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James Utter

Associate Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies and Biology

James (Jim) Utter is known for his studies of the behavioral ecology of birds, work with rare turtles, study of a rare woodland lily, and work with migratory birds in the Great Swamp, a watershed nestled in the Harlem Valley that covers more than 6,000 acres in New York’s eastern Putnam and Dutchess counties as well as Sherman, Conn.

A native of Oneonta, N.Y., he earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary science education at SUNY Oneonta and his PhD at Rutgers University. He became a founding faculty member at Purchase College in 1971, where he helped develop a program in the newly emerging field of environmental science. His teaching and research has focused on ecology, animal behavior, and conservation, with a primary emphasis on wetlands and their inhabitants.

Utter has promoted conservation education and action in the Great Swamp watershed for more than 20 years and has served as the chair of Friends of the Great Swamp (FrOGS) since 2001.