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Accidental Gravity

Residents, Travelers, and the Landscape of Memory

Bernard Quetchenbach

Accidental Gravity is an essay collection that moves from the author's youth in upstate New York to the contemporary western United States, from urban and suburban places to wild lands. In the first section of the book, he focuses on suburban neighborhoods, "the places where tensions between human and animal nature, and between differing concepts of the natural world, come to the fore." In the second section, he juxtaposes these humanized places with Yellowstone National Park. Quetchenbach writes about current environmental issues in the Greater Yellowstone area—wildlife, forest insects, invasive species, ever-increasing numbers of tourists—in the context of climate change and other contemporary pressures.

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Accomplishing NAGPRA

Perspectives on the Intent, Impact, and Future of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

Edited by Sangita Chari and Jaime M. N. Lavallee

Accomplishing NAGPRA reveals the day-to-day reality of implementing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. The diverse contributors to this timely volume reflect the viewpoints of tribes, museums, federal agencies, attorneys, academics, and others invested in the landmark act.

NAGPRA requires museums and federal agencies to return requested Native American cultural items to lineal descendants, culturally affiliated Indian tribes, and Native Hawai’ian organizations.  Since the 1990 passage of the act, museums and federal agencies have made more than one million cultural items—and the remains of nearly forty thousand Native Americans—available for repatriation.

Drawing on case studies, personal reflections, historical documents, and statistics, the volume examines NAGPRA and its grassroots, practical application throughout the United States.
Accomplishing NAGPRA will appeal to professionals and academics with an interest in cultural resource management, Indian and human rights law, Indigenous studies, social justice movements, and public policy.

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Aetna and the Moon

Explaining Nature in Ancient Greece and Rome

Liba Taub

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.

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The Alternate Route

Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones

Thomas Graham Jr.

Eventual achievement of nuclear disarmament has been an objective and a dream of the world community since the dawn of the Nuclear Age. Considerable progress has been made over the decades, but this has always required close US-Russian cooperation. At present, further progress is likely blocked by the return of Vladimir Putin to the Russian presidency and the toxic US-Russia relationship.
 
The classic road toward nuclear disarmament appears to be closed for the foreseeable future, but there may be another route. In the last fifty years, well-conceived regional treaties have been developed in Latin America, the South Pacific, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia. These arrangements have developed for many and varied political and security reasons, but now virtually all of the Southern Hemisphere and important parts of the Northern Hemisphere are legally nuclear-weapon-free. These regional nuclear weapon disarmament treaties are formally respected by the five states recognized under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as nuclear weapon states: the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China—often referred to collectively as the P-5 states.
 
Variations of these regional treaties might eventually be negotiated in the Middle East, Northeast Asia, and South Asia, setting aside the P-5 states until the very end of the process.  With regional agreements in place around the globe, negotiation among the P-5 states would be all that stands between the world community and the banishment of nuclear weapons, verifiably and effectively worldwide. By the time this point is reached, Russia and the United States might be able to cooperate.
 
Essential reading for policy advisors, foreign service professionals, and scholars in political science, The Alternate Route examines the possibilities of nuclear-weapon-free zones as a pathway to worldwide nuclear disarmament.

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Among Penguins

A Bird Man in Antarctica

Noah Strycker

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

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Ancestral Places

Understanding Kanaka Geographies

Katrina-Ann R. Kapāʻanaokalāokeola Nākoa Oliveira

Ancestral Places explores the deep connections that ancestral Kānaka (Native Hawaiians) enjoyed with their environment. It honors the moʻolelo (historical accounts) of the ancestral places of their kūpuna (ancestors), and reveals how these moʻolelo and their relationships with the ʻāina (land) inform a Kanaka sense of place.

The book elucidates a Kanaka geography and provides contemporary scholars with insights regarding traditional culture—including the ways in which Kānaka utilize cartographic performances to map their ancestral places and retain their moʻolelo, such as reciting creation accounts, utilizing nuances embedded in language, and dancing hula.

A Kanaka by birth, a kumu ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (language teacher) by profession, and a geographer by training, Oliveira’s interests intersect at the boundary where words and place-making meet her ancestral land. Thus, Ancestral Places imbues the theoretical with sensual practice. The book’s language moves fluidly between Hawaiian and English, terms are nimbly defined, and the work of the field is embodied: geographic layers are enacted within the text, new understandings created—not just among lexica, but amidst illustrations, charts, terms, and poetry. 

In Ancestral Places, Oliveira reasserts both the validity of ancestral knowledge systems and their impact in modernity. Her discussion of Kanaka geographies encompasses the entire archipelago, offering a new framework in Kanaka epistemology.

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Artisan/Practitioners and the Rise of the New Sciences, 1400-1600

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.

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Asserting Native Resilience

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.

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At the Hearth of the Crossed Races

A French-Indian Community in Nineteenth-Century Oregon, 1812-1859

Melinda Jetté

Despite the force of Oregon’s founding mythology, the Willamette Valley was not an empty Eden awaiting settlement by hardy American pioneers. Rather, it was, as Melinda Jetté explores in At the Hearth of the Crossed Races, one of the earliest sites of extensive intercultural contact in the Pacific Northwest.

Jetté’s study focuses on the “hearth” of this contact: French Prairie, so named for the French-Indian families who resettled the homeland of the Ahantchuyuk Kalapuyans. Although these families sought a middle course in their relations with their various neighbors, their presence ultimately contributed to the Anglo-American colonization of the region. By establishing farming and husbandry operations in the valley, the French-Indian settlers enhanced the Willamette Valley’s appeal as a destination of choice for the Anglo-Americans who later emigrated to the Pacific Northwest via the Oregon Trail.

Upon these emigrants’ arrival, the social space for the people of the “crossed races” diminished considerably, as the Anglo-Americans instituted a system of settler colonialism based on racial exclusion. Like their Native kin, the French-Indian families pursued various strategies to navigate the changing times and Jetté’s study of French Prairie takes on the relationships among all three: the French-Indian families, the indigenous peoples, and the Anglo-American settlers.  

With At the Hearth of the Crossed Races, Jetté delivers a social history that deepens our understanding of the Oregon Country in the nineteenth century. This history of French Prairie provides a window into the multi-racial history of the Pacific Northwest and offers an alternative vision of early Oregon in the lives of the biracial French-Indian families whose community challenged notions of white supremacy, racial separation, and social exclusion.

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Ava Helen Pauling

Partner, Activist, Visionary

Mina Carson

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