Our Natural History: The Lessons of Lewis and Clark

Our Natural History: The Lessons of Lewis and Clark

by Daniel B. Botkin



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Our Natural History: The Lessons of Lewis and Clark by Daniel B. Botkin

Often referred to as America's national epic of exploration, the 28-month Lewis and Clark expedition was certainly America's greatest odyssey. Beginning in St. Louis, William Clark and Meriwether Lewis navigated up the Missouri River and through the prairies, reaching the summit of the Rocky Mountains and then following the Columbia River to their final destination, the Pacific Ocean. Trained in natural history and in the methods of collecting plant and animal samples, they carefully and meticulously recorded the conditions of the rivers, prairies, forests, mountains, and wildlife of pre-industrial America.

In this new edition of Our Natural History, Daniel Botkin, a distinguished botanist and naturalist, recreates the grand journey -- taking us on an exciting ecological adventure back to the landscape of the great American West. In retracing their steps, Botkin reveals what this western landscape actually looked like and how much it's been changed by modern civilization and technology. He shows us that from the explorers' observations, we can learn much about the environment of our past, our environment today, and what our environment might be in the future. Now with a new afterword marking the 200th anniversary of the expedition, this timely and thought-provoking book captures our imagination and stimulates our sentiment with lessons about our environment and our place within it. Our Natural History offers a stunning and rare portrait of the rugged, beautiful, disappearing wilderness of the American West.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399522420
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/01/1996
Pages: 277
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.83(d)

About the Author

Daniel Botkin is President of the Center for the Study of the Environment in Santa Barbara, California, and Research Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of more than one hundred books and articles, including Discordant Harmonies (OUP 2000).

Table of Contents

Chapter 1A Road Through the Wilderness1
Chapter 2Meanders: Nature and the Missouri River20
Chapter 3Wet and Dry Mud39
Chapter 4Thirty-Seven Grizzly Bears in the Wilderness59
Chapter 5A Measured Journey87
Chapter 6Buffalo and Winter on the Plains: Technology Meets Wilderness101
Chapter 7Wolves, People, and Biological Diversity128
Chapter 8Through the Mountains159
Chapter 9Down the Columbia176
Chapter 10Winter and Wood on the Pacific Coast212
Chapter 11The Return Through Prairie Country256

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