Blog posts tagged with 'nature'

The Serengeti
Kindly contributed by Boyd Norton, author of the just released Serengeti, The Eternal Beginning.
Interwoven with Norton's striking photographs of the landscapes, birds and mammals of the Serengeti are tales of favorite places and moments over the last twenty-five years exploring the plains of East Africa. He writes in an essay on predator and prey:
Featuring 250 color photographs and Boyd Norton's firsthand accounts from his travels in Serengeti National Park, Kenya’s Masai Mara, and Ngorongoro Crater, this striking book is the culmination of a decades-long career in East Africa. Chosen as one of the "40 Most Influential Nature Photographers" in 2010, the roving Norton has worked in the Rocky Mountains, Lake Baikal and Alaska. He is founder and director of Serengeti Watch with Longitude friend and colleague Dave Blanton.
Biologists in Galapagos
Recommendations for the scientifically minded visitor to the Galapagos: Michael Jackson's Galapagos, A Natural History is still the best single reference, not at all insulting to the scientifically literate; Tui de Roy corrals dozens of scientists currently working in Galapagos for her illustrated, authoritative overview Galapagos, Preserving Darwin's Islands (it is a good single reference for looking up research articles); and
Dengchi Valley, Sichuan
Kindly contributed by Henry Nicholls, author of the forthcoming The Way of the Panda
The huge, foreboding oak doors of the Dengchi Valley Cathedral in Baoxing County, Sichuan are mostly locked. But once a week, on a Sunday, they are opened for the local inhabitants to attend a service in one of the oldest Catholic churches still standing in China’s Sichuan Province. Occasionally, too, perhaps a few times a month, a particular kind of tourist will step off the beaten trail and head up the dusty valley to this Christian outpost. More than likely it is not God calling them but the giant panda.
What We Know About Climate Change
Kerry Emanuel With the power of a polished lecturer, hurricane scientist and director of MIT's Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate, Kerry Emanuel, offers a heroically condensed, authoritative and engaging essay on the state of the science of climate change (we dare you to put it down). What We Know About Climate Change is as balanced as it is lucid -- and important.
You Are the Earth
Some recommendations from Longitude this Earth Day, April 22, for the kids in your life.
An ecology primer for ages 9-11, David Suzuki's You Are the Earth, Know Your World So You Can Help Make It Better presents fascinating facts and fables, colorful cartoons and dynamic illustrations underlining the importance of biodiversity and respect for the environment. With chapters on Air, Water, Earth, Fire, each with a glossary, quiz and zippy diagrams, the book is unabashed in its old-fashioned, workbook appeal.
Yellowstone's Fiery Plume
New data suggests that Yellowstone's fiery plume, flattening out at 4 to 10 miles beneath the surface, may be larger than previously thought. Like Galapagos, Iceland and Hawaii, Yellowstone sits atop a "hotspot," a giant plume of molten and partly molten rock. University of Utah geophysicists generated this geoelectric image of the plume (yellow and red indicate more conductive molten material), showing the source of the massive Yellowstone volcano in impressive detail.
Turning Birding Upside Down
Rather than focusing on an idealized close-up painting a la Sibley, the mad birder Richard Crossley packs dozens of photographs of birds, in a variety of plumages, poses and sizes on a single page, the whole enterprise pasted against a model background. About the only feature carried over from a usual field guide is the color range map. He's after the gestalt of the bird, not fine markings, describing birds as chunky, muscular, cute or menacing.
The Great White Bear
A journalist who has previously written about Greenpeace, whales and polar regions, Mulvaney brings perspective and experience to this report on the natural history and conservation of the polar bear, tracking the icy wanderer from Barrow to Greenland and the Hudson Bay. With a long section on Churchill, he includes interviews with leading researchers and many terrific bear stories.
Sulawesi, Indonesia

The Darwinian Tourist, Viewing the World through Evolutionary Eyes (SCI291, $34.95)

Lucky dog! Popular professor of ecology Chris Wills gets paid to do research in places like Sulawesi (see below), Madagascar's Ranomafana National Park and the rainforests in Borneo, all included in this illustrated account of ecological adventures and the richness of an evolutionary perspective. Sulawesi, Indonesia