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Explaining Nature in Ancient Greece and Rome
Classical authors used both prose and poetry to explore and explain the natural world. In Aetna and the Moon, Liba Taub examines the variety of ways in which ancient Greeks and Romans conveyed scientific information. Oregon State University Press is proud to present this inaugural volume in the Horning Visiting Scholars Series.
In ancient Greece and Rome, most of the technical literature on scientific, mathematical, technological, and medical subjects was written in prose, as it is today. However, Greek and Roman poets produced a significant number of widely read poems that dealt with scientific topics. Why would an author choose poetry to explain the natural world? This question is complicated by claims made, since antiquity, that the growth of rational explanation involved the abandonment of poetry and the rejection of myth in favor of science.
Taub uses two texts to explore how scientific ideas were disseminated in the ancient world. The anonymous author of the Latin Aetna poem explained the science behind the volcano Etna with poetry. The Greek author Plutarch juxtaposed scientific and mythic explanations in his dialogue On the Face on the Moon.
Both texts provide a lens through which Taub considers the nature of scientific communication in ancient Greece and Rome. General readers will appreciate Taub’s thoughtful discussion concerning the choices available to ancient authors to convey their ideas about science—as important today as it was in antiquity—while Taub’s careful research and lively writing will engage classicists as well as historians of science.
A Bird Man in Antarctica
The year he graduated from college, twenty-two-year-old Noah Strycker was dropped by helicopter in a remote Antarctic field camp with two other bird scientists and a three-month supply of frozen food. His subjects: more than a quarter-million penguins.
The Adélie Penguins who call Antarctica home have been the subject of long-term studies—scientists may know more about how these penguins will adjust to climate change than about any other creature in the world.
With wit, curiosity, and a deep passion for his subject, Strycker weaves a captivating tale of penguins and their researchers on the coldest, driest, highest, and windiest continent on Earth. He recounts the reality of life in the Antarctic—thousand-year-old penguin mummies, hurricane-force blizzards, and day-to-day existence in below freezing temperatures—and delves deep into a world of science, obsession, and birds.
“Noah Strycker is going places, and he is taking us along for the ride. There is something fundamentally sunny about Among Penguins. This book will be a fan favorite for years to come.”—Ted Floyd, Editor, Birding
“Cape Crozier, against the largest ice shelf on Earth, in the shadow of an extinct volcano, and at the doorstep of the least human-affected stretch of ocean remaining on the planet, is one of Earth’s power spots. It’s refreshing to get Noah Strycker’s impressions of this place through his day-to-day experiences; he definitely had all his senses tested.” —David Ainley, author of The Adélie Penguin: Bellwether of Climate Change
This book provides the historical background for a central issue in the history of science: the influence of artisans, craftsmen, and other practitioners on the emergent empirical methodologies that characterized the “new sciences” of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Long offers a coherent account and critical revision of the “Zilsel thesis,” an influential etiological narrative which argues that such craftsmen were instrumental in bringing about the “Scientific Revolution.”
Artisan/Practitioners reassesses the issue of artisanal influence from three different perspectives: the perceived relationships between art and nature; the Vitruvian architectural tradition with its appreciation of both theory and practice; and the development of “trading zones”—arenas in which artisans and learned men communicated in substantive ways. These complex social and intellectual developments, the book argues, underlay the development of the empirical sciences.
This volume provides new discussion and synthesis of a theory that encompasses broad developments in European history and study of the natural world. It will be a valuable resource for college-level teaching, and for scholars and others interested in the history of science, late medieval and early modern European history, and the Scientific Revolution.
Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations Face the Climate Change
Indigenous nations are on the frontline of the climate crisis of the twenty-first century. With cultures and economies among the most vulnerable to climate-related catastrophes, Native peoples are developing responses to climate change that serve as a model for Native and non-Native communities alike.
Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest and Indigenous peoples around the Pacific Rim have already been deeply affected by droughts, flooding, reduced glaciers and snowmelts, seasonal shifts in winds and storms, and the northward shifting of species on the land and in the ocean. Having survived the historical and ecological wounds inflicted by colonization, industrialization, and urbanization, Indigenous peoples are using tools of resilience that have enabled them to respond to sudden environmental changes. They are creating defenses to harden their communities, mitigate losses, and adapt where possible.
Asserting Native Resilience presents a rich variety of perspectives on Indigenous responses to the climate crisis, reflecting the voices of more than twenty contributors, including tribal leaders, Native and non-Native scientists, scholars, and activists from the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, Alaska, and Aotearoa / New Zealand. Also included is a resource directory of Indigenous governments, NGOs, and communities that are researching and responding to climate change and a community organizing booklet for use by Northwest tribes.
An invaluable addition to the literature on climate change, Asserting Native Resilience will be useful for students of environmental studies, Native studies, geography, and rural sociology, and will serve as an important reference for Indigenous leaders, tribal members, and environmental agency staff.
Drift-fishing for a Life in Cook Inlet
Bert Bender started fishing Alaska’s Cook Inlet in 1963 with a thirty-foot sailboat converted to gas power and with no equipment for pulling in a net. Catching the Ebb recounts his thirty summers of gill-netting for salmon and describes his parallel career as a professor of American literature. Drawing on his academic specialties—American sea literature and the influence of evolutionary biology and ecology in American writing—Bender celebrates the fishing life and traces the fishery’s path of change, from shifts in the market and the demise of canneries to the effects of the Exxon Valdez disaster of 1989 to the rise of the farmed salmon industry.
Catching the Ebb will appeal to readers interested in Alaska, the sea, and the fishing life. In addition to its stories of people, boats, and fish, Bender’s compelling memoir addresses the critical question: Can we restrain our heedless pollution of the sea and avoid depleting ocean resources?
“That Catching the Ebb is written by a lifelong literary critic and writer who is also a professional commercial fisherman is what gives its unusual quality to this well-written and always absorbing book.”
—Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard and Men’s Lives
“Bert Bender has dragged his nets up and down the coast of Alaska and the inlets of his studies, and brought up a world of work and earned contemplation. I loved this book.”
—Ron Carlson, author of Five Skies
Transboundary River Governance in the Face of Uncertainty
The Columbia River Treaty, concluded in 1961 and ratified in 1964, split hydropower and flood control regulation of the river between Canada and the United States. Some of its provisions will expire in 2024, and either country must give ten years’ notice of any desired alteration or termination.
The Columbia River Treaty Revisited, with contributions from historians, geographers, environmental scientists, and other experts, is intended to facilitate conversation about the impending expiration. It allows the reader, through the close inspection of the Columbia River Basin, to better grasp the uncertainty of water governance. It aids efforts, already underway, to understand changes in the basin since the treaty was passed, to predict future changes, and to determine whether alteration of the treaty is ultimately advisable.
The Columbia River Treaty Revisited will appeal to those interested in water basin management–scholars, stakeholders, and residents of the Columbia River basin alike.
A Project of the Universities Consoritum on Columbia River Governance. The Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance, with representatives from universities in the U.S. and Canada, formed to offer a nonpartisan platform to facilitate an informed, inclusive, international dialogue among key decision-makers and other interested people and organizations; to connect university research to problems faced within the basin; and to expose students to a complex water resources problem. The Consortium organized the symposium on which this volume is based.
Oregon's Utopian Heritage
Oregon has long been a destination for those seeking new beginnings. Since the establishment of the Aurora Colony in 1856, the state has been the home of nearly three hundred communal experiments. Eden Within Edenis the first book to survey this utopian history, from religious and Socialist groups of the nineteenth century to ecologically conscious communities of the twenty-first century. James Kopp examines Oregon’s communal history in the framework of utopian and communal experiences across America.
Eden Within Edenprovides rich detail about utopian communities—some realized, some only planned—many of which reflect broader social, political, economic, and cultural aspects of Oregon’s history. From the dawn of communal groups in Oregon—the German Christian colony at Aurora—to Oregon’s most infamous communal experiment—Rajneeshpuram—Kopp describes the range of attempts to establish ideal communities in the state. These include the Jewish agrarian colony of New Odessa in the 1880s as well as the “new pioneers” of the 1960s who captured the spirit of the counterculture and gave voice to growing concerns about the environment. Kopp explores other areas of Oregon’s utopian heritage as well, including literary works and idealistic city planning. The book’s appendix is a rich compilation that will guide students, scholars, and other interested readers to additional information on the profiled—and many other—communities.
William O. Douglas and American Conservation
From the late 1940s to the mid-1970s, American conservation politics underwent a transformation — and Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas was at the heart of this shift toward modern environmentalism. The Environmental Justice explores how Douglas, inspired by his youthful experiences hiking in the Pacific Northwest, eventually used his influence to reshape American conservation thought, politics, and law.
One of the nation’s most passionate conservationists, Douglas wrote eloquent testimonies to the value of wilderness and society’s increasing need for it, both in his popular books and in his heartfelt judicial opinions celebrating nature and condemning those who would destroy it. He led public protests in favor of wilderness. He worked tirelessly to secure stronger legal protections for the environment, coordinating with a national network of conservationists and policymakers.
As a sitting Supreme Court Justice, Douglas brought both prestige and the enormous symbolic power of legal authority to conservation crusades at a time when the nation's laws did not favor environmental protection. He understood the need for national solutions that included public involvement and protections of minority interests; the issues were nationally important and the forces against preservation were strong. In myriad situations Douglas promoted democratic action for conservation, public monitoring of government and business activities, and stronger laws to insure environmental and political integrity.
Douglas’s passion for nature helped to define the modern environmental movement. For the first time, The Environmental Justice tells this story.
An Environmental History of the Elwha
In 1992 landmark federal legislation called for the removal of two dams from the Elwha River to restore salmon runs. Jeff Crane dives into the debate over development and ecological preservation in Finding the River, presenting a long-term environmental and human history of the river as well as a unique look at river reconstruction.
Finding the River examines the ways that different communities—from the Lower Elwha Klallam Indians to current-day residents—have used the river and its resources, giving close attention to the harnessing of the Elwha for hydroelectric production and the resulting decline of its fisheries. Jeff Crane describes efforts begun in the 1980s to remove the dams and restore the salmon. He explores the rise of a river restoration movement in the late twentieth century and the roles that free-flowing rivers could play in preserving salmon as global warming presents another set of threats to these endangered fish.
A significant and timely contribution to American Western and environmental history—removal of the two Elwha River dams is scheduled to begin in September 2011—Finding the River will be of interest to historians, to environmentalists, and to fisheries biologists, as well as to general readers interested in the Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula and environmental issues
Beatrice Morrow Cannady and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Oregon, 1912-1936
A Force for Change is the first full-length study of the life and work of one of Oregon’s most dynamic civil rights activists, Beatrice Morrow Cannady.
Between 1912 and 1936, Cannady tirelessly promoted interracial goodwill and fought segregation and discrimination. She gave hundreds of lectures to high school and college students and shared her message with radio listeners across the Pacific Northwest. She was assistant editor, and later publisher, of The Advocate, Oregon’s largest African American newspaper. Cannady was the first black woman to graduate from law school in Oregon, and the first to run for state representative. She held interracial teas in her home in Northeast Portland and protested repeated showings of the racist film The Birth of a Nation. And when the Ku Klux Klan swept into Oregon, she urged the governor to act quickly to protect black Oregonians’ right to live and work without fear. Despite these accomplishments, Beatrice Cannady fell into obscurity when she left Oregon in the late 1930s.
A Force for Change illuminates Cannady’s key role in advocating for better race relations in Oregon in the early decades of the twentieth century. It describes her encounters with the period’s leading black artists, editors, politicians, and intellectuals, including W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, A. Philip Randolph, Oscar De Priest, Roland Hayes, and James Weldon Johnson. It dispels the myth that African Americans played little part in Oregon’s history and it enriches our understanding of the black experience in Oregon and the civil rights movement across the country.