Home Faculty and Staff Accomplishments Dr. Thomas Rosburg presented with Sierra Club Iowa Chapter 2011 Environmental Educator Award

Dr. Thomas Rosburg presented with Sierra Club Iowa Chapter 2011 Environmental Educator Award

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Thomas Rosburg

Dr. Thomas Rosburg, professor of biology, was recently presented with the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club’s 2011 Environmental Educator Award for his outstanding work in Drake University’s biology department. He was one of four award recipients at the Sierra Club’s annual dinner.

Dr. Rosburg has taught 12 courses since coming to Drake in 1996, including field ornithology, ecology, Iowa natural history, limnology, identification of wetland plants, and ecosystem ecology at Drake since 1996. In that time, he has also mentored more than 50 students in research and independent studies that have covered topics in ecology, botany and environmental science. He also shares his summers with students, teaching plant ecology, natural history photography, and ecology at the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory field station on West Okoboji Lake. Dr. Rosburg served as director of environmental science and policy at Drake from 2004-2010. 

Since 1987, Dr. Rosburg’s photographic exhibitions, natural history photography workshops and published photographs have educated thousands around Iowa.  His photos have been published in magazines including “Sierra” magazine, “Iowa’s Natural Heritage” magazine, and “Iowan” magazine, as well as in books such as “Iowa Breeding Birds Atlas,” “The Science of Agriculture: A Biological Approach,” “Heartland of a Continent” (published by National Geographic), “Fragile Giants” and “Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie.”

Since 1990, Dr. Rosburg has delivered more than 160 public presentations on ecological topics and has been awarded approximately $980,000 in grants for research projects from more than 20 funding agencies.

More than 200 Drake students have participated in Dr. Rosburg’s extended outdoor field trips (many of them camping) to places in Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Missouri, where students have engaged in hands-on learning to explore nature, enjoy outdoor recreation, and conduct prairie rescue work.



The Sierra Club is America’s largest grassroots environmental organization. Since it’s founding in 1892, the organization has worked to protect communities, wild places, and the planet. Through collaboration with some of the world’s top climate scientists, engineers, and energy experts, the Sierra Club has developed a Climate Recovery Agenda, a set of initiatives that will help cut carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create a clean-energy economy, and protect our natural heritage, communities, and country from the consequences of global warming.

Visit www.iowa.sierraclub.org for more information on the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club.