A native of Chalmette, Louisiana, Barry D. Keim remembers the lasting impression Hurricane Camille made on him as a boy in 1969. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed his childhood home. He is Louisiana State Climatologist, a professor of geography at Louisiana State University, and coauthor of New England Weather, New England Climate and Rainfall Frequency/Magnitude Atlas for the South-Central United States. He lives in Baton Rouge.
A native of northern New Jersey, Robert A. Muller experienced the Great New England Hurricane of 1938. He is a professor emeritus of geography at Louisiana State University, former Louisiana State Climatologist, past director of the NOAA Southern Regional Climate Center at LSU, and the coauthor of Essentials of Physical Geography Today and Physical Geography Today: A Portrait of a Planet. He lives in Baton Rouge.
It was the storm of the century, boasting waves over one hundred feet high—a tempest created by so rare a combination of factors that meteorologists deemed it "the perfect storm." In a book that has become a classic, Sebastian Junger explores the history of the fishing industry, the science of storms, and the candid accounts of the people whose lives the storm touched. The Perfect Storm is a real-life thriller that makes us feel like we've been caught, helpless, in the grip of a force of nature beyond our understanding or control.
Winner of the American Library Association's 1998 Alex Award.
On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roaring inferno that jumped from treetop to ridge as it raged, destroying towns and timber in the blink of an eye. Forest rangers had assembled nearly ten thousand men to fight the fires, but no living person had seen anything like those flames, and neither the rangers nor anyone else knew how to subdue them. Egan recreates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire with unstoppable dramatic force, and the larger story of outsized president Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot, that follows is equally resonant. Pioneering the notion of conservation, Roosevelt and Pinchot did nothing less than create the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by every citizen. Even as TR's national forests were smoldering they were saved: The heroism shown by his rangers turned public opinion permanently in favor of the forests, though it changed the mission of the forest service in ways we can still witness today.
This e-book includes a sample chapter of SHORT NIGHTS OF THE SHADOW CATCHER.
Aerial reconnaissance has shown that many wetlands in the lowlands which these travellers crossed are patterned with the remains of prehispanic platforms and canals, an old and effective system for the cultivation of wetlands. These show particularly clearly in the pastures of modern ranches -- a very different land use, and yet perhaps governed by similar constraints. The pastures are dotted with palms which eloquently indicate repeated burning and long use and scored by drainage ditches cut according to contemporary practice, thus giving evidence of both ancient and modern use. The travellers' accounts throw light on this juxtaposition.
Early nineteenth-century visitors to Mexico usually entered the country at Veracruz and proceeded inland along the Jalapa road. Their impressions of the surrounding landscape have long been relied upon for a contemporary interpretation of this region. They produced a rich literature which reveals a great deal about what the European and North American travellers thought about the tropics.
The reader is taken along the Veracruz-Jalapa road up to the summit of the pass and on to the central tableland and allowed to see the coastal landscape take shape from the commentary, step by step -- detailed and coloured by predisposition, the 'objective' landscape often aggrandized and misperceived. The accounts are not benign; they are tinged with an evaluation of tropical lowlands that unfortunately persisted and proved prejudicial to actual development here and elsewhere.
In this book, Alfred Siemens brings together a wide array of commentary to coalesce as though it were a piece of landscape theatre, always with the recognition that the fascinating and at times entertaining observations carry venom.
In this cultural historical geography, Robert C. West explores the dual geographic "personality" of this part of Mexico's northern frontier. Utilizing the idea of "old" and "new" landscapes, he describes two Sonoras—to the east, a semiarid to subhumid mountainous region that reached its peak of development in the colonial era and still lives largely in its colonial past; and, to the west, a desert region that in the twentieth century has become a major agricultural producer and the modern center of economic and cultural activity.
After a description of the physical and biotic aspects of Sonora, West describes the aboriginal farming cultures that inhabited eastern Sonora before the Spanish conquest. Following the conquest, he traces the spread of Jesuit missions and Spanish mining and ranching communities into this land where gold, silver, and copper ores were easily extracted by surface mining. He charts the decline of eastern Sonora with the coming of Apache and Seri raids during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. And he shows how western Sonora has become one of Mexico's most powerful political and economic entities in the twentieth century.
For geographers, historians, anthropologists, and economists, as well as travelers to Sonora and its coastal resorts, this lively and interesting book will be important reading.
Greater knowledge and transparency are often promoted as the keys to solving a wide array of governance problems. In Instituting Nature, Andrew Mathews describes Mexico's efforts over the past hundred years to manage its forests through forestry science and biodiversity conservation. He shows that transparent knowledge was produced not by official declarations or scientists' expertise but by encounters between the relatively weak forestry bureaucracy and the indigenous people who manage and own the pine forests of Mexico. Mathews charts the performances, collusions, complicities, and evasions that characterize the forestry bureaucracy. He shows that the authority of forestry officials is undermined by the tension between local realities and national policy; officials must juggle sweeping knowledge claims and mundane concealments, ambitious regulations and routine rule breaking. Moving from government offices in Mexico City to forests in the state of Oaxaca, Mathews describes how the science of forestry and bureaucratic practices came to Oaxaca in the 1930s and how local environmental and political contexts set the stage for local resistance. He tells how the indigenous Zapotec people learned the theory and practice of industrial forestry as employees and then put these skills to use when they become the owners and managers of the area's pine forests—eventually incorporating forestry into their successful claims for autonomy from the state. Despite the apparently small scale and local contexts of this balancing act between the power of forestry regulations and the resistance of indigenous communities, Mathews shows that it has large implications—for how we understand the modern state, scientific knowledge, and power and for the global carbon markets for which Mexican forests might become valuable.
Tinker provides detailed life sketches of Mexico's Desert Bighorn Sheep, Pronghorn Antelope, Mule Deer, Whitetail Deer, Peccary, Grizzly and Black Bears, Wild Turkey, Jaguar, Mountain Lion, Timber Wolf, Coyote, and Bobcat. Each is illustrated by wildlife artist Doris Tischler, and Tinker describes their habitats, habits, reproduction, and peculiarities. Information is supplied on the physical measurements of several species of major wildlife. Tinker's observations are laced with anecdotes about his experiences in Mexico's remote backcountry—encounters with bandits, survival in the desert mountains, and the chance discovery of archaeological ruins.
The book describes the terrain and flora of the four life zones inhabited by major game and predatory animals. The section on desert water is a fascinating account of how animals thrive among cacti, thorn trees, and creosote bush remote from streams and waterholes. There is also a brief discussion of conservation efforts in Mexico, chapters on trout fishing in the Sierra Madre Occidental and Baja California, and a guide to big game habitats. This volume will be valuable to hunters, conservationists, naturalists, and others interested in the wilderness and wildlife of Mexico.
Ben Tinker collected much of the material for this book during the years he roamed northern Mexico as Federal Game Guardian. Though an American, Tinker had long been familiar with Mexican wildlife through his Sonoran ranching operation and was known for his interest in conservation when he was appointed by Alvaro Obregón in 1922.