From Benjamin Bunny to Peter Cottontail, the Velveteen Rabbit to the Flopsy Bunnies, the Rabbit of Caerbannog to Bugs Bunny and Roger Rabbit, the winsome long-eared animal is a permanent fixture of our childhoods. We know rabbits for their place in our stories, myths, and legends, and also for how they helped us learn to tie our shoes. In this richly illustrated book, Victoria Dickenson explores the natural and cultural history of the most familiar of the lagomorphs.
Tracing the history of the species, Dickenson brings to life the giant extinct rabbits of Minorca and the tiny endangered Volcano rabbits of Mexico while focusing on the European rabbit. She explains how humans became this particular rabbit’s greatest predator, coveting its fur and flesh, and how they distributed rabbits to such far-flung places as New Zealand and Australia to provide food and sport for settlers. Dickenson also examines the paradox of the rabbit as prey and trickster who outwits all rivals, as cuddly companion for children and symbol of unbridled animal passion. She looks at the use of the rabbit’s foot to charm away evil, celebrates the Year of the Rabbit, and discovers the Jade Moon Rabbit, who lives on the moon. Hopping from B’rer Rabbit to the Energizer Bunny, Rabbit is the perfect gift for anyone who loves these intelligent, adorable creatures.
How do race and nature work as terrains of power? From eighteenth-century claims that climate determined character to twentieth-century medical debates about the racial dimensions of genetic disease, concepts of race and nature are integrally connected, woven into notions of body, landscape, and nation. Yet rarely are these complex entanglements explored in relation to the contemporary cultural politics of difference. This volume takes up that challenge. Distinguished contributors chart the traffic between race and nature across sites including rainforests, colonies, and courtrooms.
Synthesizing a number of fields—anthropology, cultural studies, and critical race, feminist, and postcolonial theory—this collection analyzes diverse historical, cultural, and spatial locations. Contributors draw on thinkers such as Fanon, Foucault, and Gramsci to investigate themes ranging from exclusionary notions of whiteness and wilderness in North America to linguistic purity in Germany. Some essayists focus on the racialized violence of imperial rule and evolutionary science and the biopolitics of race and class in the Guatemalan civil war. Others examine how race and nature are fused in biogenetic discourse—in the emergence of “racial diseases” such as sickle cell anemia, in a case of mistaken in vitro fertilization in which a white couple gave birth to a black child, and even in the world of North American dog breeding. Several essays tackle the politics of representation surrounding environmental justice movements, transnational sex tourism, and indigenous struggles for land and resource rights in Indonesia and Brazil. Contributors. Bruce Braun, Giovanna Di Chiro, Paul Gilroy, Steven Gregory, Donna Haraway, Jake Kosek, Tania Murray Li, Uli Linke, Zine Magubane, Donald S. Moore, Diane Nelson, Anand Pandian, Alcida Rita Ramos, Keith Wailoo, Robyn Wiegman
“In Rachel Carson and Her Sisters, Musil fills the gap by placing Carson's achievements in a wider context, weaving connections from the past through the present. Readers will find new insight into Carson and contemporary figures she influenced...who have historically received less attention. Musil’s respect and enthusiasm for these women is evident throughout the book, making it a deeply engaging and enjoyable read. A valuable addition to scholarship on Rachel Carson, female environmentalists, and the American environmental movement in general. Highly recommended. All academic and general readers.” —Choice
“This is a long overdue book, giving great credit to the long line of women who have done so much to shape our culture’s view of the world around us and of our prospects in it. We desperately need that culture to heed their words!” —Bill McKibben, author Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist
“A vibrant, engaging account of the women who preceded and followed Rachel Carson’s efforts to promote environmental and human health. In exquisite detail, Musil narrates the brilliant careers and efforts of pioneering women from the 1850s onward to preserve nature and maintain a healthy environment. Anyone interested in women naturalists, activists, and feminist environmental history will welcome this compelling, beautifully-written book.” —Carolyn Merchant, author of The Death of Nature and professor of environmental history, philosophy, and ethics, University of California, Berkeley.
“Bob Musil brilliantly documents the rich trajectory of women’s intellectual and political influence, not just on environmentalism but on public policy and activism. Musil offers fascinating details of Rachel Carson’s struggles to be taken seriously as a scientist and unearths the stories of the women—unsung heroes all—who influenced her. A must read for anyone interested in American history, science and environmental politics.” —Heather White, Executive Director, the Environmental Working Group
“Musil uses the life and writings of Rachel Carson as an exemplar of women’s participation in the American environmental movement. He places Carson’s achievements in contexts by illuminating...the lives of trailblazing female scientists who inspired her and for whom she, in turn, paved the way. Extremely well-researched.” —Foreword Reviews
The biodiversity crisis -- the extinction of thousands of species of plants and animals -- is not just a faraway problem for scientists to solve. Instead, the crisis is as close as our backyards, our gardens, and our refrigerator shelves. This engaging, practical guide inspires average Americans to wield their consumer power in favor of protecting the world's plant and animal species.Environmentalist activist Martin Teitel offers compelling evidence that by slightly modifying how we shop, eat, and garden, we can collectively influence the operating decisions of today's corporate agribusiness and help preserve our precious genetic resources. Teitel offers strategies so simple that they require no significant lifestyle change or expense.
Stretching from the redwoods of California to the vast stands of spruce and hemlock in southeast Alaska, coastal temperate rain forests have been for thousands of years home to one of the highest densities of human settlements on the continent. Given its mild climate, magnificent scenery, and abundant natural resources, the region should continue to support robust economies and vibrant communities for many years to come. However, the well-being of this region is increasingly threatened by diminishing natural capital, declining employment in traditional resource-based industries, and outward migration of young people to cities.The Rain Forests of Home brings together a diverse array of thinkers -- conservationists, community organizers, botanists, anthropologists, zoologists, Native Americans, ecologists, and others -- to present a multilayered, multidimensional portrait of the coastal temperate rain forest and its people. Joining natural and social science perspectives, the book provides readers with a valuable understanding of the region's natural and human history, along with a vision of its future and strategies for realizing that vision.Authors describe the physical setting and examine the geographic and evolutionary forces that have shaped the region since the last glacial period, with individual chapters covering oceanography, climate, geologic processes, vegetation, fauna, streams and rivers, and terrestrial/marine interactions. Three chapters cover the history of human habitation, including an examination of what is known about pre-European settlement, a consideration of the traditions of local and indigenous knowledge, and a description of the environmental and cultural upheaval brought by European explorers and settlers. The book concludes with an exploration of recent economic and cultural trends, regional and local public policy, information gathering, and the need for integrating local knowledge into decision making.Interspersed among the chapters are compelling profiles of community-level initiatives and programs aimed at restoring damaged ecosystems, promoting sustainable use of resources, and fostering community-based economic development. The case studies describe what coastal residents are doing to combine environmental conservation with socioeconomic development, and document some of the most innovative experiments in sustainable development now underway in North America.The Rain Forests of Home offers for the first time a unified description of the characteristics, history, culture, economy, and ecology of the coastal temperate rain forest. It is essential reading for anyone who lives in or cares about the region.
Are "animal welfare" supporters indistinguishable from the animal exploiters they oppose? Do reformist measures reaffirm the underlying principles that make animal exploitation possible in the first place? In this provocative book, Gary L. Francione argues that the modern animal rights movement has become indistinguishable from a century-old concern with the welfare of animals that in no way prevents them from being exploited.
Francione maintains that advocating humane treatment of animals retains a sense of them as instrumental to human ends. When they are considered dispensable property, he says, they are left fundamentally without "rights." Until the seventies, Francione claims, this was the paradigm within which the Animal Rights Movement operated, as demonstrated by laws such as the Federal Humane Slaughter Act of 1958.
In this wide-ranging book, Francione takes the reader through the philosophical and intellectual debates surrounding animal welfare to make clear the difference between animal rights and animal welfare. Through case studies such as campaigns against animal shelters, animal laboratories, and the wearing of fur, Francione demonstrates the selectiveness and confusion inherent in reformist programs that target fur, for example, but leave wool and leather alone.
The solution to this dilemma, Francione argues, is not in a liberal position that espouses the humane treatment of animals, but in a more radical acceptance of the fundamental inalienability of animal rights.
Hank Hassell Utah State University Press, 1999 Library of Congress F832.R3H37 1999 | Dewey Decimal 979.25
On the morning of August 14, 1909, a small, diverse group including Professor Byron Cummings of the University of Utah, Government Land Office surveyor William Douglass, pioneer archaeologist and trader John Weatherill, and Paiute guide Nasja Begay gazed at the largest structure of its kind in the world-Rainbow Bridge. Their presence marked the official discovery of the magnificent natural bridge, which spans 275 feet and towers 291 feet above the stream bed below it. Of the discovery party, only Nasja Begay had seen the stone arch before; he was one of a probably small number of Paiutes and Navajos, the true modern discoverers, who had visited it. In 1910, an executive order issued under the still fresh Antiquities Act created Rainbow Bridge National Monument, one of the first.
This was only the beginning of the Rainbow Bridge historical record. Its fame was soon widespread, but for many years its visitors would be few, their numbers restricted by the long arduous trail around Navajo Mountain to the site. Those few and the tour guides and businesses that emerged to serve them, especially at Rainbow Lodge, were an interesting mix though. The bridge's story included such western figures as trader Louisa Weatherill, wife of John and a Navajo speaker who was the first Anglo to hear of the bridge; Barry Goldwater, who for a time owned and operated Rainbow Lodge; Zane Grey, who wrote about the bridge; and David Brower, the Sierra Club leader who got wrapped up in the intersection of the Rainbow Bridge story with that of Glen Canyon Dam. Its construction and the filling of Lake Powell behind it made Rainbow Bridge a battleground, key territory in the larger war over water and conservation in the West. The remote, hard to reach national monument was supposed to define a limit to Colorado River reclamation but instead was inundated by Lake Powell and the tide of visitors who then could reach the foot of the bridge by boat. Though Rainbow is now easily and frequently visited and National Park Service amenities are in place, access to Rainbow Bridge is still an evolving and controversial issue.
Like fluttering shards of stained glass, butterflies possess a unique power to pierce and stir the human soul. Indeed, the ancient Greeks explicitly equated the two in a single word, psyche, so that from early times butterflies were not only a form of life, but also an idea. Profound and deeply personal, written with both wisdom and wit, Peter Marren’s Rainbow Dust explores this idea of butterflies—the why behind the mysterious power of these insects we do not flee, but rather chase.
At the age of five, Marren had his “Nabokov Moment,” catching his first butterfly and feeling the dust of its colored scales between his fingers. It was a moment that would launch a lifetime’s fascination rivaling that of the famed novelist—a fascination that put both in good company. From the butterfly collecting and rearing craze that consumed North America and Europe for more than two hundred years (a hobby that in some cases bordered on madness), to the potent allure of butterfly iconography in contemporary advertisements and their use in spearheading calls to conserve and restore habitats (even though butterflies are essentially economically worthless), Marren unveils the many ways in which butterflies inspire us as objects of beauty and as symbols both transient and transcendent.
Floating around the globe and through the whole gamut of human thought, from art and literature to religion and science, Rainbow Dust is a cultural history rather than merely a natural one, a tribute to butterflies’ power to surprise, entertain, and obsess us. With a sway that far surpasses their fragile anatomy and gentle beat, butterfly wings draw us into the prismatic wonders of the natural world—and, in the words of Marren, these wonders take flight.
The rainbow is a compelling spectacle in nature—a rare, evanescent, and beautiful bridge between subjective experience and objective reality—and no less remarkable as a cultural phenomenon. A symbol of the Left since the German Peasants’ War of the 1520s, it has been adopted by movements for gay rights, the environment, multiculturalism, and peace around the globe, and has inspired poets, artists, and writers including John Keats, Caspar David Friedrich, Edgar Allan Poe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. In this book, the first of its kind, Daniel MacCannell offers an enlightening and instructive guide to the rainbow’s multicolored relationship with humanity.
The scientific “discovery” of the rainbow is a remarkable tale, taking in ancient Greece and Rome, medieval Persia, and Islamic Spain. But even as we’ve studied rainbows, adopted their image, and penned odes to them for millennia, rainbows have also been regarded as ominous or even dangerous in myth and religion. In the twentieth century, the rainbow emerged as kitsch, arcing from the musical film version of The Wizard of Oz to 1980s sitcoms and children’s cartoons. Illustrated throughout in prismatic color, MacCannell’s Rainbows explores the full spectrum of rainbows’ nature and meaning, offering insight into what rainbows are and how they work, how we arrived at our current scientific understanding of the phenomenon, and how we have portrayed them in everything from myth to the arts, politics, and popular culture.
Rainforests have long been recognized as hotspots of biodiversity—but they are crucial for our planet in other surprising ways. Not only do these fascinating ecosystems thrive in rainy regions, they create rain themselves, and this moisture is spread around the globe. Rainforests across the world have a powerful and concrete impact, reaching as far as America’s Great Plains and central Europe. In Rainforest: Dispatches from Earth’s Most Vital Frontlines, a prominent conservationist provides a comprehensive view of the crucial roles rainforests serve, the state of the world’s rainforests today, and the inspirational efforts underway to save them.
In Rainforest, Tony Juniper draws upon decades of work in rainforest conservation. He brings readers along on his journeys, from the thriving forests of Costa Rica to Indonesia, where palm oil plantations have supplanted much of the former rainforest. Despite many ominous trends, Juniper sees hope for rainforests and those who rely upon them, thanks to developments like new international agreements, corporate deforestation policies, and movements from local and Indigenous communities.
As climate change intensifies, we have already begun to see the effects of rainforest destruction on the planet at large. Rainforest provides a detailed and wide-ranging look at the health and future of these vital ecosystems. Throughout this evocative book, Juniper argues that in saving rainforests, we save ourselves, too.
Ranching is as much a part of the West as its wide-open spaces. The mystique of rugged individualism has sustained this activity well past the frontier era and has influenced how we view—and value—those open lands.
Nathan Sayre now takes a close look at how the ranching ideal has come into play in the conversion of a large tract of Arizona rangeland from private ranch to National Wildlife Refuge. He tells how the Buenos Aires Ranch, a working operation for a hundred years, became not only a rallying point for multiple agendas in the "rangeland conflict" after its conversion to a wildlife refuge but also an expression of the larger shift from agricultural to urban economies in the Southwest since World War II.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service bought the Buenos Aires Ranch in 1985, removed all livestock, and attempted to restore the land to its "original" grassland in order to protect an endangered species, the masked bobwhite quail. Sayre examines the history of the ranch and the bobwhite together, exploring the interplay of social, economic, and ecological issues to show how ranchers and their cattle altered the land—for better or worse—during a century of ranching and how the masked bobwhite became a symbol for environmentalists who believe that the removal of cattle benefits rangelands and wildlife.
Sayre evaluates both sides of the Buenos Aires controversy—from ranching's impact on the environment to environmentalism's sometimes misguided efforts at restoration—to address the complex and contradictory roles of ranching, endangered species conservation, and urbanization in the social and environmental transformation of the West. He focuses on three dimensions of the Buenos Aires story: the land and its inhabitants, both human and animal; the role of government agencies in shaping range and wildlife management; and the various species of capital—economic, symbolic, and bureaucratic—that have structured the activities of ranchers, environmentalists, and government officials.
The creation of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge has been a symbolic victory for environmentalists, but it comes at the cost of implicitly legitimizing the ongoing fragmentation and suburbanization of Arizona's still-wild rangelands. Sayre reveals how the polarized politics of "the rangeland conflict" have bound the Fish and Wildlife Service to a narrow, ineffectual management strategy on the Buenos Aires, with greater attention paid to increasing tourism from birdwatchers than to the complex challenge of restoring the masked bobwhite and its habitat. His findings show that the urban boom of the late twentieth century echoed the cattle boom of a century before—capitalizing on land rather than grass, humans rather than cattle—in a book that will serve as a model for restoration efforts in any environment.
Recommended by The Nature Conservancy magazine.Ranching West of the 100th Meridian offers a literary and thought-provoking look at ranching and its role in the changing West. The book's lyrical and deeply felt narratives, combined with fresh information and analysis, offer a poignant and enlightening consideration of ranchers' ecological commitments to the land, their cultural commitments to American society, and the economic role ranching plays in sustainable food production and the protection of biodiversity.The book begins with writings that bring to life the culture of ranching, including the fading reality of families living and working together on their land generation after generation. The middle section offers an understanding of the ecology of ranching, from issues of overgrazing and watershed damage to the concept that grazing animals can actually help restore degraded land. The final section addresses the economics of ranching in the face of declining commodity prices and rising land values brought by the increasing suburbanization of the West. Among the contributors are Paul Starrs, Linda Hasselstrom, Bob Budd, Drummond Hadley, Mark Brunson, Wayne Elmore, Allan Savory, Luther Propst, and Bill Weeks.Livestock ranching in the West has been attacked from all sides -- by environmentalists who see cattle as a scourge upon the land, by fiscal conservatives who consider the leasing of grazing rights to be a massive federal handout program, and by developers who covet intact ranches for subdivisions and shopping centers. The authors acknowledge that, if done wrong, ranching clearly has the capacity to hurt the land. But if done right, it has the power to restore ecological integrity to Western lands that have been too-long neglected. Ranching West of the 100th Meridian makes a unique and impassioned contribution to the ongoing debate on the future of the New West.
Raptor: A Journey through Birds
James Macdonald Lockhart University of Chicago Press, 2017 Library of Congress QL677.78.L632 2017 | Dewey Decimal 598.0723441
From the merlin to the golden eagle, the goshawk to the honey buzzard, James Macdonald Lockhart’s stunning debut is a quest of beak, talon, wing, and sky. On its surface, Raptor is a journey across the British Isles in search of fifteen species of birds of prey, but as Lockhart seeks out these elusive predators, his quest becomes so much more: an incomparably elegant elegy on the beauty of the British landscape and, through the birds, a journey toward understanding an awesome power at the heart of the natural world—a power that is majestic and frightening in its strength, but also fragile.
Taking as his guide the nineteenth-century Scottish naturalist and artist William MacGillivray, Lockhart loosely follows the historical trail forged by MacGillivray as he ventured from Aberdeen to London filling his pockets with plants and writing and illustrating the canonical A History of British Birds. Linking his journey to that of his muse, Lockhart shares his own encounters with raptors ranging from the scarce osprey to the successfully reintroduced red kite, a species once protected by medieval royal statute, revealing with poetic immediacy the extraordinary behaviors of these birds and the extreme environments they call home.
Creatures both worshipped and reviled, raptors have a talon-hold on the human heart and imagination. With his book, Lockhart unravels these complicated ties in a work by turns reverent and euphoric—an interweaving of history, travel, and nature writing at its best. A hymn to wanderers, to the land and to the sky, and especially to the birds, Raptor soars.
This newest addition to Iowa's successful series of laminated guides is a welcome aid to identifying the many challenging raptors of the Great Plains, from northern Minnesota to northern Texas. Illustrator Dana Gardner has created fourteen panels showing twenty-six species perched and in flight with complete plumage variations---dark phases, light phases, and juvenile and adult male and female forms. The text also includes length and wingspan, common and scientific names, and status such as common resident or winter visitor.Raptors are notoriously hard to identify, and Gardner has worked hard to make this guide useful for beginning birders as well as those more experienced in the field. Keep Raptors in Your Pocket in your car or backpack---or pocket!---during spring and fall migration and summer nesting season for help in identifying such relatively common species as the light and dark forms of the red-tailed hawk, the male and female merlin and American kestrel, and the juvenile, intermediate, and adult forms of the Swainson's hawk as well as such uncommon visitors as white-tailed, swallow-tailed, and Mississippi kites.
The Raptors of Arizona
Edited by Richard L. Glinski, with full-color illustrations by Richard Sloan University of Arizona Press, 1998 Library of Congress QL696.F3R375 1998 | Dewey Decimal 598.909791
Thousands of birdwatchers come to Arizona each year seeking rare or intriguing species, and for those watching the skies the additional sighting of a bird of prey is a reward in itself. The Grand Canyon state boasts the most dramatic assortment of raptors in North America: hawks, eagles, falcons, kites, and owls, plus vultures and condors. Here can be found nearly all the raptor species of the continental United States and also established populations of species associated with Mexico, such as the Gray Hawk, Common Black-Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, and Whiskered Screech-Owl.
Arizona's raptors are found in an unrivaled diversity of habitats, from saguaro cactus forests where tiny Elf Owls nest to the Vermilion Cliffs, where the gigantic California Condor was introduced in 1996. Yet many species live in habitats that are now jeopardized by degradation or development, making an understanding and appreciation of raptors crucial to their survival.
The Raptors of Arizona brings together the knowledge and insights of 29 raptor and wildlife authorities who provide original information and syntheses on Arizona's 42 raptor species, with an emphasis on aspects of their natural history in Arizona. A chapter on each bird includes its description, a range map, and information on its distribution, habitat, life history, and status. Additional chapters cover conservation, habitats, where and when to watch raptors, and the sport of falconry. The book is enhanced by 42 full-color illustrations by Richard Sloan, one of the premier wildlife artists in North America, whose paintings were commissioned by the Arizona Wildlife Foundation specifically for this project. Co-published with the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
The Raptors of Iowa
James F. Landenberger, Dean M. Roosa, Jon W. Stravers, Bruce Ehresman, Rich Patterson University of Iowa Press, 2013 Library of Congress QL677.78.L36 2013 | Dewey Decimal 598.909777
This long-awaited collection of James Landenberger’s paintings of Iowa birds of prey presents thirty-two full-page, full-color species, from the common turkey vulture to the red-shouldered hawk of Mississippi River woodlands to the little northern saw-whet owl. Four naturalists who have devoted their lives to conserving wilderness habitats and species have written essays to complement the paintings.
Thanks to state and federal laws and a shift in public attitude, birds of prey are no longer seen as incarnations of ferocity but as creatures superbly attuned to their lives and surroundings. Although Iowa unfortunately leads the way in the amount of wildlife habitat that has been destroyed, conservation organizations and state agencies have also led the way toward successful raptor restoration projects, among them a roadside nest box program for the American kestrel, a project to restore peregrine falcons to their historic eyries, and a relocation program that should ensure a sustainable population of ospreys. The recent spectacular recovery of the bald eagle, whose nests had vanished from the state for seventy years, is particularly encouraging.
There can be no substitute for seeing thousands of broad-winged hawks soaring high overhead during migration, a great horned owl perching in silhouette at dusk, or a Cooper’s hawk plunging toward its prey along the roadside. But Jim Landenberger’s meticulously detailed paintings go a long way toward conveying the remarkable beauty of the American kestrel and other falcons, the grace of the swallow-tailed kite, the immaculate mystery of the snowy owl and its fellow owls, the glistening head feathers of an adult bald eagle, and the piercing defiance so characteristic of our larger hawks.
The rat has been described as the shadow of the human: from ancient times through today, it has followed man via routes of commerce and conquest to eventually inhabit nearly every part of the world. Rats have a bad reputation—they spread disease, destroy agricultural produce, and thrive in the darkest corners of human habitation—but they have recently found credibility as a major resource for scientific experimentation. Jonathan Burt here traces the fortunes of the rat in history, myth, and culture.
Central to Rat is the history of the relationship between humans and rats and, in particular, the complex human attitudes toward these shrewd creatures. Burt examines why the rat is viewed as more loathsome and verminous than other parasitic animals and considers why humans have had diametrically opposed attitudes about the rat: some cultures greatly admire the rat for its skills, while others consider the rat the scourge of the earth. Burt also draws on a wide range of examples to explore the rat's role in science, culture, and art, from its appearances in children's literature such as The Wind in the Willows to Victorian rat- and dog-baiting pits to its symbolic roles in folklore.
Rat offers an intriguing and richly illustrated study of one of nature's most remarkable creatures and ultimately finds that the rat exists as a perverse totem for the worst excesses of human behavior.
Literary scholar Ann Ronald gathers her most notable published essays about Nevada, environmental writing, and Western American literature in one volume. These essays reflect Ronald’s wide-ranging interests. Here are deeply informed, critical essays on writers as diverse as Zane Gray, Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and Terry Tempest Williams, as well as the Tonopah Ladies—a group of literary women who found their voices in the unlikely setting of a mining boomtown—and on such varied topics as the image of Reno in nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction. Included are several recent essays in which Ronald thoughtfully discusses the burgeoning field of environmental writing, some of its principal themes and concerns, and its best-known practitioners.
Reading the Shape of Nature vividly recounts the turbulent early history of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard and the contrasting careers of its founder Louis Agassiz and his son Alexander. Through the story of this institution and the individuals who formed it, Mary P. Winsor explores the conflicting forces that shaped systematics in the second half of the nineteenth century. Debates over the philosophical foundations of classification, details of taxonomic research, the young institution's financial struggles, and the personalities of the men most deeply involved are all brought to life.
In 1859, Louis Agassiz established the Museum of Comparative Zoology to house research on the ideal types that he believed were embodied in all living forms. Agassiz's vision arose from his insistence that the order inherent in the diversity of life reflected divine creation, not organic evolution. But the mortar of the new museum had scarcely dried when Darwin's Origin was published. By Louis Agassiz's death in 1873, even his former students, including his son Alexander, had defected to the evolutionist camp. Alexander, a self-made millionaire, succeeded his father as director and introduced a significantly different agenda for the museum.
To trace Louis and Alexander's arguments and the style of science they established at the museum, Winsor uses many fascinating examples that even zoologists may find unfamiliar. The locus of all this activity, the museum building itself, tells its own story through a wonderful series of archival photographs.
A provocative new way to read and interpret the classic works of John Muir, Mary Austin, and Gary Snyder, and to bring their ideas into the discussion of ecological values and the current environmental crisis. Lewis combines a perceptive discussion of their work and ideas with an engaging account of his own trail experiences as hiker/backpacker and volunteer trail builder, proposing that such a field-based, interdisciplinary approach to literary study and outdoors experience can enrich our appreciation for the work of nature writers.
Readings On Laws Of Nature
John W. Carroll University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004 Library of Congress Q175.R335 2004 | Dewey Decimal 501
As a subject of inquiry, laws of nature exist in the overlap between metaphysics and the philosophy of science. Over the past three decades, this area of study has become increasingly central to the philosophy of science. It also has relevance to a variety of topics in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and epistemology.
Readings on Laws of Nature is the first anthology to offer a contemporary history of the problem of laws. The book is organized around three key issues: the matter of distinguishing laws from mere correlations, questions concerning inductive reasoning and laws, and the consideration of whether there are any true laws in science.
Designed for class use, the anthology covers a remarkably broad range of views and concerns, and consists exclusively of articles that have proved highly influential in the field. Readings on Laws of Nature will also serve as a valuable research and reference tool for philosophers who do not specialize in the subject, but who have occasion to examine concepts relating to the laws of nature in their own work.
This eagerly anticipated follow-up to the breakout memoir How to Be an Indian in the 21st Century delves more deeply into the themes of family, community, grief, and the struggle to make a place in the world when your very identity is considered suspect. In Rebel Poet: More Stories from a 21st Century Indian, author Louis Clark examines the effects of his mother's alcoholism and his young sister's death, offers an intimate recounting of the backlash he faced as an Indian on the job, and celebrates the hard-fought sense of home he and his wife have created. Rebel Poet continues the author's tradition of seamlessly mixing poetry and prose, and is at turns darker and more nuanced than its predecessor.
Rebuilding Community after Katrina chronicles the innovative and ambitious partnership between Cornell University’s City and Regional Planning department and ACORN Housing, an affiliate of what was the nation’s largest low-income community organization. These unlikely allies came together to begin to rebuild devastated neighborhoods in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
The editors and contributors to this volume allow participants’ voices to show how this partnership integrated careful, technical analysis with aggressive community outreach and organizing. With essays by activists, organizers, community members, and academics on the ground, Rebuilding Community after Katrina presents insights on the challenges involved in changing the way politicians and analysts imagined the future of New Orleans’ Ninth Ward.
What emerges from this complex drama are lessons about community planning, organizational relationships, and team building across multi-cultural lines. The accounts presented in Rebuilding Community after Katrina raise important and sensitive questions about the appropriate roles of outsiders in community-based planning processes.
Recent Mammals of Alaska
Stephen O. MacDonald and Joseph A. Cook University of Alaska Press, 2009 Library of Congress QL719.A4M33 2009 | Dewey Decimal 599.09798
From the polar bear and the gray wolf to the walrus and river otter, there are 115 species of mammals in Alaska that have never been fully catalogued until now. Biologists Joseph A. Cook and Stephen O. MacDonald have compiled here the first comprehensive guide to all of Alaska’s mammals, big and small, endearing and ferocious.
Through extensive fieldwork and research the authors have produced a unique and authoritative reference. Detailed entries for each species include distribution and taxonomic information, status, habitat, and fossil history. Appendices include quick reference listings of mammal distribution by region, specimen locations, conservation status, and the incidence of Pleistocene mammals. The guide is generously illustrated with line drawings by Alaskan artist W. D. Berry and includes several maps indicating populations and locations of species.
Mammals of Alaska will be an accessible, easy to use source for scholars and hobbyists alike.
The first English translation of Johannes Weigelt's 1927 classic makes available the seminal work in taphonomy, the study of how organisms die, decay, become entombed in sediments, and fossilize over time. Weigelt emphasized the importance of empirical work and made extensive observations of modern carcasses on the Texas Gulf Coast. He applied the results to evidence from the fossil record and demonstrated that an understanding of the postmortem fate of modern animals is crucial to making sound inferences about fossil vertebrate assemblages and their ecological communities.
Weigelt spent sixteen months on the Gulf Coast in the mid-1920s, gathering evidence from the carcasses of cattle and other animals in the early stages of preservation. This book reports his observations. He discusses death and decomposition; classifies various modes of death (drowning, cold, dehydration, fire, mud, quicksand, oil slicks, etc.); documents and analyzes the positions of carcasses; presents detailed data on carcass assemblages at the Smither's Lake site in Texas; and, in a final chapter, makes comparisons to carcass assemblages from the geologic past. He raises questions about whether much of the fossil record is a product of unusual events and, if so, what the implications are for paleoecological studies.
The English edition of Recent Vertebrate Carcasses includes a foreword and a translator's note that comment on Weigelt's life and the significance of his work. The original bibliography has been brought up to date, and, where necessary, updated scientific and place names have been added to the text in brackets. An index of names, places, and subjects is included, and Weigelt's own photographs of carcasses and drawings of skeletons illustrate the text.
Set in the ruins of his family’s strip-mined homestead in the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois, award-winning journalist and historian Jeff Biggers delivers a deeply personal portrait of the overlooked human and environmental costs of our nation’s dirty energy policy. Beginning with the policies of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, chronicling the removal of Native Americans and the hidden story of legally sanctioned black slavery in the land of Lincoln, Reckoning at Eagle Creek vividly describes the mining wars for union recognition and workplace safety, and the devastating consequences of industrial strip-mining. At the heart of our national debate over climate change and the crucial transition toward clean energy, Biggers exposes the fallacy of “clean coal” and shatters the marketing myth that southern Illinois represents the “Saudi Arabia of coal.”
Reckoning at Eagle Creek is ultimately an exposé of “historicide,” one that traces coal’s harrowing legacy through the great American family saga of sacrifice and resiliency and the extraordinary process of recovering our nation’s memory.
Surprisingly, glimmerings of ecofeminist theory that would emerge a century later can be detected in women’s poetry of the late Victorian period. In Reconceiving Nature, Patricia Murphy examines the work of six ecofeminist poets—Augusta Webster, Mathilde Blind, Michael Field, Alice Meynell, Constance Naden, and L. S. Bevington—who contested the exploitation of the natural world. Challenging prevalent assumptions that nature is inferior, rightly subordinated, and deservedly manipulated, these poets instead “reconstructed” nature.
In the 1990s, influenced by the deconstructionist movement in literary theory and trends toward revisionist history, a cadre of academics and historians led by William Cronon began raising provocative questions about ideas of wilderness and the commitments and strategies of the contemporary environmental movement. While these critiques challenged some cherished and widely held beliefs -- and raised the hackles of many in the environmental community -- they also stimulated an important and potentially transformative debate about the conceptual foundations of environmentalism.
Reconstructing Conservation makes a vital contribution to that debate, bringing together 23 leading scholars and practitioners -- including J. Baird Callicott, Susan Flader, Richard Judd, Curt Meine, Bryan Norton, and Paul B. Thompson -- to examine the classical conservation tradition and its value to contemporary environmentalism. Focusing not just on the tensions that have marked the deconstructivist debate over wilderness and environmentalism, the book represents a larger and ultimately more constructive and hopeful discussion over the proper course of future conservation scholarship and action.
Essays provide a fresh look at conservation icons such as George Perkins Marsh and Aldo Leopold, as well as the contributions of lesser-known figures including Lewis Mumford, Benton MacKaye, and Scott Nearing. Represented are a wealth of diverse perspectives, addressing such topics as wilderness and protected areas, cultural landscapes, rural/agrarian landscapes, urban/built environments, and multiple points on the geographic map. Contributors offer enthusiastic endorsements of pluralism in conservation values and goals along with cautionary tales about the dangers of fragmentation and atomism. The final chapter brings together the major insights, arguments, and proposals contained in the individual contributions, synthesizing them into a dozen broad-ranging principles designed to guide the study and practice of conservation.
Reconstructing Conservation assesses the meaning and relevance of our conservation inheritance in the 21st century, and represents a conceptually integrated vision for reconsidering conservation thought and practice to meet the needs and circumstances of a new, post-deconstructivist era.
This penetrating work culls key concepts from grassroots activism to hold critical social theory accountable to the needs, ideas, and organizational practices of the global justice movement. The resulting critique of neoliberalism hinges on place-based struggles of groups marginalized by globalization and represents a brave rethinking of politics, economy, culture, and professionalism.
Providing new practical and conceptual tools for responding to human and environmental crises in Appalachia and beyond, Recovering the Commons radically revises the framework of critical social thought regarding our stewardship of the civic and ecological commons. Herbert Reid and Betsy Taylor ally social theory, field sciences, and local knowledge in search of healthy connections among body, place, and commons that form a basis for solidarity as well as a vital infrastructure for a reliable, durable world. Drawing particularly on the work of philosophers Maurice Merleau-Ponty, John Dewey, and Hannah Arendt, the authors reconfigure social theory by ridding it of the aspects that reduce place and community to sets of interchangeable components. Instead, they reconcile complementary pairs such as mind/body and society/nature in the reclamation of public space.
With its analysis embedded in philosophical and material contexts, this penetrating work culls key concepts from grassroots activism to hold critical social theory accountable to the needs, ideas, and organizational practices of the global justice movement. The resulting critique of neoliberalism hinges on place-based struggles of groups marginalized by globalization and represents a brave rethinking of politics, economy, culture, and professionalism.
Red Deer: Behavior and Ecology of Two Sexes is the most extensive study yet available of reproduction in wild vertebrate. The authors synthesize data collected over ten years on a population of individually recognizable red deer, usually regarded as conspecific with the American elk. Their results reveal the extent of sex differences in behavior, reproduction, and ecology and make a substantial contribution to our understanding of sexual selection.
As a journalist, advocate, and professor, Michael Frome has spent decades engaged with conservation topics and has taken particular interest in America’s national parks. He draws on this experience and knowledge to address what remains to be done in order to truly value and preserve these special places. Part memoir, part history, and part broadside against those who would diminish this heritage, Rediscovering National Parks in the Spirit of John Muir, through thoughtful reflections and ruminations, bears witness to the grandeur of our parks and to the need for a renewed sense of appreciation and individual responsibility for their care.
In recollections of his encounters and conversations with key people in national park history, Frome discusses park politics, conflicts between use and preservation, and impacts of commercialization. He proposes a dedicated return to the true spirit in which the parks were established, in the manner of John Muir. He advocates maintaining these lands as wild sanctuaries, places where we can find inspiration, solitude, silence, balance, and simplicity, reminding us why we must preserve our national treasures and why we need to connect with the deeper values they hold.
In Reducing Toxics, leading experts address industry, technology, health, and policy issues and explore the potential for pollution prevention at the industry and facility levels. They consider both the regulatory and institutional settings of toxics reduction initiatives, prescribe strategies for developing a prevention framework, and apply these principles in analyzing industry case studies. Among the topics considered are: the evolution of, and limits to, current environmental policy incorporating prevention into production planning and decisionmaking do voluntary programs lead to industry greening or greenwashing? case studies of the chemical, aerosols, radiator repair and electric vehicle industries opportunities for and barriers to pollution prevention Reducing Toxics offers an analytic framework for defining and understanding different approaches in the toxics area and describes the basis for a new policy and industrial decisionmaking construct.
Drawing on detailed data from their sixteen-year study of red-winged blackbirds in the marshes of Washington's Columbia National Wildlife Refuge, Beletsky and Orians analyze the information redwings use to make breeding-season decisions and the consequences these decisions have for lifetime reproductive success. Because male and female redwings make different, and often independent, decisions—males focus on territory acquisition and maintenance, while females must choose when and where to nest and how much energy to invest in reproduction—the authors have taken the novel approach of studying the sexes separately.
Using analyses of observational data combined with field experiments and game-theoretical models, the authors provide new insights into the complex patterns of reproductive decision-making and breeding behavior in redwings. This book will be of interest to all who study social animals, including behavioral ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and ornithologists.
Evidence is mounting that redwood forests, like many other ecosystems, cannot survive as small, isolated fragments in human-altered landscapes. Such fragments lose their diversity over time and, in the case of redwoods, may even lose the ability to grow new, giant trees.The Redwood Forest, written in support of Save-the-Redwood League's master plan, provides scientific guidance for saving the redwood forest by bringing together in a single volume the latest insights from conservation biology along with new information from data-gathering techniques such as GIS and remote sensing. It presents the most current findings on the geologic and cultural history, natural history, ecology, management, and conservation of the flora and fauna of the redwood ecosystem. Leading experts -- including Todd Dawson, Bill Libby, John Sawyer, Steve Sillett, Dale Thornburgh, Hartwell Welch, and many others -- offer a comprehensive account of the redwoods ecosystem, with specific chapters examining: the history of the redwood lineage, from the Triassic Period to the present, along with the recent history of redwoods conservation life history, architecture, genetics, environmental relations, and disturbance regimes of redwoods terrestrial flora and fauna, communities, and ecosystems aquatic ecosystems landscape-scale conservation planning management alternatives relating to forestry, restoration, and recreation.The Redwood Forest offers a case study for ecosystem-level conservation and gives conservation organizations the information, technical tools, and broad perspective they need to evaluate redwood sites and landscapes for conservation. It contains the latest information from ground-breaking research on such topics as redwood canopy communities, the role of fog in sustaining redwood forests, and the function of redwood burls. It also presents sobering lessons from current research on the effects of forestry activities on the sensitive faunas of redwood forests and streams.The key to perpetuating the redwood forest is understanding how it functions; this book represents an important step in establishing such an understanding. It presents a significant body of knowledge in a single volume, and will be a vital resource for conservation scientists, land use planners, policymakers, and anyone involved with conservation of redwoods and other forests.
Kyce Bello University of Nevada Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3602.E4584 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Winner of the inaugural Interim 2018 Test Site Poetry Series Prize, Refugia is a bright and hopeful voice in the current conversation about climate change. Kyce Bello’s stunning debut ponders what it means to inhabit a particular place at a time of enormous disruption, witnessing a beloved landscape as it gives way to, as Bello writes, “something other and unknown, growing beyond us.” Ultimately an exploration of resilience, Refugia brings to life the author’s home ground in Northern New Mexico and carefully observes the seasons in parallel with personal cycles of renewal and loss. These vivid poems touch upon history, inheritance, drought, and most of all, trees—be they Western conifers succumbing to warming temperatures, ramshackle orchards along the Rio Grande, or family trees reaching simultaneously into the past and future.
Like any wilderness, Refugia creates a terrain that is grounded in image and yet many-layered and complex. These poems write us back into an ecological language of place crucial to our survival in this time of environmental crisis.
Arnold Arluke and Clinton R. Sanders Temple University Press, 1996 Library of Congress QL85.A75 1996 | Dewey Decimal 304.27
What is it about Western society, ask the authors, that makes it possible for people to express great affection for animals as sentient creatures and simultaneously turn a blind eye to the most callous behavior toward them? Animals are sold as expensive commodities, used as food and clothing, killed as vermin, and hunted for sport. But they also are treated as members of the family, used as the cause célèbre of social movements, and made the subject of art, film, and poetry. Such contradictions motivate these unique ethnographers to venture into social worlds most people know about only in passing, such as veterinary clinics where companion animals are cared for, animal shelters where dogs and cats are "mercifully" euthanized, and primate labs where monkeys are kept for animal experimentation.
Arluke and Sanders are not distanced ethnographers. They worked in the clinics, shelters, and laboratories, cleaning cages, assisting in surgery, and participating in "sacrificing" animals for science or helping to provide them with an "easy death." In this book, the people who work with these animals and live through them talk to the authors about the strategies they adopt to cope with the stress of the job.
This fascinating book combines sociological analysis with ethnographic description to give us insight into the history and practice of how we as human beings construct animals, and by extrapolation, how we construct ourselves and others in relation to them.
In the series Animals, Culture, and Society, edited by Arnold Arluke and Clinton R. Sanders.
What has happened to our national parks? Overcrowding and commercialization are commonplace, and with the increase in visitation has come not only congestion but crime. Yet visitor enjoyment seems to be a higher priority of those who manage the parks than the protection and perpetuation of natural systems. How could this have happened? Michael Frome, one of the most outspoken and highly regarded observers of our national parks, here shows how the original mission of the National Park Service has been undermined by politicization and bureaucratization. Regreening the National Parks tells how the Park Service has been transformed from a professional to a political agency and in the process has betrayed its own values by emphasizing recreation and "short-order wilderness served like fast food" rather than the preservation of the nation's natural heritage. Frome has drawn on both official documents and personal interviews to examine the policies--and personalities--behind the scenes at the National Park Service. He cites instances of personnel being forbidden to criticize public policy in which they found a conflict with conservation principles, and contends that, as the Park Service has become more bureaucratic, those for whom the environment deeply matters scarcely rise within its ranks. In considering the environmental abuse rampant today, Frome sees national parks as models of respect for nature and concludes his book with a ten-point program toward realizing that ideal.
Reimagining a Place for the Wild
Leslie Miller, Louise Excell, and Christopher Smart University of Utah Press, 2018 Library of Congress QL84.22.W47R45 2018 | Dewey Decimal 333.9540978
Reimagining a Place for the Wild contains a diverse collection of personal stories that describe encounters with the remaining wild creatures of the American West and critical essays that reveal wildlife’s essential place in western landscapes. Gleaned from historians, journalists, biologists, ranchers, artists, philosophers, teachers, and conservationists, these narratives expose the complex challenges faced by wild animals and those devoted to understanding them. Whether discussing keystone species like grizzly bears and gray wolves or microfauna swimming the thermal depths of geysers, these accounts reflect the authors’ expertise as well as their wonder and respect for wild nature. The writers do more than inform our sensibilities; their narratives examine both humanity’s conduct and its capacity for empathy toward other life. A selection of photos and paintings punctuates the volume.
This collection sprang from the Reimagine Western Landscapes Symposium held at the University of Utah’s Taft-Nicholson Environmental Humanities Education Center in Centennial Valley, Montana. These testaments join a chorus of voices seeking improved relations with the western wild in the twenty-first century.
Christian Knoeller presents a radical reinterpretation of environmental history set in the heartland of America. In an excellent model of narrative-based scholarship, this book dynamically reimagines American environmentalism across generations of writers, artists, and scientists. Knoeller starts out with Audubon, and cites Thoreau’s journals in the 1850s as he assesses an early 17th century account of New England’s natural resources by William Wood, showing the epic decline in game and bird populations in Concord. This reading of environmental history is replicated throughout with a gallery of novelists, poets, essayists, and other commentators as they explore ecological memory and environmental destruction. In apt discussions of Matthiessen, Lopez, Wendell Berry, William Stafford and many others, Knoeller offers vibrant insights into literary history. He also cites his own memoir of perpetual development on his family’s farm in Indiana, enriching the scholarship and making an urgent plea for the healing aesthetics of the imagination.
Reading across centuries and genres, Knoeller gives us a vibrant new appraisal of Midwestern/North American interior literary traditions and makes clear how vital environmental writing is to this region. To date, no one has written such an eloquent and comprehensive cross-genre analysis of Midwestern environmental literature.
How much of science is culturally constructed? How much depends on language and metaphor? How do our ideas about nature connect with reality? Can nature be "reinvented" through theme parks and malls, or through restoration?Reinventing Nature? is an interdisciplinary investigation of how perceptions and conceptions of nature affect both the individual experience and society's management of nature. Leading thinkers from a variety of fields -- philosophy, psychology, sociology, public policy, forestry, and others -- address the conflict between perception and reality of nature, each from a different perspective. The editors of the volume provide an insightful introductory chapter that places the book in the context of contemporary debates and a concluding chapter that brings together themes and draws conclusions from the dialogue.In addition to the editors, contributors include Albert Borgmann, David Graber, N. Katherine Hayles, Stephen R. Kellert, Gary P. Nabhan, Paul Shepard, and Donald Worster.
On any night in early June, if you stand on the right beaches of America’s East Coast, you can travel back in time all the way to the Jurassic. For as you watch, thousands of horseshoe crabs will emerge from the foam and scuttle up the beach to their spawning grounds, as they’ve done, nearly unchanged, for more than 440 million years.
Horseshoe crabs are far from the only contemporary manifestation of Earth’s distant past, and in Relics, world-renowned zoologist and photographer Piotr Naskrecki leads readers on an unbelievable journey through those lingering traces of a lost world. With camera in hand, he travels the globe to create a words-and-pictures portrait of our planet like no other, a time-lapse tour that renders Earth’s colossal age comprehensible, visible in creatures and habitats that have persisted, nearly untouched, for hundreds of millions of years.
Naskrecki begins by defining the concept of a relic—a creature or habitat that, while acted upon by evolution, remains remarkably similar to its earliest manifestations in the fossil record. Then he pulls back the Cambrian curtain to reveal relic after eye-popping relic: katydids, ancient reptiles, horsetail ferns, majestic magnolias, and more, all depicted through stunning photographs and first-person accounts of Naskrecki’s time studying them and watching their interactions in their natural habitats. Then he turns to the habitats themselves, traveling to such remote locations as the Atewa Plateau of Africa, the highlands of Papua New Guinea, and the lush forests of the Guyana Shield of South America—a group of relatively untrammeled ecosystems that are the current end point of staggeringly long, uninterrupted histories that have made them our best entryway to understanding what the prehuman world looked, felt, sounded, and even smelled like.
The stories and images of Earth’s past assembled in Relics are beautiful, breathtaking, and unmooring, plunging the reader into the hitherto incomprehensible reaches of deep time. We emerge changed, astonished by the unbroken skein of life on Earth and attentive to the hidden heritage of our planet’s past that surrounds us.
Since its settlement in 1630, Boston, its harbor, and outlying regions have witnessed a monumental transformation at the hands of humans and by nature. Remaking Boston chronicles many of the events that altered the physical landscape of Boston, while also offering multidisciplinary perspectives on the environmental history of one of America's oldest and largest metropolitan areas.
Situated on an isthmus, and blessed with a natural deepwater harbor and ocean access, Boston became an important early trade hub with Europe and the world. As its population and economy grew, developers extended the city's shoreline into the surrounding tidal mudflats to create more useable land. Further expansion of the city was achieved through the annexation of surrounding communities, and the burgeoning population and economy spread to outlying areas. The interconnection of city and suburb opened the floodgates to increased commerce, services and workforces, while also leaving a wake of roads, rails, bridges, buildings, deforestation, and pollution.
Profiling this ever-changing environment, the contributors tackle a variety of topics, including: the glacial formation of the region; physical characteristics and composition of the land and harbor; dredging, sea walling, flattening, and landfill operations in the reshaping of the Shawmut Peninsula; the longstanding controversy over the link between landfills and shoaling in shipping channels; population movements between the city and suburbs and their environmental implications; interdependence of the city and its suburbs; preservation and reclamation of the Charles River; suburban deforestation and later reforestation as byproducts of changing land use; the planned outlay of parks and parkways; and historic climate changes and the human and biological adaptations to them.
When William Beebe needed to know what was going on in the depths of the ocean, he had himself lowered a half-mile down in a four-foot steel sphere to see-five times deeper than anyone had ever gone in the 1930s. When he wanted to trace the evolution of pheasants in 1910, he trekked on foot through the mountains and jungles of the Far East to locate every species. To decipher the complex ecology of the tropics, he studied the interactions of every creature and plant in a small area from the top down, setting the emerging field of tropical ecology into dynamic motion.
William Beebe's curiosity about the natural world was insatiable, and he did nothing by halves. As the first biographer to see the letters and private journals Beebe kept from 1887 until his death in 1962, science writer Carol Grant Gould brings the life and times of this groundbreaking scientist and explorer compellingly to light.
From the Galapagos Islands to the jungles of British Guiana, from the Bronx Zoo to the deep seas, Beebe's biography is a riveting adventure. A best-selling author in his own time, Beebe was a fearless explorer and thoughtful scientist who put his life on the line in pursuit of knowledge. The unique glimpses he provided into the complex web of interactions that keeps the earth alive and breathing have inspired generations of conservationists and ecologists. This exciting biography of a great naturalist brings William Beebe at last to the recognition he deserves.
Christina Harrison and Tony Kirkham University of Chicago Press, 2019 Library of Congress SD383.H65 2019 | Dewey Decimal 582.16
Throughout our history trees have been central to our existence. They provide us with vital ingredients for life—food, medicine, materials, even the oxygen we breathe. Ecologically, they are crucial in controlling pollution and moderating the climate, and culturally they are important to our religions, folklore and art. It has also been shown that as well as greening our lives they can improve our health and mental well-being.
Remarkable Trees tells the unique story of more than sixty species, each selected for its resonance and connection with people. In portraits that combine vivid cultural and historical narrative with a firm scientific grounding, Christina Harrison and Tony Kirkham reveal fascinating details of trees from the world’s major environmental zones and habitats. Some are obvious superstars such as oaks, redwoods and coconut, while others are more surprising: we learn of the monkey puzzle, a tree native to Chile that “can grow for 1,000 years,” and of the manchineel, a tree that contains sap so toxic to human skin that it’s a risk to stand beneath it on a rainy day. In these pages are trees that are healers and killers, trees that serve as foundations of great buildings and grand feasts, and trees that leave us with a sense of wonder and of worry for their survival.
In a tribute to the artists and botanists who have been inspired by trees for centuries, this book is filled with 240 delightful illustrations. The varied and beautiful images come from the unrivalled archive at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and they bring this enlightening and enchanting volume to life.
While trees have supported us for millennia, we have recently lost that direct, deep connection with them. Harrison and Kirkham remind us that we do not have to look far to reestablish that relationship and that we can still cherish the splendor and significance of these quiet giants.
Recent advances in remote-sensing technology and the processing of remote-sensing data through geographic information systems (GIS) present ecologists and resource managers with a tremendously valuable tool -- but only if they are able to understand its capabilities and capture its potential.Remote Sensing and GIS in Ecosystem Management identifies and articulates current and emerging information needs of those involved with the management of forest ecosystems. It explores the potential of remote-sensing/GIS technologies to address those needs, examining: the need for landscape-scale analysis to support forest ecosystem research and management current challenges in the development of remote-sensing/GIS applications case studies of different forest regions in the United States the potential for further development or declassification of military and aerospace remote-sensing/GIS technologies As well as providing important information for ecologists and resource managers, the book will serve as a valuable resource for legislative and judicial policymakers who do not have a technical background in either remote sensing or resource management but who are nonetheless called upon to make decisions regarding the protection and management of forest ecosystems.
Renewable Resource Policy is a comprehensive volume covering the history, laws, and important national policies that affect renewable resource management. The author traces the history of renewable natural resource policy and management in the United States, describes the major federal agencies and their functions, and examines the evolution of the primary resource policy areas.
The book provides valuable insight into the often neglected legal, administrative, and bureaucratic aspect of natural resource management. It is a definitive and essential source of information covering all facets of renewable resource policy that brings together a remarkable range of information in a coherent, integrated form.
Reopening the American West
Edited by Hal K. Rothman University of Arizona Press, 1998 Library of Congress GE198.W47R46 1998 | Dewey Decimal 333.720978
Take a good look at the American West and you'll see that the frontier is undergoing constant changes—not only changes made to the land but also changes in attitudes about the land held by the people who live there.
In this book Mike Davis, Stephen Pyne, William deBuys, Donald Worster, Dan Flores, and others re-examine the relationship between people and the environment in the American West over five hundred years, from the legacy of Coronado's search for the Cities of Gold to the social costs of tourism and gaming inflicted by modern adventurers. By exploring places in the West, aspects of the region's past, and ways of understanding some of its pressing issues, the authors foster a better understanding of how people interact and perceive land.
Reopening the American West takes a fresh approach to the history of the region, examining the premises of earlier scholars as well as those who have redefined the study of the West over the past two decades. It combines provocative essays with insightful analyses to address issues that are representative of the West in the twentieth century—multiculturalism, water issues, resource exploitation—and to reopen the West for all readers interested in new ways of looking at its wide-open spaces.
Dreams of Earth, William deBuys
Environmentalism and Multiculturalism, Dan L. Flores
Pyre on the Mountain, Stephen J. Pyne
Las Vegas Versus Nature, Mike Davis
The Legacy of John Wesley Powell, Donald Worster
Pokey’s Paradox: Tourism and Transformation on the Western Navajo Reservation, Hal K. Rothman
Negotiating National Identity: Western Tourism and "See American First," Marguerite Schaffer
Place Humanists at the Headgates, Helen Ingram
Tapping the Rockies: Resource Exploitation and Conservation in the Intermountain West, Char Miller
The Meaning of Place: Reimagining Community in a Changing West, Robert Gottlieb
First developed in the 1880s as a way to monitor glaciers in Europe, repeat photography —the practice of taking photographs at different points in times from the same physical vantage point—remains an essential and cost-effective technique for scientists and researchers working to track and study landscape change.
This volume explores the technical and geographic scope of this important technique, focusing particularly on the intertwined influences of climatic variation and land-use practices in sculpting landscapes. Contributors offer a broad-perspective review of the state-of-the-art of repeat photography, with twenty-three chapters written by researchers around the globe who have made use of repeat photography in their work. Topics addressed include
the history of repeat photography
techniques for creating and analyzing repeat photographs
applications in the geosciences
applications in population ecology
applications in ecosystem change
Repeat Photography demonstrates the wide range of potential applications, examines new techniques for acquiring data from repeat photography, and clearly shows that repeat photography remains a valuable and efficient means of monitoring change in both developed and developing regions. Over one hundred sets of photographs, including thirty-two pages of color photos, serve as examples.
Recent concerns about climate change and its effects on natural landscapes, combined with ongoing concerns about land-use practices, make this state-of-the-art review a timely contribution to the literature.
"Nothing is more important to life than water, and no one knows water better than Sandra Postel. Replenish is a wise, sobering, but ultimately hopeful book." —Elizabeth Kolbert
"Remarkable." —New York Times Book Review
"Clear-eyed treatise...Postel makes her case eloquently." —Booklist, starred review
"An informative, purposeful argument." —Kirkus
We have disrupted the natural water cycle for centuries in an effort to control water for our own prosperity. Yet every year, recovery from droughts and floods costs billions of dollars, and we spend billions more on dams, diversions, levees, and other feats of engineering. These massive projects not only are risky financially and environmentally, they often threaten social and political stability. What if the answer was not further control of the water cycle, but repair and replenishment?
Sandra Postel takes readers around the world to explore water projects that work with, rather than against, nature’s rhythms. In New Mexico, forest rehabilitation is safeguarding drinking water; along the Mississippi River, farmers are planting cover crops to reduce polluted runoff; and in China, “sponge cities” are capturing rainwater to curb urban flooding.
Efforts like these will be essential as climate change disrupts both weather patterns and the models on which we base our infrastructure. We will be forced to adapt. The question is whether we will continue to fight the water cycle or recognize our place in it and take advantage of the inherent services nature offers. Water, Postel writes, is a gift, the source of life itself. How will we use this greatest of gifts?
Not long ago Republicans took pride in their tradition of environmental leadership. The GOP helped create the EPA, extend the Clean Air Act, and protect endangered species. Today Republicans denounce climate change as a “hoax” and seek to dismantle environmental regulations. What happened? James Morton Turner and Andrew C. Isenberg provide answers.
Requiem for Nature
John Terborgh Island Press, 1999 Library of Congress QH77.T78T47 1999 | Dewey Decimal 333.720913
For ecologist John Terborgh, Manu National Park in the rainforest of Peru is a second home; he has spent half of each of the past twenty-five years there conducting research. Like all parks, Manu is assumed to provide inviolate protection to nature. Yet even there, in one of the most remote corners of the planet, Terborgh has been witness to the relentless onslaught of civilization.Seeing the steady destruction of irreplaceable habitat has been a startling and disturbing experience for Terborgh, one that has raised urgent questions: Is enough being done to protect nature? Are current conservation efforts succeeding? What could be done differently? What should be done differently? In Requiem for Nature, he offers brutally honest answers to those difficult questions, and appraises the prospects for the future of tropical conservation. His book is a clarion call for anyone who cares about the quality of the natural world we will leave our children.Terborgh examines current conservation strategies and considers the shortcomings of parks and protected areas both from ecological and institutional perspectives. He explains how seemingly pristine environments can gradually degrade, and describes the difficult social context –a debilitating combination of poverty, corruption, abuses of power, political instability, and a frenzied scramble for quick riches –in which tropical conservation must take place. He considers the significant challenges facing existing parks and examines problems inherent in alternative approaches, such as ecotourism, the exploitation of nontimber forest products, "sustainable use," and "sustainable development."Throughout, Terborgh argues that the greatest challenges of conservation are not scientific, but are social, economic, and political, and that success will require simultaneous progress on all fronts. He makes a compelling case that nature can be saved, but only if good science and strong institutions can be thoughtfully combined.
In prehistoric times, the Santa Cruz River in what is now southern Arizona saw many ebbs, flows, and floods. It flowed on the surface, meandered across the floodplain, and occasionally carved deep channels or arroyos into valley fill. Groundwater was never far from the surface, in places outcropping to feed marshlands or ciénegas. In these wet places, arroyos would heal quickly as the river channel revegetated, the thriving vegetation trapped sediment, and the channel refilled. As readers of Requiem for the Santa Cruz learn, these aridland geomorphic processes also took place in the valley as Tucson grew from mud-walled village to modern metropolis, with one exception: historical water development and channel changes proceeded hand in glove, each taking turns reacting to the other, eventually lowering the water table and killing a unique habitat that can no longer recover or be restored.
Authored by an esteemed group of scientists, Requiem for the Santa Cruz thoroughly documents this river—the premier example of historic arroyo cutting during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when large floodflows cut down through unconsolidated valley fill to form deep channels in the major valleys of the American Southwest. Each chapter provides a unique opportunity to chronicle the arroyo legacy, evaluate its causes, and consider its aftermath. Using more than a collective century of observations and collections, the authors reconstruct the circumstances of the river’s entrenchment and the groundwater mining that ultimately killed the marshlands, a veritable mesquite forest, and a birdwatcher's paradise.
Today, communities everywhere face this conundrum: do we manage ephemeral rivers through urban areas for flood control, or do we attempt to restore them to some previous state of perennial naturalness? Requiem for the Santa Cruz carefully explores the legacies of channel change, groundwater depletion, flood control, and nascent attempts at river restoration to give a long-term perspective on management of rivers in arid lands. Tied together by authors who have committed their life’s work to the study of aridland rivers, this book offers a touching and scientifically grounded requiem for the Santa Cruz and every southwestern river.
This book reexamines the trope of the machine in the garden first laid out in one of the founding texts of American studies by Leo Marx fifty years ago. The contributors to this volume explore the lasting influence of this concept on American culture and the arts, rereading it as a dialectic wherein nature is as much technologized as technology is naturalized. Extending the relevance of Marx’s theory from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries, they examine filmic and literary representations of industrial, bureaucratic, and digital gardens; explore its role in the aftermath of the Civil War and of rural electrification during the New Deal; its significance in landscape art as well as in ethnic literatures; and discuss the historical premises and continued impact of Leo Marx’s groundbreaking study.
Reserved Water Rights Settlement Manual
Peter W. Sly; Western Office of Council of State Governments Western LegislativeConference Island Press, 1989 Library of Congress KF8210.N37S58 1988 | Dewey Decimal 346.730432
Reserved Water Rights Settlement Manual provides a negotiating process for settling water disputes between states and reservations, or among states themselves.
Because of the profound effects of the built environment on the availability of natural resources for future generations, those involved with designing, creating, operating, renovating, and demolishing human structures have a vital role to play in working to put society on a path toward sustainability.This volume presents the thinking of leading academics and professionals in planning, civil engineering, economics, ecology, architecture, landscape architecture, construction, and related fields who are seeking to discover ways of creating a more sustainable built environment. Contributors address the broad range of issues involved, offering both insights and practical examples. In the book: Stephen Kellert describes the scope of the looming ecological crisis Herman Daly explains the unsustainability of the world's economic system and the dangers inherent in the current movement toward globalization John Todd describes the evolution of wastewater processing systems inspired by natural systems John Tillman Lyle discusses the importance of landscape in the creation of the human environment Randall Arendt argues for a fundamental shift in land development patterns that would not only provide for more green space in new developments, but would also increase the profitability of developers and the quality of life for new home owners Thomas E. Graedel proposes the application of lessons learned from the emerging science of industrial ecology to the creation of "green" building. While the transition to sustainability will not be easy, natural systems provide abundant models of architecture, engineering, production, and waste conversion that can be used in rethinking the human habitat and its interconnections. This volume provides insights that can light the way to a new era in which a reshaped built environment will not only provide improved human living conditions, but will also protect and respect the earth's essential natural life-support systems and resources.
Scientists and researchers concerned with the behavior of large ecosystems have focused in recent years on the concept of "resilience." Traditional perspectives held that ecological systems exist close to a steady state and resilience is the ability of the system to return rapidly to that state following perturbation. However beginning with the work of C. S. Holling in the early 1970s, researchers began to look at conditions far from the steady state where instabilities can cause a system to shift into an entirely different regime of behavior, and where resilience is measured by the magnitude of disturbance that can be absorbed before the system is restructured.Resilience and the Behavior of Large-Scale Systems examines theories of resilience and change, offering readers a thorough understanding of how the properties of ecological resilience and human adaptability interact in complex, regional-scale systems. The book addresses the theoretical concepts of resilience and stability in large-scale ecosystems as well as the empirical application of those concepts in a diverse set of cases. In addition, it discusses the practical implications of the new theoretical approaches and their role in the sustainability of human-modified ecosystems.The book begins with a review of key properties of complex adaptive systems that contribute to overall resilience, including multiple equlibria, complexity, self-organization at multiple scales, and order; it also presents a set of mathematical metaphors to describe and deepen the reader's understanding of the ideas being discussed. Following the introduction are case studies that explore the biophysical dimensions of resilience in both terrestrial and aquatic systems and evaluate the propositions presented in the introductory chapters. The book concludes with a synthesis section that revisits propositions in light of the case studies, while an appendix presents a detailed account of the relationship between return times for a disturbed system and its resilienc.In addition to the editors, contributors include Stephen R. Carpenter, Carl Folke, C. S. Holling, Bengt-Owe Jansson, Donald Ludwig, Ariel Lugo, Tim R. McClanahan, Garry D. Peterson, and Brian H. Walker.
In 2006, Resilience Thinking addressed an essential question: As the natural systems that sustain us are subjected to shock after shock, how much can they take and still deliver the services we need from them? This idea caught the attention of both the scientific community and the general public.
In Resilience Practice, authors Brian Walker and David Salt take the notion of resilience one step further, applying resilience thinking to real-world situations and exploring how systems can be managed to promote and sustain resilience.
The book begins with an overview and introduction to resilience thinking and then takes the reader through the process of describing systems, assessing their resilience, and intervening as appropriate. Following each chapter is a case study of a different type of social-ecological system and how resilience makes a difference to that system in practice. The final chapters explore resilience in other arenas, including on a global scale.
Resilience Practice will help people with an interest in the “coping capacity” of systems—from farms and catchments to regions and nations—to better understand how resilience thinking can be put into practice. It offers an easy-to-read but scientifically robust guide through the real-world application of the concept of resilience and is a must read for anyone concerned with the management of systems at any scale.
Increasingly, cracks are appearing in the capacity of communities, ecosystems, and landscapes to provide the goods and services that sustain our planet's well-being. The response from most quarters has been for "more of the same" that created the situation in the first place: more control, more intensification, and greater efficiency. "Resilience thinking" offers a different way of understanding the world and a new approach to managing resources. It embraces human and natural systems as complex entities continually adapting through cycles of change, and seeks to understand the qualities of a system that must be maintained or enhanced in order to achieve sustainability. It explains why greater efficiency by itself cannot solve resource problems and offers a constructive alternative that opens up options rather than closing them down. In Resilience Thinking, scientist Brian Walker and science writer David Salt present an accessible introduction to the emerging paradigm of resilience. The book arose out of appeals from colleagues in science and industry for a plainly written account of what resilience is all about and how a resilience approach differs from current practices. Rather than complicated theory, the book offers a conceptual overview along with five case studies of resilience thinking in the real world. It is an engaging and important work for anyone interested in managing risk in a complex world.
Developed to assist users of Creating Successful Communities, the Resource Guide for Creating Successful Communities includes a detailed outline of the many tax benefits of private land conservation; examples of ordinances covering all land types, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and easements; and a glossary of growth management tools.
The Restless Plant
Dov Koller Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress QK771.K58 2011 | Dewey Decimal 575.97
Dov Koller (1925-2007) was working on this book when he passed away, and his daughter Daphne (a MacArthur fellow, mathematician and computer scientist at Stanford with her own book published in 2009 by MIT Press) sent the manuscript to MGF. This is the summary of a career and a field (plant biology), written in accessible language so that it can extend its reach beyond a small circle of specialists. The book is probably the most up-to-date account of movement in plants. It draws on examples across the spectrum of plant families, including mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants. The book begins with an explanation of how cellular motors work and then describes how cells manage to move organs. The bulk of the book explains how plants and plant organs (roots, stems, leaves, flowers) move in different environments and situations. Movement of roots, tubers, rhizomes and other plant parts underground is described in detail and much of this information is suprising because we normally don’t see it happening. Movement of stems and leaves toward the light is the research specialty of the author, and is explained in detail in two chapters. Effort is made to present information at the subcellular and cellular levels, including the roles of receptors, signaling pathways, hormones, and physiological responses leading to motor function. The adaptive significance of movements is discussed in each case.
Thirty years ago, the best thinking on urban stream management prescribed cement as the solution to flooding and other problems of people and flowing water forced into close proximity. Urban streams were perceived as little more than flood control devices designed to hurry water through cities and neighborhoods with scant thought for aesthetics or ecological considerations. Stream restoration pioneers like hydrologist Ann Riley thought differently. She and other like-minded field scientists imagined that by restoring ecological function and with careful management, streams and rivers could be a net benefit to cities instead of a net liability. In the intervening decades, she has spearheaded numerous urban stream restoration projects and put to rest the long-held misconception that degraded urban streams are beyond help.
What has been missing, however, has been detailed guidance for restoration practitioners wanting to undertake similar urban stream restoration projects that worked with, rather than against, nature. This book presents the author’s thirty years of practical experience managing long-term stream and river restoration projects in heavily degraded urban environments. Riley provides a level of detail only a hands-on design practitioner would know, including insights on project design, institutional and social context of successful projects, and how to avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes. Early chapters clarify terminology and review strategies and techniques from historical schools of restoration thinking. But the heart of the book is the chapters containing nine case studies of long-term stream restoration projects in northern California. Although the stories are local, the principles, methods, and tools are universal, and can be applied in almost any city in the world.
Restoration practitioners, consultants, agency personnel, and students in applied restoration courses can learn from Riley’s succinct tour of restoration basics and powerful case studies, and apply them successfully in their own towns and cities.
Over the past century, humans have molded the Colorado River to serve their own needs, resulting in significant impacts to the river and its ecosystems. Today, many scientists, public officials, and citizens hope to restore some of the lost resources in portions of the river and its surrounding lands. Environmental restoration on the scale of the Colorado River basin is immensely challenging; in addition to an almost overwhelming array of technical difficulties, it is fraught with perplexing questions about the appropriate goals of restoration and the extent to which environmental restoration must be balanced against environmental changes designed to promote and sustain human economic development.
Restoring Colorado River Ecosystems explores the many questions and challenges surrounding the issue of large-scale restoration of the Colorado River basin, and of large-scale restoration in general. Robert W. Adler evaluates the relationships among the laws, policies, and institutions governing use and management of the Colorado River for human benefit and those designed to protect and restore the river and its environment. He examines and critiques the often challenging interactions among law, science, economics, and politics within which restoration efforts must operate. Ultimately, he suggests that a broad concept of “restoration” is needed to navigate those uncertain waters, and to strike an appropriate balance between human and environmental needs.
While the book is primarily about restoration of Colorado River ecosystems, it is also about uncertainty, conflict, competing values, and the nature, pace, and implications of environmental change. It is about our place in the natural environment, and whether there are limits to that presence we ought to respect. And it is about our responsibility to the ecosystems we live in and use.
In April 1993, a national conference sponsored by the Center for Plant Conservation brought together academic biologists, agency staff members, activists, and other experts to critically explore the value of ecological restoration as a conservation strategy. Restoring Diversity examines and expands on issues set forth at that gathering. Topics covered include: the strategic and legal context for rare plant restoration the biology of restoration use (and misuse) of mitigation in rare plant conservation case studies from across the United States Restoring Diversity is a pathbreaking work that not only unifies concepts in the field of restoration, but also fills significant technical and policy gaps, and provides operational tools for successful restorations.
Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land was the first practical guidebook to give restorationists and would-be restorationists with little or no scientific background the "how to" information and knowledge they need to plan and implement ecological restoration activities. The book sets forth a step-by-step process for developing, implementing, monitoring, and refining on-the-ground restoration projects that is applicable to a wide range of landscapes and ecosystems.
This companion workbook describes more fully the planning tools and techniques outlined in the book and offers a wealth of specific resources, including worksheets and spreadsheets to help you determine what equipment and plant materials you need, create project schedules, monitor results, and estimate costs. Online versions of the forms are available, making it even easier for you to incorporate them into your own projects. In addition, the authors and their network of professional advisers are offering free consulting sessions of up to one hour to purchasers of the book, giving you expert knowledge and experience that can help make your project a success.
Both books make the process of restoration accessible to everyone, from professional land managers to volunteer stewards. The tools offered will help you collect and process the information you need to make good decisions about your projects and are an invaluable resource for anyone thinking about or working on a hands-on restoration project.
Despite nearly three decades of efforts intended to protect the nation's waters, and some success against certain forms of chemical and organic contamination, many of our nation's waterways continue to be seriously degraded. The call of the 1972 Clean Water Act -- "to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters" -- remains unanswered.Restoring Life in Running Waters discusses freshwater ecosystems in the United States and the need for using biology to understand their present condition. The book makes a case for using indexes that integrate measurements of many biological attributes to assess and communicate environmental health. In a unique and innovative format, the authors present 37 premises and 7 myths that explore the theory and practice of biological monitoring and the use of multimetric indexes.The book explains: why biological monitoring and assessment are needed the historical evolution of biological monitoring how and why living systems give the best signals for diagnosing environmental degradation what multimetric indexes do and why they are effective how multimetric indexes can be used and common pitfalls to avoid in using them why many criticisms of biological indexes are not valid how the principles of biological monitoring and multimetric indexes can be expanded beyond aquatic systems to other environments how information from indexes can be integrated into the regulatory and policy frameworkRestoring Life in Running Waters provides practical and effective tools for managers and scientists seeking to understand the impact of human activities on natural systems and to determine proper action to remedy problems. It is an essential handbook for conservation biologists; agency personnel at all levels, including technical staff, policymakers, and program managers; and for anyone working to protect and restore the health of the nation's waters.
How can environmental degradation be stopped? How can it be reversed? And how can the damage already done be repaired? The authors of this volume argue that a two-pronged approach is needed: reducing demand for ecosystem goods and services and better management of them, coupled with an increase in supply through environmental restoration.
Restoring Natural Capital brings together economists and ecologists, theoreticians, practitioners, policy makers, and scientists from the developed and developing worlds to consider the costs and benefits of repairing ecosystem goods and services in natural and socioecological systems. It examines the business and practice of restoring natural capital, and seeks to establish common ground between economists and ecologists with respect to the restoration of degraded ecosystems and landscapes and the still broader task of restoring natural capital. The book focuses on developing strategies that can achieve the best outcomes in the shortest amount of time as it:
• considers conceptual and theoretical issues from both an economic
and ecological perspective
• examines specific strategies to foster the restoration of natural
capital and offers a synthesis and a vision of the way forward
Nineteen case studies from around the world illustrate challenges and achievements in setting targets, refining approaches to finding and implementing restoration projects, and using restoration of natural capital as an economic opportunity. Throughout, contributors make the case that the restoration of natural capital requires close collaboration among scientists from across disciplines as well as local people, and when successfully executed represents a practical, realistic, and essential tool for achieving lasting sustainable development.
Ecological restoration is an inherently challenging endeavor. Not only is its underlying science still developing, but the concept itself raises complex questions about nature, culture, and the role of humans in the landscape.Using a recent controversy over ecological restoration efforts in Chicago as a touchstone for discussion, Restoring Nature explores the difficult questions that arise during the planning and implementation of restoration projects in urban and wildland settings. Contributors examine: moral and ethical questions regarding the practice of restoration conflicts over how nature is defined and who should be included in decisions about restoration and management how managers can make restoration projects succeed given the various constraints and considerations that need to be taken into account .Using diverse examples from projects across the U.S., the book suggests ways in which restoration conflicts might be resolved, and provides examples of stewardship that show how volunteers and local residents can help make and maintain restored environments. Throughout, contributors set forth a wealth of ideas, case studies, methodological approaches, and disciplinary perspectives that shed valuable light on the social underpinnings of ecological restoration and natural resource management.Restoring Nature is an intriguing exploration of human-nature interactions, of differing values and understanding of nature, and of how that information can be effectively used to guide science and policy. It provides new conceptual insights and practical solutions for anyone working to manage or restore natural ecosystems.
Thirty years ago, the best thinking on urban stream management prescribed cement as the solution to flooding and other problems of people and flowing water forced into close proximity. Urban streams were perceived as little more than flood control devices designed to hurry water through cities and neighborhoods with scant thought for aesthetics or ecological considerations. Stream restoration pioneers like hydrologist Ann Riley thought differently. She and other like-minded field scientists imagined that by restoring ecological function, and with careful management, streams and rivers could be a net benefit to cities, instead of a net liability. In the intervening decades, she has spearheaded numerous urban stream restoration projects and put to rest the long-held misconception that degraded urban streams are beyond help.
What has been missing, however, is detailed guidance for restoration practitioners wanting to undertake similar urban stream restoration projects that worked with, rather than against, nature. This book presents the author’s thirty years of practical experience managing long-term stream and river restoration projects in heavily degraded urban environments. Riley provides a level of detail only a hands-on design practitioner would know, including insights on project design, institutional and social context of successful projects, and how to avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes. Early chapters clarify terminology and review strategies and techniques from historical schools of restoration thinking. But the heart of the book comprises the chapters containing nine case studies of long-term stream restoration projects in northern California. Although the stories are local, the principles, methods, and tools are universal, and can be applied in almost any city in the world.
Conventional engineering solutions to problems of flooding and erosion are extremely destructive to natural environments. Restoring Streams in Cities presents viable alternatives to traditional practices that can be used both to repair existing ecological damage and to prevent such damage from happening.Ann L. Riley describes an interdisciplinary approach to stream management that does not attempt to "control" streams, but rather considers the stream as a feature in the urban environment. She presents a logical sequence of land-use planning, site design, and watershed restoration measures along with stream channel modifications and floodproofing strategies that can be used in place of destructive and expensive public works projects. She features examples of effective and environmentally sensitive bank stabilization and flood damage reduction projects, with information on both the planning processes and end results. Chapters provide: background needed to make intelligent choices, ask necessary questions, and hire the right professional help history of urban stream management and restoration information on federal programs, technical assistance and funding opportunities in-depth guidance on implementing projects: collecting watershed and stream channel data, installing revegetation projects, protecting buildings from overbank stream flowsProfusely illustrated and including more than 100 photos, Restoring Streams in Cities includes detailed information on all relevant components of stream restoration projects, from historical background to hands-on techniques. It represents the first comprehensive volume aimed at helping those involved with stream management in their community, and describes a wealth of options for the treatment of urban streams that will be useful to concerned citizens and professional engineers alike.
The Pacific Northwest is a global ecological "hotspot" because of its relatively healthy native ecosystems, a high degree of biodiversity, and the number and scope of restoration initiatives that have been undertaken there. Restoring the Pacific Northwest gathers and presents the best examples of state-of-the-art restoration techniques and projects. It is an encyclopedic overview that will be an invaluable reference not just for restorationists and students working in the Pacific Northwest, but for practitioners across North America and around the world.
Iowa is the only state that lies entirely within the natural region of the tallgrass prairie. Early documents indicate that 95 percent of the state—close to 30 million acres—was covered by prairie vegetation at the time of Euro-American settlement. By 1930 the prairie sod had been almost totally converted to cropland; only about 30,000 acres of the original “great green sea” remained. Now, in this gracefully illustrated manual, Shirley Shirley has created a step-by-step guide to reconstructing the natural landscape of Iowa and the Upper Midwest.
Chapters on planning, obtaining and selecting plants and seeds, starting seeds indoors, preparing the site, planting, and maintenance set the stage for comprehensive species accounts. Shirley gives firsthand information on soil, moisture, sun, and pH requirements; location, size, and structure; blooming time and color; and propagation, germination, and harvesting for more than a hundred wildflowers and grasses.
Shirley's sketches—all drawn from native plants and from seedlings that she grew herself—will be valuable for even the most experienced gardener. While other books typically feature only the flowering plant, her careful drawings show the three stages of the seedlings, the flower, and the seedhead with seeds as well as the entire plant. This practical and attractive volume will help anyone dedicated to reconstructing the lost “emerald growth” of the historic tallgrass prairie.
Tropical and subtropical forests cover a relatively small portion of the earth’s surface, but they’re home to over half of the animal and plant species on earth. Since these forests are rapidly disappearing, there is no room for error in restoration activities and decisions. Restoring Tropical Forests is a practical guide based on proven techniques that will enable readers to make the right decisions toward saving these valuable lands.
The book is based on the innovative techniques developed at Chiang Mai University’s Forest Restoration Research Unit, Thailand. It takes a threepart approach, first looking at effective general concepts of tropical forest dynamics and regeneration, then at specific proven restoration techniques, and finally at how to use research methods to refine and adapt the techniques to local ecological and socioeconomic conditions. In addition, illustrations and case studies of successful applications help to make this a global, user-friendly guide. Whether for developing new techniques or improving old ones, Restoring Tropical Forests is a valuable tool for effective, ecologically sound change.
Resurrection of the Animals
Anita Skeen Michigan State University Press, 2002 Library of Congress PS3569.K374R47 2002 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
The Resurrection of the Animals explores the trinity of the natural world, the humans adrift in it, and the animals that accompany them. Although each of the five sections centers on a particular theme, motifs of change, loss, cycles, and transformation thread through the collection, weaving the parts into a unified whole. Individual sections focus on: the seasons of the year, and by extension, people’s lives; the power of memory and its limitations; the theory that what is magical often resides within; and, the mysteries of love. The Resurrection of the Animals culminates in the title section, revealing the lessons of kinship with animals and how epiphanies occur in the simplest actions—taking a walk with dogs or catching sight of a bird on the wing. These poems suggest that memory, association, and interaction with the tangible world can revive a part of the self that has slipped below the depths of consciousness.
How deeply into the structure of physical reality do the effects of our way of representing it reach? To what extent do constructivist accounts of scientific theorizing involve realist assumptions, and vice versa? This book provides a lucid and concise introduction to contemporary debates, taking as its theme the question of the relationship of representation and reality. It treats in an attractive and accessible way the historical, philosophical, and literary aspects of this question. In particular, it explores how the present relates to and configures claims to scientific knowledge from the past, taking as its main case study On the Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura), the poem on physics written by the Roman poet Lucretius in the 50s B.C.E.
The book engages in a sustained argument about realist assumptions in scientific and other discourses through detailed analysis and discussion of some of the most important recent contributions to this debate. Engaging sympathetically but not uncritically with constructivist accounts of scientific knowledge, the book takes up a sustained critique of recent contributions to that debate, including those of Ian Hacking, Evelyn Fox Keller, Bruno Latour, and Hans-Jörg Rheinberger. What are the implications of regarding such knowledge as "discovered" or "invented"? How is the rhetoric of such claims to be identified and the pretentions of those claims assessed?In what ways can realist and constructivist approaches be reconciled? How do these considerations affect the way we read scientific texts from the past and regard them historically?
What emerges is a fresh and challenging assessment of the role of time and temporal perspective in assessing claims to knowledge in scientific thought and of the importance of textuality to the history of knowledge. A wide variety of readers, from classicists and intellectual historians to epistemologists of science, will enjoy and learn from Rethinking Reality.
Duncan Kennedy is Reader in Latin Literature and the Theory of Criticism, University of Bristol. He is also the author of The Arts of Love: Five Studies in the Discourse of Roman Love Elegy.
The return of the Mexican gray wolf to Arizona's Blue Range in 1998 marked more than a victory for an endangered species. Long hated by ranchers, the gray wolf had been hunted to the brink of extinction until one woman took on the challenge of restoring it to its natural habitat.
Inspired by the plight of the Mexican gray wolf, retiree Bobbie Holaday formed the citizens advocacy group Preserve Arizona's Wolves (P.A.WS.) in 1987 and embarked on a crusade to raise public awareness. She soon found herself in the center of a firestorm of controversy, with environmentalists taking sides against ranchers and neighbors against neighbors. This book tells her story for the first time, documenting her eleven-year effort to bring the gray wolf back to the Blue.
As Holaday quickly learned, ranchers exerted considerable control over the state legislature, and politicians in turn controlled decisions made by wildlife agencies. Even though the wolf had been listed as endangered since 1976, opposition to it was so strong that the Arizona Game and Fish Department had been unable to launch a recovery program. In The Return of the Mexican Gray Wolf, Holaday describes first-hand the tactics she and other ordinary citizens on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Team adopted to confront these obstacles. Enhanced with more than 40 photographs—32 in color—her account chronicles both the triumphs of reintroduction and the heartbreaking tragedies the wolves encountered during early phases.
Thanks to Holaday's perseverance, eleven wolves were released into the wild in 1998, and the Blue Range once again echoed with their howls. Her tenacity was an inspiration to all those she enlisted in the cause, and her story is a virtual primer for conservation activists on mobilizing at the grassroots level. The Return of the Mexican Gray Wolf shows that one person can make a difference in a seemingly hopeless cause and will engage all readers concerned with the preservation of wildlife.
All royalties go to the Mexican Wolf Trust Fund administered by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
Based on three seasons of field research in the Canadian Arctic, Christopher Norment’s exquisitely crafted meditation on science and nature, wildness and civilization, is marked by bottomless prose, reflection on timeless questions, and keen observations of the world and our place in it. In an era increasingly marked by cutting-edge research at the cellular and molecular level, what is the role for scientists of sympathetic observation? What can patient waiting tell us about ourselves and our place in the world?
His family at home in the American Midwest, Norment spends months on end living in isolation in the Northwest Territories, studying the ecology of the Harris’s Sparrow. Although the fourteenth-century German mystic Meister Eckhardt wrote, “God is at home, we are in the far country,” Norment argues that an intellectual, emotional, and spiritual “far country” can be found in the lives of animals and arctic wilderness. For Norment, “doing science” can lead to an enriched aesthetic and emotional connection to something beyond the self and a way to develop a sacred sense of place in a world that feels increasingly less welcoming, certain, and familiar.
In the final decade of the twentieth century, the American West was at war. Battle lines had hardened, with environmentalists squarely on one side of the fence, and ranchers on the other. By the mid-1990s, debates over the region’s damaged land had devolved into political wrangling, bitter lawsuits, and even death-threats. Conventional wisdom told us those who wanted to work the land and those who wanted to protect it had fundamentally different—and irreconcilable—values.
In Revolution on the Range, Courtney White challenges that truism, heralding stories from a new American West where cattle and conservation go hand in hand. He argues that ranchers and environmentalists have more in common than they’ve typically admitted: a love of wildlife, a deep respect for nature, and a strong allergic reaction to suburbanization. The real conflict has not been over ethics, but approaches. Today, a new brand of ranching is bridging the divide by mimicking nature while still turning a profit.
Westerners are literally reinventing the ranch by confronting their own assumptions about nature, profitability, and each other. Ranchers are learning that new ideas can actually help preserve traditional lifestyles. Environmentalists are learning that protected landscapes aren’t always healthier than working ones. White, a self-proclaimed middle-class city boy, has learned there’s more to ranching than grit and cowboy boots.
The author’s own transformation from conflict-oriented environmentalist to radical centrist mirrors the change sweeping the region. As ranchers and environmentalists find common cause, they’re discovering new ways to live on—and preserve—the land they both love. Revolution on the Range is the story of that journey, and a heartening vision of the new American West.
Dave Foreman is one of North America's most creative and effective conservation leaders, an outspoken proponent of protecting and restoring the earth's wildness, and a visionary thinker. Over the past 30 years, he has helped set direction for some of our most influential conservation organizations, served as editor and publisher of key conservation journals, and shared with readers his unique style and outlook in widely acclaimed books including The Big Outside and Confessions of an Eco-Warrior.
In Rewilding North America, Dave Foreman takes on arguably the biggest ecological threat of our time: the global extinction crisis. He not only explains the problem in clear and powerful terms, but also offers a bold, hopeful, scientifically credible, and practically achievable solution.
Foreman begins by setting out the specific evidence that a mass extinction is happening and analyzes how humans are causing it. Adapting Aldo Leopold's idea of ecological wounds, he details human impacts on species survival in seven categories, including direct killing, habitat loss and fragmentation, exotic species, and climate change. Foreman describes recent discoveries in conservation biology that call for wildlands networks instead of isolated protected areas, and, reviewing the history of protected areas, shows how wildlands networks are a logical next step for the conservation movement. The final section describes specific approaches for designing such networks (based on the work of the Wildlands Project, an organization Foreman helped to found) and offers concrete and workable reforms for establishing them. The author closes with an inspiring and empowering call to action for scientists and activists alike.
Rewilding North America offers both a vision and a strategy for reconnecting, restoring, and rewilding the North American continent, and is an essential guidebook for anyone concerned with the future of life on earth.
The rhinoceros’s horn and massive leathery frame belie its docile and solitary nature, causing the animal to be consistently perceived by humans as a monster to be feared. Kelly Enright now deftly sifts fact from fiction in Rhinoceros.
Enright chronicles the vexed interactions between humans and rhinos, from early sightings that mistook the rhinoceros for the mythical unicorn to the eighteenth-century display of the rhinoceros in Europe as a wonder of nature and its introduction to the American public in 1830. The rhinoceros has long been a prized hunting object as well, whether for its horn as a valuable ingredient in Asian medicine or as a coveted trophy by nineteenth-century big-game hunters such as Theodore Roosevelt, and the book explains how such practices have led to the rhino’s status as an endangered species. Enright also considers portrayals of the animal in film, literature, and art, all in the service of discovering whether the reputed savagery of the rhino is a reality or a legacy of its mythic past.
A wide-ranging, highly illustrated study, Rhinoceros will be essential for scholars and animal lovers alike.
Has ever a plant inspired such love and such hatred as the rhododendron? Its beauty is inarguable; it can clothe whole hillsides and gardens with a blanket of vibrant color. The rhododendron has a propensity towards sexual infidelity, making it very popular with horticultural breeding programs. And it can also be used as an herbal remedy for an astonishing range of ailments.
But there is a darker side to these gorgeous flowers. Daphne du Maurier used the red rhododendron as a symbol of blood in her best-selling novel Rebecca, and numerous Chinese folktales link the plant with tragedy and death. It can poison livestock and intoxicate humans, and its narcotic honey has been used as a weapon of war. Rhododendron ponticum has run riot across the British countryside, but the full story of this implacable invader contains many fascinating surprises.
In this beautifully illustrated volume, Richard Milne explores the many ways in which the rhododendron has influenced human societies, relating this to the extraordinary story of the plant’s evolution. Over one thousand species of the plant exist, ranging from rugged trees on Himalayan slopes to rock-hugging alpines, and delicate plants perched on rainforest branches. Milne relays tales of mythical figures, intrepid collectors, and eccentric plant breeders. However much you may think you know about the rhododendron, this charming book will offer something new.
Riddle Field tackles the complex process of self-awareness and recovery in the wake of profound sexual trauma by avoiding many of the most direct ways of commenting on it. In interweaving the voices of an entire fictional town that is about to be changed forever by the destruction of a dam, the poems highlight the environment, both human and natural, that sexual trauma is born from, and calls to attention the many ways in which we create intimacy and distance when our trauma is kept secret.
Charting the history of contemporary philosophical and religious beliefs regarding nature, Roderick Nash focuses primarily on changing attitudes toward nature in the United States. His work is the first comprehensive history of the concept that nature has rights and that American liberalism has, in effect, been extended to the nonhuman world.
“A splendid book. Roderick Nash has written another classic. This exploration of a new dimension in environmental ethics is both illuminating and overdue.”—Stewart Udall
“His account makes history ‘come alive.’”—Sierra
“So smoothly written that one almost does not notice the breadth of scholarship that went into this original and important work of environmental history.”—Philip Shabecoff, New York Times Book Review
“Clarifying and challenging, this is an essential text for deep ecologists and ecophilosophers.”—Stephanie Mills, Utne Reader
Property rights are a tool humans use in regulating their use of natural resources. Understanding how rights to resources are assigned and how they are controlled is critical to designing and implementing effective strategies for environmental management and conservation.Rights to Nature is a nontechnical, interdisciplinary introduction to the systems of rights, rules, and responsibilities that guide and control human use of the environment. Following a brief overview of the relationship between property rights and the natural environment, chapters consider: ecological systems and how they function the effects of culture, values, and social organization on the use of natural resources the design and development of property rights regimes and the costs of their operation cultural factors that affect the design and implementation of property rights systems coordination across geographic and jurisdictional boundaries The book provides a valuable synthesis of information on how property rights develop, why they develop in certain ways, and the ways in which they function. Representing a unique integration of natural and social science, it addresses the full range of ecological, economic, cultural, and political factors that affect natural resource management and use, and provides valuable insight into the role of property rights regimes in establishing societies that are equitable, efficient, and sustainable.
In this sweeping social history Dorceta E. Taylor examines the emergence and rise of the multifaceted U.S. conservation movement from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. She shows how race, class, and gender influenced every aspect of the movement, including the establishment of parks; campaigns to protect wild game, birds, and fish; forest conservation; outdoor recreation; and the movement's links to nineteenth-century ideologies. Initially led by white urban elites—whose early efforts discriminated against the lower class and were often tied up with slavery and the appropriation of Native lands—the movement benefited from contributions to policy making, knowledge about the environment, and activism by the poor and working class, people of color, women, and Native Americans. Far-ranging and nuanced, The Rise of the American Conservation Movement comprehensively documents the movement's competing motivations, conflicts, problematic practices, and achievements in new ways.
Over the past decade, fossil finds from China have stunned the world, grabbing headlines and changing perceptions with a wealth of new discoveries. Many of these finds were first announced to English speakers in the journal Nature.Rise of the Dragon gathers together sixteen of these original reports, some augmented with commentaries originally published in Nature's "News and Views" section.
Perhaps the best known of these new Chinese fossils are the famous feathered dinosaurs from Liaoning Province, which may help end one of the most intense debates in paleontology—whether birds evolved from dinosaurs. But other finds have been just as spectacular, such as the minutely preserved (to the cellular level) animal embryos of the 670 million-year-old Duoshantuo phosphorites, or the world's oldest known fish, from the Chengjiang formation in southwestern Yunnan Province.
Rise of the Dragon makes descriptions and detailed discussions of these important finds available in one convenient volume for paleontologists and serious fossil fans.
In 2010, Philip Marsden, whom Giles Foden has called “one of our most thoughtful travel writers,” moved with his family to a rundown farmhouse in the countryside in Cornwall. From the moment he arrived, Marsden found himself fascinated by the landscape around him, and, in particular, by the traces of human history—and of the human relationship to the land—that could be seen all around him. Wanting to experience the idea more fully, he set out to walk across Cornwall, to the evocatively named Land’s End.
Rising Ground is a record of that journey, but it is also so much more: a beautifully written meditation on place, nature, and human life that encompasses history, archaeology, geography, and the love of place that suffuses us when we finally find home. Firmly in a storied tradition of English nature writing that stretches from Gilbert White to Helen MacDonald, Rising Ground reveals the ways that places and peoples have interacted over time, from standing stones to footpaths, ancient habitations to modern highways. What does it mean to truly live in a place, and what does it take to understand, and honor, those who lived and died there long before we arrived?
Like the best travel and nature writing, Rising Ground is written with the pace of a contemplative walk, and is rich with insight and a powerful sense of the long skein of years that links us to our ancestors. Marsden’s close, loving look at the small patch of earth around him is sure to help you see your own place—and your own home—anew.
The Rising Sea
Orrin H. Pilkey and Rob Young Island Press, 2011 Library of Congress GC89.P48 2009 | Dewey Decimal 363.3493
On Shishmaref Island in Alaska, homes are being washed into the sea. In the South Pacific, small island nations face annihilation by encroaching waters. In coastal Louisiana, an area the size of a football field disappears every day. For these communities, sea level rise isn’t a distant, abstract fear: it’s happening now and it’s threatening their way of life.
In The Rising Sea, Orrin H. Pilkey and Rob Young warn that many other coastal areas may be close behind. Prominent scientists predict that the oceans may rise by as much as seven feet in the next hundred years. That means coastal cities will be forced to construct dikes and seawalls or to move buildings, roads, pipelines, and railroads to avert inundation and destruction.
The question is no longer whether climate change is causing the oceans to swell, but by how much and how quickly. Pilkey and Young deftly guide readers through the science, explaining the facts and debunking the claims of industry-sponsored “skeptics.” They also explore the consequences for fish, wildlife—and people.
While rising seas are now inevitable, we are far from helpless. By making hard choices—including uprooting citizens, changing where and how we build, and developing a coordinated national response—we can save property, and ultimately lives. With unassailable research and practical insights, The Rising Sea is a critical first step in understanding the threat and keeping our heads above water.
The Rising Tide is the first analysis of global warming and world sea level rise. It outlines state, national, and international actions to respond to the effects of global warming on coastal communities and ecosystems.
“Every day is an anxiety in my ways of getting to the water. . . . I’ve become so attuned to it, so scared of it, so in love with it that sometimes I can only think by the sea. It is the only place I feel at home.”
Many of us visit the sea. Admire it. Even profess to love it. But very few of us live it. Philip Hoare does. He swims in the sea every day, either off the coast of his native Southampton or his adopted Cape Cod. He watches its daily and seasonal changes. He collects and communes with the wrack—both dead and never living—that it throws up on the shingle. He thinks with, at, through the sea.
All of which should prepare readers: RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR is no ordinary book. It mounts no straight-ahead argument. It hews to no single genre. Instead, like the sea itself, it moves, flows, absorbs, transforms. In its pages we find passages of beautiful nature and travel writing, lyrical memoir, seams of American and English history and much more. We find Thoreau and Melville, Bowie and Byron, John Waters and Virginia Woolf, all linked through a certain refusal to be contained, to be strictly defined—an openness to discovery and change. Running throughout is an air of elegy, a reminder that the sea is an ending, a repository of lost ships, lost people, lost ways of being. It is where we came from; for Hoare, it is where he is going.
“Every swim is a little death,” Hoare writes, “but it is also a reminder that you are alive.” Few books have ever made that knife’s edge so palpable. Read RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR. Let it settle into the seabed of your soul. You’ll never forget it.
Risk Criticism is a study of literary and cultural responses to global environmental risk in an age of unfolding ecological catastrophe. In 2015, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists reset its iconic Doomsday Clock to three minutes to midnight, as close to the apocalypse as it has been since 1953. What pushed its hands was not just the threat of nuclear weapons, but also other global environmental risks that the Bulletin judged to have risen to the scale of the nuclear, including climate change and innovations in the life sciences. If we may once have believed that the end of days would come in a blaze of nuclear firestorm, we now suspect that the apocalypse may be much slower, creeping in as chemical toxins, climate change, or nano-technologies run amok.
Taking inspiration from the questions raised by the Bulletin’s synecdochical “nuclear,” Risk Criticism aims to generate a hybrid form of critical practice that brings “nuclear criticism” into conversation with ecocriticism. Through readings of novels, films, theater, poetry, visual art, websites, news reports, and essays, Risk Criticism tracks the diverse ways in which environmental risks are understood and represented today.
Often referred to as “the Big Tomato,” Sacramento is a city whose makeup is significantly more complex than its agriculture-based sobriquet implies. In River City and Valley Life, seventeen contributors reveal the major transformations to the natural and built environment that have shaped Sacramento and its suburbs, residents, politics, and economics throughout its history.
The site that would become Sacramento was settled in 1839, when Johann Augustus Sutter attempted to convert his Mexican land grant into New Helvetia (or “New Switzerland”). It was at Sutter’s sawmill fifty miles to the east that gold was first discovered, leading to the California Gold Rush of 1849. Nearly overnight, Sacramento became a boomtown, and cityhood followed in 1850.
Ideally situated at the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers, the city was connected by waterway to San Francisco and the surrounding region. Combined with the area’s warm and sunny climate, the rivers provided the necessary water supply for agriculture to flourish. The devastation wrought by floods and cholera, however, took a huge toll on early populations and led to the construction of an extensive levee system that raised the downtown street level to combat flooding. Great fortune came when local entrepreneurs built the Central Pacific Railroad, and in 1869 it connected with the Union Pacific Railroad to form the first transcontinental passage. Sacramento soon became an industrial hub and major food-processing center. By 1879, it was named the state capital and seat of government.
In the twentieth century, the Sacramento area benefitted from the federal government’s major investment in the construction and operation of three military bases and other regional public works projects. Rapid suburbanization followed along with the building of highways, bridges, schools, parks, hydroelectric dams, and the Rancho Seco nuclear power plant, which activists would later shut down. Today, several tribal gaming resorts attract patrons to the area, while “Old Sacramento” revitalizes the original downtown as it celebrates Sacramento’s pioneering past.
This environmental history of Sacramento provides a compelling case study of urban and suburban development in California and the American West. As the contributors show, Sacramento has seen its landscape both ravaged and reborn. As blighted areas, rail yards, and riverfronts have been reclaimed, and parks and green spaces created and expanded, Sacramento’s identity continues to evolve. As it moves beyond its Gold Rush, Transcontinental Railroad, and government-town heritage, Sacramento remains a city and region deeply rooted in its natural environment.
The authors recount twelve millennia of history along the lower San Juan River, much of it the story of mostly unsuccessful human attempts to make a living from the river's arid and fickle environment. From the Anasazi to government dam builders, from Navajo to Mormon herders and farmers, from scientific explorers to busted miners, the San Juan has attracted more attention and fueled more hopes than such a remote, unpromising, and muddy stream would seem to merit.
Desolation Canyon is one of the West's wild treasures. Visitors come to study, explore, run the river, and hike a canyon that is deeper at its deepest than the Grand Canyon, better preserved than most of the Colorado River system, and full of eye-catching geology-castellated ridges, dramatic walls, slickrock formations, and lovely beaches. Rafting the river, one may see wild horses, blue herons, bighorn sheep, and possibly a black bear. Signs of previous people include the newsworthy, well-preserved Fremont Indian ruins along Range Creek and rock art panels of Nine Mile Canyon, both Desolation Canyon tributaries. Historic Utes also pecked rock art, including images of graceful horses and lively locomotives, in the upper canyon. Remote and difficult to access, Desolation has a surprisingly lively history. Cattle and sheep herding, moonshine, prospecting, and hideaways brought a surprising number of settlers--ranchers, outlaws, and recluses--to the canyon.
Plugged by no fewer than twenty-five dams, the Colorado is the world’s most regulated river drainage, providing most of the water supply of Las Vegas, Tucson, and San Diego, and much of the power and water of Los Angeles and Phoenix, cities that are home to more than 25 million people. If it ceased flowing, the water held in its reservoirs might hold out for three to four years, but after that it would be necessary to abandon most of southern California and Arizona, and much of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. For the entire American Southwest the Colorado is indeed the river of life, which makes it all the more tragic and ironic that by the time it approaches its final destination, it has been reduced to a shadow upon the sand, its delta dry and deserted, its flow a toxic trickle seeping into the sea.
In this remarkable blend of history, science, and personal observation, acclaimed author Wade Davis tells the story of America’s Nile, how it once flowed freely and how human intervention has left it near exhaustion, altering the water temperature, volume, local species, and shoreline of the river Theodore Roosevelt once urged us to “leave it as it is.” Yet despite a century of human interference, Davis writes, the splendor of the Colorado lives on in the river’s remaining wild rapids, quiet pools, and sweeping canyons. The story of the Colorado River is the human quest for progress and its inevitable if unintended effects—and an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and foster the rebirth of America’s most iconic waterway.
A beautifully told story of historical adventure and natural beauty, River Notes is a fascinating journey down the river and through mankind’s complicated and destructive relationship with one of its greatest natural resources.
Sustainability defines the need for any society to live within the constraints of the land’s capacity to deliver all natural resources it consumes. To be sustainable, nature and its endowment need to be linked to human behavior, similar to the practices of indigenous peoples. The River of Life compares the general differences between Native Americans’ and the Western world’s view of resources and provides the nuts and bolts of a sustainability portfolio designed by indigenous peoples. It also introduces ideas on how to link nature and society to make sustainable choices, aiming to facilitate thinking about how to change destructive behaviors and to integrate indigenous culture into thinking and decision processes.
His name is inextricably linked with a single work, A Sand County Almanac, a classic of natural history literature and the conservationist's bible. This book brings together the best of Leopold's essays.
The River We Have Wrought is a landmark history of the upper Mississippi, from early European exploration through the completion of a navigable channel and a system of locks and dams in the mid-twentieth century. John Anfinson examines how politics has shaped the landscapes of the Upper Midwest and how taming the Mississippi River has affected economic sustainability, river ecology, and biological diversity.