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Fifteen Thousand Years on One Square Mile
"Ceremonial time" occurs when past, present, and future can be perceived simultaneously. Experienced only rarely, usually during ritual dance, this escape from linear time is the vehicle for John Mitchell's extraordinary writing. In this, his most magical book, he traces the life of a single square mile in New England, from the last ice age through years of human history, including bear shamans, colonists, witches, local farmers, and encroaching industrial "parks."
The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods is both a fascinating introduction to the forests of Maine and a detailed but accessible narrative of the dynamism of these ecosystems. This is natural history with a long view, starting with an overview of the state's geological history, the reemergence of the forest after glacial retreat, and the surprising changes right up to European arrival. The authors create a vivid picture of Maine forests just before the impact of Euro-Americans and trace the profound transformations since settlement.
Ambitious in its geographic range, this book explores how and why Maine forests differ across the state, from the top of Mount Katahdin to the coast. Through groundbreaking research and engaging narratives, the authors assess key ecological forces such as climate change, insects and disease, nonnative organisms, natural disturbance, and changing land use to create a dramatic portrait of Maine forests--past, present, and future.
This book both synthesizes the latest scientific discoveries regarding the changing forest and relates the findings to an educated lay and academic audience.
Literary Roots of Modern Ecology in the British Nineteenth Century
In Chaos and the Microcosm, Heidi Scott integrates literary readings with contemporary ecological methods to investigate two essential and contrasting paradigms of nature that scientific ecology continues to debate: chaos and balance. Ecological literature of the Romantic and Victorian eras uses environmental chaos and the figure of the balanced microcosm as tropes essential to understanding natural patterns, and these eras were the first to reflect upon the ecological degradations of the Industrial Revolution. Chaos and the Microcosm contends that the seed of imagination that would enable a scientist to study a lake as a microcosmic world at the formal, empirical level was sown by Romantic and Victorian poets who consciously drew a sphere around their perceptions in order to make sense of spots of time and place amid the globalizing modern world. This study’s interest goes beyond likening literary tropes to scientific aesthetics; it aims to theorize the interdisciplinary history of the concepts that underlie our scientific understanding of modern nature. Paradigmatic ecological ideas like ecosystems, succession dynamics, punctuated equilibrium, and climate change are shown to have a literary foundation that preceded their status as theories in science. This book is an elevation of the prospects of ecocriticism towards fully developed interdisciplinary potentials of literary ecology.
Descending into the Myth of Deliverance River
This is John Lane’s search for the real Chattooga--for the truths that reside somewhere in the river’s rapids, along its shores, or in its travelers’ hearts. Lane balances the dark, indifferent mythical river of Deliverance against the Chattooga known to locals and to the outdoors enthusiasts who first mastered its treacherous vortices and hydraulics. Starting at its headwaters, Lane leads us down the river and through its complex history to its current status as a National Wild and Scenic River. Along the way he stops for talks with conservation activists, seventh-generation residents, locals who played parts in the movie, day visitors, and others. Lane weaves into each encounter an abundance of details drawn from his perceptive readings and viewings of Deliverance and his wide-ranging knowledge of the Chattooga watershed. At the end of his run, Lane leaves us still fully possessed by the Chattooga’s mystery, yet better informed about its place in his world and ours.
New Habitat for America's Mysterious Birds
Chimney Swifts, birds that nest and roost in chimneys, have been historically abundant in North America. But by the late 1980s, the number of swifts migrating to North America from the Amazon River Basin had declined. A growing number of people across North America are now constructing nesting towers and conducting Chimney Swift conservation projects in their own communities. With Chimney Swift Towers, concerned bird conservationists have a step-by-step guide to help them create more habitat for these beneficial, insect-eating birds. Chimney Swift experts Paul and Georgean Kyle give directions for building freestanding wooden towers, wooden kiosk towers, masonry towers, and other structures. Included are - design basics, - lists of materials needed, - useful diagrams and photographs, - and detailed instructions on site preparation, tower construction, installation, and maintenance. Anyone with basic woodworking or masonry skills and an interest in wildlife conservation will find this publication helpful. That includes do-it-yourselfers, homeowners involved in creating backyard habitat for wildlife, landscape and structural architects, park and wildscape managers, wildlife management area professionals, nature centers, garden centers, scout troops, and other civic organizations in search of community service projects.
Lights, Camera, Natural Resources
Film is often used to represent the natural landscape and, increasingly, to communicate environmentalist messages. Yet behind even today’s “green” movies are ecologically unsustainable production, distribution, and consumption processes. Noting how seemingly immaterial moving images are supported by highly durable resource-dependent infrastructures, The Cinematic Footprint traces the history of how the “hydrocarbon imagination” has been central to the development of film as a medium.
Nadia Bozak’s innovative fusion of film studies and environmental studies makes provocative connections between the disappearance of material resources and the emergence of digital media—with examples ranging from early cinema to Dziga Vertov’s prescient eye, from Chris Marker’s analog experiments to the digital work of Agnès Varda, James Benning, and Zacharias Kunuk. Combining an analysis of cinema technology with a sensitive consideration of film aesthetics, The Cinematic Footprint offers a new perspective on moving images and the natural resources that sustain them.
Using a case study of environmental debates about air pollution in Pittsburgh during the late 1960s and early 1970s, James Longhurst examines larger trends in citizen activism outside party politics, linking those trends with the rights revolution of the late twentieth century. He draws upon journalistic accounts, archival documents, legal records, and interviews to explore the actions and arguments of GASP (Group Against Smog and Pollution). This group of environmental activists gained access to political power through claims to citizenship and scientific expertise, supported by the organizational skills, social capital, and maternal rhetoric of middle-class women. Once they gained entry to a newly confrontational policy process, the group engaged in furious public debates over implementation, enforcement, and employment, all amid the decline of Pittsburgh's industrial economy. The grassroots actions of GASP, and many other groups like it across the nation, show that new developments in policy-making, concepts of citizenship, and the long-standing tradition of middle-class women's civic activism did more to drive the creation of the modern environmental movement than did changes in environmental philosophy.
Garden and Forest Magazine and the Rise of American Environmentalism
The weekly magazine Garden and Forest existed for only nine years (1888–1897). Yet, in that brief span, it brought to light many of the issues that would influence the future of American environmentalism. In The City Natural, Shen Hou presents the first “biography” of this important but largely overlooked vehicle for individuals with the common goal of preserving nature in American civilization. As Hou’s study reveals, Garden and Forest was instrumental in redefining the fields of botany and horticulture, while also helping to shape the fledgling professions of landscape architecture and forestry. The publication actively called for reform in government policy, urban design, and future planning for the preservation and inclusion of nature in cities. It also attempted to shape public opinion on these issues through a democratic ideal that every citizen had the right (and need) to access nature. These notions would anticipate the conservation and “city beautiful” movements that followed in the early twentieth century. Hou explains the social and environmental conditions that led to the rise of reform efforts, organizations, and publications such as Garden and Forest. She reveals the intellectual core and vision of the magazine as a proponent of the city natural movement that sought to relate nature and civilization through the arts and sciences. Garden and Forest was a staunch advocate of urban living made better through careful planning and design. As Hou shows, the publication also promoted forest management and preservation, not only as a natural resource but as an economic one. She also profiles the editors and contributors who set the magazine’s tone and follows their efforts to expand America’s environmental expertise. Through the pages of Garden and Forest, the early period of environmentalism was especially fruitful and optimistic; many individuals joined forces for the benefit of humankind and helped lay the foundation for a coherent national movement. Shen Hou’s study gives Garden and Forest its due and adds an important new chapter to the early history of American environmentalism.