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Chaos and Cosmos

Literary Roots of Modern Ecology in the British Nineteenth Century

By Heidi C. M. Scott

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.

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Chattooga

Descending into the Myth of Deliverance River

John Lane

Before the novel and the film Deliverance appeared in the early 1970s, any outsiders one met along the Chattooga River were likely serious canoeists or anglers. In later years, untold numbers and kinds of people have felt the draw of the river’s torrents, which pour down the Appalachians along the Georgia-South Carolina border. Because of Deliverance the Chattooga looms enigmatically in our shared imagination, as iconic as Twain’s Mississippi--or maybe Conrad’s Congo.

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.

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Cheatgrass

Fire and Forage on the Range

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Checking the Pulse of Lake Erie

The progress of research on Lake Erie has been marked by several milestone publications during the long struggle to restore the system. The reports of the U.S. Federal Water Pollution Control Administration (1968) and the International Joint Commission (1969) described Lake Erie in the depths of degradation. “Lake Erie in the Early Seventies” (1976) recorded the status of limnology and fisheries in the lake before remedial programs were implemented. “State of Lake Erie” (1999) described the state of the lake in response to remedial actions and at early stages of the invasion of dreissenid mussels. Checking the Pulse of Lake Erie is an update of “State of Lake Erie” in light of continued efforts at restoration and impacts from nonindigenous species. This book contains twenty papers contributed by authors from a broad spectrum of disciplines and research interests.

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Chemical Biomarkers in Aquatic Ecosystems

Thomas S. Bianchi

This textbook provides a unique and thorough look at the application of chemical biomarkers to aquatic ecosystems. Defining a chemical biomarker as a compound that can be linked to particular sources of organic matter identified in the sediment record, the book indicates that the application of these biomarkers for an understanding of aquatic ecosystems consists of a biogeochemical approach that has been quite successful but underused. This book offers a wide-ranging guide to the broad diversity of these chemical biomarkers, is the first to be structured around the compounds themselves, and examines them in a connected and comprehensive way.

This timely book is appropriate for advanced undergraduate and graduate students seeking training in this area; researchers in biochemistry, organic geochemistry, and biogeochemistry; researchers working on aspects of organic cycling in aquatic ecosystems; and paleoceanographers, petroleum geologists, and ecologists.

  • Provides a guide to the broad diversity of chemical biomarkers in aquatic environments
  • The first textbook to be structured around the compounds themselves
  • Describes the structure, biochemical synthesis, analysis, and reactivity of each class of biomarkers
  • Offers a selection of relevant applications to aquatic systems, including lakes, rivers, estuaries, oceans, and paleoenvironments
  • Demonstrates the utility of using organic molecules as tracers of processes occurring in aquatic ecosystems, both modern and ancient

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Chemicals without Harm

Policies for a Sustainable World

Ken Geiser

Today, there are thousands of synthetic chemicals used to make our clothing, cosmetics, household products, electronic devices, even our children's toys. Many of these chemicals help us live longer and more comfortable lives, but some of these highly useful chemicals are also persistent, toxic, and dangerous to our health and the environment. For fifty years, the conventional approach to hazardous chemicals has focused on regulation, barriers, and protection. In Chemicals without Harm, Ken Geiser proposes a different strategy, based on developing and adopting safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals rather than focusing exclusively on controlling them. Geiser reviews past government policies focused on controlling chemicals, describes government initiatives outside the United States that have begun to implement a more sustainable chemical policy, and offers an overview of the chemicals industry and market. He develops a safer chemicals policy framework that includes processes for characterizing, classifying, and prioritizing chemicals; generating and using new chemical information; and promoting transitions to safer chemicals. The shift in strategy described by Geiser will require broad changes in science, the chemicals economy, and government policy. Geiser shows that it is already beginning, identifying an emerging movement of scientists, corporate managers, environmental activists, and government leaders who are fashioning a new, twenty-first-century approach to chemicals.

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Chimney Swift Towers

New Habitat for America's Mysterious Birds

By Paul D. Kyle

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.

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China's Dilemma

Economic Growth, the Environment, and Climate Change

edited by Ligang Song and Wing Thye Woo

The economic growth of China is clearly one of the defining trends of our time. The world's most populous nation is undergoing a vast transformation that will redefine the global economy. Chinese industrial production has increased tremendously in recent years, and its consumption of resources has necessarily gone way up as well. These developments will have important impacts on economics, business, politics, and environmental conditions throughout the world. In C hina's Dilemma: Economic Growth, the Environment, and Climate Change, an international group of authorities examines the present status and likely future of China's economic rise and its impact on the environment, with particular focus on the all-important topic of global climate change. The first section addresses directly China's recent growth. Specific topics addressed here include the effects on China of the global credit crunch, determinants of growth, and their prospects for the future. Part II addresses China's environmental and climate concerns, including the impact on human health, their role in domestic politics, the health effects of environmental damage, and China's post- Kyoto climate strategy. Part III looks at the impact, and likely trajectory, of energy consumption in China. Contents Part I. Economic Growth: Determinants and Prospects Includes introduction Part II. Impact of Environment Degradation and Climate Change Part III. Energy Use, the Environment, and Future Trends

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Chiricahua Mountains

Bridging the Borders of Wildness

For many, these mountains represent the Apache stronghold of Geronimo. For others, they are a birdwatcher's paradise. But the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona are more than this. They are a classic "sky island" of the desert, a rich storehouse of biologic diversity. On a journey undertaken in search of a pair of rare short-tailed hawks, Ken Lamberton takes readers on an excursion through these mountains, from their riparian canyons to their highest peaks. The Chiricahuas comprise the largest single range in southern Arizona, crisscrossed by more than 300 miles of trails. Lamberton is your guide along these trails, and his knowledge of the mountains and their natural history makes him a perfect hiking companion while Jeff Garton's stunning photographs enrich your visit. Lamberton shares insights about the geology, habitats, and diversity of wildlife in a place of such isolation that species must either adapt or become extinct. The Chiricahuas are one link in a chain of mountains connecting the Rockies to the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico, and some Madrean species reach the northernmost extension of their ranges here: birds like sulphur-bellied flycatchers, mammals like jaguarundis, and trees like the Apache pine. But this is not an untraveled wilderness. We learn why the Chiricahuas are so popular with birders, who flock to these mountains from around the world in the hopes of spotting some of the nearly four hundred avian species found here. We also learn something of the Chiricahua's rich human culture, from Apache warriors to European settlers. Gracing the text are more than a dozen black-and-white photographs by Jeff Garton that offer views of the Chiricahuas different from those usually found in tourist brochures: landscapes and riparian settings, rock formations and plant studies that give readers a lasting impression of the beauty and tranquility of this wilderness. Together words and images convey an intimate view of one of the Southwest's most exotic locations—stronghold, paradise, and everlasting island in the vast and rolling desert.

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The Cinematic Footprint

Lights, Camera, Natural Resources

Nadia Bozak

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.

 

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