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The Face of the Earth: Natural Landscapes, Science, and Culture

By: Sue Ellen Campbell

University of California Press

Paperback | Jul 2011 | #191796 | ISBN-13: 9780520269279
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NHBS Price: £19.95 $24/€22 approx
Hardback | Jul 2011 | #191728 | ISBN-13: 9780520269262
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £44.95 $55/€51 approx

About this book

This lively book sweeps across dramatic and varied terrains - volcanoes and glaciers, billabongs and canyons, prairies and rain forests - to explore how humans have made sense of our planet's marvelous landscapes. In a rich weave of scientific, cultural, and personal stories, "The Face of the Earth" examines mirages and satellite images, swamp-dwelling heroes and Tibetan nomads, cave paintings and popular movies, investigating how we live with the great shaping forces of nature - from fire to changing climates and the intricacies of adaptation. The book illuminates subjects as diverse as the literary life of hollow Earth theories, the links between the Little Ice Age and Frankenstein's monster, and the spiritual allure of deserts and their scarce waters. Including vivid, on-the-spot accounts by scientists and writers in Saudi Arabia, Australia, Alaska, England, the Rocky Mountains, Antarctica, and elsewhere, "The Face of the Earth" charts the depth and complexity of our interdependence with the natural world.


Introduction Chapter 1. Landscapes of Internal Fire# On the Spot: Over a River of Lava (SueEllen Campbell)# Prologue# Imagining the Interior# On the Spot: At the Edge of an Overthrust Belt (Scott Denning)# Mundus subterraneus# On the Spot: Among the Aeolian Islands (John Calderazzo)# The Globe, Tectonic Plates, and Mountain Building# On the Spot: Along the Disturbance Gradient (Charles Goodrich)# Volcanoes and Their Eruptions# On the Spot: Approaching Chaiten Volcano (Fred Swanson)# Hot Springs and Geysers# Chapter 2. Climate and Ice# Prologue# On the Spot: Up and down the Himalaya (Ellen Wohl)# How the Climate Works# The Ghosts of Climates Past# On the Spot: On the Burren (Gerald Delahunty)# Our Ice Age Landscapes Shaped by Ice# On the Spot: In the Channeled Scablands (Mark Fiege)# Ice-Age Humans# On the Spot: On the Arctic Tundra (Ellen Wohl)# The Little Ice Age, Glaciology, and the Sublime# On the Spot: Toward a Glacier's Edge (Ana Maria Spagna)# The Story Now# Chapter 3. Wet and Fluid# Prologue# On the Spot: In the Rocky Intertidal Zone (Kathleen Dean Moore)# The Water Cycle# On the Spot: Along a Rain Forest Stream (Ellen Wohl)# The Moving Waters of Rivers# The Dream of Water in Deserts# The Slow Water of Wetlands# On the Spot: At the Bog on Ceide Fields (Gerald Delahunty)# Peat, Mires, Bogs, Fens# On the Spot: At Wicken Fen (Richard Kerridge)# Marshes and Swamps# Wet/Dry# On the Spot: At the Billabong (Deborah Bird Rose)# Chapter 4. Desert Places, Desert Lives# Prologue# On the Spot: Down a Desert River Canyon (SueEllen Campbell)# Dry, Hot, Windy, and Dusty# On the Spot: In Jabal Aj (Othman Llewellyn and Aishah Abdallah)# What We See# On the Spot: In the Chihuahuan Desert (Tom Lynch)# Clever Plants# On the Spot: In the Red Center (Deborah Bird Rose)# Clever Creatures# On the Spot: In the Negev Desert (Ellen Wohl)# The Human Desert# Chapter 5. The Complexities of the Real# Prologue# Underfoot# On the Spot: In Antarctica's Dry Valleys (Diana Wall)# Oceans of Grass# The Shapes of Complexity# On the Spot: On the Chalk Downs (Richard Kerridge)# Evolving Together ... On the Spot: In the Tallgrass Prairie (Bruce Campbell)# ... And Moving Apart# On the Spot: On the Tibetan Plateau (Julia Klein)# Among Trees# On the Spot: In a Eucalypt Forest (Kate Rigby)# Zooming In# Return to Wonder# Epilogue: In a High Flower Meadow (SueEllen Campbell) Sources# Contributor Biographies# Acknowledgments# Index

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SueEllen Campbell is Professor in the Department of English at Colorado State University. She is the author of Even Mountains Vanish: Searching for Solace in An Age of Extinction and Bringing the Mountain Home, among other books.

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