Jeffrey Lockwood (shown right) from Laramie, Wyoming, will be the Catoctin Forest Alliance Artist in Residence at Catoctin Mountain Park on May 8-27, 2023.
Some 40 years ago, Lockwood earned a BS in biology and a PhD in entomology. the choice of the latter field was motivated by a fascination with the life forms that were disturbingly and enchantingly “other.” He was hired as an insect ecologist at the University of Wyoming in 1986, and for 15 years, he immersed himself in the lives of insects. His work focused on grasshoppers and locusts, taking him to the steppes of Asia and the Tibetan plateau, the savannah of Africa, the outback of Australia—and back to the grasslands of North America.
With time, however, he found himself no longer fulfilled by applied research, which had become a euphemism for the wholesale killing of grasshoppers, creatures that had grown close to his heart and mind. This led to his first book of essays, Grasshopper Dreaming: Reflections on Killing and Loving (Skinner House 2002). Over the next five years, he transitioned (or perhaps metamorphosed) from the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources into the College of Arts & Sciences, where he settled into a split appointment between the Department of Visual & Literary Arts (focusing on creative nonfiction in the realm of nature and environmental writing) and the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies (focusing on environmental ethics and aesthetics).