Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to Trees

Overview

World-renowned canopy biologist Nalini M. Nadkarni has climbed trees on four continents with scientists, students, artists, clergymen, musicians, activists, loggers, legislators, and Inuits, gathering diverse perspectives on our affinities with trees. In Between Earth and Sky, a rich tapestry of personal stories, information, and illustrations, Nadkarni becomes our captivating guide to the leafy wilderness above our heads. Through her luminous narrative, we embark on a multifaceted exploration of trees that ...
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Overview

World-renowned canopy biologist Nalini M. Nadkarni has climbed trees on four continents with scientists, students, artists, clergymen, musicians, activists, loggers, legislators, and Inuits, gathering diverse perspectives on our affinities with trees. In Between Earth and Sky, a rich tapestry of personal stories, information, and illustrations, Nadkarni becomes our captivating guide to the leafy wilderness above our heads. Through her luminous narrative, we embark on a multifaceted exploration of trees that reveals the profound connections we have with them, the dazzling array of things they provide us, and the powerful lessons they teach us. Nadkarni describes trees' intricate root systems, their highly evolved and still not completely understood canopies, their roles in commerce and medicine, their ability to thrive in city centers and in extreme habitats atop mountains and in deserts, and their important place in folklore and the arts. She explains tree fundamentals and considers the symbolic roles they have assumed in culture and religion. In a book that reawakens our sense of wonder at the fascinating world of trees, we ultimately find entry to the entire natural world and rediscover our own place in it.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

With a scholarly voice leavened by poetic sensibility, Nadkarni (Rainforests) explores trees from root to canopy, tracing their powerful role in shaping human commerce, spirituality, even language-a fascinating section examines the preponderance of tree-based metaphors. The author, a renowned canopy biologist, pre-sents a wealth of entertaining arboreal facts and figures, but her personal anecdotes are the book's most compelling and inimitable feature: she describes a visit to a Baptist church where the pastor spoke of "the need to find an entity that will protect us... and hold us... when we are frightened" with "limbs that would support us forever, never tiring... helping us find quiet and calm in our lives." Nadkarni relates being so "amazed and pleased that the pastor would include a description of trees and their spiritual benefit in his sermon" that she didn't realize that he was talking about Jesus. Despite an occasional pedantic tone, the author's belief that "when humans become sufficiently aware of... a single tree, a forest fragment, or the whole biosphere, they will find ways to protect it" is inspiring and her enthusiasm, contagious. Photos. (Aug.)

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New Scientist

“A wide-ranging and eye-opening book about trees and our connections to them.”
Foreword

“Nadkarni's writing is like a love letter to trees that effortlessly mixes poetry and prose with environmentalism, culture, history and science.”
Canadian Field-Naturalist

“Anyone who loves trees, who admires their steadfastness, who finds in their presence a certain peace . . . will love this book.”
Ecology

“Uplifting and edifying. . . . Nadkarni has given us . . . a kind of encyclopedic examination of nearly EVERYTHING that has to do with trees.”
Oregon Historical Qtly - Frederick J. Swanson

“Nadkarni introduces readers to trees in a stunning variety of ways.”
Terrain Magazine

“Nadkarni is a wonder. . . . Every page enthralls.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520261655
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 961,110
  • Product dimensions: 8.68 (w) x 5.68 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author


Nalini Nadkarni is the author of Rainforests, with J. Johnson, Monteverde: The Ecology and Conservation of a Tropical Cloud Forest, with N.T. Wheelwright, and Forest Canopies, with M.L. Lowman. She teaches in the Environmental Studies Program at The Evergreen State College and is President of the International Canopy Network. Her work has been featured in magazines such as Natural History, Glamour, and National Geographic and she has appeared in numerous television documentaries. In 2002, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship to better extend her work to the public.
Nalini Nadkarni is the 2010 recipient of the National Science Board Public Service Award, presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions in public understanding of science in the United States.
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Table of Contents

Introduction View from the Top 1

1 "What Is a Tree? 19

2 Goods and Services 59

3 Shelter and Protection 88

4 Health and Healing 111

5 Play and Imagination 135

6 Connections to Time 163

7 Signs and Symbols 185

8 Spirituality and Religion 214

9 Mindfulness 243

Scientific Names of Trees in the Text 267

Notes 273

Recommended Readings 293

Poetry Credits 299

Index 303

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