Scattered like dots rising from the deep across vast expanses of the world's tropical and subtropical oceans, atolls have been the homeland of millions of people for millennia and have captured the public imagination. Developed from satellite data only recently available, A Global Atlas of Atolls presents high-quality details of 473 atolls across the globe, characterizing details of the atoll rim, the lagoon and their coral reef communities in unprecedented detail. In synthesizing and enhancing understanding of these spectacular seascapes, this volume provides a unique compendium of descriptions and images, as well as documentation of the environmental conditions of winds, waves and tides and a summary of the background literature for each atoll area.
After an introduction that includes a glossary of terms, each atoll is documented in the form of an atlas written for scientists, but accessible to any diver or reader interested in these spectacular reef-island habitats. The book also describes the current state of affairs and the outlook for their future. It will be useful to marine scientists, as well as providing an informative read to those who are interested in and enamoured of science or travelling on a comfortable armchair. There is currently no comparable work documenting the atolls of the world, with their turquoise lagoons and colorful reefs teaming with marine life.
Walter M. Goldberg graduated from the American University, Washington DC with a Batchelor of Science degree and was awarded a PhD in Biological Oceanography by the University of Miami’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. He is currently a Professor Emeritus at Florida International University in Miami where he was a faculty member for 40 years and the youngest in the Department of Biological Sciences to begin his career there at the age of 27. While on the faculty he taught a variety of courses ranging from Electron Microscopy for graduate students to Marine Science for non-majors. In addition to teaching and research, Walter served as department chair at a time when Biological Sciences at FIU was half the size it is now. He is the author of more than 50 professional papers, mostly on the formation, structure, and biochemistry of coral skeletons. After retirement, he taught Scientific Writing at FIU for an additional decade.
Eugene C. Rankey is a Professor of Geology at the University of Kansas, where he has taught since 2008. A geologist by formal training, Gene’s research program focuses on understanding geological, chemical, physical, and biological aspects of the oceans, how they shape the seascapes of tropical marine and coastal systems, and expression of comparable processes in the ancient rock record. In addition to remote-sensing analyses from around the globe, field efforts have ranged from the South Pacific (including in the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Kiribati), Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean, and included numerical modelling of dynamics of shoreline and atoll systems. Gene graduated with a B.S. degree from Augustana College (IL), an M.S. from the University of Tennessee, and a PhD from the University of Kansas; he worked at Exxon Production Research Company, Iowa State University, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami before returning to Kansas. He has written more than 60 nerdy scientific papers, edited several volumes, and served as editor and/or associate editor for five journals. He lives in Paola, Kansas, near the geographic centre of the U.S., and far from the ocean, where he claims to be a soccer (football) star in the city’s adult league, straightens headstones in the church cemetery, and lifts modest weights. His four kids are grown and scattered across the globe, but his dogs miss him when he travels to see his island friends.