Traces of Time: The Beauty of Change in Nature

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Nature tells stories that unfold over time, and the evidence is all around us—in the shape of a rugged coastline, in the growth of a tree's rings, in the beautiful banded strata of an ice cave. The latest book from The Exploratorium, San Francisco's acclaimed hands-on science museum, combines William Neill's award-winning photography with accessible scientific observation to illuminate an ever-changing world. Examining nature in segments of time ranging from a fraction of a second to millions of years, from the ...

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Overview

Nature tells stories that unfold over time, and the evidence is all around us—in the shape of a rugged coastline, in the growth of a tree's rings, in the beautiful banded strata of an ice cave. The latest book from The Exploratorium, San Francisco's acclaimed hands-on science museum, combines William Neill's award-winning photography with accessible scientific observation to illuminate an ever-changing world. Examining nature in segments of time ranging from a fraction of a second to millions of years, from the bloom of a plant to the carving of a canyon, Traces of Time reveals how to measure the forces of nature and the ways they affect our planet. A powerful portrait of the natural beauty of our world, this gorgeous blending of art, science, and photography offers a new perspective to anyone who has ever gazed at the world in wonder.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
Murphy and Doherty, from San Francisco's renowned Exploratorium, have teamed up with photographer William Neill to produce an absolutely beautiful, thought-provoking work. Even young readers who may not fully understand gifted science writer Diane Ackerman's stunning foreword can absorb the central message through the stunning, well-captioned photographs: anywhere you look, at any moment, you can see the traces of nature's changes. Some of these passages take months or years and others take millions of years, but all can be captured in a moment by the camera—or by the perceptive eye. The book is divided into four sections, each covering increasingly long time periods. In "Year by Year" there are photographs that capture daily and seasonal change—boulders at sunset in Yosemite, California poppies and the flower clock, the moon and tides. Some of the treasures in the next section, "The Passing Centuries," include photographs of fire scars in cross-section of a giant sequoia and towering rock formations in Mono Lake. The third section, "Tens of Thousands of Years on Ice," features photographs of such scenes as the balancing rocks at Big Bend National Park in Texas and the Drapery Room in Kentucky's Mammoth Cave. Finally, the fourth section—"Once Upon a Time, Millions of Years Ago"—explores the movement of tectonic plates and the birth of volcanoes. As its authors intend, the book cannot fail to broaden readers' understanding of how the planet is continually changing while expanding the vocabulary with which to describe that evolution. The book could stand on its visual appeal alone. With its lucid prose, detailed index, photography credits, and suggested readingsections, it would also be useful as a resource for science or reading units with an "environment" theme as well as for classes on nature photography. An Exploratorium Book. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Chronicle, 120p, illus, bibliog, index, 25cm, 99-087677, $22.95. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Gloria Levine; Freelance Education Writer, Potomac, MD, March 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 2)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811828574
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 9/1/2000
  • Series: Exploration Book Series
  • Pages: 120
  • Product dimensions: 1.00 (w) x 1.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Pat Murphy — senior writer and editor of the Exploratorium Quarterly for over a decade — is also an award-winning science fiction and fantasy author. She lives in San Francisco.

Paul Doherty is currently senior scientist at the Exploratorium Center for Teaching and Learning.

William Neill is a renowned landscape photographer and winner of the Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award for nature photography.

Diane Ackerman is the author of A Natural History of the Senses and A Natural History of Love as well as a host of her own televsions series.

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