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Yellowstone National Park is one of the world's truly extraordinary places. Its landscape, dominated by a great volcanic crater and sculpted over millennia by water and glacial ice, is host to a dramatically complex and diverse environment teeming with wildlife and plants. But there is more to Yellowstone's wonders than meets the eye.
A nearly unexplored world awaits the curious in the park's streams and lakes, wetlands and beaver ponds, hot springs and geysers. Throughout the park are plants and animals too small to see individually but essential to the environment, such as the colonies of microbes forming green and orange gelatinous mats near La Duke Spring; the organisms living in the severe heat and sulfuric acid of Lemonade Creek; and the protozoa and algae along the shores of Twin Lakes. This is the world of microbes – the bacteria, algae, diatoms, and other microscopic organisms that live at the very foundation of the Yellowstone ecosystem.
Seen and Unseen takes the reader on a spectacular and colourful tour of Yellowstone's microbial flora and fauna. Photographed using state-of-the-art technology, each microbe is presented with photographs of the environment where it's found. The reader will discover the amazing heat-tolerant bacteria that color many of the park's scalding hot springs, the microbes that allow a bison to digest grass, algae that thrive in acid, and microbial mats in every color of the rainbow.
An eye-opener for adults and fascinating fun for kids, Seen and Unseen takes a unique approach in examining the natural history of America's greatest national park.
Kathy B. Sheehan is a Research Associate in the Department of Microbiology and the Thermal Biology Institute at Montana State University, where she is supported by a National Science Foundation Microbial Observatory grant to study organisms in Nymph Creek, Yellowstone National Park. She also is funded by the National Park Service to survey thermal sites in Yellowstone for the presence of pathogenic amoebae. She has extensive field experience and has led many educational field trips in the park.
David J. Patterson is Professor of Biology at the University of Sydney, NSW, Australia, and Adjunct Scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Dr. Patterson has a distinguished career as a protistologist and is an expert microscopist. He has helped to develop, in conjunction with the Marine Biological Laboratory and the NASA Astrobiology Institute, an internationally known website for the study of microorganisms
Brett Leigh Dicks is an Australian landscape photographer who currently is a Senior Laboratory Technician at Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, California, and has an extensive background in the highly specialized field of scientific photography. His images have been reproduced in many scientific publications.
Joan M. Henson is Professor of Microbiology and a principal scientist at the Thermal Biology Institute at Montana State University in Bozeman.