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Woody Van Meter

Brief Biography

Woodford Van Meter, MD is Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine and President of the Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons.  He practices ophthalmology in Lexington at Central Baptist Hospital, specializing in Cornea and External Diseases of the Eye. He was born in Bourbon County Kentucky and has been a Kentucky resident all his life.

Dr. Van Meter received the Honor Award and the Senior Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Paton Award from the Eye Bank Association of America, and in 2011 was listed in the 135 Leading Ophthalmologists in the United States. He has been a volunteer faculty member of ORBIS International since 1987.

He initially joined the Board of the Kentucky Chapter of the Nature Conservancy in 1986, succeeding his mother, who was a trustee prior to that time. He was a TNC conservation buyer in the Horse Lick Creek watershed. His nature related interests are canoeing, hiking and wildflowers.


Compost and recycle everything you can! Have you always had an interest in conservation?

My parents were very interested in ecology and preservation for as far back as I can remember. We read “Silent Spring”, picked up litter, and tried to make people aware of sustainable environmental behavior when I was growing up. We traveled extensively through eastern Kentucky as a child, and I have seen first hand some of the complications of surface mining in Kentucky. I believe that lack of environmental awareness and over-population are two of the biggest problems the world faces today. What inspired you to become a Trustee member of TNC?

 I have always believed in the non-confrontational advocacy of the Nature Conservancy, and am honored to be associated with the organization.  "Think globally, act locally." Do you have a favorite memory of your time as a Trustee member / TNC supporter?

Boating trips on the Kentucky River through the palisades on a pretty day showcase the unique scenic beauty of Kentucky at its best! As a Trustee member, what are your goals for TNC over the next couple of years?

I believe we have a window of opportunity now (meaning within the next 25 years) 1) to conserve and preserve some of the natural areas of Kentucky, like the palisades, original growth forests, and mountain watersheds, before they are forever permanently altered, and 2) to education the population of Kentucky to appreciate how the natural beauty and resources of Kentucky can coexist with sustainable development.



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