Author: David Liittschwager
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2012-11-21
Twelve inches by twelve inches by twelve inches, the cubic foot is a relatively tiny unit of measure compared to the whole world. With every step, we disturb and move through cubic foot after cubic foot. But behold the cubic foot in nature—from coral reefs to cloud forests to tidal pools—even in that finite space you can see the multitude of creatures that make up a vibrant ecosystem. For A World in One Cubic Foot, esteemed nature photographer David Liittschwager took a bright green metal cube—measuring precisely one cubic foot—and set it in various ecosystems around the world, from Costa Rica to Central Park. Working with local scientists, he measured what moved through that small space in a period of twenty-four hours. He then photographed the cube’s setting and the plant, animal, and insect life inside it—anything visible to the naked eye. The result is a stunning portrait of the amazing diversity that can be found in ecosystems around the globe. Many organisms captured in Liittschwager’s photographs have rarely, if ever, been presented in their full splendor to the general reader, and the singular beauty of these images evocatively conveys the richness of life around us and the essential need for its conservation. The breathtaking images are accompanied by equally engaging essays that speak to both the landscapes and the worlds contained within them, from distinguished contributors such as Elizabeth Kolbert and Alan Huffman, in addition to an introduction by E. O. Wilson. After encountering this book, you will never look at the tiniest sliver of your own backyard or neighborhood park the same way; instead, you will be stunned by the unexpected variety of species found in an area so small. A World in One Cubic Foot puts the world accessibly in our hands and allows us to behold the magic of an ecosystem in miniature. Liittschwager’s awe-inspiring photographs take us to places both familiar and exotic and instill new awareness of the life that abounds all around.
Author: Susan Charnley
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2014-09-10
Across the U.S. West, conservationists, ranchers, farmers, and forest workers are acknowledging their common ground and joining together to protect the wide open spaces from the economic and demographic forces that are fragmenting them and destroying the habitat and watersheds upon which people, plants, and animals depend. A new vision is arising that perceives conservation of biodiversity and sustainable resource use as compatible and symbiotic, not antithetical. Such a vision calls for a more inclusive and expansive environmentalism that encourages local food and forestry production while preserving biodiversity and the large, interconnected landscapes upon which biodiversity depends. Written by an impressive array of scientists, conservationists, scholars, ranchers, and foresters, this volume explores the history of land policy and working landscapes in the Western U.S., the successful and failed efforts to promote environmental and economic sustainability on these landscapes, and the emerging institutional frameworks for conserving them. It concludes by recommending practices and policy crucial to the future preservation of these working landscapes.
This collection of informative and pleasurable essays by Henry Petroski elucidates the role of engineers in shaping our environment in countless ways, big and small. In Remaking the World Petroski gravitates this time, perhaps, toward the big: the English Channel tunnel, the Panama Canal, Hoover Dam, the QE2, and the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia, now the tallest buildings in the world. He profiles Charles Steinmetz, the genius of the General Electric Company; Henry Martyn Robert, a military engineer who created Robert's Rules of Order; and James Nasmyth, the Scotsman whose machine tools helped shape nineteenth-century ocean and rail transportation. Petroski sifts through the fossils of technology for cautionary tales and remarkable twists of fortune, and reminds us that failure is often a necessary step on the path to new discoveries. He explains soil mechanics by way of a game of "rock, scissors, paper," and clarifies fundamental principles of engineering through the spokes of a Ferris wheel. Most of all, Henry Petroski continues to celebrate the men and women whose scrawls on the backs of envelopes have immeasurably improved our world. From the Hardcover edition.
Twenty years ago, in The End of Nature, Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he argues, we need to acknowledge that we've waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already underway. Our old familiar planet is melting, drying, acidifying, flooding and burning in ways humans have never seen. We've created a new planet, still recognisable but fundamentally different. In Earth, McKibben surveys the changes already taking place and considers what they will mean for our future. Adapting to our new home won't be easy. It will be expensive - and the natural resources on which our economy is built have been damaged and degraded. Our survival depends, McKibben argues, on scaling back, concentrating on essentials and creating the kinds of communities that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. Change fundamental change will be our best hope on a planet suddenly and violently out of balance.
Author: Ilkka Hanski
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2016-12-13
Messages from Islands is a synthetic tour of the world of biodiversity species and their communitiesand the habitats in which they live. It looks at how biodiversity is generated in the course of evolution and how is it maintained over time. The itinerary of the tour is question based. What is causing the current biodiversity crisis ? What is extinction threshold and what is extinction debt? What is the biodiversity hypothesis about rapidly increasing allergies, asthma, and other chronic inflammatory disorders? What is the third-of-third rule, and could it be the solution to habitat conservation? Each chapter begins on an island, with reflections of his own studies and observations about biodiversity on islands, from a small islet in the Baltic Sea to the large tropical islands of Borneo and Madagascar to Greenland, the world s largest island. And then steeped in those locations he leads readers on tours of different themes in biodiversity research. Greenland, for example, is a starting point for the world of microbes, and how scientists are coming to understand their staggering biodiversity and how it impacts ecosystems, including the one that lives within our own guts. The result is a conceptually oriented narrative of research on biodiversity, infused with personal anecdotes to convey the excitement of doing aforementioned research. The book is an important introduction to current themes in ecological research to students, and is a highly engaging read for specialists, many of whom in ecology have been influenced by Mr. Hanski s work."
Author: James Maclaurin
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2008-11-15
In the life sciences, there is wide-ranging debate about biodiversity. While nearly everyone is in favor of biodiversity and its conservation, methods for its assessment vary enormously. So what exactly is biodiversity? Most theoretical work on the subject assumes it has something to do with species richness—with the number of species in a particular region—but in reality, it is much more than that. Arguing that we cannot make rational decisions about what it is to be protected without knowing what biodiversity is, James Maclaurin and Kim Sterelny offer in What Is Biodiversity? a theoretical and conceptual exploration of the biological world and how diversity is valued. Here, Maclaurin and Sterelny explore not only the origins of the concept of biodiversity, but also how that concept has been shaped by ecology and more recently by conservation biology. They explain the different types of biodiversity important in evolutionary theory, developmental biology, ecology, morphology and taxonomy and conclude that biological heritage is rich in not just one biodiversity but many. Maclaurin and Sterelny also explore the case for the conservation of these biodiversities using option value theory, a tool borrowed from economics. An erudite, provocative, timely, and creative attempt to answer a fundamental question, What Is Biodiversity? will become a foundational text in the life sciences and studies thereof.
Citizens waiting to enter the country of Inner Horner, a strange land that is only large enough for one resident at a time, fall prey to the tyrannical rule of the ambitious and power-hungry Phil, igniting an outbreak of injustice and mass hysteria, in an unusual novel by the author of Pastoralia. Original.
Extending more than 1,200 miles from Honolulu, the dazzling Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are designated refuges of rare seabirds and marine life, where no one excerpt research may tread. This book vividly captures the quicksilver nature of this gossamer strand of shoals, atolls, and basalt islands.
Provides the latest information about setting up a square foot garden, a growing method that is based on a grid of one-foot by one-foot squares which produces large yields with less space and less work.
A new edition of the classic gardening handbook details a simple yet highly effective gardening system, based on a grid of one-foot by one-foot squares, that produces big yields with less space and with less work than with conventional row gardens. Reissue. 30,000 first printing.
Author: Paul Stamets
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Release Date: 2011-03-09
Mycelium Running is a manual for the mycological rescue of the planet. That’s right: growing more mushrooms may be the best thing we can do to save the environment, and in this groundbreaking text from mushroom expert Paul Stamets, you’ll find out how. The basic science goes like this: Microscopic cells called “mycelium”--the fruit of which are mushrooms--recycle carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements as they break down plant and animal debris in the creation of rich new soil. What Stamets has discovered is that we can capitalize on mycelium’s digestive power and target it to decompose toxic wastes and pollutants (mycoremediation), catch and reduce silt from streambeds and pathogens from agricultural watersheds (mycofiltration), control insect populations (mycopesticides), and generally enhance the health of our forests and gardens (mycoforestry and myco-gardening). In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find chapters detailing each of these four exciting branches of what Stamets has coined “mycorestoration,” as well as chapters on the medicinal and nutritional properties of mushrooms, inoculation methods, log and stump culture, and species selection for various environmental purposes. Heavily referenced and beautifully illustrated, this book is destined to be a classic reference for bemushroomed generations to come. From the Trade Paperback edition.
How many bees does it take to make one jar of honey? How many soccer balls would fit inside a hollow Earth? How many pieces of gum would it take to stick you to a wall—and keep you there? Believe it or not, you can find out the answers to these questions yourself—using math! Combining questions from real readers like you with surprising answers, Laura Overdeck's How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit on a Plane? proves that numbers can be fun—and that math is power.
The earth has died many times, and it always comes back looking different. In an exhilarating, surprising exploration of our planet, Craig Childs takes readers on a firsthand journey through apocalypse, touching the truth behind the speculation. Apocalyptic Planet is a combination of science and adventure that reveals the ways in which our world is constantly moving toward its end and how we can change our place within the cycles and episodes that rule it. In this riveting narrative, Childs makes clear that ours is not a stable planet, that it is prone to sudden, violent natural disasters and extremes of climate. Alternate futures, many not so pretty, are constantly waiting in the wings. Childs refutes the idea of an apocalyptic end to the earth and finds clues to its more inevitable end in some of the most physically challenging places on the globe. He travels from the deserts of Chile, the driest in the world, to the genetic wasteland of central Iowa to the site of the drowned land bridge of the Bering Sea, uncovering the micro-cataclysms that predict the macro: forthcoming ice ages, super-volcanoes, and the conclusion of planetary life cycles. Childs delivers a sensual feast in his descriptions of the natural world and a bounty of unequivocal science that provides us with an unprecedented understanding of our future.
Author: Benjamin Grant
Publisher: Amphoto Books
Release Date: 2016-10-25
A stunning and unique collection of satellite images of Earth that offer an unexpected look at humanity, derived from the wildly popular Daily Overview Instagram project. Inspired by the “Overview Effect”—a sensation that astronauts experience when given the opportunity to look down and view the Earth as a whole—the breathtaking, high definition satellite photographs in OVERVIEW offer a new way to look at the landscape that we have shaped. More than 200 images of industry, agriculture, architecture, and nature highlight incredible patterns while also revealing a deeper story about human impact. This extraordinary photographic journey around our planet captures the sense of wonder gained from a new, aerial vantage point and creates a perspective of Earth as it has never been seen before. — Amazon, Best Photography Books of the Year — Smithsonian, Best "Art Meets Science" Books of the Year
Author: Bill Streever
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: 2016-07-26
A thrilling exploration of the science and history of wind from the bestselling author of Cold. Scientist and bestselling nature writer Bill Streever goes to any extreme to explore wind--the winds that built empires, the storms that wreck them--by traveling right through it. Narrating from a fifty-year-old sailboat, Streever leads readers through the world's first forecasts, Chaos Theory, and a future affected by climate change. Along the way, he shares stories of wind-riding spiders, wind-sculpted landscapes, wind-generated power, wind-tossed airplanes, and the uncomfortable interactions between wind and wars, drawing from natural science, history, business, travel, as well as from his own travels. AND SOON I HEARD A ROARING WIND is an effortless personal narrative featuring the keen observations, scientific rigor, and whimsy that readers love. You'll never see a breeze in the same light again.