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Tracks and Shadows: Field Biology as Art download

Harry W. Greene: Tracks and Shadows: Field Biology as Art

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Editorial Reviews From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. Noted herpatologist and Cornell University professor Greene's vibrant blending of memoir and natural history heightens our appreciation of ecological preservation by demonstrating how curiosity becomes science, and by extension how what we understand becomes what we value. Striking evocations of his Texas and Oklahoma childhood reveal a lifelong fascination with reptiles, specifically snakes, which launched a career in academia and research circling the globe. Some may flinch at Greene's close encounters with snakes, but armchair eco-tourists will savor his rousing, splendidly depicted forays into Amazonian rainforests and the jungles of the Congo. While scientific specificity abounds, the book also brings his adventures and fellow adventurers boisterously to life, in the tradition of Jim Harrison and Norman Maclean—writers Greene openly admires. His reflections on humanity's interconnectedness with the Earth and all its inhabitants give an achingly beautiful expansiveness to his narrative, while quieter musings on the deaths of loved ones and the impact of his mentors find Greene reaching for soundly resonating poetry. Roomy enough to embrace black-tailed rattlesnakes, African bushmasters, and green anacondas alongside Pablo Neruda, Jackson Browne, and Immanuel Kant, Greene (Snakes: The Evolution of Mystery in Nature) succeeds in illuminating the world as a place of beauty, harmony, and danger, deeply interconnected and worthy of cherishing and preserving. 17 b&w photos. (Oct.) From Booklist Biologist Greene delves deeply into his own career and those of the mentors who influenced him in this elegantly written love letter to the field of natural history. From his days as a curious child at his grandparents’ rural Texas farm through years in the field and classroom, Greene has been unwavering in his search for scientific knowledge. He writes with passion and eloquence as he pays homage to decades of work done by researchers whose names are rarely heard by the public and yet have had a profound impact on how we interact with nature and the development of ecological studies. While his discussions of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace are satisfying, Greene truly shines when writing about his friends, most especially fellow naturalist Ben Dial. Greene’s artful pivot from fascinating details about the behavior of snakes to the loss of someone close to him is proof that this scientist has a poet’s heart. Praised by David Quammen and Jim Harrison, Tracks and Shadows is a sweet surprise; rarely has science been so tender. --Colleen Mondor See all Editorial Reviews


4,5 / 5


  • Language: English
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1St Edition edition (October 28, 2013)
  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • October 28, 2013 0520232755 978-0520232754 1St Edition

    File size: 3,5MB

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