Books on Ecology

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December 16, 2021

577. Books on ecology

Further Reading

David M. Carroll Following the Water: A Hydromancer’s Notebook, 2009.

Artist and naturalist David M. Carroll shares his love of wetlands from March through November in pictures and words.

Aaron Hirsh Telling Our Way to the Sea: A Voyage of Discovery in the Sea of Cortez, 2013.

Biologist Aaron Hirsh travels to the Sea of Cortez with colleagues and twelve students to research the wildlife they find there. In pursuing the area’s natural history, they follow plants, animals, and humans to figure out the impact people have had. What they discover is disturbing, but they manage to find hope for restoration.

David Littshwager A World in One Cubic Foot: Portraits of Biodiversity, 2012.

Nature photographer David Littschwager took a literal one-square-foot cube to measure small ecosystems all over the planet. Then, he invited local scientists to talk him through what took place within that cubic foot for 24 hours. What his interviews and photographs reveal about biodiversity is astonishing.

David Quammen The Song of the Dodo: Island Biography in an Age of Extinction, 1996.

Science writer David Quammen explores how evolution and extinctions occur, using islands as an example. Islands are particularly relevant today because human activity is causing the world to become increasingly carved up into island-like ecosystems. Quammen helps us understand the importance of diversity in lifeforms and landscapes, and his message is ultimately hopeful.

Rebecca Reider Dreaming the Biosphere: The Theater of All Possibilities, 2009.

Rebecca Reider tells the forgotten story of Biosphere 2, which was built in the 1970s and later used in 1984 in the New Mexico desert by a group of utopians who lived in it,  growing their food, recycling their air and wastes in hopes of developing a genuinely self-sustaining community. Unfortunately, the community fell apart, but Reider tells the story of the entire structure from beginning to end and speculates on what it means for our ecological future.

Krista Schlyer Continental Divide: Wildlife, People, and the Border Wall, 2012.

People have debated a border wall between the United States and Mexico for decades. Krista Schlyer decided to investigate what impacts such a wall would have on the wildlife on both sides. She shares the devastation such a structure would do to these already damaged ecosystems.

Gaia Vince Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made, 2014.

The editor of the journal Nature, Gaia Vince, traveled to particularly damaged parts of the planet to see what was going on for herself. While she found plenty to be upset about, she also found extraordinary instances of ordinary individuals working to save the planet. Their stories and the science behind the changes may inspire you to seek out ways to help as well.

For more information on the Further Reading series, see Further Reading: Start Here.

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