Photographer and wildlife biologist Dr. John J. Cox is a native Kentuckian raised in the small town of Olive Hill (population 2100) in the northeastern portion of the state. John’s photography, research, and writings have largely focused on the increasingly imperiled landscapes and diverse biota that inhabit his home state. John earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Morehead State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky where he currently holds the position of research scientist. His research has focused on coyote ecology, elk and white-tailed deer ecology, faunal place name patterns, and large mammal restoration. John has been intimately involved in the Kentucky elk reintroduction program for the past 6 years. He has authored or co-authored over a dozen scientific papers and book chapters and had several photos published in prominent national magazines. John currently resides with his family in Lexington.
From Monkey’s Eyebrow to Elkhorn City, and from Rabbit Hash to Pine Knot, John crisscrossed hundreds of towns and cities of the Commonwealth during the past 3 years in his search for unique-looking Kentucky names in all 120 counties. His 9,000-mile trek recently culminated in the production of the “Looking for Kentucky” montage. In this work, John emphasized the historical, cultural, and biological themes that pattern and are intertwined throughout the Commonwealth in an attempt to project its unique atmosphere and sense of place.
John is focusing his efforts towards helping to raise funds for the Robinson Scholars Program, a scholarship program created in the mid-1990’s that provides first generation college prospective Eastern Kentucky students with a 4-year fully funded scholarship at UK. Cox is also raising money for his colleague and Olympic bobsled hopeful, Jeff Larkin, that will help support his training efforts to qualify for the U.S. Bobsled Team at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Italy. Cox hopes that Kentuckians will adorn their establishment with his unique artistic creation with a sense of pride knowing that they are helping two worthy causes. The “Looking for Kentucky” poster can be found at a variety of retailers throughout Kentucky.
John’s photography will soon be available for viewing and purchasing at his website (www.songdogphoto.com). Other than wildlife photography, his current photographic projects include a “Looking for Lexington” and a “Looking for Louisville” montage to capture the unique place names of Kentucky’s 2 largest cities.