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The Song Of The Dodo

Author: David Quammen
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1448137403
Size: 21.78 MB
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Why have island ecosystems always suffered such high rates of extinction? In our age, with all the world's landscapes, from Tasmania to the Amazon to Yellowstone, now being carved into island-like fragments by human activity, the implications of this question are more urgent than ever. Over the past eight years, David Quammen has followed the threads of island biogeography on a globe-encircling journey of discovery.

Going Places

Author: Robert Burgin
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1598849727
Size: 28.42 MB
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Successfully navigate the rich world of travel narratives and identify fiction and nonfiction read-alikes with this detailed and expertly constructed guide.

Shaping The Sierra

Author: Timothy P. Duane
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520926141
Size: 45.47 MB
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The rural west is at a crossroads, and the Sierra Nevada is at the center of this social and economic change. The Sierra Nevada landscape has always been valued for its bounty of natural resource commodities, but new residents and an ever-growing flood of tourists to the area have transformed the relationship between the region's nature and its culture. In an engaging narrative that melds the personal with the professional, Timothy P. Duane—who grew up in the area—documents the impact of rapid population growth on the culture, economy, and ecology of the Sierra Nevada since the late 1960s. He also recommends innovative policies for mitigating the negative effects of future population growth in this spectacular but threatened region, as well as throughout the rural west. Today, the primary social and economic values of the Sierra Nevada landscape are in the amenities and ecological services provided by its wildlands and functioning ecosystems. Duane shows how further unfettered population growth threatens the very values which have made the Sierra Nevada a desirable place to live and work. A new approach to land use planning, resource management, and local economic development—one that recognizes the emerging values of the landscape—is necessary in order to achieve sustainable development, Duane claims. Weaving personal experience with outstanding scholarship, he shows how such an approach must explicitly recognize the importance of values and the application of an environmental land ethic to future development in the area.

Relicts Of A Beautiful Sea

Author: Christopher Norment
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469618672
Size: 32.38 MB
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Along a tiny spring in a narrow canyon near Death Valley, seemingly against all odds, an Inyo Mountain slender salamander makes its home. "The desert," writes conservation biologist Christopher Norment, "is defined by the absence of water, and yet in the desert there is water enough, if you live properly." Relicts of a Beautiful Sea explores the existence of rare, unexpected, and sublime desert creatures such as the black toad and four pupfishes unique to the desert West. All are anomalies: amphibians and fish, dependent upon aquatic habitats, yet living in one of the driest places on earth, where precipitation averages less than four inches per year. In this climate of extremes, beset by conflicts over water rights, each species illustrates the work of natural selection and the importance of conservation. This is also a story of persistence--for as much as ten million years--amid the changing landscape of western North America. By telling the story of these creatures, Norment illustrates the beauty of evolution and explores ethical and practical issues of conservation: what is a four-inch-long salamander worth, hidden away in the heat-blasted canyons of the Inyo Mountains, and what would the cost of its extinction be? What is any lonely and besieged species worth, and why should we care?

Evolution

Author: Edward J. Larson
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 9781588365385
Size: 47.17 MB
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“I often said before starting, that I had no doubt I should frequently repent of the whole undertaking.” So wrote Charles Darwin aboard The Beagle, bound for the Galapagos Islands and what would arguably become the greatest and most controversial discovery in scientific history. But the theory of evolution did not spring full-blown from the head of Darwin. Since the dawn of humanity, priests, philosophers, and scientists have debated the origin and development of life on earth, and with modern science, that debate shifted into high gear. In this lively, deeply erudite work, Pulitzer Prize–winning science historian Edward J. Larson takes us on a guided tour of Darwin’s “dangerous idea,” from its theoretical antecedents in the early nineteenth century to the brilliant breakthroughs of Darwin and Wallace, to Watson and Crick’s stunning discovery of the DNA double helix, and to the triumphant neo-Darwinian synthesis and rising sociobiology today. Along the way, Larson expertly places the scientific upheaval of evolution in cultural perspective: the social and philosophical earthquake that was the French Revolution; the development, in England, of a laissez-faire capitalism in tune with a Darwinian ethos of “survival of the fittest”; the emergence of Social Darwinism and the dark science of eugenics against a backdrop of industrial revolution; the American Christian backlash against evolutionism that culminated in the famous Scopes trial; and on to today’s world, where religious fundamentalists litigate for the right to teach “creation science” alongside evolution in U.S. public schools, even as the theory itself continues to evolve in new and surprising directions. Throughout, Larson trains his spotlight on the lives and careers of the scientists, explorers, and eccentrics whose collaborations and competitions have driven the theory of evolution forward. Here are portraits of Cuvier, Lamarck, Darwin, Wallace, Haeckel, Galton, Huxley, Mendel, Morgan, Fisher, Dobzhansky, Watson and Crick, W. D. Hamilton, E. O. Wilson, and many others. Celebrated as one of mankind’s crowning scientific achievements and reviled as a threat to our deepest values, the theory of evolution has utterly transformed our view of life, religion, origins, and the theory itself, and remains controversial, especially in the United States (where 90% of adults do not subscribe to the full Darwinian vision). Replete with fresh material and new insights, Evolution will educate and inform while taking readers on a fascinating journey of discovery.

Explorer Travellers And Adventure Tourism

Author: Dr. Jennifer Laing
Publisher: Channel View Publications
ISBN: 1845414608
Size: 79.55 MB
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This book examines the nexus between exploring and tourism and argues that exploration travel – based heavily on explorer narratives and the promises of personal challenges and change – is a major trend in future tourism. In particular, it analyses how romanticised myths of explorers form a foundation for how modern day tourists view travel and themselves. Its scope ranges from the 'Golden Age' of imperial explorers in the 19th and early 20th centuries, through the growth of adventure and extreme tourism, to possible future trends including space travel. The volume should appeal to researchers and students across a variety of disciplines, including tourism studies, sociology, geography and history.

The Blue Sapphire Of The Mind

Author: Douglas E. Christie
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199986649
Size: 49.96 MB
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"There are no unsacred places," the poet Wendell Berry has written. "There are only sacred places and desecrated places." What might it mean to behold the world with such depth and feeling that it is no longer possible to imagine it as something separate from ourselves, or to live without regard for its well-being? To understand the work of seeing things as an utterly involving moral and spiritual act? Such questions have long occupied the center of contemplative spiritual traditions. In The Blue Sapphire of the Mind, Douglas E. Christie proposes a distinctively contemplative approach to ecological thought and practice that can help restore our sense of the earth as a sacred place. Drawing on the insights of the early Christian monastics as well as the ecological writings of Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard, and many others, Christie argues that, at the most basic level, it is the quality of our attention to the natural world that must change if we are to learn how to live in a sustainable relationship with other living organisms and with one another. He notes that in this uniquely challenging historical moment, there is a deep and pervasive hunger for a less fragmented and more integrated way of apprehending and inhabiting the living world--and for a way of responding to the ecological crisis that expresses our deepest moral and spiritual values. Christie explores how the wisdom of ancient and modern contemplative traditions can inspire both an honest reckoning with the destructive patterns of thought and behavior that have contributed so much to our current crisis, and a greater sense of care and responsibility for all living beings. These traditions can help us cultivate the simple, spacious awareness of the enduring beauty and wholeness of the natural world that will be necessary if we are to live with greater purpose and meaning, and with less harm, to our planet.

21st Century Geography

Author: Joseph P. Stoltman
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 141297464X
Size: 48.60 MB
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This is a theoretical and practical guide on how to undertake and navigate advanced research in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

The Anthropology Of Extinction

Author: Genese Marie Sodikoff
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253005450
Size: 59.62 MB
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We live in an era marked by an accelerating rate of species death, but since the early days of the discipline, anthropology has contemplated the death of languages, cultural groups, and ways of life. The essays in this collection examine processes of—and our understanding of—extinction across various domains. The contributors argue that extinction events can be catalysts for new cultural, social, environmental, and technological developments—that extinction processes can, paradoxically, be productive as well as destructive. The essays consider a number of widely publicized cases: island species in the Galápagos and Madagascar; the death of Native American languages; ethnic minorities under pressure to assimilate in China; cloning as a form of species regeneration; and the tiny hominid Homo floresiensis fossils ("hobbits") recently identified in Indonesia. The Anthropology of Extinction offers compelling explorations of issues of widespread concern.

The Sixth Extinction

Author: Elizabeth Kolbert
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1408851237
Size: 46.82 MB
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Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions of life on earth. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Elizabeth Kolbert combines brilliant field reporting, the history of ideas and the work of geologists, botanists and marine biologists to tell the gripping stories of a dozen species – including the Panamanian golden frog and the Sumatran rhino – some already gone, others at the point of vanishing. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy and Elizabeth Kolbert's book urgently compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.