Author: Eli Greenbaum
Publisher: University Press of New England
Release Date: 2017-11-07
Emerald Labyrinth is a scientist and adventurer's chronicle of years exploring the rainforests of sub-Saharan Africa. The richly varied habitats of the Democratic Republic of the Congo offer a wealth of animal, plant, chemical, and medical discoveries. But the country also has a deeply troubled colonial past and a complicated political present. Author Eli Greenbaum is a leading expert in sub-Saharan herpetology - snakes, lizards, and frogs - who brings a sense of wonder to the question of how science works in the twenty-first century. Along the way he comes face to face with spitting cobras, silverback mountain gorillas, wild elephants, and the teenaged armies of AK-47-toting fighters engaged in the continent's longest-running war. As a bellwether of the climate and biodiversity crises now facing the planet, the Congo holds the key to our planet's future. Writing in the tradition of books like The Lost City of Z, Greenbaum seeks out the creatures struggling to survive in a war-torn, environmentally threatened country. Emerald Labyrinth is an extraordinary book about the enormous challenges and hard-won satisfactions of doing science in one of the least known, least hospitable places on earth.
Author: David George Haskell
Release Date: 2012-03-15
A biologist reveals the secret world hidden in a single square meter of old-growth forest--a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pen/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award Look out for David Haskell's new book, The Songs of Tree: Stories From Nature's Great Connectors, coming in April of 2017 In this wholly original book, biologist David Haskell uses a one- square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature's path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life. Each of this book's short chapters begins with a simple observation: a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter; the first blossom of spring wildflowers. From these, Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology and ecology, explaining the science that binds together the tiniest microbes and the largest mammals and describing the ecosystems that have cycled for thousands- sometimes millions-of years. Each visit to the forest presents a nature story in miniature as Haskell elegantly teases out the intricate relationships that order the creatures and plants that call it home. Written with remarkable grace and empathy, The Forest Unseen is a grand tour of nature in all its profundity. Haskell is a perfect guide into the world that exists beneath our feet and beyond our backyards. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Kate Jackson
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2009-06-30
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
In 2005 Jackson ventured into the remote swamp forests of the northern Congo to collect reptiles and amphibians. This book is Jackson's unvarnished account of her research on the front lines of the global biodiversity crisis—coping with interminable delays in obtaining permits, learning to outrun advancing army ants, subsisting on a diet of Spam and manioc, and ultimately falling in love with the strangely beautiful flooded forest.
Author: Francis L. Rose
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Release Date: 2014-06-05
Remnants of an ancient lineage, tortoises date back to the Eocene. Among the five species remaining in North America, Texas tortoises are the smallest in size and inhabit some of the harshest arid environments known. They are also the most neglected by wildlife personnel. In The Texas Tortoise, biologists Francis L. Rose and Frank W. Judd draw on decades of research to offer the first comprehensive account of this fascinating but threatened species. The authors begin by explaining the relationship of the Texas tortoise to other species, fossil as well as extant. They delineate the Texas tortoise’s environment and describe what it eats, how the animal grows and reproduces, and how it behaves. Throughout, Rose and Judd write eloquently about the threats to the species’ survival, reflecting deep concern about its future protection. The authors also discuss Texas tortoises’ significance in supporting other species in their environment—southern Texas and northeastern Mexico—where their survival is threatened by habitat reduction and increasing road traffic. “If you see a tortoise on the roadway,” Rose and Judd admonish the reader, “move it to safety, and drive away as quickly as legally allowed.” It is in fact illegal to collect or possess a Texas tortoise. But for those who do, this book advises how to care for the animal. Tortoises have enjoyed a splendid and diverse history. That they did so well for so long is perplexing, the authors note, as the animals are slow and do not actively defend themselves against predators. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department lists Texas tortoises as “threatened,” and Rose and Judd call on the federal government to do the same. Biologists, conservationists, and turtle enthusiasts alike will find this guide to Texas and other tortoises invaluable.
Author: Christopher Kemp
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2017-10-23
The tiny, lungless Thorius salamander from southern Mexico, thinner than a match and smaller than a quarter. The lushly white-coated Saki, an arboreal monkey from the Brazilian rainforests. The olinguito, a native of the Andes, which looks part mongoose, part teddy bear. These fantastic species are all new to science—at least newly named and identified; but they weren’t discovered in the wild, instead, they were unearthed in the drawers and cavernous basements of natural history museums. As Christopher Kemp reveals in The Lost Species, hiding in the cabinets and storage units of natural history museums is a treasure trove of discovery waiting to happen. With Kemp as our guide, we go spelunking into museum basements, dig through specimen trays, and inspect the drawers and jars of collections, scientific detectives on the hunt for new species. We discover king crabs from 1906, unidentified tarantulas, mislabeled Himalayan landsnails, an unknown rove beetle originally collected by Darwin, and an overlooked squeaker frog, among other curiosities. In each case, these specimens sat quietly for decades—sometimes longer than a century—within the collections of museums, before sharp-eyed scientists understood they were new. Each year, scientists continue to encounter new species in museum collections—a stark reminder that we have named only a fraction of the world’s biodiversity. Sadly, some specimens have waited so long to be named that they are gone from the wild before they were identified, victims of climate change and habitat loss. As Kemp shows, these stories showcase the enduring importance of these very collections. The Lost Species vividly tells these stories of discovery—from the latest information on each creature to the people who collected them and the scientists who finally realized what they had unearthed—and will inspire many a museumgoer to want to peek behind the closed doors and rummage through the archives.
Author: Barbara a Wilson, OBE
Publisher: Psychology Press
Release Date: 2017-07-04
This outstanding new handbook offers unique coverage of all aspects of neuropsychological rehabilitation. Compiled by the world's leading clinician-researchers, and written by an exceptional team of international contributors, the book is vast in scope, including chapters on the many and varied components of neuropsychological rehabilitation across the life span within one volume. Divided into sections, the first part looks at general issues in neuropsychological rehabilitation including theories and models, assessment and goal setting. The book goes on to examine the different populations referred for neuropsychological rehabilitation and then focuses on the rehabilitation of first cognitive and then psychosocial disorders. New and emerging approaches such as brain training and social robotics are also considered, alongside an extensive section on rehabilitation around the world, particularly in under-resourced settings. The final section offers some general conclusions and an evaluation of the key issues in this important field. This is a landmark publication for neuropsychological rehabilitation. It is the standalone reference text for the field as well as essential reading for all researchers, students and practitioners in clinical neuropsychology, clinical psychology, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy. It will also be of great value to those in related professions such as neurologists, rehabilitation physicians, rehabilitation psychologists and medics.
Author: Sean P. Graham
Publisher: JHU Press
Release Date: 2018-02-18
125 million years ago on the floodplains of North America, a burrowing lizard started down the long evolutionary path of shedding its limbs. The 60-plus species of snakes found in Sean P. Graham’s American Snakes have this ancestral journey to thank for their ubiquity, diversity, and beauty. Although many people fear them, snakes are as much a part of America’s rich natural heritage as redwoods, bald eagles, and grizzly bears. Found from the vast Okefenokee Swamp to high alpine meadows, from hardwood canopies to the burning bottom of the Grand Canyon, these ultimate vertebrates are ecologically pivotal predators and quintessential survivors. In this revelatory and engaging meditation on American snakes, Graham, a respected herpetologist and gifted writer, • explains the everyday lives of American snakes, from their daily routines and seasonal cycles to their love lives, hunting tactics, and defensive repertoires • debunks harmful myths about snakes and explores their relationship with humans • highlights the contribution of snakes to the American wilderness • tells tales of "snake people"—important snake biologists with inspiring careers Neither a typical field guide nor an exhaustive reference, American Snakes is instead a fascinating study of the suborder Serpentes. Brimming with intriguing and unusual stories—of hognose snakes that roll over and play dead, blindsnakes with tiny vestigial lungs, rainbow-hued dipsadines, and wave-surfing sea-snakes—the text is interspersed with scores of gorgeous full-color images of snakes, from the scary to the sublime. This proud celebration of a diverse American wildlife group will make every reader, no matter how skeptical, into a genuine snake lover.
Author: Stuart Leonard Pimm
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Release Date: 2001
Humans use 50 percent of the world's freshwater supply and consume 42 percent of its plant growth. We are liquidating animals and plants one hundred times faster than the natural rate of extinction. Such numbers should make it clear that our impact on the planet has been, and continues to be, extreme and detrimental. Yet even after decades of awareness of our environmental peril, there remains passionate disagreement over what the problems are and how they should be remedied. Much of the impasse stems from the fact that the problems are difficult to quantify. How do we assess the impact of habitat loss on various species, when we haven't even counted them all? And just what factors go into that 42 percent of biomass we are hungrily consuming? It is only through an understanding of the numbers that we will be able to break that impasse and come to agreement on which environmental issues are most critical and how they might best be addressed. Working on the front lines of conservation biology, Stuart Pimm is one of the pioneers whose work has put the “science” in environmental science. In this book, he appoints himself “investment banker of the global, biological accounts,” checking the environmental statistics gathered by tireless scientists in work that is always painstaking and often heartbreaking. With wit, passion, and candor, he reveals the importance of understanding where these numbers come from and what they mean. To do so, he takes the reader on a globe-circling tour of our beautiful, but weary, planet from the volcanic mountains and rainforests of Hawai'i to the boreal forests of Siberia. At times, the view looks rather grim. Yet Pimm, ever the optimist, presents a world filled with mysterious beauty, the infinite variety of nature, and an urgent hope that through an understanding of our planet's environmental past and present, we will be inspired to save it from future extinction.
Called the work of "a mesmerizing storyteller with deep compassion and memorable prose" (Publishers Weekly) and the book that, "anyone interested in natural history, botany, protecting nature, or Native American culture will love," by Library Journal, Braiding Sweetgrass is poised to be a classic of nature writing. As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer asks questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces indigenous teachings that consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take “us on a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert). Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices.
Author: Troy D. Hibbitts
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Release Date: 2016-02-01
Texas has a large and diverse turtle population, with forms that are found nowhere else (Cagle’s Map Turtle and the Texas Map Turtle) and wide-ranging species that barely touch the state, including the Painted Turtles and the Rough-footed Mud Turtle. From the Sabine River to El Paso, and from the Rio Grande to the Panhandle, thirty-one native and established exotic turtle species are definitely known in Texas, along with one crocodilian, the American Alligator. Texas Turtles & Crocodilians is the first complete identification guide to all the state’s turtles and to its single alligator. It offers detailed species accounts, range maps, and excellent color photographs to aid in field identification. The authors, two of the state’s most knowledgeable herpetologists, open the book with a broad overview of turtle natural history, conservation biology, observation, and captive maintenance before providing a key to Texas turtles and accounts of the various turtle families and species. Appendices provide brief accounts of species that occurred prehistorically in Texas and non-established exotic species, as well as a table of Texas’ major watersheds and the turtle diversity in each one. Informational resources on Texas turtles and alligators, a map of Texas counties, a glossary, a bibliography, and indexes of common and scientific names complete the volume.
Journeys to the rain forest on Panama's Barro Colorado Island to trace the intricate workings of this complex ecological habitat and examines the work of the scientists racing against time to classify, understand, and preserve an endangered environment. Reprint.
Author: Alan Marshall
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Release Date: 2016-10-04
A 2016 Green Book Festival "Future Forecasts" Winner A stunningly original, lushly illustrated vision for a Green Utopia, published on the 500th anniversary of the original Big Idea. Five hundred years ago a powerful new word was unleashed upon the world when Thomas More published his book Utopia, about an island paradise far away from his troubled land. It was an instant hit, and the literati across Europe couldn't get enough of its blend of social fantasy with a deep desire for a better world. Five hundred years later, Ecotopia 2121 once again harnesses the power of the utopian imagination to confront our current problems, among them climate change, and offer a radical, alternative vision for the future of our troubled planet. Depicting one hundred cities around the globe—from New York to San Francisco, London, Tokyo, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Beijing, Vienna, Singapore, Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, and Mumbai—Alan Marshall imagines how each may survive and prosper. A striking, full-color scenario painting illustrates each city. The chapters tell how each community has found either a social or technological innovation to solve today's crises. Fifteen American cities are covered. Around the world, urban planners like to tailor scenarios for the year 2020, to take advantage of the metaphor of 20-20 vision. In Ecotopia 2121, the vision may be fuzzy, but its sharp insights, captivating illustrations, and playful storytelling will keep readers coming back again and again.
"[An] entertaining jaunt through city wildlife." —Kirkus Reviews We tend to think of cities as a realm apart, somehow separate from nature, but nothing could be further from the truth. In Feral Cities, Tristan Donovan digs below the urban gloss to uncover the wild creatures that we share our streets and homes with, and profiles the brave and fascinating people who try to manage them. Along the way readers will meet the wall-eating snails that are invading Miami, the boars that roam Berlin, and the monkey gangs of Cape Town. From feral chickens and carpet-roaming bugs to coyotes hanging out in sandwich shops and birds crashing into skyscrapers, Feral Cities takes readers on a journey through streets and neighborhoods that are far more alive than we often realize, shows how animals are adjusting to urban living, and asks what messages the wildlife in our metropolises have for us. Tristan Donovan is the author of two widely praised books, Replay: The History of Video Games and Fizz: How Soda Shook Up the World. His journalism has appeared in many major newspapers, magazines, and web sites. He has a degree in ecology.
“With precise, stunning photographs and a distinctly literary narrative that tells the story of the forest ecosystem along the way, The Living Forest is an invitation to join in the eloquence of seeing.” —Sierra Magazine From the leaves and branches of the canopy to the roots and soil of the understory, the forest is a complex, interconnected ecosystem filled with plants, birds, mammals, insects, and fungi. Some of it is easily discovered, but many parts remain difficult or impossible for the human eye to see. Until now. The Living Forest is a visual journey that immerses you deep into the woods. The wide-ranging photography by Robert Llewellyn celebrates the small and the large, the living and the dead, and the seen and the unseen. You’ll discover close-up images of owls, hawks, and turtles; aerial photographs that show herons in flight; and time-lapse imagery that reveals the slow change of leaves. In an ideal blend of art and scholarship, the 300 awe-inspiring photographs are supported by lyrical essays from Joan Maloof detailing the science behind the wonder.