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Alumnus, famed author, renowned bird expert to speak at APSU

November 12, 2001

A slide presentation and discussion by an Austin Peay State University alumnus, who is a renowned birder and prolific author, is the fourth in a series of alumni talks and performances that are part of the 75th Anniversary celebration.

Dr. Fred J. Alsop III, professor of biology at East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, will present "Birding America" at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, in E106, Sundquist Science Complex. The event is free and open to the public.

Alsop's "Birds of North America: Eastern Region" and "Birds of North America: Western Region" were released in May 2001. In October 2001, a hardback composite edition of the two was published by DK Press of London and The Smithsonian Institute.

Alsop will sign copies of his books following the presentation on Nov. 19; a sales representative from Books-a-Million will be on hand with copies of his books for sale.

He also will sign books between 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, at Books-a-Million, located behind Red Lobster on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard, Clarksville.

After serving as junior and senior class president and a member of the varsity tennis team, Alsop graduated in 1964 from APSU, where, he says, "all this birding stuff got started for me." He earned a master's degree and doctorate in zoology from the UT-Knoxville.

With more than 30 years of experience as an ornithologist, Alsop's research, field studies and birding expeditions have taken him across 50 states and 18 countries. He has seen 704 species of birds in the United States and Canada and more than 3,200 worldwide.

An avid field biologist, teacher, traveler, international tour leader and wildlife photographer, Alsop has published more than 100 articles about birds in scientific journals.

His wildlife photos have appeared in numerous books as well as in several prestigious national publications, including "National Geographic," "National Wildlife," "America Birds," "Audubon" and "Reader's Digest."

Prior to the two books released in May 2001 and the composite edition released last month, Alsop authored several other books: "Birds of the Smokies," "Backyard Birds: A Complete Guide to Attracting, Identifying and Photographing Birds in Your Backyard," "All About Tennessee Birds," "All About Georgia Birds," "All About South Carolina Birds," "All About North Carolina Birds," "All About Alabama Birds," "All About Mississippi Birds" and "All About Louisiana Birds."

The Smithsonian handbooks, "Birds of North America: Eastern Region" and "Birds of North American: Western Region," have been called the most visually compelling and comprehensive field guides available today.

According to Alsop's publicist with DK Publishing Inc., New York City, the Smithsonian Handbooks combine "the winning photo-encyclopedic design of the DK Handbook series, which sold more than 5 million copies, and the prestige of the Smithsonian-the world's largest museum and research complex. These volumes are absolute staples for the novice and experienced birder alike."

With more than 1,000 color photos and 750 pages per volume, each species has a full-page profile, including color photos highlighting distinct characteristics of the male and female. Additionally, there are such illustrations as flight patterns and nest identification.

Alsop's presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, telephone Dr. David Snyder, professor and chair of biology at APSU, at (931) 221-7781.