Haslam, TDEC Present Dr. Edward Chester with Lifetime Achievement Award

Monday, June 19, 2017 | 8:27am

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau presented Dr. Edward Chester with the Robert Sparks Walker Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards on June 16.

Chester, Emeritus Professor of Biology at Austin Peay State University, has dedicated his career to locating and identifying rare plants and instilling the importance of environmental conservation to his students. With over 100 scientific publications and 20 published books, his work reveals a unique understanding of the needed preservation of Tennessee’s natural heritage.

Throughout Chester’s career, he has conducted floristic inventories of industrial, private and public lands, including Tennessee State Parks and Natural Areas. TDEC’s Division of Natural Areas regularly utilizes Chester’s reports to evaluate site protections. His work at Barnett’s Woods in Montgomery County led The Tennessee Nature Conservancy to purchase the property in 1981. In 2005, the area was transferred to the state and designated as a Natural Area.

Chester serves as a member and a past committee chair of the Tennessee Rare Plant Scientific Advisory Committee, a group legislatively mandated to recommend changes to Tennessee’s rare plant list, since 1980. He was named the Conservationist of the Year in 2011 by the Tennessee Native Plant Society.

As a native Clarksvillian, Chester started his career teaching locally in the Montgomery County Public School System prior to completing his PhD in Botany at the University of Tennessee. Upon graduating in 1966, he began his career at APSU. Forty-eight years later, in post-retirement, he has continued to work, teaching General Biology as an adjunct, serving as Curator Emeritus of the APSU Herbarium, and continuing to serve as the state’s botanical leader.

Environment & Conservation

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 if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.
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