Baker & Ratcliff, experts in planetary science, feel there is no better way to showcase the grandeur, the weirdness, or the awe-inspiring aspects of science than through an exploration of extreme places and events right here in our own Solar System. Their goal is to bring that “wow” factor to the reader and to show how that awe inspires the continual quest for knowledge. The book emphasizes science as a dynamic process of exploration and discovery. It highlights exciting developments and features mind-blowing images of NASA's most recent observations. Throughout the book, extreme places are contrasted with those on Earth to connect the reader with more familiar settings. Each individual section strives to answer the most important scientific question of all – “Why?” In many cases, this question remains unsettled due to lack of evidence or newly emerging discoveries. Baker and Ratcliff present leading hypotheses for these unresolved mysteries and offer some provocative possibilities.
During the long twentieth century, explorers went in unprecedented numbers to the hottest, coldest, and highest points on the globe. Taking us from the Himalaya to Antarctica and beyond, Higher and Colder presents the first history of extreme physiology, the study of the human body at its physical limits. Each chapter explores a seminal question in the history of science, while also showing how the apparently exotic locations and experiments contributed to broader political and social shifts in twentieth-century scientific thinking.
Unlike most books on modern biomedicine, Higher and Colder focuses on fieldwork, expeditions, and exploration, and in doing so provides a welcome alternative to laboratory-dominated accounts of the history of modern life sciences. Though centered on male-dominated practices—science and exploration—it recovers the stories of women’s contributions that were sometimes accidentally, and sometimes deliberately, erased. Engaging and provocative, this book is a history of the scientists and physiologists who face challenges that are physically demanding, frequently dangerous, and sometimes fatal, in the interest of advancing modern science and pushing the boundaries of human ability.
This book is a comprehensive guide to the natural history of the North Slope, the only arctic tundra in the United States. The first section provides detailed information on climate, geology, landforms, and ecology. The second provides a guide to the identification and natural history of the common animals and plants and a primer on the human prehistory of the region from the Pleistocene through the mid-twentieth century. The appendix provides the framework for a tour of the natural history features along the Dalton Highway, a road connecting the crest of the Brooks Range with Prudhoe Bay and the Arctic Ocean, and includes mile markers where travelers may safely pull off to view geologic formations, plants, birds, mammals, and fish. Featuring hundreds of illustrations that support the clear, authoritative text, Landof Extremes reveals the arctic tundra as an ecosystem teeming with life.