Environmental Books by SEJ Members

Are you an SEJ member who's authored, co-authored or edited a non-fiction or fiction environmental book (published in 2021 or 2022) you'd like included on this page? Documentaries are also welcome. Please send the following to web content manager Cindy MacDonald:

  1. a one-paragraph description (no more than 200 words, please)
  2. name of publisher and year of publication
  3. ISBN number
  4. .png, .gif or .jpg image of the book cover (optional)
  5. Internet link to more information (optional) 

Members' books published in: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and earlier.

Advertise your 2021 or 2022 environmental book in the SEJournal Online e-newsletter for only $50. Order form (you'll need your member log-in info). SEJ members only.




"Beavers: Radical Rodents and Ecosystem Engineers"

By Frances Backhouse

Cover of Beavers: Radical Rodents and Ecosystem Engineers

"Beavers: Radical Rodents and Ecosystem Engineers" looks at the beaver’s biology and behavior and illuminates its role as a keystone species that builds critical wetland environments for a multitude of plants and animals. Once almost hunted to extinction for their prized fur, beavers have made a comeback over the past century that stands as one of North America’s greatest conservation success stories. Today, as our understanding and appreciation of the benefits beavers provide as habitat creators, water stewards and climate change allies grows, we are building a new coexistence relationship with them. Packed with facts and personal stories and richly illustrated with photos, "Beavers" is written especially for middle-grade readers and was selected as a 2022 Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students K–12 by the National Science Teaching Association and Children’s Book Council. Adult readers will find lots to chew on too. Orca Book Publishers, 2021. ISBN: 978-1-4598-2469-0. More information.



"Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction"

By Michelle Nijhuis

Cover of Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction

In the late nineteenth century, humans came at long last to a devastating realization: their rapidly industrializing and globalizing societies were driving scores of animal species to extinction. In "Beloved Beasts," acclaimed science journalist Michelle Nijhuis traces the history of the movement to protect and conserve other forms of life. From early battles to save charismatic species such as the American bison and bald eagle to today's global effort to defend life on a larger scale, Nijhuis' "spirited and engaging" account documents "the changes of heart that changed history" (Dan Cryer, Boston Globe). With "urgency, passion and wit" (Michael Berry, Christian Science Monitor), she describes the vital role of scientists and activists such as Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson, reveals the origins of vital organizations like the Audubon Society and the World Wildlife Fund, explores current efforts to protect species such as the whooping crane and the black rhinoceros, and confronts the darker side of modern conservation, long shadowed by racism and colonialism. As the destruction of other species continues and the effects of climate change wreak havoc on our world, "Beloved Beasts" charts the ways conservation is becoming a movement for the protection of all species including our own. W. W. Norton, 2021. ISBN: 978-0-393-88243-8. More information.



"Explaining Research: How to Reach Key Audiences to Advance Your Work"

By Dennis Meredith

Cover of Explaining Research

"Explaining Research" is the most comprehensive guide to research communication. It offers practical tools and techniques to effectively reach professional and lay audiences. The book shows how to develop a communication "strategy of synergy"; give compelling talks; build a professional website; create quality posters, images, animations, graphs, charts, videos, e-newsletters, blogs, podcasts and webinars; write popular articles and books; produce news releases and other content that attract media coverage; give effective media interviews; serve as a public educator in schools and science centers; and protect against communication traps. The book also includes strategies to guide research communication, as well as insights from leading science journalists and research communicators. The book's website offers an extensive list of references and resources for research communication, including sources of visuals and guides to using communication tools and techniques. Oxford University Press, 2021. ISBN-13: 9780197571316. More information.



"Flush: The Remarkable Science of an Unlikely Treasure"

By Bryn Nelson

Cover of Flush

The future is sh*t: the literal kind. For most of human history we've been, well, disinclined to take a closer look at our body's natural product — the complex antihero of this story — save for gleaning some prophecy of our own health. But if we were to take more than a passing look at our poop, we would spy a veritable cornucopia of possibilities. We would see potent medicine, sustainable power and natural fertilizer to restore the world's depleted lands. We would spy a time capsule of evidence for understanding past lives and murderous ends. We would glimpse effective ways of measuring and improving human health from the cradle to the grave, early warnings of community outbreaks like COVID-19 and new means of identifying environmental harm — and then reversing it. "Flush" is both an urgent exploration of the world's single most squandered natural resource, and a cri de coeur (or cri de colon?) for the vast, hidden value in our "waste." Award-winning journalist and microbiologist Bryn Nelson, PhD, leads readers through the colon and beyond with infectious enthusiasm, helping to usher in a necessary mental shift that could restore our balance with the rest of the planet and save us from ourselves. Grand Central Publishing, 2022. ISBN: 978-1538720028. More information.



"Girl Warriors: How 25 Young Activists Are Saving the Earth"

By Rachel Sarah

Cover of Girl Warriors

In "Girl Warriors," meet 25 fierce, fearless climate activists who are fighting for your future. On the front lines, these girls and young women are leading thousands of people in climate strikes, suing their governments, founding non-profits and organizing movements amidst a global pandemic. And while some don’t even have the right to vote yet, they’re using what they do have — their voices — to reverse the damage we’ve done. Collected from intimate interviews with the author, the girls and young women share their stories, including at-risk communities who are most impacted by climate change. Chicago Review Press, 2021. ISBN: 978-1-64160-371-3. More information.



"Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound"

By David B. Williams

Cover of Homewaters

"Homewaters" illuminates relationships between people and environment, past and present and natural landscapes and altered ones. How does this place we call Puget Sound impact those who live here? How do our actions affect Puget Sound and its inhabitants? Each chapter weaves personal observations, field time, discussions with experts and examination of historical and recent documents to tell stories that help answer these questions. "Homewaters" is Williams' interpretation of a unique set of environmental and historical conditions and opportunities; it is just one of many stories that could be written. University of Washington Press, 2021. ISBN: 9780295748603. More information.



"In the Spirit of Wetlands: Reviving Habitat in the Illinois River Watershed"

By Clare Howard

Cover of In the Spirit of Wetlands: Reviving Habitat in the Illinois River Watershed

The author and photographer visited dozens of wetlands over several years, interviewed landowners, scientists, environmentalists and farmers about the role wetlands play in a healthy environment and what happens following widespread destruction of wetlands. People who believe in wetlands work not just for their own environment but for the global ecosystem. They continue to discover and learn about the complex role wetlands play in the environment. The people featured in this book are remarkable because they devote their time, energy and money to restoring lost wetlands, often in the face of harsh criticism from people who do not share their vision. The persistence of these wetland pioneers is inspiring. They lead by example, and their stories help change the way we see the world. University of Illinois Press, 2022. ISBN: 9780252086625 (paperback); 9780252053559 (ebook). More information.



"The Monsanto Papers: Deadly Secrets, Corporate Corruption, and One Man's Search for Justice"

By Clare Howard

Cover of The Monsanto Papers: Deadly Secrets, Corporate Corruption, and One Man's Search for Justice

"The Monsanto Papers" is the inside story of Lee Johnson's landmark lawsuit against Monsanto. For Lee, the case was a race against the clock, with doctors predicting he wouldn't survive long enough to take the witness stand. For the eclectic band of young, ambitious lawyers representing him, it was a matter of professional pride and personal risk, with millions of dollars and hard-earned reputations on the line. For the public at large, the lawsuit presented a question of corporate accountability. With enough money and influence, could a company endanger its customers, hide evidence, manipulate regulators and get away with it all — for decades? Readers will be astounded by the depth of corruption uncovered, captivated by the shocking twists and moved by Lee's quiet determination to see justice served. With gripping narrative force that reads like fiction, "The Monsanto Papers" takes readers behind the scenes of a grueling legal battle, pulling back the curtain on the frailties of the American court system and the lengths to which lawyers will go to fight corporate wrongdoing. Island Press, 2021. ISBN: 9781642830569 (hardcover); 9781642830576 (ebook). More information.



"Our Changing Menu: Climate Change and the Foods We Love and Need"

By Michael P. Hoffmann, Carrie Koplinka-Loehr and Danielle L. Eiseman

Cover of "Our Changing Menu"

If you think climate change is a recipe for disaster, you’ll want to read "Our Changing Menu: Climate Change and the Foods We Love and Need." SEJ member Carrie Koplinka-Loehr teamed up with Michael Hoffmann and Danielle Eiseman to explain the complex ties between your next meal and a warming planet. They lead you on a journey through a complete menu: before-dinner drinks and salads; main courses and sides; then coffee and dessert. Along the way, you’ll learn what’s happening to the flavors of spices and teas, the yields of wheat, the vitamins in rice and the price of vanilla. Through easy-to-understand prose and beautiful illustrations, "Our Changing Menu" explains the global food system, the causes and impacts of climate change and what you can do to help. The book is a celebration of food and a call to action — encouraging readers to join with others to help tackle the greatest challenge of our time. Learn how climate change affects specific ingredients at the book’s companion website. Cornell University Press, 2021. ISBN: 978-1-5017-5462-3 (paperback); 978-1-5017-5464-7 (pdf); 978-1-5017-5463-0 (epub). More information.



"Planet Palm: How Palm Oil Ended Up in Everything—and Endangered the World"

By Jocelyn C. Zuckerman

Cover of Planet Palm

It’s in our instant noodles and our chocolate bars, our lipsticks and our fuel tanks. But what even is palm oil, and how has this little-known commodity come to dominate our lives so completely? To find the answers to these questions, Zuckerman travels across four continents and back in time two centuries. The obscure oil palm fruit, she discovers, has played an outsize role in history, from spurring the colonization of Nigeria and greasing the gears of the Second Industrial Revolution to transforming the economies of Malaysia and Indonesia. But it hasn’t all been pretty. The palm oil revolution has been built on stolen land and slave labor; it’s swept away lives and cultures and so ravaged the landscapes of Southeast Asia that such iconic animals as the orangutan now teeter on the brink of extinction. Fires lit to clear the way for plantations spew carbon emissions to rival those of entire industrialized nations. Combining history, travelogue and investigative reporting, "Planet Palm" offers an unsettling, urgent look at the global palm oil industry and at our own unwitting role in fueling what has today become an environmental and public-health catastrophe. The New Press, 2021. ISBN: 978-1-62097-523-7. More information.



"The School Poisoning Tragedy in Caledonia, Ohio"

By Dr. James Van Keuren

Cover of "The School Poisoning Tragedy in Caledonia, Ohio'"

The story begins with the release of Van Keuren's recent book "World War II POW Camps in Ohio," where in a chapter called "Contamination on the Home Front," he identified former military sites used during World War II. The River Valley Local Schools built its schools and athletic fields on the contaminated grounds of the former Marion Engineer Depot. Researching this triggered Van Keuren's curiosity about the prevalence of the contamination of the school sites of River Valley, which translated into the finding of his upcoming book. He leaves it up to the reader to make a judgement about the facts and outcomes of the environmental site inspections done by governmental agencies. History Press, 2021. ISBN: 978-1467146326. More information. Interview with the author on Veteran Voices: The Oral History Podcast.



"Silent Winter: Our Chemical World and Chronic Illness"

By Joanna Malaczynski-Moore

Cover of "Silent Winter"

Most of us are told that our health issues are a result of our lifestyle or genes. We rarely hear that chronic illness is on the rise as a result of toxic chemicals in consumer products and throughout our environment. This includes illnesses such as cancer, chronic fatigue, diabetes, asthma, digestive issues, depression, dementia and others. The scientific evidence about chronic illness and toxic chemicals is withheld from us through stunningly elaborate efforts so that business can continue as usual. Industry does not want to change, so it is forcing us to change on an evolutionary level to deal with the onslaught of chemicals in our daily lives. When we cannot keep up and get ill, we are sold chemical solutions to make us feel better. "Silent Winter" is about the silent spread of toxic chemicals in our daily lives and their impacts on our health. It is also about the silencing of the problem on a societal level by obscuring what we know, and silencing of solutions by manipulating the marketplace. It is further about the muting of millions of human lives as a result of chronic illness. Finally, it is about our way out of this mess. Algora Publishing, 2021. ISBN: 978-1-62894-446-4. More information.



"Slaves for Peanuts: A Story of Conquest, Liberation, and a Crop That Changed History"

By Jori Lewis

Cover of "Slaves for Peanuts: A Story of Conquest, Liberation, and a Crop That Changed History"

Americans consume over 1.5 billion pounds of peanut products every year. But few of us know the peanut's tumultuous history, or its intimate connection to slavery and freedom. Lyrical and powerful, "Slaves for Peanuts" deftly weaves together the natural and human history of a crop that transformed the lives of millions. Author Jori Lewis reveals how demand for peanut oil in Europe ensured that slavery in Africa would persist well into the twentieth century, long after the European powers had officially banned it in the territories they controlled. Delving deep into West African and European archives, Lewis recreates a world on the coast of Africa that is breathtakingly real and unlike anything modern readers have experienced. "Slaves for Peanuts" is told through the eyes of a set of richly detailed characters — from an African-born French missionary harboring runaway slaves, to the leader of a Wolof state navigating the politics of French imperialism — who challenge our most basic assumptions of the motives and people who supported human bondage. At a time when Americans are grappling with the enduring consequences of slavery, here is a new and revealing chapter in its global history. The New Press, 2022. ISBN: 978-1-62097-156-7 More information.



"The State You're In: Florida Men, Florida Women, and Other Wildlife"

By Craig Pittman

Cover of "The State You're In"

With a folksy style, an eye for the absurd and a passion for the history and environment of his home state, Pittman describes some of Florida’s oddest wildlife as well as its quirkiest people. "The State You’re In" includes a love story involving the most tattooed woman in the world, a deep dive into the state’s professional mermaid industry and an investigation of a battle between residents of a nudist resort and the U.S. Postal Service. Pittman introduces readers to a who’s who of Florida crime fiction, a what’s what of exotic animals and an array of beloved places he’s seen change rapidly in his lifetime. Many of these stories are funny, some are serious and several offer rare insights into the heart of the Sunshine State. For Pittman, Florida is both inspiring and dangerous — an "evolutionary test" for those who live in it. Together these pieces paint a complex picture of a fascinating state longing for an identity beyond palm trees and punchlines. University Press of Florida, 2021. ISBN-10: 0813066956. ISBN-13: 978-0813066950. More information.



"Stop Saving the Planet! An Environmentalist Manifesto"

By Jenny Price

Cover of "Stop Saving the Planet!"

We’ve been "saving the planet" for decades!…and environmental crises just get worse. All this hybrid-driving and LEED-building and carbon trading seems to accomplish little to nothing — and low-income communities continue to suffer the worst consequences. Why aren’t we cleaning up the toxic messes and rolling back climate change? And why do so many Americans hate environmentalists? Jenny Price says Enough already! — with this short, fun, fierce manifesto for an environmentalism that is hugely more effective, a whole lot fairer and infinitely less righteous. She challenges you, corporate sustainability officers and the EPA to think and act completely anew — and to start right now — to ensure a truly habitable future. W.W. Norton, 2021. ISBN: 978-0-393-54087-1. More information.



"You Aren't Depression's Victim"

By Debra Atlas

Cover of "You Aren't Depression's Victim"

What if we didn't have to fall down into that dark pit called depression? What if we could see it coming and step away from it? "You Aren't Depression's Victim" chronicles author Debra Atlas' life and her struggles with depression. This book not only tells Atlas' story, it offers life-changing insights for those living with this often debilitating illness. In this empowering book, Ms. Atlas discusses: how to identify where the edge of depression actually is; strategies to help you recognize depression before it hits; and simple actions that can help us step back from the edge. An environmental journalist, a newspaper columnist, a professional speaker and blogger, Debra Atlas has dealt head on with acute depression, personal crises, even a brush with suicide. Her book helps readers discover new possibilities, unlocking a bright path to living a balanced and fulfilled life. BookBaby, 2021. ISBN # 978-1-7370476-0-5. Available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.



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