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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.
The Battle for the Columbia River Gorge
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act, setting into motion one of the great land-use experiments of modern times. The act struck a compromise between protection for one of the West’s most stunning landscapes—the majestic Gorge carved by Ice Age floods, which today divides Washington and Oregon—and encouragement of compatible economic development in communities on both sides of the river.
In Bridging a Great Divide, award-winning environmental journalist Kathie Durbin draws on interviews, correspondence, and extensive research to tell the story of the major shifts in the Gorge since the Act’s passage. Sweeping change has altered the Gorge’s landscape: upscale tourism and outdoor recreation, gentrification, the end of logging in national forests, the closing of aluminum plants, wind farms, and a population explosion in the metropolitan area to its west. Yet, to the casual observer, the Gorge looks much the same as it did twenty-five years ago.
How can we measure the success of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act? In this insightful and revealing history, Durbin suggests that the answer depends on who you are: a small business owner, an environmental watchdog group, a chamber of commerce. The story of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is the story of the Pacific Northwest in microcosm, as the region shifts from a natural-resource-based economy to one based on recreation, technology, and quality of life.
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
Politics and Personalities in Oregon's Wolf Country
“Just as the humans involved in the wolf debate deserve to be seen as individuals, not stereotypes, so do the wolves. They are not the boogeyman, or storybook monsters aiming to prey upon the young and old. They aren’t cuddly pets or religious icons. They are Canis lupus. Wolves.” —from the Introduction
Teeming with the tension and passion that accompany one of North America’s most controversial apex predators, Collared tracks the events that unfolded when wolves from the reintroduced population of the northern Rocky Mountains dispersed west across state lines into Oregon.
In a forthright and personal style, Aimee Lyn Eaton takes readers from meeting rooms in the state capitol to ranching communities in the rural northeast corner of the state. Using on-the-ground inquiry, field interviews, and in-depth research, she shares the story of how wolves returned to Oregon and the repercussions of their presence in the state.
Collared: Politics and Personalities in Oregon’s Wolf Country introduces readers to the biologists, ranchers, conservationists, state employees, and lawyers on the front lines, encouraging a deeper, multifaceted understanding of the controversial and storied presence of wolves in Oregon.