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Comprehensive cultural and ecological history of European impact, from early voyages of discovery to the most recent developments in reef science and management, providing a thorough account of the scientific, social and environmental consequences of European impact on the world's greatest coral reef system.
`...the book is full of facts and figures, the text is easy to read, the characters and issues come alive and it is altogether a fascinating account of an aspect of the Great Barrier Reef all too often forgotten. I recommend this book wholeheartedly to anyone interested in the evolution of scientific inquiry, the role of the Great Barrier Reef in our past and present, or in the development of the conservation movement in Australia.' Dr. Gee Chapman, Centre for Research on Ecological Impacts of Coastal Cities
Part I. Navigators and Naturalists in the Age of Sail: 1. Quest for the great south land; 2. Voyage of the 'Endeavour': Cook and the Labyrinth; 3. Endeavour naturalists: 'a separate creation'; 4. Matthew Flinders: voyage of The Investigator; 5. The reef explored: early surveys 1821--1844; 6. Reef charts completed 1846--1862; 7. The reef as a maritime highway: colony of Queensland 1859--1900; 8. From natural history to science 1850--1900 voyages of the Challenger and Chevert; 9. Exploitation and resource raiding 1860--1890; 10. For maximum yield: reef biology; Part II. A New Era in Reef Awareness from Scientific Investigation to Conservation and Heritage: 11. Origin and structure of coral reefs: from Forster to Darwin; 12. Darwin's legacy: coral reef controversy 1863--1923; 13. Exploitation challenged rise of ecology: the subversive science; 14. Reef research and controversy 1920--1930; 15. The Low Isles expedition 1928--1929: Planning and preparation; 16. Biological research of the Low Isles expedition; 17. From depression to war: tourism, conservation and science 1929--1939; 18. The Pacific War and its aftermath; 19. A new problem: the conservation controversy 1958--1972; 20. Crisis resolution: formation of an environmental management authority; 21. A new era: research-based management; 22. The reef under pressure: problems of management; 23. The reef as heritage: a challenge for the future.
After graduating from the University of Sydney and completing a PhD at the University of Illinois, James Bowen pursued an academic career in the United States, Canada and Australia, publishing extensively in the history of ideas and environmental thought. As visiting Professorial Fellow at the Australian National University from 1984 to 1989, he became absorbed in the complex history of the Reef, exploring this over the next decade through intensive archival, field and underwater research in collaboration with Dr Margarita Bowen, ecologist and distinguished historian of science. The outcome of those stimulating years is this absorbing saga.
'! a work of dazzling accomplishment, meticulously researched and scientifically accurate ! the Bowen's book is !a classic, which will doubtless be referred to as long as interest in the Reef persists'. Times Literary Supplement '! the book is full of facts and figures, the text is easy to read, the characters and issues come alive and it is altogether a fascinating account of an aspect of the Great Barrier Reef all too often forgotten. I recommend this book wholeheartedly to anyone interested in the evolution of scientific inquiry, the role of the Great Barrier Reef in our past and present, or in the development of the conservation movement in Australia.' Gee Chapman 'This book has delighted me. It is what the Great Barrier Reef has always needed; a comprehensive and scholarly history of European exploration and involvement with the Great Barrier Reef.' Professor Frank Talbot, Graduate School of the Environment, Macquarie University, Sydney 'This book is comprehensive, scholarly and highly readable, and will be a key reference for the history, science and culture of the Great Barrier Reef for a long time to come.' David Williams, New Scientist 'The book is clearly written and well organised ! a very valuable synthesis for reef managers and scientists as well as for undergraduates studying the history of science and conservation. It would be a useful addition to a school library for teachers and a-level students.' Geography 'I enjoyed reading this book ! it is a voyage of discovery that weaves coral reefs intricately into world history. Every few pages, through their detailed research. James and Margarita Bowen produce new insights into the role that coral reefs, particularly those of the Great Barrier Reef have played throughout history. This is not a dry historical study. It is interesting and enjoyable and has just won the New South Wales premier's prize for Australian history. It should appeal to science and history buffs, and is a well-documented source book for students of the environment and history, particularly in the management of a World Heritage Area.' The Times Higher Education Supplement '! a truly excellent book ! very reader friendly ! It is a must to be read by all who are concerned in its welfare !'. International Journal of Environmental Studies '! an excellent, easy to read, all-embracing, and truly interdisciplinary account of the world's greatest reef system. They cover so much more than the biological and environmental aspects of the reef in the book ! this is a fascinating story of the reef and its impacts on human attitudes ! this is the first work to provide a fully comprehensive history of the 'European' impact over the time of the two centuries from Cook to the present. This remarkable book provides an interesting and detailed account of human involvement in, and influences upon, one of the world's greatest natural phenomena.' The Environmentalist '! the first full history of the Reef ! The Bowens give a lively history of the exploring and mapping of the Reef ! scholarly, well-written !'. Australian Studies