Biography of Dr. Bob Cowgill

Summer 2017
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Dr. Robert (Bob) Cowgill retired as emeritus professor of biochemistry from Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Winston Salem, N.C. in 1979. He and his wife Nancy built a new home on Kiawah Island, and there he happily settled in to a study of the wildlife native to the island. As the years went by, he was dismayed to realize that few of his acquaintances appreciated the wonderful animals that shared the island with them. He resolved to make them aware of that enjoyable facet of life on the island by conducting field trips, recruiting volunteers into his studies and organizing groups to protect the wildlife.

While on Kiawah he became involved with the nest protection project at a time when it was about to flounder. It was saved and under his direction from 1988-2000, became one of the best organized in the state.

Dr. Cowgill was the first chairman of the town’s Wildlife Committee, organized the Kiawah Naturalist Club, and authored three books about wildlife on the island (Nature Trails and Nature's Way on Kiawah and Kiawah's Wild Side). And although he no longer resides on Kiawah, he still contributes sea turtle stories. Thanks to Dr. Cowgill, Kiawah is the longest running sea turtle project in South Carolina.

Now, thanks to a South Carolina Department of Natural Resources program, Dr. Cowgill even has a loggerhead named just for him!  Cowgill’s Charm was released on July 8, 2003, and was named for Dr. Cowgill to recognize his contributions to saving loggerheads in our state.  Click here to follow her progress.


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Revised: May 15, 2015