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The Nature of Southeast Alaska: A Guide to Plants, Animals, and Habitats
     

The Nature of Southeast Alaska: A Guide to Plants, Animals, and Habitats

by Richard Carstensen
 

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Everything you ever wanted to know about the flora and fauna of Southeast Alaska is contained in the third edition of this lively field guide to the natural world, from bears to banana slugs, mountains to murrelets. Highlighting the most fascinating and unusual aspects of Southeast Alaska natural history, the book is also a guide to the most frequently seen plants and

Overview

Everything you ever wanted to know about the flora and fauna of Southeast Alaska is contained in the third edition of this lively field guide to the natural world, from bears to banana slugs, mountains to murrelets. Highlighting the most fascinating and unusual aspects of Southeast Alaska natural history, the book is also a guide to the most frequently seen plants and animals.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This is one book you must have along if you’re planning to get marooned on a deserted Southeast Alaskan island. Since the authors—longtime Southeast teachers and biologists—have pondered everything in the Tongass from giant glaciers to the smallest no-see-ums, this book is probably the most comprehensive treatment you can get of the flora, fauna, and habitat of Southeast.” —Ketchikan Daily News

“The authors write with humor and insight on a range of natural topics—from banana slugs and slime mold to glaciers, old-growth forests, and the reproductive problems of blueberry bushes. . . . This witty reference book goes beyond the traditional field guide, offering in-depth and entertaining insights.” —Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

The Nature of Southeast Alaska does a good job at weaving together scientific research, personal observations, and down-to-earth writing.” —Sitka Sentinel

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780882409290
Publisher:
Graphic Arts Books
Publication date:
03/03/2014
Series:
Alaska Geographic
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
326
File size:
24 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Read an Excerpt

The overriding and underlying theme of Southeast Alaska is water, and inescapable moisture is the unifying feature of nearly all its habitats. From whales’ permanent immersion to banana slugs’ damp haunts, all our plants and animals contend with water. Only when droughts shrivel the rest of North America do Southeast residents count their soggy blessings. Amount and distribution of water is the logical way to differentiate Southeast’s many natural habitats. These range from ocean, lakes, ponds, and rivers, to frequently submerged salt marshes and stream flood zones, to perennially saturated bogs and other freshwater wetlands, to the usually drenched rain forest and alpine tundra. After a rare two-week drought, it’s sometimes possible to sit in the forest understory without soaking our pants. Then rain resumes. Some habitats are defined by solidified water—glaciers and highcountry snowfields. The term “terrestrial” as applied to certain Southeast Alaskan habitats is somewhat generous; it actually means “occasionally free of water.” The Pacific rain forest—Southeast Alaska is a geographic unit defined by the open Pacific Ocean on the west and the boundary with Canada on the north, east, and south. In some cases the lines on maps are ecologically as well as politically significant. For example, if you climb eastward over the crest of the Coast Range into British Columbia (an expeditionary venture!), you enter more than just a different nation. Precipitation declines suddenly in the mountains’ rainshadow. Flora and fauna are dramatically different. You’ve crossed a border in every sense of the word.

Meet the Author

Richard Carstensen moved to Southeast Alaska in 1977. He works as a writer, nature illustrator, map maker, wilderness guide, environmental consultant, and instructor for the Discovery Foundation, a nonprofit organization teaching natural history to youth and educators of Southeast Alaska. He divides his time between the backyards of Juneau’s schools and the remote wilderness.
Bob Armstrong has pursued a career in Alaska as a biologist, naturalist, and nature photographer since 1960. He is the author of the best-selling book Guide to the Birds of Alaska and numerous other popular and scientific books and articles on the natural history of the state. From 1960 to 1984, he was a fishery biologist and research supervisor for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, an assistant leader for the Alaska Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, and Associate Professor of Fisheries at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Armstrong retired from the State of Alaska in 1984 to pursue broader interests in natural history and nature photography.
Since 1978, Rita M. O’Clair has taught a wide variety of biology courses at the University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau, where she is currently Associate Professor of Biology. She received a PhD in zoology from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1973. An honorary lifetime member of The Nature Conservancy, she belongs to numerous professional organizations. She has studied and photographed natural habitats around the world.

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