Professor of Biology David Haskell has been awarded a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts–Science Writing category. The fellowship will support work on a new book, Songs of Trees, a study of humanity’s varied roles within biological networks as heard through the acoustics of trees.
Haskell’s previous book, The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature, was winner of the National Academies’ Best Book Award for 2013, finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction, winner of the 2013 Reed Environmental Writing Award, winner of the 2012 National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature, and runner-up for the 2013 PEN E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.
“The university has shaped me and helped me to grow in many ways over the years,” said Haskell. “So although this honor comes in name to me, it is a product of the nourishing and vigorous academic community that I've had the privilege to be part of for nearly 20 years.”
Haskell’s teaching has received national attention for the innovative ways that his classes combine science, contemplation, and action in the community. In 2009, the Carnegie and CASE foundations named him Professor of the Year for Tennessee. The Oxford American featured him in 2011 as one of the South’s most creative teachers.
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded Fellowships this spring to 177 scholars, artists, and scientists who were appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, and were chosen from a group of 3,000 applicants. Haskell is one of only a few Guggenheim recipients this year from small liberal arts colleges; he is Sewanee’s third Guggenheim Fellow.