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141. Facts, Not Fear: Teaching Children
$88.95 $80.80
142. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
$195.00 $147.43
143. Geoenvironmental Engineering:
$6.26 $2.18 list($6.95)
144. Barron's Regents Exams and Answers:
$103.00 $70.00
145. World Regional Geography: A Development
$39.10 $39.07 list($49.50)
146. The Origins of Order: Self-Organization
$50.40 $49.83 list($60.00)
147. Fundamentals of Geophysics
$101.44 $84.58 list($110.00)
148. Fundamentals of Global Positioning
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149. Understanding Earth
$32.40 $32.08 list($40.00)
150. Climate Change: A Multidisciplinary
$84.06 $58.54
151. Natural Disasters w/bind in OLC
152. A Geologic Time Scale 2004
$96.00 $69.95
153. Earth's Dynamic Systems, 10th
$90.00 $76.51
154. Geology of U.S. Parklands (Geology
155. One River
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156. The Endurance : Shackleton's Legendary
$66.95 $55.00
157. Spatial Databases: With Application
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158. Statistics and Data Analysis in
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159. Remote Sensing of the Environment:
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160. The Map That Changed the World

141. Facts, Not Fear: Teaching Children About the Environment
by Michael Sanera, Jane S. Shaw
list price: $17.95
our price: $17.95
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Asin: 0895262932
Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
Sales Rank: 293648
Average Customer Review: 3.08 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (24)

Facts Not Fear is an excellent book for both parents and educators alike. It is very refreshing to see the authors use scientific facts to explain and explore environmental issues, instead of "gloom and doom"scare tactics which are so prevalent in or childrens texts. Facts Not Fear is essential reading for virtually everyone, because it offers a balanced perspective on a variety of environmental subjects, from natural resoures to global warming. READ THIS BOOK TODAY!

5-0 out of 5 stars Get a view of reality
It's about time. This book is a must have for anyone who is not afraid to buck the common fokelore on the environment and face facts. Despite what some of the other reviews have said, this is NOT a sugar coated, "everything is really ok" kind of book. I was impressed by the balanced, realistic view the authors took on the issues. Just as an example, they don't deny that the earth's temperature has increased, but they cite research that shows that it has only been an average 1-3 degrees increase *in the last 100 years,* which is insignificant. And that most of that increase was in the first half of the century. And that it is cyclical (you may remember that in the 70's, for example, they were predicting the next ice age). There are hundreds of little - well researched - nuggets like that that put some reality over the hype and hysteria of the environmental extremists.

If you're looking for a balanced approached to the environment, and you're not afraid of perhaps challenging some of your own beliefs, this book is a must read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly Rational
I am not a parent, but even I found this book to be a nice reference and an enjoyable read. It is rare and refreshing to find a book that treats environmentalism from a rational perspective.
Naturally, environmentalists are quick to attack it, as they should--such applications of reason and sound judgement threaten their agenda.
The information is thoroughly cited: you won't find the vague references to mystery "sources" prevalent in environmentalist books.

1-0 out of 5 stars a balanced book?
Well researched, according to Sanera and Shaw, now means that you don't have to cite your sources. It means that one sentence claiming schools are creating "environmental crusaders" out of our children can be followed by a sentence outlining that 30 states have mandated environmental education and that means they are obviously enviromental crusaders. While it would be nice to think of this book as balanced, they need to do a lot more to convince anyone that they provide this so called balanced approach.

While I agree that the larger processes need to be discussed before the activism or clean-up can start (and they would probably say we in the US don't need either of those two things), they obviously need to go back and do some science research of their own. And yes, they need to do science research. They extoll their book as being enough of a resource to teach parents how to teach their children science, and it hurts me to say this, but if many of the elementary teachers in our country don't think they can teach science well, it is an injustice to our children to have parents with no scientific background teaching our children watered down, mislead ideas.

It is good to read something that points out flaws in extreme enviromentalism, but not surprising to see that their text suffers from the same flaws they claim envionmentalists "suffer" from. Exaggeration, taking facts out of context, over simplifiction and appealing to parents as equals in search for a higher truth are only some of the techniques they employ.

5-0 out of 5 stars Add Balance to your view of the Environment
This book highlights the other side of issues like Deforestation and Global Warming in a world where the mainstream media doesn't acknowledge that another side exists. The point of this book and another excellent resource entitled "Junk Science Judo," is that statistics can be manipulated by anyone with an agenda and that it is generally those groups with an agenda that are making the all-to-common alarmist statements. If you have children, the information in this book can help you to address their concerns and add a little balance to their views. ... Read more

142. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics : From Air Pollution to Climate Change
by John H.Seinfeld, Spyros N.Pandis
list price: $88.95
our price: $88.95
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Asin: 0471178160
Catlog: Book (1997-10)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 271024
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The only single-source reference available on atmospheric chemistry, aerosols, and atmospheric models

This fully revised and expanded version of John H. Seinfeld's successful Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics of Air Pollution provides a rigorous, comprehensive treatment of the chemistry of the atmosphere. With new chapters on such important topics as cloud physics, nucleation, and wet deposition, this book offers a truly up-to-date examination of atmospheric chemistry today, including:
* Chemistry of the stratosphere and troposphere
* Formation, growth, dynamics, thermodynamics, and properties of aerosols
* Meteorology of air pollution
* Transport, diffusion, and removal of species in the atmosphere
* Formation and chemistry of clouds
* Interaction of atmospheric chemistry and climate
* Radiative and climatic effects of gases and particles
* Formulation of mathematical chemical/transport models of the atmosphere.

Complete with solved examples, problems graded according to difficulty, and hundreds of illustrations, this state-of-the art reference is an ideal resource for both students and professionals in all areas of engineering as well as atmospheric science.
... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Bible
As if this needs a review... its a bible for atomspheric scientists of all genre. A must have. Especially good for any grad student preparing for the random question during an oral exam. Not that you could read the thing cover to cover, but there is something for everyone.

If you need a great reference, then this is it. If you are not sure you should buy one of the best references for atomsopheric chemistry and physics, then there is no reason to. That's just a sign that you probably don't need it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know about Atmospheric Science
This book has it all. If you are in the field of atmospheric sciences, it is a muct have. If you're not in the field, but are interested in learning about atmospheric science, I'd highly recommend it. It's a technical book, with plenty of math, but it is written in an engaging, easy to read format. It's packed with information on eveything from tropospheric ozone formation to industruial plume dispersion modeling. It has everything you need to know about atmospheric science. ... Read more

143. Geoenvironmental Engineering: Site Remediation, Waste Containment, and Emerging Waste Management Techonolgies
by Hari D.Sharma, Krishna R.Reddy
list price: $195.00
our price: $195.00
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Asin: 0471215996
Catlog: Book (2004-05-14)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 881292
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Book Description

Geoenvironmental Engineering covers the application of basic geological and hydrological science, including soil and rock mechanics and groundwater hydrology, to any number of different environmental problems.
* Includes end-of-chapter summaries, design examples and worked-out numerical problems, and problem questions.
* Offers thorough coverage of the role of geotechnical engineering in a wide variety of environmental issues.
* Addresses such issues as remediation of in-situ hazardous waste, the monitoring and control of groundwater pollution, and the creation and management of landfills and other above-ground and in-situ waste containment systems.
... Read more

144. Barron's Regents Exams and Answers: Earth Science
by David Berey
list price: $6.95
our price: $6.26
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Asin: 0812031652
Catlog: Book (1983-01-01)
Publisher: Barron's Educational Series
Sales Rank: 115303
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good for Practice
If you buy this book, make sure you get another review book. This bok is good for one thing, review for the actaul test. You should savfe this and take thetests in it about a week before you will take the actual regents. It has real past regents, and it explains the answers, but it will not have too much of an effect on your regents grade. It has more of a use as an indicator of how well you will do on the actual regents.

5-0 out of 5 stars Time to hit the books!
This book is good because it gives you many example problems that really were on the Regents and many of the problems appear again and again just with different numbers. It was very helpful and after doing all the problems and self-correcting myslef and then see why I got the answers wrong (or even right) by the explanation section, it was worth the time and money to get this book. It is a tool that will help you get through your studing in a great way.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is a great studying tool
Barron's Regents Exams and Answers : Earth Science is one of the most valuable tools in studying for the New York state regents exam in Earth Science. It has many of the past regents to practice from, answers explained, and tips for when you take the regents. In the answers explained section it will tell you why the answer is right and even why other answers are wrong! I got a 95 on the regents with the help of this book. If you are taking Earth Science I would highly recommend that you get this book. ... Read more

145. World Regional Geography: A Development Approach, Eighth Edition
by David L. Clawson, James Fisher, Samuel Aryeetey-Attoh, Roger Theide, Jack F. Williams, Merrill L. Johnson, Douglas L. Johnson, Christopher A. Airriess, Terry G. Jordan-Bychkov, Bella Bychkova Jordan, Ellen Hamilton, Beth Mitchneck
list price: $103.00
our price: $103.00
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Asin: 013101532X
Catlog: Book (2003-08-15)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 416363
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Organized around the theme of human development, this book is written by experts on each region of the world to create a comprehensive volume on world regional geography that presents a vital overview of the topic, providing a deep understanding of the character of the world's people. A rich art package assists the reader in gaining a personal feeling for the inner essence of each world region.This book covers the geographic, social, and economic issues for each world region, including the United States and Canada; Europe; Russia and the Eurasian States; Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands; Asia; the Middle East and North Africa; Africa south of the Sahara; and Latin America.This book can serve as an excellent tool for any reader who is interested in the world's regions and its people; it is an excellent reference work for geographers, cultural anthropologists, and others working in those fields. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars Seriously Biased
The tendency of this book to ridicule America (its history, its culture, its priorities, etc.) really calls into question the objectivity and political persuasion of its authors. Whether it's the destruction of the environment or world poverty, America and the American people are always to blame. We use too much energy; we don't share enough; blah blah blah. America does more to promote peace and economic development throughout the world than any other country. While the authors of this book don't seem to be so, I, for one, am PROUD to be an American

5-0 out of 5 stars As a text
The general feel of this book is dark and dull. Graphics are oddly benign,upside, the Geography in Action sections offer realistic insight into Geographic concepts. Clawson and Fisher tried. ... Read more

146. The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution
by Stuart A. Kauffman
list price: $49.50
our price: $39.10
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Asin: 0195079515
Catlog: Book (1993-05-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 75115
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Stuart Kauffman here presents a brilliant new paradigm for evolutionary biology, one that extends the basic concepts of Darwinian evolution to accommodate recent findings and perspectives from the fields of biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics.The book drives to the heart of the exciting debate on the origins of life and maintenance of order in complex biological systems.It focuses on the concept of self-organization: the spontaneous emergence of order that is widely observed throughout nature Kauffman argues that self-organization plays an important role in the Darwinian process of natural selection. Yet until now no systematic effort has been made to incorporate the concept of self-organization into evolutionary theory. The construction requirements which permit complex systems to adapt are poorly understood, as is the extent to which selection itself can yield systems able to adapt more successfully. This book explores these themes.It shows how complex systems, contrary to expectations, can spontaneously exhibit stunning degrees of order, and how this order, in turn, is essential for understanding the emergence and development of life on Earth.Topics include the new biotechnology of applied molecular evolution, with its important implications for developing new drugs and vaccines; the balance between order and chaos observed in many naturally occurring systems; new insights concerning the predictive power of statistical mechanics in biology; and other major issues.Indeed, the approaches investigated here may prove to be the new center around which biological science itself will evolve.The work is written for all those interested in the cutting edge of research in the life sciences. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars The science book to read. Six stars at least.
Stuart Kauffman has an MD and is a generalist. The book deals primarily with theory and understanding of computer simulations of state driven systems of large numbers of connected nodes. It examines how such systems evolve through mutation and gives a clear understanding of the limited role of natural selection in comparison to the self-organizing forces at work within such systems. It examines the meta-interaction of sub-systems of interacting states (attractor basins) that occur within a system. In English: it gives the first theoretical framework for understanding just how it is that cells which all contain identical DNA express themselves as some number of stable cell types. Normally a cell will react to a perturbation in whatever way will return it to its base stable cycle (attractor loop). One type of cell turns into another type when just the right perturbation kicks the system from one attractor basin into a different attractor basin.

This is heavier reading than his popular science book, At Home in the Universe, but preferable for anyone with the necessary tiny amount of knowledge of genetics and logic operations. There are few equations of any kind. The results apply to more than just biological systems.

The book is long because instead of just presenting a few principles that you can try to remember abstractly, he leads you through all the important steps of his research and gives you a real feel for how complex systems actually evolve and operate. The book raises more questions than it answers, as it should be for a book of such originality and importance.

When you fully grok the contents of this book you'll be so excited you'll want to rush and explain it to someone else, which will be utterly impossible, so you'll probably have to lend them your book, buy them the popular version, or face the fact that you are now relatively alone on a higher plane.

5-0 out of 5 stars New paradigm shift in biology
The Origins of Order will be viewed in the future as a milestone in shifting the existing Darwinian paradigm in biology from a "survival of the fittest" (natural selection) to a new paradigm focused on explaining the "arrival of the fittest" through self-organisation.
Using a boolean (NK) network model and a extensive amount of biological facts, Stuart Kauffman demonstrates in a powerful
way the central role of self-organisation in the creative process of life. His vision that biology seems to operate
as self-organised non-linear dynamical systems at the edge of chaos will have as much influence in biology that a similar vision offered by Nobel prize winner Prigogyne in the field of thermodynamcis. The book connects a web of fundamental ideas from the fields of biology, physics, mathematics and computer sciences and requires a strong background in biology that I unfortunately did not possess. The laborious style, the lack of clarity in the writing and the (unnecessary) length of the book should not stop anyone from reading this amazing book.
Stuart Kauffman combines an intellect and a vision that only very few scientists possess. This book is a must.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not sure what the fuss is about
There are some interesting subjects in this book such as the theory that estimates the size of the attractors for NK automata. These results are non-trivial but I do not see where the grandiose claims about life living on the 'edge of chaos' come from. Maybe in a few years someone might be able to put some more flesh on his hypotheses but right now they seem to be flights of fancy extrapolated from some trivial models that don't actually do anything.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hopeful spontaneity
Kauffman believes that spontaneous self-ordering, which both simple and complex systems can exhibit, must be incorporated into evolutionary biology, along with traditional random variation and natural selection. Certain complex systems will be spontaneously self-ordering. Natural selection then tends to push such systems to the edge of chaos. In addition to advancing Kauffman's theories, this reference provides a good overview the Neo-Darwinian synthesis, a review of origin of life theories, a review of genetic regulatory theory, and a review of cell differentiation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book I ever read
It took me a whole summer to read this book in 1993 and it is still the most amazing book I have ever read. If you are computer/mathematically inclined, have an interest in biology, and have enough time to digest it, this book will blow you away. It contains the most amazing hypotheses to come out since 1859. Unfortunately, it takes a huge investment in time to really read this book, but an epiphany awaits those who get through it. ... Read more

147. Fundamentals of Geophysics
by William Lowrie
list price: $60.00
our price: $50.40
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Asin: 0521467284
Catlog: Book (1997-09-11)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 109863
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This unique textbook presents a comprehensive overview of the fundamental principles of geophysics. Unlike most geophysics textbooks, it combines both the applied and theoretical aspects to the subject. The author explains complex geophysical concepts using abundant diagrams, a simplified mathematical treatment, and easy-to-follow equations. After placing the Earth in the context of the solar system, he describes each major branch of geophysics: gravitation, seismology, dating, thermal and electrical properties, geomagnetism, paleomagnetism and geodynamics. Each chapter begins with a summary of the basic physical principles, and a brief account of each topic's historical evolution. The book will satisfy the needs of intermediate-level earth science students from a variety of backgrounds, while at the same time preparing geophysics majors for continued study at a higher level. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Let's be sincere
This book is what its title says "FUNDAMENTALS", I think it's a pre-basic book about Geophysics. There are other books better than this one, i.e. Telford's "Applied Geophysics" and Garland's "Introduction to Geophysics" (this is what Mr. Lowrie says). ... Read more

148. Fundamentals of Global Positioning System Receivers : A Software Approach (Wiley Series in Microwave and Optical Engineering)
by James Bao-YenTsui
list price: $110.00
our price: $101.44
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Asin: 0471706477
Catlog: Book (2004-11-19)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 194756
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Book Description

All the expert guidance you need to understand, build, and operate GPS receivers

The Second Edition of this acclaimed publication enables readers to understand and apply the complex operation principles of global positioning system (GPS) receivers. Although GPS receivers are widely used in everyday life to aid in positioning and navigation, this is the only text that is devoted to complete coverage of their operation principles. The author, one of the foremost authorities in the GPS field, presents the material from a software receiver viewpoint, an approach that helps readers better understand operation and that reflects the forecasted integration of GPS receivers into such everyday devices as cellular telephones. Concentrating on civilian C/A code, the book provides the tools and information needed to understand and exploit all aspects of receiver technology as well as relevant navigation schemes:
* Overview of GPS basics and the constellation of satellites that comprise the GPS system
* Detailed examination of GPS signal structure, acquisition, and tracking
* Step-by-step presentation of the mathematical formulas for calculating a user's position
* Demonstration of the use of computer programs to run key equations
* Instructions for developing hardware to collect digitized data for a software GPS receiver
* Complete chapter demonstrating a GPS receiver following a signal flow to determine a user's position

The Second Edition of this highly acclaimed text has been greatly expanded, including three new chapters:
* Acquisition of weak signals
* Tracking of weak signals
* GPS receiver related subjects

Following the author's expert guidance and easy-to-follow style, engineers and scientists learn all that is needed to understand, build, and operate GPS receivers. The book's logical flow from basic concepts to applications makes it an excellent textbook for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in electrical engineering, wireless communications, and computer science.
... Read more

149. Understanding Earth
by Press & Siever
list price: $93.75
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Asin: 0716741172
Catlog: Book (2000-10-01)
Publisher: W.H. Freeman & Company
Sales Rank: 261920
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150. Climate Change: A Multidisciplinary Approach
by William James Burroughs
list price: $40.00
our price: $32.40
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Asin: 0521567718
Catlog: Book (2001-02-15)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 523479
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Book Description

This volume provides an up-to-date presentation of climate change and its implications for society. Burroughs, an expert on the subject, begins with balanced coverage of the physical principles of the global climate, its behavior on all timescales, and the evidence for and consequences of past change. He then reviews the methods used to measure climate change and the statistical methods for analyzing data.A comprehensive guide, the volume also explores the causes of change and how this behavior can be modeled. The final sections discuss predictions of future climate change and the economic and political debate surrounding its prevention and mitigation. This is a valuable undergraduate textbook for a wide range of courses, including meteorology, oceanography, environmental science, earth science, geography, history, agriculture and social science. It will also appeal to a wider general audience of readers in search of a better understanding of climate change. ... Read more

151. Natural Disasters w/bind in OLC card
by Patrick LeonAbbott, Patrick Leon Abbott
list price: $84.06
our price: $84.06
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Asin: 0072921986
Catlog: Book (2003-05-05)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math
Sales Rank: 130608
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book explores natural disasters such as volcanoes, earthquakes, flooding, and other hazards.It not only takes a look at how these phenomena develop, but also their impact on the environment.(Does not include man-made disasters, e.g. nuclear waste disposal). ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Natural Disasters makes geology interesting!
As a developer of geology and earth science college textbooks for major publishers, I've worked with a lot of excellent books. Patrick Abbott's Natural Disasters, second edition, is one of the most interesting, readable, informative, and engaging books available. It doesn't have all the four-color diagrams and photos, and doesn't need them. The book tells many fascinating stories that engage students (e.g., the Lisbon earthquake of 1755), relates these natural events to humanity, and offers outstanding short summaries of geologic phenomena and events (e.g., the K-T extinction). This is one of the few books I keep on my desk to illustrate geologic events and principles for friends and coworkers. Highly recommended!

4-0 out of 5 stars A great book for beginners interested in this topic!!!
I just finished taking a course at Florida International University having to do with natural disasters and this book was the required text. I found the book very interesting and informative. The different forms of natural disasters were seperated by chapters and were very well explained. I found it very easy to learn about natural disasters using this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent book
you will learn everthing from tornadoes to earthquakes, this book will take you to an exciting adventure into natural disasters. ... Read more

152. A Geologic Time Scale 2004
by Felix Gradstein, Jim Ogg, Alan Smith
list price: $45.00
our price: $45.00
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Asin: 0521786738
Catlog: Book (2005-02-28)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 463672
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Book Description

A successor to A Geologic Time Scale 1989 (Cambridge, 1990), this volume introduces the theory and methodology behind the construction of the new time scale, before presenting the scale itself in extensive detail. An international team of over forty stratigraphic experts develops the most up-to-date international stratigraphic framework for the Precambrian and Phanerozoic eras. A large wallchart summarizing the time scale at the back of the book completes this invaluable reference for researchers and students. ... Read more

153. Earth's Dynamic Systems, 10th Edition
by W. Kenneth Hamblin, Eric H. Christiansen
list price: $96.00
our price: $96.00
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Asin: 0131420666
Catlog: Book (2003-07-17)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 485929
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best geology book ever!
I own a copy of the fifth edition of this book. I am a science junkie and enjoy reading science text books. I find geology particularly interesting and over the years I have read dozens and dozens of geology textbooks. Earth's Dynamic Systems is by far the best I have ever read. If I was ever to teach a geology class, this is the book I would use. The line of thinking is so clear and logical in this book it is a joy to read. The illustrations are among the best I have ever seen and I have just the old the 5th ed. Generally when there are a number of good books on a given subject, they are all pretty much the same in quality. But that is not the case here, this book is head and shoulders above all other geology books. The edition I have also came with a lab manual that I also highly recommend. A wonderful set of books I am proud to own. If you are looking for a definitive single book that best covers all of geology, this is it. In this one book is more geology than in several other books put together. If you thoroughly read this book, you will know geology better than most geologists, it really is that good.

4-0 out of 5 stars Un exelente libro fuera del alcance de los latinos
Hamblin y Christiansen han creado el perfecto balance entre lo esencialmente tecnico y lo ampliamente comprensible. Es una obra que durara toda la vida en manos de geologos, geofisicos y cualquier amante del estudio del planeta tierra.

Un exelente libro que, por su excesivo costo para latinoamérica, está fuera del alcance de muchos estudiantes quienes continuaremos estudiando en la bibliotecas.

Una exelente obra de los autores y un muy mal acto de la editora.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE most colorful geology book ever
If you want a basic book that will help you understand geology you need this book. the book can fit anyone from age 7 to 70 (while you still see). every kid can understand basic geology concepts by looking at the pictures and reading the wothy text. even if you are a geologist like me you still enjoy wonderful pictures and great explanations. the glossary and the index help you find and understand hard words and terms ... Read more

154. Geology of U.S. Parklands (Geology of Us Parklands)
by Eugene P.Kiver, David V.Harris
list price: $90.00
our price: $90.00
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Asin: 0471332186
Catlog: Book (1999-05-28)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 338374
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The National Parks of the United States provide some of the world's most spectacular examples of a wide range of geological features. From the shores of Cape Cod to the volcanoes of Hawaii, this book teaches the principles of physical geology by example, re-creating the history of the earth and the development of its landforms, mountains, rivers, and oceans. By presenting a brief outline of the science of geology, and devoting chapters to individual geographical regions, the authors describe in detail the stunning geological features of each park. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Geology of U.S. Parklands, Fifth Edition
I teach a course in geology of America's National Parklands at a community college. I have tried another book for the required text for the course, with mixed success. Therefore when I found out that Geology of U.S. Parklands, fifth edition, was being released, I ordered it for the course even before I had seen my review copy. Previously when traveling I have consulted The Geologic Story of the National Parks and Monuments by the same authors, and was sufficiently impressed with the content, clarity of writing, and extent of coverage that I eagerly ordered the revised version. In my opinion this new book is THE one to use for similar college courses, and should also serve well for travelers with or without geologic training who want to know more about the geology of the magnificent federal parklands of our nation. There is a sufficient short course on general geologic principles in the initial chapter. I like the clarity, accuracy and dry humor of the text, which is better than the style and content in the book previously used - Geology of America's National Park Areas by Brooks Ellwood. Although the latter is quite a bit less expensive and has better quality if not more useful pictures, it is often too simplistic for my use in this course. I may have more to say after having used Kiver and Harris book as a text for a quarter or two, but my initial reaction to it is very favorable. Other books cover the geology of one or a few park areas, but this book has the entire country including Hawaii. However, for some reason the parklands of Alaska are excluded, probably because their inclusion could add many pages to what is already a massive volume (902 pages). I should have liked to see higher quality photographs and a lower cost, but other than those minor quibbles, this book will very likely set the standard to which all others on the subject will strive. ... Read more

155. One River
by Wade Davis
list price: $27.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684808862
Catlog: Book (1996-09-03)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 531244
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Richard Evans Schultes was arguably this century's foremost botanist and the father of ethnobotany--the study of plants and medicinal knowledge of indigenous peoples. He inadvertently inspired the 1960s drug culture with the publication of his scholarly journals on hallucinogenic plants. A meticulous scientist, his research on Columbia's rubber-producing hevea trees led to America's mass-production of rubber during World War II, which ultimately contributed to victory. Davis, one of Schultes's most devoted students, recounts the great botanist's life--from his research along hundreds of miles of forested rivers and his jungle treks while shattered by malaria to his intuitive gift with Amazon shamans and his relationship with such cult figures as Timothy Leary and William Burroughs. ... Read more

Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars Davis'portrayal of the Amazon is brilliant.
One River was one of the best books I have read in quite some time. As a Ph.D student in Botany, I was inspired by the accounts of Shultes, Plowman and Davis' journeys to the Amazon seeking tropical plants and learning from the people who have been using them for generations.. Davis has a rare ability to mix technical science writing with a deep knowledge of history, culture, and politics and make it flow into a coherent narrative. Any student of ecology, evolution, (especially of plants) will love this book as will people with an interest in the cultures and history of the Amazon basin.

5-0 out of 5 stars Human & Ecological Diversity Fall Victim to the Modern World
"One River" will take you on a journey that you will never forget. It will introduce you to one of the twentieth century's most remarkable men--Richard Evans Schultes, as well as one of the world's most fascinating places--the Amazon.

The book is the story of the work of Schultes and two of his students, including the author Wade Davis. It will take you as close as you can ever be to lost cultures and lost ecosystems along with cultures and ecosystems that are very much endangered. Wade Davis is a champion of both human and ecological diversity. "One River" is probably the most eloquent testament to ethnic and biological diversity I've ever read.

As the modern world encroaches on every last nook and cranny of this beautiful earth, "One River" serves as a primer about what once was and about the price we pay as we lose one more species, or one more human culture forever.

This book is an adventure story. It is a story of incredible academic accomplishment. The term academic, with its connotations of being hopelessly removed from the real world does not apply here. Schultes and his students could not be more connected to the real world.

"One River" is the story of man and nature and how the two interact, each forever changing the other. Read this book and then tell your friends about it. While it is hard to make such a claim (there are so many good books), I'd have to say this is my favorite book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Even Deeper in the Wonder
This will be a very short review on a book that has long been with me. While working on a reproductive biology macaw research project climbing into the canopy of the Amazon each day for 3 months i found ONE RIVER one night piled amongst the research literature. Even though i had the Amazon literally ground into my bones after so many days of hard labor i could not put this book down each night reading by candle. Could one gourge on steak then still enjoy reading about cattle? This is simply a fascinating, and most well written book on arguably the most complex wonderful ecosystem as experienced by a most hard working curiously gifted individual. Do your soul a favor and read this book 5 times!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wade Davis opens up the amazon and ethno-botany
I have read this book fully three times over five years. I am still amazed at the wealth of detail, yet the subtle humor in Davis' descriptions of the plants and peoples of the Amazon basin. The book is so detailed that I think many people glaze over in trying to read it. I would say it helps to read it before and then after you visit any rainforest. It also gives you a whole different approach to medicine and healing. The shaman empathizes with a patient, and uses native plants on HIMSELF to approach the healing process. Then, illuminated regarding what course to follow, provides the patient with a very specific course of healing, often using other plant materials. Often dismissed in our American culture as superstition, these practices are fascinating to read about from an author who has travelled, observed, and done what we can only imagine, and who seems to believe otherwise.

5-0 out of 5 stars River of Life
One River reads like an adventure story, a character sketch, a history, and a PhD dissertation. How Davis is able to hold so many disparate strands together so well is a true marvel. That he is an excellent writer surely helped but so did his choice of topics-all quite fascinating.

Rarely does one pick up a book, especially non-fiction, that cannot be set aside. This book glues itself to your hands and you won't be able to shake it until you've finished. Then you'll wish there were more.

In the broadest terms, One River is a biography of Davis's mentor, Richard Evans Schultes. I had become familiar with Schultes's work when researching hallucinogens. Well-known in that particular field, he is renowned generally as the godfather of ethnobotany. Tracing any strand in modern botany you'll find him again and again. He was incredibly prolific and a born adventurer. Many species of plants are named after him because his colleagues so highly respected him.

Davis recounts his personal experiences under Schultes-the strange days at Harvard, the mission Schultes sent him on to study cocaine in 1970s Columbia-and then proceeds to unravel his hero's own story. One needs to read the book to appreciate the twists and turns of this plot but let's just say Schultes has taken all drugs, lived with all new world tribes, and regularly voted for Queen Elizabeth II in presidential elections. In spite of his noted eccentricities few scientists could claim such respect or accomplishment.

In the early 40s he was employed by U.S. government to find and/or cultivate a new world source of high quality rubber. A decade of work almost resulted in a better rubber that would enrich the people of Central America and ensure the U.S. a constant supply of this industrial mainstay. Please read almost... a single guffaw by some legislators destroyed all this work and left us in the lurch of depending on Southeast Asia for our rubber, a precarious situation to be sure.

Throughout the book, the main backdrop is the Amazon. One of the reasons I had trouble putting the book down was because it transported me to that exotic place. Though I was doing my same old routine, I could jump into the narrative and feel like I was on an intrepid vacation never sure what the next bend in the river would bring: menacing or friendly natives, a new species of orchid, other wanderers, a potently hallucinogenic plant?

For a thoughtful and engaging read one can do no better. ... Read more

156. The Endurance : Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375404031
Catlog: Book (1998-11-03)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 3865
Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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Melding superb research and the extraordinary expedition photography of Frank Hurley, The Endurance by Caroline Alexander is a stunning work of history, adventure, and art which chronicles "one of the greatest epics of survival in the annals of exploration." Setting sail as World War I broke out in Europe, the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, led by renowned polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, hoped to become the first to cross the Antarctic continent. But their ship, Endurance, was trapped in the drifting pack ice, eventually to splinter, leaving the expedition stranded on floes--a situation that seemed "not merely desperate but impossible."

Most skillfully Alexander constructs the expedition's character through its personalities--the cast of veteran explorers, scientists, and crew--with aid from many previously unavailable journals and documents. We learn, for instance, that carpenter and shipwright Henry McNish, or "Chippy," was "neither sweet-tempered nor tolerant," and that Mrs. Chippy, his cat, was "full of character." Such firsthand descriptions, paired with 170 of Frank Hurley's intimate photographs, which are comprehensively assembled here for the first time, penetrate the hulls of the Endurance and these tough men. The account successfully reveals the seldom-seen domestic world of expedition life--the singsongs, feasts, lectures, camaraderie--so that when the hardships set in, we know these people beyond the stereotypical guise of mere explorers and long for their safety.

Alexander reveals Shackleton as an inspiring optimist, "a leader who put his men first." Throughout the grueling ordeal, Shackleton and his men show what endurance and greatness are all about. The Endurance is a most intimate portrait of an expedition and of survival. Readers will possess a newfound respect for these daring souls, know better their unthinkable toil and half-forgotten realm of glory. --Byron Ricks ... Read more

Reviews (134)

5-0 out of 5 stars THE BEST BOOK!! YOU MUST READ IT!!
The Endurance by Caroline Alexander is a non fiction book about an explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew as they try to become the first explorers to cross Antarctica on foot. Sir Ernest Shackleton was one of the most known polar explorers of his day. Shackleton and his crew of 27 set out to sea on his boat Endurance on August 8th, 1914. The 28 men went down to Buenos Aries, Argentina then they continued to their last stop South Georgia Island which is in the southern Atlantic before they went to the pack ice and beyond. Once they got the ship into the pack ice they followed the cracks between each floe (leads) to try to get to the main land of Antarctica. Do they ever get home to England? Do they all even survive such a journey? This book was a heart racing kind of book. If you previously were not interested in history books The Endurance might change your opinion. I was impressed by how these men risked their lives freezing to death just to obtain their personal goals. The adventure of when they have to abandon ship will leave you hanging from your seat. The way Caroline Alexander wrote the book was engulfing . Her detail was thorough and she must have put many months of research on their journey. She also used clips from journals telling in the sailor's words what was happening and what was going on in their minds. I have read a few books about sailing the sea and The Endurance was the best one because of the way in which it was written. The photographer Frank Hurley took unbelievable shots of the whole expedition. The types of photos that were taken included, black & white stills, movies and color slides. The photographs look like they were taken recently by a digital camera instead of a Kodak in the early 1900's. Technically the pictures are crisp and clear for surviving the 22-month journey. This is a book that should be in every school library and all public libraries so everyone can experience The Endurance.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enduring photographs bring epic adventure into focus
Caroline Alexander brings a wealth of information into this "last of heroic Antarctic adventures". What sets this book apart from the several others written on this subject is the broad scope of details provided. Each of the 28 characters are individually described in the beginning although for the most part the majority have a collective role in the success of the expedition. Yes success, as in 28 start, 28 survive. It really is hard to go wrong with such a great story. By focusing on the ship's cat Caroline comes dangerously close. The collection of the thoughts from members diaries brings the gravity of their situation to a level the reader can feel and fear. The book itself is beautifully printed, the numerous photographs hit the highlights the trip and are captioned in detail. Where Alfred Lansing's book ends on a romanticized high note, Caroline Alexander goes on to detail the fates of the mates after the expedition. Needless to say such a journey is the high water mark for displaying character in the most oppressive of situations. My advice is to buy it for your coffee table, for it is a beautiful book, but read Alfred Lansing's' Endurance accompanied by the Nov. 1998 National Geographic article (by Ms. Alexander) which includes the Frank Hurley photographs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't Pass this one up!
A REAL story told REALLY well.
I listened to it on tape. One of my top five favorite books of all time. I would not have found it if my librarian hadn't suggested it. Couldn't put it down - If you are a man (or woman) in search of true adventure from days gone by then this is the book for you. This insanely difficult journey reveals the true character and spirit of these men in their effort just to stay alive. It feels like you are almost there with them, but glad that you aren't.
A true vision quest.
Buy it-
Read it -
Then give it to a friend - It's that GOOD!

5-0 out of 5 stars First-rate
This book is a first-rate telling of the Endurance story. Even better, the B&W photos are gorgeously reproduced, and Alexander tells some details of how they were taken and preserved.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent large format photos and introduction to Sir Ernest
A great book to get if you have never read any others of this amazing adventure. The book is worth getting and provides all the basic information on the journey. But let me add a note about seeing the author at National Geographic Explorers Hall some years ago. I read that the author would be giving a lecture. Not knowing much at all about Shackelton, I marked my schedule and planned to attend. I figured I might be one of a handful of people there like most history book lectures in DC. When I showed up, the line to pick up tickets was going out the door. Worse, it was sold out. Hundreds and hundreds of seats sold out to see the author of this book. I was gracefully given an extra ticket from someone who saw my distress and happily discovered a lifelong historical passion. Perhaps a bit of that "Old Provdy" was at play as the ramifications of this adventure go far beyond 28 men in a boat. I had the fortune to touch the James Caird at the travelling exhibit and there is a magic in the oak that defies explanation. If you want to discover a world of providence, human endurance, unreasonable chance and amazing survival, let this be the first step. As the author of this book said at her lecture, she was once walking in Manhattan with a Shackleton book tucked under her arm when a man approached her on the sidewalk after seeing the book. Wide eyed and smiling, he looked at her and said a single word that meant, he too, was part of the faternity of the moved - "Shackelton!" he said, and walked on. It said all there was to say. ... Read more

157. Spatial Databases: With Application to GIS
by Philippe Rigaux, Michel O. Scholl, Agnes Voisard
list price: $66.95
our price: $66.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1558605886
Catlog: Book (2001-05-18)
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Sales Rank: 334540
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Spatial Databases is the first unified, in-depth treatment of special techniques for dealing with spatial data, particularly in the field of geographic information systems (GIS). This book surveys various techniques, such as spatial data models, algorithms, and indexing methods, developed to address specific features of spatial data that are not adequately handled by mainstream DBMS technology.

The book also reviews commercial solutions to geographic data handling: ArcInfo, ArcView, and Smallworld GISs; and two extensions to the relational model, PostgreSQL and Oracle Spatial.The authors examine these underlying GIS technologies, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and consider specific uses for which each product is best suited.

* Examines the strengths of various query languages and approaches to query processing.
* Explains the use of computational geometry in spatial databases GISs, providing necessary background and an in-depth look at key algorithms.
* Covers spatial access methods, including the R-tree and several space-driven structures, and is filled with dozens of helpful illustrations. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A textbook geared to advanced GIS analysts
Very nicely written book. It is quite technical, with a very detailed and mathematically-oriented exposition. More suitable for a classroom teaching or for a GIS software developer/expert analyst than for the average user. Contains great chapters on representation of spatial objects and concepts, and computational geometry algorithms.

A must have for a GIS software developer or a GIS analyst trying to gain a deeper understanding of GIS database organization and optimal query algorithms. Too deep for beginners and occasional GIS users.

4-0 out of 5 stars Many years of researches are collected into 1 place
I have been in GIS and graphics research and development for more than 10 years. GIS is a area that is mixed with technical and management issues greatly; therefore, there is very few truly technical books that is focus on computing issues in GIS.
I am really excited to see this book because it compiles tons of research materials into 1 place. My 2 boxes full of research papers can go into basement while I am having this book as the constant reference. The book got a very coherent presentation of the large scale data management issues with GIS. Thier description is very accessible. They have tried their best to minimize the amount of mathematics that could be involved.
If you are a beginner, this is a definite starting point to learn about various techniques and issues about spatial data management and computing. I wish I have this book at the start of my career. Much of my headaches to run through all of those research papers can be eliminated.
If you want to implement a spatial data management system, this book alone is not enough. You may need to add few other graphics books and database books to acquire enough background to do so.
Well, you can only ask for so much coverage for a single book. ... Read more

158. Statistics and Data Analysis in Geology
by John C.Davis
list price: $89.95
our price: $89.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471172758
Catlog: Book (2002-04-19)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 394233
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Book Description

Thoroughly revised and updated, this new edition of the text that helped define the field continues to present important methods in the quantitative analysis of geologic data, while showing students how statistics and computing can be applied to commonly encountered problems in the earth sciences.

In addition to new and expanded coverage of key topics, the Third Edition features new pedagogy, end-of-chapter review exercises, and an accompanying website that contains all of the data for every example and exercise found in the book.
... Read more

159. Remote Sensing of the Environment: An Earth Resource Perspective
by John R. Jensen
list price: $102.00
our price: $102.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0134897331
Catlog: Book (2000-01-03)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 302307
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book introduces the principles of remote sensing from an Earth resource perspective.It describes a) the fundamental characteristics of electromagnetic radiation and how the energy interacts with Earth materials such as vegetation, water, soil and rock, b) how the energy reflected or emitted from these materials is recorded using a variety of remote sensing instruments (e.g., cameras, multispectral scanners, hyperspectral instruments, RADAR), and c) how we can extract fundamental biophysical or land use/land cover information from the remote sensor data. The history of remote sensing, the principles of visual photo-interpretation, and photogrammetry are also presented. Application chapters focus on remote sensing of vegetation, water, urban land use, and soil/rock and geomorphic features. The book was written for physical, natural, and social scientists interested in how remote sensing of the environment can be used to solve real-world problems. The following features make this book easy to comprehend and apply: a) it contains hundreds of illustrations specially designed to make complex principles easy to understand, b) a substantial reference list at the end of each chapter,c) the8.5 x 11" format allows the remote sensing images and diagrams to be easily interpreted, d) 32 pages of color are used to display remote sensing images or biophysical information that may be extracted from remote sensor data, and e) an Appendix provides Internet addresses for the most important sources of remote sensing information. Exercises and book illustrations are made available to instructors via the author's website. This book is a companion to "Introductory Digital Image Processing: A Remote Sensing Perspective" (Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1996) which introduces the fundamentals of digital image analysis.It is ideal for undergraduate or graduate courses in airphoto interpretation and remote sensing. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent!
This book covers broad area of remote sensing; nature, physics, photogrametry, history, various types of sensors (multispectral, thermal, Microwabe..), earth resource perspective(vegetation, water, urban landscape, soil&mineral...). So if you want to learn how remote sesning are employed in this world, I strongly recommend to buy this book. if you want to learn digital image processing, you should buy the sister book "Introductory Digital Image Processing: remote sensing perspective".

All sections (especially vegetation) contains alot of infomation and easy to understand with nice figures and pictures.

Only one fault of this book is this price... ... Read more

160. The Map That Changed the World : William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
by Simon Winchester
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060931809
Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 3241
Average Customer Review: 3.58 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In 1793, a canal digger named William Smith made a startling discovery. He found that by tracing the placement of fossils, which he uncovered in his excavations, one could follow layers of rocks as they dipped and rose and fell -- clear across England and, indeed, clear across the world -- making it possible, for the first time ever, to draw a chart of the hidden underside of the earth. Determined to expose what he realized was the landscape's secret fourth dimension, Smith spent twenty-two years piecing together the fragments of this unseen universe to create an epochal and remarkably beautiful hand-painted map. But instead of receiving accolades and honors, he ended up in debtors' prison, the victim of plagiarism, and virtually homeless for ten years more. Finally, in 1831, this quiet genius -- now known as the father of modern geology -- received the Geological Society of London's highest award and King William IV offered him a lifetime pension.

The Map That Changed the World is a very human tale of endurance and achievement, of one man's dedication in the face of ruin. With a keen eye and thoughtful detail, Simon Winchester unfolds the poignant sacrifice behind this world-changing discovery.

... Read more

Reviews (76)

3-0 out of 5 stars A review of the book about the map that changed the world
Simon Winchester, the author of the deservedly best-selling *The Professor and the Madman*, writes in *The Map that Changed the World* about William Smith, who was dubbed in 1831--a bit belatedly--The Father of English Geology by the then president of the Geological Society of London. Smith's great work was an enormous--some 8 x 6 feet--geological map of England, the data for which Smith had spent a considerable part of his lifetime collecting single-handedly. The map, which delineates in splendid color the various strata of rock that underlie England, was the first of its kind. Smith himself was a maverick intellect for his understanding of both the implications of the strata for the history of the Earth and the importance to the rocks' identification of the fossils that could be collected from them.

Smith also had an interesting personal history in that his great efforts for science were so unremunerative that he landed for some eleven weeks at the age of fifty in one of London's great debtors' prisons. Winchester makes much of this great irony in his book, that a monumental figure should be so ill-treated and so long unrespected during his lifetime.

For all Smith's merits as a subject, however, Winchester's narrative is a bit of a slog. His emphasis is very often on the science of geology rather than the personality of Smith. This is reasonable enough given the subject matter of the book, but I, at least, frequently found the author's discussion difficult to follow. Winchester may, as a one-time student of geology at Oxford, have had too high an opinion of his layman readers' capacities. (Or I, of course, may not have been the proper audience for the book.) For those who are not geologically inclined, there may be more discussion of strata, however, than is palatable: "Below the 300 feet of chalk, Smith declaimed before the others, were first 70 feet of sand. Then 30 feet of clay. Then 30 more feet of clay and stone. And 15 feet of clay. Then 10 feet of the first of named rocks, forest marble. And 60 feet of freestone." And so on.

Winchester's narrative does become more interesting toward the book's end, when Smith has, finally, published his map and he is imprisoned for debt--the great dramatic moment toward which the book has been leading. But Smith's stay in the King's Bench Prison is itself anticlimactic, because while Winchester alludes to its "horrors" earlier on, he finally describes debtors' prison as a sort of country club, where the indebted middle-class pass their time playing cards or bowling and drinking beer. Trying and embittering it may have been to be locked away while his possessions were riffled through and sold off, but it was evidently not horrific.

Winchester's writing is at its most charming--and he does write charmingly--in the most personal section of the book, when he tells the story of his discovery at the age of six of an ammonite fossil. He and his fellow convent boys were led by the sisters of the Blessed Order of the Visitation on a miles-long walk to the sea, an expedition they undertook once a week. Winchester's account of the boys' riotous plunge into the sea shows just how nicely he can turn a phrase:

"Up here there always seemed to be a cool onshore breeze blowing up and over the summit. It was tangy with salt and seaweed, and the way it cooled the perspiration was so blessed a feeling that we would race downhill into it with wing-wide arms, and it would muss our hair and tear at our uniform caps, and we would fly down toward the beach and to the surging Channel waves that chewed back and forth across the pebbles and the sand.

"I seem to remember that by this point in the weekly expedition the dozen or so of us--all called by numbers, since the convent's peculiar regime forbade the use of names; I was simply 46--were well beyond caring what the nuns might think: The ocean was by now far too magnetic a temptation. Once in a while we might glance back at them as they stood, black and hooded like carrion crows, fingering their rosaries and muttering prayers or imprecations--but if they disapproved of us tearing off our gray uniforms and plunging headlong into the surf, so what? This was summer, here was the sea, and we were schoolboys--a combination of forces that even these storm troopers of the Blessed Visitation could not overwhelm."

Perhaps Winchester will one day expand on this passage with further autobiographical fare.

4-0 out of 5 stars Geologist's Dream - Readers Beware
"The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology," by Simon Winchester, proved to be a bit of a disappointment. It's a wonderful book, and I'm sure for those who make their life in geology it's an excellent read, but for me it was a let down.

The problem may be that Winchester is too good a writer, or too accurate a biographer, to put down any details of which he's not 100% certain. Add to that the fact that the source materials focus on William Smith's professional work almost to the exclusion of any personal detail, and you have what should be a compelling personal journey that winds up reading more like a geology text in too many chapters.

Smith's place in history was assured by his 1815 publication of a map of England showing the geological strata and graphically demonstrating his theories that one could tell the age of the rocks from examining the fossils found within. This was radical stuff in 1815, and the work that led to this map took Smith some 30 years. Along the way he picked up a wife, who was possibly crazy, and adopted a nephew, who became his assistant, had business and financial troubles, which led to his being held in debtor's prison, and had a long running class-based feud with England's scientific establishment, which led to his works not being properly recognized for many years after their publication.

Unfortunately, only the last aspect of Smith's life is covered in any detail because that's all he wrote about in his own journal, or is covered in other source material. About the wife we're told that she was a burden to him, often sick, probably crazy, and possibly even a nymphomaniac. We're told all that, but we're never given examples, or are told how Smith felt about her. Did he love her anyway? Did they ever try to have children of their own? Did she embarrass him publicly? We don't know. About the nephew we're told that Smith took over his care when his sister and brother-in-law died, and that he became his assistant, but we're told nothing of their personal relationship. Was their's a close, familial relationship, or only one of master or mentor to apprentice? We don't know. And such is the frustration with the book (mine, at least).

What's left is endless descriptions of the various layers of the earth's crust, and how Smith could tell if an outcropping belonged to the Jurassic or Cretaceous periods.

I picked up this book because I loved Winchester's previous "The Professor and the Madman" so much. That's a book that's rich in personal detail, and is as important and fascinating in the descriptions of the lives of the subjects as it is in the descriptions of their professional works. "The Map that Changed the World" is likely stunning for students of geology, but may bore beyond belief the reader who doesn't care or know about item one of earth science.

So - In the end, I suppose a mixed review. If you get this joke (and think it's funny): "Subduction leads to orogeny" - or, if you have a bumper sticker that says "Stop Plate Tectonics" - Then this is a five star book that you will love every page of. If you don't even care to look up any of those words, then this is a three star book you should avoid. Which averages out to four stars: An occasionally fascinating and well-written book that is often dry and disappointing.

2-0 out of 5 stars Deadly dull
I'm sorry, but not even Simon Winchester's earnest enthusiasm and lyrical prose can save this tale. It's just too dull. I got through about halfway, and couldn't finish.

Winchester is a glorious writer in his twin histories of the Oxford English Dictionary. But here his subject is just too obscure and trivial, and try as he might, Winchester can't make it seem interesting.

2-0 out of 5 stars Fairly interesting story swamped by dreadful writing
It's a matter of taste, but I'm mystified by people who find Winchester's writing "charming." The author's cardinal rule seems to be: "When in doubt, slather on another thick coat of adjectives, adverbs, and clichés." This kind of prose is too politely described as turgid, florid, and repetitive.
I wouldn't normally review a book after reading 1/4 of it, but I feel about this one the way I do after watching 20 minutes of a movie, and the direction, acting, and story are already tired and weak. It's usually a waste of time to stick it out on the off chance of an improvement.
Given that, I can't comment on whether the underlying story will come close to living up to its grandiose title, but I can say that I have a hard time trusting an author on the big picture once I've seen him get the details wrong in areas that I am intimately familiar with (e.g. coal mining in this case).
As several other readers suggested, John McPhee is an incomparably better writer and researcher, on geology or any other topic he cares to tackle.

1-0 out of 5 stars pass on this title
I had many hours of flying ahead of me and this was the wrong book to have taken. The fact that it was the only book I had gave me great incentive to like it. I didn't. I left it on the plane for someone more desperate than myself. ... Read more

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