Pursuing a Dream: Protecting Mississippi's Natural Resources, A Portrayal of Fannye A. Cook

News item published on: 2019-08-06 16:09:01

Dr. Cathy Shropshire will present “Pursuing a Dream: Protecting Mississippi's Natural Resources, A Portrayal of Fannye A. Cook” on Monday, September 23 at 3 p.m. at the USM Gulf Coast Library. Shropshire, who portrays Cook, will be joined by Marion Barnwell and Libby Hartfield, co-editors of the book Fannye Cook: Mississippi's Pioneering Conservationist, for the presentation and book signing.

Shropshire, a wildlife biologist, retired from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks in 2001 after working 26 years in the Game Division and at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. She learned of Cook’s work and enormous contributions to conservation in Mississippi while at the Museum of Natural Science. Shropshire offers a glimpse into Cook’s remarkable life in her half-hour, biographical portrayal.

Dorothy Shawhan, an instructor at Delta State University, authored the book Fannye Cook: Mississippi’s Pioneering Conservationist, but when Shawhan unexpectedly passed away in 2014 during the second editing, Marion Barnwell and Libby Hartfield stepped in as co-editors and completed the project.

Barnwell is a writer and professor emerita of English at Delta State University, and Hartfield is director emerita of the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and co-host of "Creature Comforts" on Mississippi Public Radio.

Cook (1889 – 1964) founded and directed the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. She led the push to create a system of wildlife management areas and to protect the Gulf of Mexico barrier islands. Cook also formed the Mississippi Association for the Conservation of Wildlife and used it to lobby politicians, leading citizens, and the general public on the need to reform game laws. In 1932 the legislature finally created the Game and Fish Commission, leading to the development of an organized system of wildlife conservation including state refuges, restocking programs, licensing procedures, and effective law enforcement.

This event is free and open to the public. Copies of Fannye Cook: Mississippi’s Pioneering Conservationist will be available for purchase.

For more information, contact Janessa Ullendorf at janessa.ullendorf@usm.edu or 228.214.3409 or Joyce Shaw at joyce.shaw@usm.edu or 228.872.4213.