Biodiversity Lecture Series to feature award-winning Author/Journalist Craig Pittman

author holds his newest book, outside
The endangered Florida panther is a subspecies of Puma concolor, also known as mountain lion, cougar or puma. Courtesy/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Florida panther was named the state animal in 1982, but the cats were on the brink of extinction by 1995. Saving them took an unprecedented effort by a small group of experts.

author holds his newest book, outside
Craig Pittman

Craig Pittman, Tampa Bay Times environmental reporter and author of “Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther,” will speak at the next Foreman Biodiversity Lecture on Feb. 27 at the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport. The event begins at noon in the Great Hall.

“Cat Tale” is Pittman’s fifth book and follows his New York Times bestseller, “Oh, Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country.”

Pittman is a native Floridian who has covered a variety of newspaper beats and quite a few natural disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires and the Florida Legislature. Since 1998, he has covered environmental issues for Florida’s largest newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, winning state and national awards.

To attend in person, please RSVP to by Feb. 25. Or watch via live webcast at

Stetson’s Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy hosts international speakers and conferences, and coordinates courses, seminars and internships on wetland law and policy, environmental law, natural resources, international environmental law and other topics.

  • On April 1 from 6-7 p.m., the lecture series will feature Dr. Arie Trouwborst, associate professor of Environmental Law at Tilburg Law School in the Netherlands. He will talk about “Domestic Cats and International Wildlife Law – Turning a Blind Eye to One of the World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species?”

Previous lectures can be seen on video, including the one Nov. 5 by Jason Evans, PhD, interim executive director of Stetson’s Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience and associate professor of environmental science and studies.

-Stetson Today