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The History of Nature in Iowa
Encounters with Trees, History, and the American Landscape
Trees are the grandest and most beautiful plant creations on earth. From their shade-giving, arching branches and strikingly diverse bark to their complex root systems, trees represent shelter, stability, place, and community as few other living objects can.
Enduring Roots tells the stories of historic American trees, including the oak, the apple, the cherry, and the oldest of the world’s trees, the bristlecone pine. These stories speak of our attachment to the land, of our universal and eternal need to leave a legacy, and demonstrate that the landscape is a gift, to be both received and, sometimes, tragically, to be destroyed.
Each chapter of this book focuses on a specific tree or group of trees and its relationship to both natural and human history, while exploring themes of community, memory, time, and place. Readers learn that colonial farmers planted marker trees near their homes to commemorate auspicious events like the birth of a child, a marriage, or the building of a house. They discover that Benjamin Franklin’s Newtown Pippin apples were made into a pie aboard Captain Cook’s Endeavour while the ship was sailing between Tahiti and New Zealand. They are told the little-known story of how the Japanese flowering cherry became the official tree of our nation’s capital—a tale spanning many decades and involving an international cast of characters. Taken together, these and many other stories provide us with a new ways to interpret the American landscape.
“It is my hope,” the author writes, “that this collection will be seen for what it is, a few trees selected from a great forest, and that readers will explore both—the trees and the forest—and find pieces of their own stories in each.”
Views on Antarctica
Literary and Environmental Studies in Africa
Environment at the Margins brings literary and environmental studies into a robust interdisciplinary dialogue, challenging dominant ideas about nature, conservation, and development in Africa and exploring alternative narratives offered by writers and environmental thinkers. The essays examine how geographers, anthropologists, and historians make use of literature and how they apply theories and ideas drawn from their respective fields in the study of both African and colonial literatures. Contributors analyze the writing of Nadine Gordimer and J. M. Coetzee and the intersections between literary and policy devices in the works of Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Zakes Mda, Mia Couto, Ben Okri, and Wangari Maathai. These postcolonial ecocritical discussions focus on dialogue among disciplines and among different visions of African environments. Through its cross-disciplinary approach, Environment at the Margins moves African ecocriticism beyond the marginalized visions of the imaginary Africa.
Mainstream Economics, Ecological Disaster, and Human Survival
The landscapes of the Middle East have captured our imaginations throughout history. Images of endless golden dunes, camel caravans, isolated desert oases, and rivers lined with palm trees have often framed written and visual representations of the region. Embedded in these portrayals is the common belief that the environment, in most places, has been deforested and desertified by centuries of misuse. It is precisely such orientalist environmental imaginaries, increasingly undermined by contemporary ecological data, that the eleven authors in this volume question. This is the first volume to critically examine culturally constructed views of the environmental history of the Middle East and suggest that they have often benefitted elites at the expense of the ecologies and the peoples of the region. The contributors expose many of the questionable policies and practices born of these environmental imaginaries and related histories that have been utilized in the region since the colonial period. They further reveal how power, in the form of development programs, notions of nationalism, and hydrological maps, for instance, relates to environmental knowledge production.
Establishing the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a breathtakingly beautiful archipelago of twenty-two islands in Lake Superior, just off the tip of northern Wisconsin. For years, the national park has been a favorite destination for tourists and locals alike, but the remarkable story behind its creation is little known. In Environmental Politics and the Creation of a Dream, Harold Jordahl, one of the primary advocates for designating the islands as a national park, discloses the full story behind the effort to preserve their natural beauty for posterity. He describes in detail the political and bureaucratic complexities of the national lakeshore campaign, augmented by his own personal recollections and those of such prominent figures as Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson and President John F. Kennedy. Writing in collaboration with Annie Booth, Jordahl recounts how activists, legislators, media, local residents, and other players shaped the islands’ future establishment as a national park.
Nature was always vital in Thomas Merton’s life, from the long hours he spent as a child watching his father paint landscapes in the fresh air, to his final years of solitude in the hermitage at Our Lady of Gethsemani, where he contemplated and wrote about the beauty of his surroundings. Throughout his life, Merton’s study of the natural world shaped his spirituality in profound ways, and he was one of the first writers to raise concern about ecological issues that have become critical in recent years. In The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton, author Monica Weis suggests that Merton’s interest in nature, which developed significantly during his years at the Abbey of Gethsemani, laid the foundation for his growing environmental consciousness. Tracing Merton’s awareness of the natural world from his childhood to the final years of his life, Weis explores his deepening sense of place and desire for solitude, his love and responsibility for all living things, and his evolving ecological awareness.
Quotations and Commentaries
For the first time, the most important quotations of the great conservationist Aldo Leopold, author of A Sand County Almanac, are gathered in one volume. From conservation education to wildlife ecology, from wilderness protection to soil and water conservation, the writings of Aldo Leopold continue to have profound influence on those seeking to understand the earth and its care. Leopold biographer Curt Meine and noted conservation biologist Richard Knight have assembled this comprehensive collection of quotations from Leopold’s extensive and diverse writings, selected and organized to capture the richness and depth of the North American conservation movement.
Prominent biologists, conservationists, historians, and philosophers provide introductory commentaries describing Leopold’s contributions in varied fields and reflecting upon the significance of his work today.
J. Baird Callicott
Susan L. Flader
Eric T. Freyfogle
Paul W. Johnson
Joni L. Kinsey
Richard L. Knight
Gary K. Meffe
Gary Paul Nabhan
Bryan G. Norton
David W. Orr
Edwin P. Pister
Stanley A. Temple
Jack Ward Thomas
Terry Tempest Williams
Joy B. Zedler
Nonnative Hoofed Mammals in the United States
Exotic animals range in appearance from truly striking to seemingly ordinary, and they live in wildlife preserves, on farms, in parks, and even in the wilderness across the United States. In this book, Elizabeth Cary Mungall provides ample information for anyone, from park visitor and zoo goer to rancher and wildlife biologist, who wants to identify and learn more about exotic wildlife in the United States. Richard D. Estes, author of The Safari Companion, says that "for everyone interested in exotic hoofed stock, Exotic Animal Field Guide is a well-written and beautifully illustrated book that fills a vacant niche." Indeed, the main portion of the book contains fully illustrated species accounts of eighty different kinds of hoofed animals, with native range maps and information about food habits, habitat, temperament, breeding and birth seasons, and fencing needs. A list of exotics-related organizations and a reference section round out the text. Photographs of each species make the book both attractive and useful as a field tool. In a chapter on photographing exotics, Christian Mungall shows readers how to take their own great pictures of these animals. Clearly, as James G. Teer, of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University states, this is "much more than a field guide. Elizabeth Cary Mungall's book is a long awaited repository and data source on the ecology, technology, and management of more than 80 species of non-native hoofed animals. . . . Anyone with exotics on his or her property will require Exotic Animal Field Guide."