Irvin Pitts, '83
Originally from Spartanburg, Irvin Pitts, a 1983 USC Upstate graduate with a biology degree, now resides in Lexington, S.C. where he is employed as the Chief of Resource Management for the SC State Park Service. The park service is part of the state agency, SC Parks, Recreation and Tourism, with the resource management section responsible for overseeing management of the cultural and natural resources statewide including 47 state parks and 90,000 acres.
“I feel fortunate that I was able to pursue and find a career in a field of life-long interest,” says Pitts. He adds that, “resource stewardship is an extremely important component of what we do – protecting our resources for future generations and contributing to the quality of life for our generation.”
From leisure hobbies to community involvement to his daily job, it is obvious how much the environment means to Pitts. He enjoys being outdoors, taking nature hikes, photographing nature, travelling to outdoor-based destinations, and studying birds. He is also involved with numerous conservation organizations including the Nature Conservancy, Audubon, the Wildlife Federation, Carolina Bird Club and the Katawba Valley Land Trust. The jobs he held after graduation also demonstrate his love for the outdoors - first as a seasonal naturalist with Table Rock State Park, a park naturalist of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness (Caesars Head and Jones Gap State Parks), and later as a resource management biologist in Columbia.
His years at USC Upstate are remembered fondly, particularly plant taxonomy and invertebrate zoology classes and the work he did with Dr. Gill Newberry in the herbarium.
“I feel that the opportunities for hands-on counseling and support provided an important contribution to my learning experience at USC Upstate and these experiences helped to feed my interests in the natural world.”
Pitts is married to Ann and they have a 14 year old daughter.