Mother of God: An Extraordinary Journey into the Uncharted Tributaries... by Paul Rosolie Uncharted territory is difficult to find these days, which is part of what makes the Madre de Dios region of the Amazon Basin unique. Nature writer Paul Rosolie first visited the area as an 18-year-old college student volunteering at a biological research station in Peru, where he fell in love with the jungle's primeval splendor. In this "vividly written narrative" (Kirkus Reviews), Rosolie recounts eye-opening adventures, from fostering an orphaned anteater and encountering isolated tribes to contracting MRSA and nearly being devoured by a 25-foot anaconda. The Reef: A Passionate History by Iain McCalman
More than 1,400 miles in length, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest structure ever built by living organisms (so big it's visible from space). This organic maze of coral reefs, islands, and estuaries is one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet, home to thousands of species from microscopic organisms to megafauna. However, like other natural wonders, it's also in danger of being destroyed by human activity. While describing the natural history (extensive) and ecological value (priceless) of the Reef, author Iain McCalman traces the region's influence on European explorers, indigenous peoples, and individuals inspired by its unique natural beauty. Pick up this book and learn more about this amazing place while it still exists.
Welcome to Kumik, India, a 1,000-year-old village in the Himalayas whose inhabitants long ago learned to cultivate the harsh mountain terrain by collecting water from melted snow. However, as the region's glaciers recede, the village declines. The main culprit? Soot. Among the most toxic, yet least studied, of pollutants, soot -- also known as black carbon -- is the byproduct of combustion. And while the Himalayas may seem remote, Kumik's plight parallels that of places all over the world. This sobering account of environmental devastation provides insight into a lesser-studied aspect of climate change.
Home to some 4,000 species of flora and fauna (of which 1,600 are endemic), the Galápagos Islands are renowned for their extraordinary biodiversity. Made famous by Charles Darwin, who featured the Galápagos prominently in The Voyage of the Beagle, this archipelago off the coast of Ecuador has also hosted many human visitors, from fishermen and pirates to scientists and ecotourists. In addition to exploring the islands' unique geological features and ecology, this sweeping account examines ongoing threats to the Galápagos caused by human activity, including pollution, habitat destruction, and climate change.