay and travel category by the Independent Publishers Association; the Benjamin Franklin Award as the best American book on nature and the environment in 2005; the National Outdoor Book Award in 1998; and the Director’s Award from the National Park Service for the outstanding publication about a national park in 1996.

Palmer has been honored 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 from Perception, Inc., in 2000. In 2002, he was given the Peter Behr Award from Friends of the River. Palmer was named one of the nation’s “ten 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. Additionally, Tim has been a finalist for the Galen Rowell Award for Art, Adventure and Conservation.

Founded in 1812 in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming College is a national liberal arts and sciences college dedicated to the undergraduate education of more than 1,400 students. Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit

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