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Are you an SEJ member who's authored, co-authored or edited a non-fiction or fiction environmental book (published in 2018 or 2019) you'd like included on this page? Documentaries are also welcome. Please send the following to web content manager Cindy MacDonald:
- a one-paragraph description
- name of publisher and year of publication
- ISBN number
- .gif or .jpg image of the book cover (optional)
- Internet link to more information (optional)
"Back from the Brink: Saving Animals From Extinction"
By Nancy F. Castaldo
How could capturing the last wild California condors help save them? Why are some states planning to cull populations of the gray wolf, despite this species only recently making it off the endangered list? "Back from the Brink" answers these questions and more as it delves into the threats to seven species, and the scientific and political efforts to coax them back from the brink of extinction. This rich, informational look at the problem of extinction has a hopeful tone: all of these animals’ numbers are now on the rise. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2018. ISBN: 978-054495343. For more information: Visit Nancy at nancycastaldo.com, on Twitter at @NCastaldoAuthor or on Instagram at @naturespeak
"Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution"
By Beth Gardiner
Air pollution prematurely kills seven million people every year, including more than one hundred thousand Americans. It is strongly linked to strokes, heart attacks, many kinds of cancer, dementia, and premature birth, among other ailments. In "Choked," Beth Gardiner travels the world to tell the story of this modern-day plague, taking readers from the halls of power in Washington and the diesel-fogged London streets she walks with her daughter to Poland’s coal heartland and India’s gasping capital. In a gripping narrative that’s alive with powerful voices and personalities, she exposes the political decisions and economic forces that have kept so many of us breathing dirty air. This is a moving, up-close look at the human toll, where we meet the scientists who have transformed our understanding of pollution’s effects on the body and the ordinary people fighting for a cleaner future. University of Chicago Press, 2019. ISBN: 9780226495859. More information.
"Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter"
By Ben Goldfarb
In "Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter," environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb reveals that our modern idea of what a healthy landscape looks like and how it functions is wrong, distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers from North America's lakes and rivers. The consequences of losing beavers were profound: streams eroded, wetlands dried up and species from salmon to swans lost vital habitat. Today, a growing coalition of 'Beaver Believers' ― including scientists, ranchers and passionate citizens ― recognizes that ecosystems with beavers are far healthier, for humans and non-humans alike, than those without them. From the Nevada deserts to the Scottish highlands, Believers are now hard at work restoring these industrious rodents to their former haunts. "Eager" is a powerful story about one of the world’s most influential species, how North America was colonized, how our landscapes have changed over the centuries and how beavers can help us fight drought, flooding, wildfire, extinction and the ravages of climate change. Ultimately, it's about how we can learn to coexist, harmoniously and even beneficially, with our fellow travelers on this planet. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2018. ISBN: 9781603587396. More information.
"The Marsh Builders: The Fight for Clean Water, Wetlands, and Wildlife"
By Sharon Levy
Swamps and marshes once covered vast stretches of the North American landscape. Today, the majority of the original wetlands in the U.S. have vanished, transformed into farm fields or buried under city streets. Reviving them is essential to the survival not just of wildlife, but of humanity. In "The Marsh Builders," veteran science journalist Sharon Levy delves into the intertwined histories of wetlands loss and water pollution. The book's springboard is the tale of a years-long citizen uprising in Humboldt County, California, which led to the creation of the Arcata Marsh, the first U.S. wetland designed to treat city sewage. The book explores the global roots of this local story: the cholera epidemics that plagued nineteenth-century cities, including boomtown Sacramento; the way researchers stumbled into the invention of modern sewage treatment; the discovery that wetlands act as efficient filters for the pollutants unleashed by modern humanity. Oxford University Press, 2018. ISBN: 9780190246402. More information.
"River of Lost Souls: The Science, Politics, and Greed Behind the Gold King Mine Disaster"
By Jonathan P. Thompson
When the river that his ancestors had settled next to in the 1870s turned orange with mining-related pollution in 2015, Jonathan Thompson knew he would write a book about it. Thompson, an award-winning investigative environmental journalist, digs into the science, politics and greed behind the 2015 Gold King Mine disaster, and unearths a litany of impacts wrought by a century and a half of mining, energy development and fracking in southwestern Colorado. Amid these harsh realities, Thompson explores how a new generation is setting out to make amends. Torrey House Press, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-937226-83-1. More information: here and here.
"The Science Writers' Investigative Reporting Handbook: A Beginner's Guide to Investigations"
By Liza Gross
"The Science Writers' Investigative Reporting Handbook: A Beginner's Guide to Investigations" is a practical, step-by-step guide that gives writers all the tools they'll need to add accountability reporting to their stories. In a concise, easy-to-follow format, it lays out strategies and resources designed to empower beginners to launch science-based investigations. It draws on the experience and insights of teachers and practicing journalists alike to illuminate the fundamental principles of investigative reporting, offering tips on cultivating sources, choosing an investigation, working with data, organizing materials, interviewing subjects and bulletproofing stories to avoid legal and ethical pitfalls. Watchdog Press, 2018. ISBN: 1732333904. More information.
"Weather: An Illustrated History, from Cloud Atlases to Climate Change"
By Andrew Revkin with Lisa Mechaley
Andrew Revkin's fourth book charts humanity's learning journey on weather and the climate system in 100 lushly illustrated "moments" — from the oldest evidence of raindrops (2.7 billion years old) through the dawn of climate change science (1856) through science pointing to a long greenhouse-pushed delay in the next ice age. Sterling Publishing, 2018. ISBN-10: 1454921404; ISBN-13: 978-1454921400. Washington Post review and Q&A. More information.