The island of Borneo is a place of great natural beauty and rich biodiversity. From the peaks of the majestic Mount Kinabalu to the enchanting coral-fringed islands that lie offshore, with vast tracts of lush rainforest in between, Borneo's landscape is as varied as it is magnificent. In Wild Borneo, author Nick Garbutt embarks upon a fascinating investigation into the wonders of this island, exploring every aspect of Borneo's terrain, from its rainforest-covered lowland areas to its mountain ranges, highland areas, and winding rivers.
The early modern genre of historia connected the study of nature and the study of culture from the early Renaissance to the eighteenth century. The ubiquity of historia as a descriptive method across a variety of disciplines—including natural history, medicine, antiquarianism, and philology—indicates how closely intertwined these scholarly pursuits were in the early modern period. The essays collected in this volume demonstrate that historia can be considered a key epistemic tool of early modern intellectual practices.
Seen from space, the earth is blue. That luminous blueness is water—the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Antarctic oceans. Seventy percent of what we call "earth" is under water. Life began in the ocean, and the ocean still plays a vital role in our lives and the earth's ecosystem. More than half the world's population lives within a few miles of the sea; we're drawn to it to swim, surf, sail, or simply gaze out across the waves.
Amidst city concrete and suburban sprawl, Americans are discovering new ways to reconnect with the natural world. From community gardens in New York's Lower East Side to homeless shelters in California, the search for a more sustainable future has led grassroots groups to a profound reconnection to place and to the natural world.
Trees capture our imagination because they are rooted solidly in the earth but point ethereally toward the sky. They occupy a dimension that has as much to do with time and patience as with place and landscape. They are vertical beings to whom we attribute qualities both divine and human.
Throughout much of human history, changes to forest ecosystems have come about through natural climatic changes occurring over long periods of time. But scientists now find changes in forest cover dramatically accelerated by such human activities as large-scale agriculture, the building of dams and roads, and the growth of cities with vast areas of asphalt. Changes that once took centuries now take only decades. Seeing the Forest and the Trees examines changes in land cover and land use in forested regions as major contributors to global environmental change.
Whales, dolphins, and porpoises have fascinated humankind for centuries. Amazingly diverse, they have evolved specializations that allow them, despite being air-breathing mammals, to exploit habitats ranging from surface waters to ocean depths. Whales and Dolphins of the World is a celebration of the variety (more than 80 species), behavior, and natural history of these remarkable animals.
Scientists Debate Gaia is a multidisciplinary reexamination of the Gaia hypothesis, which was introduced by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis in the early 1970s. The Gaia hypothesis holds that Earth's physical and biological processes are linked to form a complex, self-regulating system and that life has affected this system over time. Until a few decades ago, most of the earth sciences viewed the planet through disciplinary lenses: biology, chemistry, geology, atmospheric and ocean studies. The Gaia hypothesis, on the other hand, takes a very broad interdisciplinary approach.
Deserts represent the ultimate challenge to life on Earth. Their lack of water and extreme temperatures make survival difficult for both wildlife and people, yet deserts are rich in animal and plant life and culture. Their unique species and ancient civilizations include fragile treasures needing protection in a rapidly changing world. Deserts are among our planet's last great wilderness regions, and they continue to offer scientific puzzles and new discoveries. Deserts: The Living Drylands is a celebration of the world's least understood ecosystems.
The theory of evolution connects us to the natural world, explaining how and why we are a part of nature. The idea of progress, on the other hand, projects a destination. "If nature can supply wonderfully elegant solutions to the problem of survival by trying out test models derived solely by chance, then surely it's possible for us to find our way forward," write David Rothenberg and Wandee Pryor, setting the terms of the discussion. But is society going somewhere in particular? Is nature improving?