Strange Encounters

Strange Encounters

by Daniel B. Botkin
     
 

The warm, witty anecdotal adventures of a world-renowned scientist, spanning thirty years and dozens of countries.

Most people only dream of having the life Daniel B. Botkin has led. He has studied whales and elephants, tramped over high mountain passes and through rain forests, worked with NASA, and spent substantial time walking in the footsteps of Lewis and

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Overview

The warm, witty anecdotal adventures of a world-renowned scientist, spanning thirty years and dozens of countries.

Most people only dream of having the life Daniel B. Botkin has led. He has studied whales and elephants, tramped over high mountain passes and through rain forests, worked with NASA, and spent substantial time walking in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, and Henry David Thoreau. In Strange Encounters, Botkin does for the natural world what Richard Feynman did for physics and Oliver Sacks for human behavior.

Whether rebuilding an old mill in New Hampshire while ruminating on notions of "progress," researching the most weight-efficient high-protein food for space travel, or working in a radioactive forest on an early Cold War research project, Botkin experiences the kind of adventures that illuminate the complex and ever-changing relationship between human beings and their environment.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
"A change is taking place in our myths about nature--in our nature knowledge--with immense implications for us and life on earth." This volume illustrates the evolution of that change in the forward thinking of its author. Botkin's credentials as an environmentalist are impeccable. Well known for his writings on Thoreau, Lewis and Clark, and forest dynamics, he reflects here on such things as an irradiated forest, animal and people behavior, triple canopy rain forests, peanut butter in space, and the ecology of cancer, which affected him personally. He discovers that the way we think about nature, often incorrectly, dictates the way we treat the problems we see developing around us. He relates many of the gaps in knowledge that he came across in his research while trying to construct computer models to explore possible scenarios for the dynamics of animal populations and global resources. He wonders why people have never done the basic research to support the ideas they have. The philosophical nature of the author's look at his life's work makes excellent material for reflection, imparting bits of new knowledge and entertaining stories from his personal experience. The topical chapters can be used individually, but they often refer to previous discussions. A good read for instilling hope in anyone with at least a passing concern for the world we inhabit KLIATT Codes: SA--Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, Penguin, 272p. notes., Ages 15 to adult.
—Ann Hart

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585423736
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/05/2004
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.02(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.76(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

Daniel B. Botkin is a research professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the president of the Center for the Study of the Environment.

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