Moments of Discovery: Natural History Narratives from Mexico and Central America

Overview

"A delightful compilation of adventure and catastrophe as well as triumph and tragedy experienced by those who struggled valiantly to study the rich biodiversity of Middle America and anguished over its senseless destruction."--Floyd E. Hayes, Pacific Union College

"Each chapter is a mix of ingredients, a mortar, which contributes to the foundation of Middle American scientific inquiry of species, and their research little known to the wider audience, upon which future inquiry must stand. It's also great and fascinating reading!"--Robert L.

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Overview

"A delightful compilation of adventure and catastrophe as well as triumph and tragedy experienced by those who struggled valiantly to study the rich biodiversity of Middle America and anguished over its senseless destruction."--Floyd E. Hayes, Pacific Union College

"Each chapter is a mix of ingredients, a mortar, which contributes to the foundation of Middle American scientific inquiry of species, and their research little known to the wider audience, upon which future inquiry must stand. It's also great and fascinating reading!"--Robert L. Norton, coeditor of An Inventory of Breeding Seabirds of the Caribbean

Throughout the twentieth century, pioneering biological field work was conducted from Mexico through Panama by such giants in the field as Miguel Alvarez del Toro, Charles Sibley, John T. Emlen Jr., and many others. But the written reports and scientific papers detailing their discoveries leave out the adventure, sense of discovery, and unexpected humor of their time in the field.

Moments of Discovery collects twenty autobiographical descriptions of the incongruous situations, captivating people and places, and the inevitable trials and tribulations that surround some of the greatest biological discoveries in Mexico and Central America from the 1930s through the 1990s. The anthology allows the entertaining and illuminating events that have mostly lived in oral history to be read and enjoyed by a broad audience.

A significant contribution to the history of biological exploration, this book is a must-read for anyone considering biological field work in the region--or the amateur, armchair fieldworker who wonders what those trips were really like.

Kevin Winker is curator of birds and professor of biology and wildlife at the University of Alaska Museum and the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The binding forces that can be felt in each story are the intense interest that each researcher has for his field of study, and the love they all share for the natural world that they have devoted their lives to studying.”—Choice

“A significant contribution to the history of biological exploration, this book is a must-read for anyone considering biological field work in the region—or the amateur, armchair fieldworker who wonders what those trips were really like.”—Ornithological Newsletter

“Like all good anthologies this one leaves an overall impression. Reading these recollections, many of them experienced when the authors were graduate students, makes one wonder if previous biologists might not have possessed more savvy and stamina than today’s.”—Ecology

“Looks beyond the reports and scientific papers of work from Miguel Alvarez del Toro, Charles Sibley and John T. Emlen Jr. to the adventure, sense of discovery, and unexpected humor of their time in the field.”—Outdoors Unlimited Online

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813034171
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 1/17/2010
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Winker is curator of birds and professor of biology and wildlife at the University of Alaska Museum and the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

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