Water, Ice and Stone: Science and Memory on the Antarctic Lakes

Overview

"Nature writing of a very high order . . . a joyride for those who enjoy deep explorations of logic, human frailty and the laws of nature."-San Francisco Chronicle

"[Bill Green's] prose rings with the elemental clarity of the ice he knows so well."-PEN committee citation

A classic of contemporary nature writing, this award-winning account of Antarctica is now available for the first time in paperback. A new introduction by the author emphasizes...

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NY 1995 Hardcover 1st Edition New in New jacket Book. 12mo-over 6?-7?" tall. This is a New and Unread copy of the first edition (1st printing).

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Overview

"Nature writing of a very high order . . . a joyride for those who enjoy deep explorations of logic, human frailty and the laws of nature."-San Francisco Chronicle

"[Bill Green's] prose rings with the elemental clarity of the ice he knows so well."-PEN committee citation

A classic of contemporary nature writing, this award-winning account of Antarctica is now available for the first time in paperback. A new introduction by the author emphasizes the ecological importance of the continent within the global warming crisis.

Bill Green is a professor of interdisciplinary studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He has been conducting research in Antarctica since 1968.

Part history, partly a record of self-discovery, and suffused throughout with a radiant sense of the hidden, inexhaustible beauty of the world, this lyrical book gives Bill Green's personal account of the time he spent alone and in the company of other scientists, probing the waters of the lakes of the Antarctic's dry valleys.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Each of the Antarctic lakes studied by geochemist Green is devoid of all but microscopic life. Nonetheless, in this ``minimalist's tableau,'' he finds a surprising wealth of scientific insight. The same can be said of this wonderful book. Ostensibly an account of a season in the field in Antarctica, it delivers so much more by exploring the nature of science in addition to portraying the rigors of research on the frozen continent. In evocative language, Green successfully moves between arresting natural history and sophisticated but accessible philosophy of science. Particularly satisfying is the discussion of how the author, his students and his colleagues came by their fascination with, and began their search for an understanding of, the natural world. With gripping accounts of a number of near-death experiences added to the mix, the whole is a thoroughly enjoyable and remarkably informative exposition of the life of a field scientist. (May)
Library Journal
Green, a physical and geochemist, has a research interest in limnology. As the title implies, his book includes a healthy dose of science, e.g., the physics of the structure of the water molecule in all states; day-to-day methods for scientific data collection; and reminiscences of Green's life with attempts to convey awe and appreciation of the beauty of the Antarctic. The most interesting is the process of the research project itself, but the jumps in text from Antarctica to Hawaii to Ohio, past and present, are distracting. Also, there is no index to go to a particular lake's study, no bibliography to identify his numerous quotations, no map to see where he was. Campbell's Crystal Desert: Summers in Antarctica (LJ 11/1/92), also written by a scientist on the Antarctic, had better cohesiveness and flow. For extensive collections on the Antarctic or natural history.-Jean E. Crampon, Hancock Biology & Oceanography Lib., Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles
School Library Journal

Green snagged the John Burroughs Medal in Nature Writing for this 1995 volume. In light of the growing global warming issue, this book, which unravels the geochemistry of Antarctica's lakes, could find a new audience. Includes a new preface by Green.


—Michael Rogers Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Booknews
A personal memoir and a fascinating scientific account of Green's seven field seasons spent studying the remote ice-covered lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Contains a map and several informative tables. No index, no bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Donna Seaman
eochemist Green's account of his Antarctic experiences are neither dry nor detached. No scientific persona whatsoever. Green is poetic and passionate. He is a scientist blessed with the vision and soul of an artist, and writes about Antarctica with the same wonder and transcendence Elizabeth Arthur achieved in her monumental novel, "Antarctic Navigation". As Green describes his investigation of Antarctica's mysterious ice-covered lakes, he waxes metaphoric about the hidden energy of the universe. "Matter sings," he writes, and his descriptions of water in all its forms fill us with delight and amazement. Green is able to combine the personal with the professional, sharing poignant reminiscences while explaining, for instance, how water systems regenerate themselves. For Green, Antarctica is a place of cosmic beauty and invigorating clarity. As he expounds upon the dynamics of the icy continent's glaciers and lakes and chronicles his demanding field experiments, Green affirms the fact that science, like art, is rooted in pure imagination.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517587591
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/6/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Green made his first journey to Antarctica in 1968 to study the chemistry of the McMurdo Dry Valley lakes. He returns regularly to do research which has resulted in multiple articles on the biogeochemical processes at work in the primordial lakes of that continent. He is a professor of Interdisciplinary studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     9
Introduction     13
Preface     23
Ohio: West and South     29
Water     48
Rutherford's Den     58
The Map     69
Science and the Shell     79
The Messenger and the Disk     89
Stone     112
The Lake     121
The Sea     132
Hawaii     145
An Invention     151
Whiteout     164
The Mailroom     174
The Gallery     187
The Flume     196
The Cone of Erebus     207
The Moat     217
Merry Christmas     228
Cathedrals     241
North and East: Ohio     249
Geological Timeline     258
Periodic Table of Elements     260
Index     263

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