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99 Featured Titles

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Exam Copy
When the Rivers Run Dry
Water--The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-first Century
Written by Fred Pearce

Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: March 15, 2007
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-8070-8573-8 (0-8070-8573-1)

Named as one of the Top 50 Sustainability Books by University of Cambridge’s Programme for Sustainability Leadership and Greenleaf Publishing.

In this groundbreaking book, veteran science correspondent Fred Pearce travels to more than thirty countries to examine the current state of crucial water sources. Deftly weaving together the complicated scientific, economic, and... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
With Speed and Violence
Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change
Written by Fred Pearce

Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: March 1, 2008
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-8070-8577-6 (0-8070-8577-4)

Nature is fragile, environmentalists often tell us. But the lesson of this book is that it is not so. The truth is far more worrying. Nature is strong and packs a serious counterpunch . . . Global warming will very probably unleash unstoppable planetary forces. And they will not be gradual... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Cycles of Time
An Extraordinary New View of the Universe
Written by Roger Penrose

Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: May 1, 2012
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-307-27846-3 (0-307-27846-8)

This groundbreaking book presents a new perspective on three of cosmology’s essential questions: What came before the Big Bang? What is the source of order in our universe? And what cosmic future awaits us?

Penrose shows how the expected fate of our ever-accelerating and expanding universe—heat death or ultimate entropy—can actually... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Whole Story of Climate
What Science Reveals About the Nature of Endless Change
Written by E. Kirsten Peters

Format: Hardcover, 290 pages
Publisher: Prometheus Books
On Sale: November 20, 2012
Price: $26.00
ISBN: 978-1-61614-672-6 (1-61614-672-9)

A Choice 2013 Outstanding Academic Title
Accessible and engagingly written, this book is essential reading for anyone looking to understand one of our most important contemporary debates. In the publicity surrounding global warming, climate scientists are usually the experts consulted by the media. We rarely hear from geologists, who for almost two... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy

Written by William Purvis

Format: Trade Paperback, 112 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: September 17, 2000
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-879-3 (1-56098-879-7)

From the rain forests of Costa Rica to the frozen deserts of Antarctica, lichens are a familiar part of the landscape. Widespread and long-lived, yet vulnerable to environmental disturbance, lichens are useful to scientists in assessing the effects of air pollution, ozone depletion, and metal contamination. Illustrated with more than 150... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Archaeology of Global Change
The Impact of Humans on Their Environment
Edited by Charles L. Redman, Steven R. James, Paul Fish and J. Daniel Rogers

Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: May 17, 2004
Price: $49.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-172-3 (1-58834-172-0)

Is humankind on a fast track to self-destruction? Can society develop ways to live in concert with the environment? Are our environmental problems as grave as they seem? The included essays address these issues and much more.

International scientists offer empirical case studies of prehistoric human-ecosystem relationships–some of short-term exploitation, others of... Read more >

Exam Copy
Maine to Greenland
Exploring the Maritime Far Northeast
Written by Wilfred E. Richard and William Fitzhugh
Photographed by Wilfred E. Richard

Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: August 5, 2014
Price: $40.00
ISBN: 978-1-58834-377-2 (1-58834-377-4)

Maine to Greenland is a testament to one of the world's great geographic regions: the Maritime Far Northeast. For more than three decades, William W. Fitzhugh and Wilfred E. Richard have explored the Northeast’s Atlantic corridor and its fascinating history, habitat, and culture. The authors’ powerful personal essays and Richard’s stunning... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Official Companion to the Disney Feature Film
Written by Francois Sarano and Stephane Duran

Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Publisher: National Geographic
On Sale: March 23, 2010
Price: $35.00
ISBN: 978-1-4262-0626-9 (1-4262-0626-7)

Oceans is the official companion volume to the challenging, breathtakingly beautiful documentary of the same name, created by Jacques Perrin and a crack team of scientists, cinematographers, divers, and technical specialists. A veteran of more than forty years of film-making and exploring the natural world in works like The Monkey People... Read more >

Exam Copy
Finding Higher Ground
Adaptation in the Age of Warming
Written by Amy Seidl

Format: Trade Paperback, 216 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: May 1, 2012
Price: $18.00
ISBN: 978-0-8070-8499-1 (0-8070-8499-9)

While much of the global warming conversation rightly focuses on reducing our carbon footprint, the reality is that even if we were to immediately cease emissions, we would still face climate change into the next millennium. In Finding Higher Ground, Amy Seidl takes the uniquely positive–yet realistic–position that humans and animals... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Amphibian Conservation

Written by Raymond D. Semlitsch
Foreword by David B. Wake

Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: June 17, 2003
Price: $45.00
ISBN: 978-1-58834-119-8 (1-58834-119-4)

From deep in the rain forests of Central America to the backyard ponds of Minnesota, alarming accounts of disappearing and deformed populations of amphibians keep surfacing in the media. The amphibian crisis has been headline news from New York to Europe to Australia, featuring pictures of grotesque frogs and reports from... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Story of Oil
Written by Sonia Shah

Format: Trade Paperback, 246 pages
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
On Sale: May 2, 2006
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-58322-723-7 (1-58322-723-7)

Crude is the unexpurgated story of oil, from the circumstances of its birth millions of years ago to the spectacle of its rise as the indispensable ingredient of modern life. In addition to fueling our SUVs and illuminating our cities, crude oil and its byproducts fertilize our produce, pave our roads... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
The Sibley Guide to Trees

Written by David Allen Sibley

Format: Hardcover, 464 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: September 15, 2009
Price: $39.95
ISBN: 978-0-375-41519-7 (0-375-41519-X)

David Allen Sibley, the preeminent bird-guide author and illustrator, now applies his formidable skills of identification and illustration to the trees of North America.

Monumental in scope but small enough to take into the field, The Sibley Guide to Trees is an astonishingly elegant guide to a complex subject. It condenses a... Read more >

Exam Copy
Blind Descent
The Quest to Discover the Deepest Cave on Earth
Written by James M. Tabor

Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
On Sale: February 15, 2011
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-7949-7 (0-8129-7949-4)

The deepest cave on earth was a prize that had remained unclaimed for centuries, long after every other ultimate discovery had been made: both poles by 1912, Everest in 1958, the Challenger Deep in 1961. In 1969 we even walked on the moon. And yet as late as 2000, the earth’s... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Ptarmigan's Dilemma
An Ecological Exploration into the Mysteries of Life
Written by John Theberge and Mary Theberge

Format: Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
On Sale: April 5, 2011
Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-0-7710-8518-5 (0-7710-8518-4)

Drawing on breakthrough research in evolution, genetics, and on their extensive work in the field and lab, wildlife biologists John and Mary Theberge explain for non-scientists the real facts of life.

Birds that suddenly grow gall bladders, when their species has none. Moose with antlers so big they encumber their movement through... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy

Written by David N. Thomas

Format: Trade Paperback, 112 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: September 17, 2002
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-050-4 (1-58834-050-3)

From microscopic organisms on tidal rocks to dense marine forests, seaweeds vary widely in size and are amazingly well adapted to both the Arctic and the tropics. David Thomas presents a detailed look at what seaweeds are, how they live, and why humans value them.

Thomas describes the red, brown, and green... Read more >

Exam Copy
Common Fossil Plants of Western North America, Second Edition

Written by William D. Tidwell

Format: Trade Paperback, 386 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: June 22, 2010
Price: $28.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-758-1 (1-56098-758-8)

Illustrated with more than eight hundred drawings and photographs, this informative, hands-on guide will help amateur fossil collectors identify and assess the significance of their finds. Introductory chapters describe the types of plant preservation and outline the development of such groups as ferns, fern allies, and seed plants including cycads, ginkgos... Read more >

Exam Copy
Opportunity, Montana
Big Copper, Bad Water, and the Burial of an American Landscape
Written by Brad Tyer

Format: Trade Paperback, 248 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: March 25, 2014
Price: $18.00
ISBN: 978-0-8070-3325-8 (0-8070-3325-1)

In 2002, Texas journalist Brad Tyer strapped a canoe on his truck and moved to Montana, a state that has long exerted a mythic pull on America’s imagination as an unspoiled landscape. The son of an engineer who reclaimed wastewater, Tyer was looking for a pristine river to call his own... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
A Smithsonian Natural History
Written by Michael Viney

Format: Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: July 6, 2010
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-294-2 (1-58834-294-8)

Ireland conjures up images of nature’s majesty: sweeping coastlines, rolling green hills, and secluded peat bogs and marshlands. A place of legendary beauty, it is also a land with a rich natural history. Michael Viney invites us to discover the geologic forces that created the island, peer into the famous bone... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Snowball Earth
The Story of a Maverick Scientist and His Theory of the Global Catastrophe That Spawned Life As We Know It
Written by Gabrielle Walker

Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: February 24, 2004
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-4000-5125-0 (1-4000-5125-8)

Did the Earth once undergo a super ice age, one that froze the entire planet from the poles to the equator? In Snowball Earth, gifted writer Gabrielle Walker has crafted an intriguing global adventure story, following maverick scientist Paul Hoffman’s quest to prove a theory so audacious and profound that it... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy

Written by Geoffrey Waller

Format: Hardcover, 504 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: September 17, 1996
Price: $55.00
ISBN: 978-1-56098-633-1 (1-56098-633-6)

Brimming with illustrations and descriptions of more than six hundred species, SeaLife is the most comprehensive reference available in a single volume to the vast panorama of vertebrate and invertebrate creatures inhabiting the world’s oceans and shores. Topics covered include oceanography and marine biology; biology of marine environments; marine invertebrates; marine... Read more >

Exam Copy
Rainforest Medicine
Preserving Indigenous Science and Biodiversity in the Upper Amazon
Written by Jonathon Miller Weisberger
Illustrated by Pablo Amaringo, Thomas Wang and Agustin Payaguaje
Foreword by Daniel Pinchbeck

Format: Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
On Sale: September 17, 2013
Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-58394-608-4 (1-58394-608-X)

Chronicling the practices, legends, and wisdom of the vanishing traditions of the upper Amazon, this book reveals the area’s indigenous peoples’ approach to living in harmony with the natural world. Rainforest Medicine features in-depth essays on plant-based medicine and indigenous science from four distinct Amazonian societies: deep forest and urban, lowland... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Phylogenetic Analysis of Morphological Data
Smithsonian Series in Comparative Evolutionary Biology
Written by John J. Wiens

Format: Trade Paperback, 232 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: June 17, 2000
Price: $28.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-816-8 (1-56098-816-9)

In this volume, eleven leading systematists provide an overview of recent advances and controversies in morphological phylogenetics. They summarize new methodological developments–including approaches for analyzing ontogenetic data, fossils, morphometric characters, intraspecific variation, and hybrid taxa–and review published studies to evaluate how morphological phylogenetics has actually been practiced. They also discuss the... Read more >

Exam Copy
Hurricane Watch
Forecasting the Deadliest Storms on Earth
Written by Jack Williams and Bob Sheets

Format: Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: July 31, 2001
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-70390-4 (0-375-70390-X)

The ultimate guide to the ultimate storms, Hurricane Watch is a fascinating blend of science and history from one of the world's foremost meteorologists and an award-winning science journalist. This in-depth look at these awe-inspiring acts of nature covers everything from the earliest efforts by seafarers at predicting storms to the... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The USA Today Weather Book
An Easy-To-Understand Guide to the USA's Weather
Written by Jack Williams

Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: July 14, 1997
Price: $27.50
ISBN: 978-0-679-77665-9 (0-679-77665-6)

Here's the most scientifically accurate, easy-to-understand weather guide ever. From the people who developed USA Today's style-setting weather page comes a revolutionary new approach to understanding how weather happens. Full-color graphics explain weather concepts, from what makes the sky blue to how a tornado gets its twist.

Find out about the USA's... Read more >
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