5 Years of 4th Genre
Martha Bates Michigan State University Press, 2006 Library of Congress PS659.A154 2006 | Dewey Decimal 818.540808
In 1999, Michigan State University Press launched Fourth Genre: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction, a journal that began with and has maintained a devotion to publishing notable, innovative work in nonfiction. The title reflects an intent to give nonfiction its due as a literary genre—to give writers of the 'fourth genre' a showcase for their work and to give readers a place to find the liveliest and most creative works in the form.
Given the genre's flexibility and expansiveness, journal editors Michael Steinberg and David Cooper have welcomed a variety of works— ranging from personal essays and memoirs to literary journalism and personal criticism. The essays are lyrical, self-interrogative, meditative, and reflective, as well as expository, analytical, exploratory, or whimsical. In short, Fourth Genre encourages a writer- to-reader conversation, one that explores the markers and boundaries of literary/creative nonfiction.
Since its inaugural issue, contributors have earned many literary awards: 5 Notable Essays of the Year (Best American Essay); the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award; Notable Essay of the Year (Best American Travel Writing); and 4 Pushcart Prizes. Five Years of 4th Genre is a celebration of this significant literary journal. Culling a selection of some of the most creative of Fourth Genre’s first five years—the Pushcart winners are here, as well as those essays that are unique, those that tell us something new, those that startle us, and those that touch our hearts —this volume presents a representative sampling.
In The Accidental Reef and Other Ecological Odysseys in the Great Lakes, Lynne Heasley illuminates an underwater world that, despite a ferocious industrial history, remains wondrous and worthy of care. From its first scene in a benighted Great Lakes river, where lake sturgeon thrash and spawn, this powerful book takes readers on journeys through the Great Lakes, alongside fish and fishers, scuba divers and scientists, toxic pollutants and threatened communities, oil pipelines and invasive species, Indigenous peoples and federal agencies. With dazzling illustrations from Glenn Wolff, the book helps us know the Great Lakes in new ways and grapple with the legacies and alternative futures that come from their abundance of natural wealth. Suffused with curiosity, empathy, and wit, The Accidental Reef will not fail to astonish and inspire.
Rod Giblett came to live by Forrestdale Lake in southwestern Australia in 1986. Based in part on a nature journal he kept for several years, Black Swan Lake traces the life of the plants and animals of the surrounding area through the seasons. Presenting a wetlands calendar that charts the yearly cycle of the rising, falling, and drying waters of this internationally significant wetland, this book is a modern-day Walden. The first book to provide a cultural and natural history of this place—taking into account the indigenous people’s concept of the seasons (six instead of four)—Black Swan Lake will be enjoyed by conservationists, as well as others seeking connection with place, plants, and animals in their own bioregion.
Sand dunes are among the most rugged and beautiful natural wonders of Michigan's shorelines. These sandy edifices-at once substantial and ephemeral-are the most extensive freshwater dunes in the world, so immense they are visible from outer space. The coastal dunes are also extraordinarily fertile, supporting a multitude of plants and animals.
Borne of the Wind describes the environmental factors necessary for dune creation in an easy-to-understand format, introducing readers to the rich ecology of Michigan's dunes. Each of the distinct types of dunes encountered along the Great Lakes shoreline is explained and illustrated with color photographs and line drawings, while color photographs of the plants and animals found in duneland areas complement the story of these fragile, ever-changing landscapes.
For scholars and enthusiasts alike, Borne of the Wind provides a comprehensive and colorful introduction to one of our finest yet least-understood natural features.
Coastal Marshes was first published in 1988. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The coastal regions of the United States form a highly diversified environment. In addition to sandy beaches and rocky shorelines, there are lagoons, rivers, estuaries, and marshes. The last are a dominant features of many coastal areas and serve as a transition between sea and uplands. Coastal marshes have been a zone for human development, attractive to industrial and residential building because they provide water frontage. But the public is becoming aware of the great value of these wetlands to fisheries and wildlife and to the local economy that depends on them.
This book describes coastal marshes in terms of form, function, ecology, wildlife value, and management. Robert H. Chabreck's emphasis is on the marshes of the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico (there are 5,500 square miles of marshland in Louisiana alone), but he also deals with marshes on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Plant and animal communities are each given a chapter, and the book concludes with considerations of future uses and needs. The author provides references, a glossary, and a list of scientific names, along with numerous illustrations, including a section of color photographs.
For thirty years, Robert H. Chabreck has been engaged in research and management of coastal marshes and has often served as a consultant in wetland ecology. He is a professor of wildlife at Louisiana State University.
Death in the Marsh
Tom Harris Island Press, 1991 Library of Congress QH545.S45H37 1991 | Dewey Decimal 574.526325
Selenium, essential in microscopic doses, can be deadly in larger amounts. Death in the Marsh explains how federal irrigation projects have altered selenium's circulation in the environment, allowing it to accumulate in marshes, killing ecosystems and wildlife, and causing deformities in some animals.
This volume provides an in-depth look at the remediation and restoration of the forty three most polluted areas of the Great Lakes called Areas of Concern (AOCs). This binational restoration effort is unique in that it has fostered use of locally designed ecosystem approaches to restoring impaired beneficial uses as called for in the Canada–U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. In total, thirty-seven Canadian and U.S. scientists contributed to this comprehensive evaluation of what has been achieved and learned from over three decades of remediation and restoration efforts. This book will be an excellent resource to researchers, resource managers, university faculty, and students within the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem, and others interested in restoring degraded aquatic ecosystems throughout the world. No other volume or textbook provides such a comprehensive evaluation of AOCs. A foreword is provided by Dianne Saxe, former environmental commissioner of Ontario. Leading primary contributors include J. H. Hartig, M. Munawar, L. Richman, S. W. Pickard, M. L. Tuchman, R. Stewart, J. Ridgway, R. K. Sherman, N. T. French, K. C. Williams, G. Krantzberg, and C. McLaughlin.
Fishing the Great Lakes is a sweeping history of the destruction of the once-abundant fisheries of the great "inland seas" that lie between the United States and Canada. Though lake trout, whitefish, freshwater herring, and sturgeon were still teeming as late as 1850, Margaret Bogue documents here how overfishing, pollution, political squabbling, poor public policies, and commercial exploitation combined to damage the fish populations even before the voracious sea lamprey invaded the lakes and decimated the lake trout population in the 1940s.
From the earliest records of fishing by native peoples, through the era of European exploration and settlement, to the growth and collapse of the commercial fishing industry, Fishing the Great Lakes traces the changing relationships between the fish resources and the people of the Great Lakes region. Bogue focuses in particular on the period from 1783, when Great Britain and the United States first politically severed the geographic unity of the Great Lakes, through 1933, when the commercial fishing industry had passed from its heyday in the late nineteenth century into very serious decline. She shows how fishermen, entrepreneurial fish dealers, the monopolistic A. Booth and Company (which distributed and marketed much of the Great Lakes catch), and policy makers at all levels of government played their parts in the debacle. So, too, did underfunded scientists and early conservationists unable to spark the interest of an indifferent public. Concern with the quality of lake habitat and the abundance of fish increasingly took a backseat to the interests of agriculture, lumbering, mining, commerce, manufacturing, and urban development in the Great Lakes region. Offering more than a regional history, Bogue also places the problems of Great Lakes fishing in the context of past and current worldwide fishery concerns.
For Love of Lakes
Darby Nelson Michigan State University Press, 2011 Library of Congress QH98.N46 2011 | Dewey Decimal 551.482
America has more than 130,000 lakes of significant size. Ninety percent of all Americans live within fifty miles of a lake, and our 1.8 billion trips to watery places make them our top vacation choice. Yet despite this striking popularity, more than 45 percent of surveyed lakes and 80 percent of urban lakes do not meet water quality standards. For Love of Lakes weaves a delightful tapestry of history, science, emotion, and poetry for all who love lakes or enjoy nature writing. For Love of Lakes is an affectionate account documenting our species’ long relationship with lakes—their glacial origins, Thoreau and his environmental message, and the major perceptual shifts and advances in our understanding of lake ecology. This is a necessary and thoughtful book that addresses the stewardship void while providing improved understanding of our most treasured natural feature.
Freshwater Marshes was first published in 1994. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Prairie potholes, wetland edges of lakes and rivers, and other freshwater marshes play a vital role in maintaining a clean and plentiful water supply for wildlife and human use. These wetland areas provide habitat for spawning fish, feed waterfowl, purify and retain water, and control erosion. In this updated third edition, Milton W. Weller describes the components of the freshwater marsh: its annual and seasonal dynamics as affected by rainfall cycles and the plant and animal population's response to such changes. Weller discusses how such wetland areas are managed for wildlife populations and diversity, and how such processes can be used in wetland conservation and restoration. He considers the impact society has on wetlands and offers conservation goals for freshwater wetland complexes.
Weller broadens the third edition to include an analysis of how prairie wetlands compare in water dynamics with swamps, tidal marshes, and other wetlands. He also expands the discussion of wetland classification, evaluation, mitigation, and restoration, and introduces a new glossary of current wetland terminology.
Freshwater Marshes is Volume 1 of Wildlife Habitats.
Milton W. Weller is professor emeritus and former Kleberg Chair in Wildlife Ecology, at Texas A&M University.
The Great Lakes—containing one-fifth of the standing freshwater on earth, covering some 94,250 square miles with a combined 10,210 miles of shoreline—have suffered greatly from human use and abuse since the advent of the commercial fur trade in the late 1600s. Logging destroys or degrades habitats, urbanization and industrialization pour human and industrial wastes into the water, fertilizers flowing off farm fields feed algae that suffocate other creatures, and ships bring in exotic species that decimate the lakes’ biodiversity. In 1985 when the International Joint Commission identified more than forty pollution hotspots around the lakes, few people had faith the Areas of Concern would be cleaned up in their lifetime. Indeed, aquatic ecosystem restoration is extremely difficult: only nine of these hotspots have been removed from the infamous list. But progress is being made, and at the helm are local champions, people with a profound love of the region who lead by example and build broad, diverse coalitions in order to realize a common vision. The stories of fourteen of these champions are told here to inspire necessary action to care for the place they call home, so it may be a home to many living creatures for long ages yet to come.
The stuff of nightmares in both their looks and the wounds inflicted on their victims, sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus) are perhaps the deadliest invasive species to ever enter the Great Lakes. At the invasion’s apex in the mid-20th century, harvests of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush), the lampreys’ preferred host fish in the Great Lakes, plummeted from peak annual catches of 15 million pounds to just a few hundred thousand pounds per year—a drop of 98% in only a few decades.
Threatening the complete collapse of the fishery, the sea lamprey invasion triggered an environmental awakening in the region and prompted an international treaty that secured unprecedented cooperation across political boundaries to protect the Great Lakes. Fueled by a pioneering scientific spirit, the war on Great Lakes sea lampreys led to discoveries that are the backbone of the program that eventually brought the creature under control and still protects the largest freshwater ecosystem in the world to this day.
Great Lakes Sea Lamprey draws on extensive interviews with individuals who experienced the invasion firsthand as well as a trove of unexplored archival materials to tell the incredible story of sea lamprey in the Great Lakes—what started the invasion, how it was halted, and what this history can teach us about the response to biological invaders in the present and future. Richly illustrated with color and black & white photographs, the book will interest readers concerned with the health of the Great Lakes, the history of the conservation movement, and the ongoing threat of invasive species.
The Great Lakes are the largest system of freshwater lakes in the world and America’s greatest freshwater resource. For over a century they have been the target of controversial diversion schemes designed to sell, send, or ship water to thirsty communities, sometimes far from the source. In part to protect the Great Lakes from overzealous entrepreneurship, the Great Lakes Compact was signed in 2008. Although the Compact fulfills that promise and ensures that Great Lakes water stays within the Basin, some would say it has only shifted the controversy closer to home. Now water diversion controversies of a different kind are some of the most fought-over environmental issues in the region. Will the water wars ever be settled?
Journalist Peter Annin delves deeply into the fraught history of water use in the Great Lakes region and recaps the story of the Chicago River diversion, which reversed the flow of the river, fundamentally transforming the Great Lakes ecosystem. A century later it remains “the poster child of bad behavior in the Great Lakes.” Today, with growing communities and a warming climate, tensions over water use are high, and controversies on the perimeter of the Great Lakes Basin are on the rise. In this new and expanded edition of The Great Lakes Water Wars, Annin shares the stories of New Berlin and Waukesha, two Wisconsin communities straddling the Basin boundary whose recent legal battles have tested the legislative strength of the newly signed Compact. Annin devotes a new chapter to the volatile issue of the invasive Asian carp—a voracious species that reproduces at a disturbing rate—which is transforming the ecology of the river as it makes its way through the Chicago River diversion and ever closer to Lake Michigan.
With three new chapters and significant revisions to existing chapters that bring the story up-to-date over the past decade, this is the definitive behind-the-scenes account of the people and stories behind hard-fought battles to protect this precious resource that makes the region so special for the millions who call it home.
The Great Lakes are the largest collection of fresh surface water on earth, and more than 40 million Americans and Canadians live in their basin. Will we divert water from the Great Lakes, causing them to end up like Central Asia's Aral Sea, which has lost 90 percent of its surface area and 75 percent of its volume since 1960? Or will we come to see that unregulated water withdrawals are ultimately catastrophic?
Peter Annin writes a fast-paced account of the people and stories behind these upcoming battles. Destined to be the definitive story for the general public as well as policymakers, The Great Lakes Water Wars is a balanced, comprehensive look behind the scenes at the conflicts and compromises that are the past-and future-of this unique resource.
Grace Lee Nute University of Minnesota Press, 2000 Library of Congress F552.N8 2000 | Dewey Decimal 977.49
A Lakeside Companion
Ted J. Rulseh University of Wisconsin Press, 2018 Library of Congress QH98.R79 2018 | Dewey Decimal 577.63
Why do fish jump? Why don't lakes freeze all the way down to the bottom? Which lake plants are invasive? What are those water bugs? Is that lake healthy? Whether you fish, paddle, swim, snowshoe, ski, or just gaze upon your favorite lake, A Lakeside Companion will deepen your appreciation for the forces that shape lakes and the teeming life in and around them.
You'll discover the interconnected worlds of a lake: the water; the sand, gravel, rocks, and muck of the bottom; the surface of the lake; the air above; and the shoreline, a belt of land incredibly rich in flora and fauna. Explained, too, are the physical, biological, and chemical processes that determine how many and what kinds of fish live in the lake, which plants grow there, the color and clarity of the water, how ice forms in winter and melts in spring, and much more. Useful advice will help you look out for your lake and advocate for its protection.
One of the Great Lakes region’s most precious natural resources is its fishery, with its intricate web of aquatic life, the environments it inhabits, and the people who use and enjoy these areas. The Great Lakes fishery supports not only an important commercial fishing industry but also tourism in eight different states and two countries, attracting millions of recreational anglers each year. As valuable as the fishery is, it is equally fragile. Since the 1950s, state, provincial, and federal agencies have coordinated efforts to manage the fishery and protect it from a range of threats, from the spread of invasive species to nutrient pollution to habitat destruction.
Now in its fourth edition, The Life of the Lakes examines the complex portrait of the Great Lakes fishery, including the history of the fishery’s exploitation and management, the current health of the Lakes, and the outlook for the future. Featuring more graphics, photos, and illustrations than ever, all printed in full color, the new edition of this engaging book is a perfect resource for general readers, teachers, and students looking for an easy-to-follow guide to the Great Lakes fishery. This book is published in collaboration with Michigan Sea Grant (www.michiganseagrant.org), a cooperative program of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.
This is the first book of its kind to bring forward the rich tradition of wild rice in Michigan and its importance to the Anishinaabek people who live there. Manoomin: The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan focuses on the history, culture, biology, economics, and spirituality surrounding this sacred plant. The story travels through time from the days before European colonization and winds its way forward in and out of the logging and industrialization eras. It weaves between the worlds of the Anishinaabek and the colonizers, contrasting their different perspectives and divergent relationships with Manoomin. Barton discusses historic wild rice beds that once existed in Michigan, why many disappeared, and the efforts of tribal and nontribal people with a common goal of restoring and protecting Manoomin across the landscape.
Paddle through the watery history of the Midwest’s Cream City.
The success and survival of Milwaukee lies in the rivers that meander through its streets and the great lake at its shore. The area’s earliest inhabitants recognized the value of an abundant, clean water supply for food and transportation. Settlers, shipbuilders, and city leaders used the same waters to travel greater distances, power million-dollar industries, and even have a bit of fun.
In Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, celebrated historian John Gurda expands on his popular Milwaukee Public Television documentary, relating the mucky history of the waters that gave Milwaukee life—and occasionally threatened the city through erosion, invasive species, and water-borne diseases.
Telling tales of brewers, brickmakers, ecologists, and engineers, Gurda explores the city’s complicated connection with its most precious resource and greatest challenge. You’ll meet the generations of people, from a Potawatomi chief to fur traders and fishermen, who settled on the small spit of land known as Jones Island; learn how Milwaukee’s unique water composition creates its distinct cream-colored bricks; visit Wisconsin’s first waterparks; and see how city leaders transformed the Milwaukee River—once described as a “vast sewer” with an “odorous tide”—into today’s lively and lovely Riverwalk.
A Practitioner's Guide to Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation brings together knowledge and experience from conservation practitioners and experts around the world to help readers understand the global challenge of conserving biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems. More importantly, it offers specific strategies and suggestions for managers to use in establishing new conservation initiatives or improving the effectiveness of existing initiatives.
The book: offers an understanding of fundamental issues by explaining how ecosystems are structured and how they support biodiversity; provides specific information and approaches for identifying areas most in need of protection; examines promising strategies that can help reduce biodiversity loss; and describes design considerations and methods for measuring success within an adaptive management framework.
The book draws on experience and knowledge gained during a five-year project of The Nature Conservancy known as the Freshwater Initiative, which brought together a range of practitioners to create a learning laboratory for testing ideas, approaches, tools, strategies, and methods.
For professionals involved with land or water management-including state and federal agency staff, scientists and researchers working with conservation organizations, students and faculty involved with freshwater issues or biodiversity conservation, and policymakers concerned with environmental issues-the book represents an important new source of information, ideas, and approaches.
The Scars of Project 459 tells the environmental story of the Lake of the Ozarks, built by the Union Electric Company in 1931. At 55,000 acres, the lake was the biggest manmade lake in the United States at the time of its completion, and it remains the biggest in the Midwest, with 1,100 miles of shoreline in four different Missouri counties. Though created to generate hydroelectric power, not for development, the "Magic Dragon," as it is popularly known because of its serpentine shape, has become a major recreational area. Located in some of the most spectacular Ozark scenery, the giant lake today attracts three million visitors annually and has more than 70,000 homes along its shoreline. Traci Angel shows how the popularity of the Lake of the Ozarks has resulted in major present-day problems, including poor water quality, loss of habitat, and increasing concerns about aging waste-management systems for the homes surrounding the lake. Many in the area, especially business owners whose incomes depend on tourism, resist acknowledging these problems. The Scars of Project 459 aims to make public the challenges facing this important resource and ensure that its future is not to be loved to death.
Throughout history, swamps have been idealized and demonized, purged and protected. Today, they are simultaneously considered metaphorical places of evil, pestilence, and death, and treasured as diverse biological ecosystems teeming with life.
Covering not only swamps and bogs but also marshes and wetlands, Swamp ventures into the cultural and ecological histories of these mysterious, mythologized, and misunderstood landscapes. Anthony Wilson takes readers into swamps across the globe, from the freshwater marshes of Botswana’s tremendous Okavango delta, to the notable swamps between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, to the peat bogs in Russia, the British Isles, and Scandinavia, which have been used as energy sources for centuries. It explores ideas and representations of wetlands across centuries, cultures, and continents, considering legend and folklore, mythology, literature, film, and natural and cultural history. As it plumbs the murky depths of swamps from the distant past to an uncertain future, Swamps provides an engaging, accessible, informative, and lavishly illustrated journey into these fascinating landscapes.
In a world filled with breathtaking beauty, we have often overlooked the elusive charm and magic of certain landscapes. A cloudy river flows into a verdant Arctic wetland where sandhill cranes and muskoxen dwell. Further south, cypress branches hang low over dismal swamps. Places like these–collectively known as swamplands or peatlands–often go unnoticed for their ecological splendor. They are as globally significant as rainforests, and function as critical carbon sinks for addressing our climate crisis. Yet, because of their reputation as wastelands, they are being systematically drained and degraded to make way for oilsands, mines, farms, and electricity.
In Swamplands, journalist Edward Struzik celebrates these wild places, venturing into windswept bogs in Kauai and the last remnants of an ancient peatland in the Mojave Desert. The secrets of the swamp aren’t for the faint of heart. Ed loses a shoe to an Arctic wolf and finds himself ankle-deep in water during a lightning storm. But the rewards are sweeter for the struggle: an enchanting Calypso orchid; an elusive yellow moth thought to be extinct; ancient animals preserved in lifelike condition down to the fur.
Swamplands highlights the unappreciated struggle being waged to save peatlands by scientists, conservationists, and landowners around the world. An ode to peaty landscapes in all their offbeat glory, the book is also a demand for awareness of the myriad threats they face. It urges us to see the beauty and importance in these least likely of places. Our planet’s survival might depend on it.
The Swimming Holes of Texas
By Julie Wernersbach and Carolyn Tracy; photography by Carolyn Tracy University of Texas Press, 2020 Library of Congress F384.3 | Dewey Decimal 917.640464
Nothing beats a natural swimming hole for cooling off on a scorching summer day in Texas. Cold, clear spring water, big old shade trees, and a quiet stretch of beach or lawn offer the perfect excuse to pack a cooler and head out with family and friends to the nearest natural oasis. Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or an unforgettable summer vacation, let The Swimming Holes of Texas be your guide.
Julie Wernersbach and Carolyn Tracy highlight one hundred natural swimming spots across the entire state. The book is organized by geographic regions, so you can quickly find local places to swim—or plan a trip to a more distant spot you’d like to explore. Each swimming hole is illustrated with an inviting color photo and a description of what it’s like to swim there, as well as the site’s history, ecology, and conservation. The authors include all the pertinent info about admission fees and hours, parking, and on-site amenities such as showers and restrooms. They also offer tips for planning your trips and lists of the swimming holes that are most welcoming to families and pets.
So when the temperature tops 100 and there’s nothing but traffic in sight, take a detour down the backroads and swim, sunbathe, revel, and relax in the swimming holes of Texas.
The Swimming Holes of Texas
By Julie Wernersbach and Carolyn Tracy; photography by Carolyn Tracy University of Texas Press, 2017 Library of Congress F384.3.W47 2017 | Dewey Decimal 917.640464
Nothing beats a natural swimming hole for cooling off on a scorching summer day in Texas. Cold, clear spring water, big old shade trees, and a quiet stretch of beach or lawn offer the perfect excuse to pack a cooler and head out with family and friends to the nearest natural oasis. Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or an unforgettable summer vacation, let The Swimming Holes of Texas be your guide. Julie Wernersbach and Carolyn Tracy highlight one hundred natural swimming spots across the entire state. The book is organized by geographic regions, so you can quickly find local places to swim—or plan a trip to a more distant spot you’d like to explore. Each swimming hole is illustrated with an inviting color photo and a description of what it’s like to swim there, as well as the site’s history, ecology, and conservation. The authors include all the pertinent info about admission fees and hours, parking, and on-site amenities such as showers and restrooms. They also offer tips for planning your trips and lists of the swimming holes that are most welcoming to families and pets. So when the temperature tops 100 and there’s nothing but traffic in sight, take a detour down the backroads and swim, sunbathe, revel, and relax in the swimming holes of Texas.
Seventy million years ago in what would become North America, a monstrous thirty-five-foot-long Cretaceous crocodile lurked on a marshy riverbank. Springing suddenly, its huge jaws trapped and crushed a juvenile hadrosaur. Today, the remains of that ancient crocodile are being painstakingly reconstructed in Colorado, where naturalist Zach Fitzner continues his life-long fascination with this amazing animal family.
In Tears for Crocodilia: Evolution, Ecology, and the Disappearance of One of the World’s Most Ancient Animals, Fitzner tracks the evolution of crocodilians from prehistoric predators to modern endangered wildlife, using his own experiences with these reptiles as a lens to understanding wildlife conservation and our relationship with the natural world. Traveling the world to interact with crocodiles, from observing alligators in a wildlife refuge in Texas and paddling a canoe in the Everglades searching for crocodiles to trekking the jungles in Nepal to find endangered gharials, the author expresses a wonder in exploring these diverse ecosystems, making a connection between crocodilians and the lands they live in. As the story follows crocodilians, it also illuminates their often complicated relationship with humans, from crocodile cults in ancient Egypt to American alligators living on golf courses. Fitzner also closely examines the dark side of this relationship, including habitat destruction and poaching as well as the mechanistic view of traditional conservation that turns these magnificent animals into agricultural products. Tears for Crocodilia delves deeply into issues of wildlife conservation, ethics, and how we can coexist with other creatures. It is also a tribute to a magnificent group of animals, survivors from the age of dinosaurs.
Where can you find mosses that change landscapes, salamanders with algae in their skin, and carnivorous plants containing whole ecosystems in their furled leaves? Where can you find swamp-trompers, wildlife watchers, marsh managers, and mud-mad scientists? In wetlands, those complex habitats that play such vital ecological roles.
In Wading Right In, Catherine Owen Koning and Sharon M. Ashworth take us on a journey into wetlands through stories from the people who wade in the muck. Traveling alongside scientists, explorers, and kids with waders and nets, the authors uncover the inextricably entwined relationships between the water flows, natural chemistry, soils, flora, and fauna of our floodplain forests, fens, bogs, marshes, and mires. Tales of mighty efforts to protect rare orchids, restore salt marshes, and preserve sedge meadows become portals through which we visit major wetland types and discover their secrets, while also learning critical ecological lessons.
The United States still loses wetlands at a rate of 13,800 acres per year. Such loss diminishes the water quality of our rivers and lakes, depletes our capacity for flood control, reduces our ability to mitigate climate change, and further impoverishes our biodiversity. Koning and Ashworth’s stories captivate the imagination and inspire the emotional and intellectual connections we need to commit to protecting these magical and mysterious places.
A water strider darts across a pond, its feet dimpling the surface tension; a giant water bug dives below, carrying his mate’s eggs on his back; hidden among plant roots on the silty bottom, a dragonfly larva stalks unwary minnows. Barely skimming the surface, in the air above the pond, swarm mayflies with diaphanous wings. Take this walk around the pond with Gilbert Waldbauer and discover the most amazingly diverse inhabitants of the freshwater world.
In his hallmark companionable style, Waldbauer introduces us to the aquatic insects that have colonized ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers, especially those in North America. Along the way we learn about the diverse forms these arthropods take, as well as their remarkable modes of life—how they have radiated into every imaginable niche in the water environment, and how they cope with the challenges such an environment poses to respiration, vision, thermoregulation, and reproduction. We encounter the caddis fly larva building its protective case and camouflaging it with stream detritus; green darner dragonflies mating midair in an acrobatic wheel formation; ants that have adapted to the tiny water environment within a pitcher plant; and insects whose adaptations to the aquatic lifestyle are furnishing biomaterials engineers with ideas for future applications in industry and consumer goods.
While learning about the evolution, natural history, and ecology of these insects, readers also discover more than a little about the scientists who study them.
Originally published in 1999, Wildflowers and Other Plants of Iowa Wetlands was the first book to focus on the beauty and diversity of the wetland plants that once covered 1.5 million acres of Iowa. Now this classic of midwestern natural history is back in print with a new format and all-new photographs, just as Iowa’s wetlands are getting the respect and attention they deserve.
In clear and accessible prose, authors Sylvan Runkel and Dean Roosa provide common, scientific, and family names; the Latin or Greek meaning of the scientific names; habitat and blooming times; and a complete description. Plants are presented by habitat (terrestrial or aquatic), then refined by habit (e.g., emergent, floating, or submerged) or taxonomic group (e.g., ferns and allies or trees, shrubs, and vines). Particularly interesting is the information on the many ways in which Native Americans and early pioneers used these plants for everything from pain relief to tonics to soup and the ways that wildlife today use them for food and shelter. Each of the more than 150 species accounts is accompanied by a brilliant full-page color photograph by botanist Thomas Rosburg, who has also updated the nomenclature and descriptions for certain species.
After decades of being considered an enemy of the settler, the farmer, and the citizen, Iowa’s wetlands have come into their own. We are finally caring for these important habitats. Runkel and Roosa’s updated field companion will be a valuable guide to today’s preservation and restoration initiatives.
Every Wisconsin waterway has a story, from the Great Lakes and the Mighty Mississippi to thousands of interior lakes, rivers, and trout streams. Wisconsin Waters takes readers on an epic tour of the geologic, natural, and human stories that have shaped these aquatic landscapes over millions of years.
In this companion to his popular Wisconsin State Parks book, Scott Spoolman journeys to the distant past to examine the origins of Wisconsin’s lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and wetlands. In his accessible storytelling style, Spoolman details the natural forces—volcanic eruptions, ancient seas, erosion, glaciers, and more—that created these bodies of water and the resulting habitats for the state’s flora, fauna, and early peoples.
More than a geology or natural history book, Wisconsin Waters invites readers to visit waterways in four regions of the state, where they can view the modern-day evidence of how they were formed. Nineteen travel guides suggest ways to explore a selection of Wisconsin waterscapes, providing a better understanding of the land’s history that will enhance readers’ enjoyment of and appreciation for our freshwater resources.