Ernie Wiggers was born in Newberry County, South Carolina and grew up on a small, rural farm where his interest in the outdoors was developed. He holds two degrees in wildlife science from Clemson University and his PhD from Texas Tech University. He was on the faculty and later became Chair of the Fish and Wildlife Department at the University of Missouri. In January 2018, Dr. Wiggers was presented with Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a former student by the university.
In 1999 Dr. Wiggers returned to his home state to assume the role of founding Director of the Nemours Wildlife Foundation. Over the past 19 years, the Foundation’s role in scientific investigations has grown with more than two dozen graduate students having studied topics as diverse as bobwhite quail, eastern diamondback rattle snakes, wild turkeys, clapper rails, and mottled ducks. These studies have been in collaboration with several universities including Clemson University, University of South Carolina, University of Georgia, Marshall University and Mississippi State.
Dr. Wiggers helped establish the South Carolina Prescribed Fire Council and has served as state chair of this council and the South Carolina Chapter of the Wildlife Society. Dr. Wiggers is currently the CEO and President of the Nemours Wildlife Foundation and serves on the ACE Basin Task Force. He and his wife Hope have two children, Sloane and Bryan, both graduates of Clemson University.