288 pages, illustrations, maps
Rivers and streams supply our water and capture our imaginations. We seek the more pristine ones to fish or paddle, to hike along or simply sit and watch. But what is it we are seeing? What is essential about streams and rivers for us as humans?
In For the Love of Rivers, stream ecologist Kurt Fausch draws readers across the reflective surface of streams to view and ponder what is beneath, and how they work. While celebrating their beauty and mystery, he uses his many years of experience as a field biologist to explain the underlying science connecting these aquatic ecosystems to their streamside forests and the organisms found there – including humans.
For the Love of Rivers introduces readers to the life and work of Shigeru Nakano, a pioneering river ecologist who inspired other scientists around the world with his innovative research on stream-forest connections. Fausch takes readers along as he journeys to Japan, where he awakens to an unfamiliar culture, to Nakano, and his research.
Nakano's life was abruptly ended in a tragic field accident, and his death was deeply mourned. Fausch joins Japanese and American colleagues to continue Nakano's research legacy, learn everything they can about the effects that humans have on rivers, fish, and their intricate links with riparian zones, and share this knowledge with others.
More than a book about stream ecology, For the Love of Rivers is a celebration of the interconnectedness of life. It is an authoritative and accessible look at the science of rivers and streams, but it also ponders the larger questions of why rivers are important to humans, why it is in our nature to want to be near them, and what we can do now to ensure the future of these essential ecosystems.
"This open window to the mind, heart, and adventures of an accomplished ecologist offers a rare and insightful view for any of us who care about streams, fish, and nature. Join Professor Fausch on the kinds of expeditions that unfold when a curious scientist asks good questions about the intricate and mysterious workings of the natural world."
– Tim Palmer, author of Field Guide to Oregon Rivers, Rivers of America, and Lifelines: The Case for River Conservation
"In this beautifully written and soulful book, Kurt Fausch exposes the raw nerve of conservation: do we care enough about the natural world to save some of it? He concludes that the urge must come not from monetary justification or scientific warnings, but from a realm 'beyond the reach of language,' from the place in our hearts where love resides."
– Brian Richter, Chief Scientist of the Nature Conservancy's Global Water Program, and author of Chasing Water: A Guide for Moving from Scarcity to Sustainability
"With deft storytelling and poetic prose, Kurt Fausch conveys the mystery and magic of flowing waters – and why we need to protect them. For the Love of Rivers is a must-read for anyone who loves rivers and the natural world, which Fausch argues is all of us – whether we consciously know that or not."
– Sandra Postel, Freshwater Fellow, National Geographic Society, and co-author of Rivers for Life
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