Environmental Books by SEJ Members (2008)

Are you an SEJ member who's authored, co-authored or edited a non-fiction or fiction environmental book (published in 2008) you'd like included on this page? Please send the following to SEJ web content manager Cindy MacDonald:

  1. a one-paragraph description
  2. name of publisher and year of publication
  3. ISBN number
  4. .gif or .jpg cover image (optional)
  5. Internet link to more information (optional) 

Find links to members' books published in other years here.




Anyone But Duane

By Noel Grove

Cover of Anyone But Duane

Anyone But Duane tells the story of one man's puzzlement over the tragic transformation of Duane Pope from popular college student to convicted killer. With careful research and devotion to accuracy honed from working 25 years for National Geographic magazine, SEJ founding member Noel Grove traces the childhood and home life of "the nicest man in the world" to find out what led him to walk into a small-town bank in Big Springs, Neb. in 1965, rob it and shoot all four of the bank's employees. AuthorHouse, 2008. ISBN 143890990X. More information.



Communicating on Climate Change: An Essential Resource for Journalists, Scientists, and Educators

By Bud Ward

Cover of Communicating on Climate Change

Communicating on Climate Change: An Essential Resource for Journalists, Scientists, and Educators reports the results of dialogues between top climate scientists and journalists over a period of more than four years on how best to inform the public about climate change science. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and published in October 2008 by the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting, the 74-page paperback (also available as a free PDF file) offers important tips for reporting on the most complex, compelling, and sweeping environmental/economic/energy issues of the day. Based on an unprecedented series of journalist/scientist workshops and including original sidebar commentaries from participants, the book, written by SEJ co-founder Bud Ward, can be downloaded as a PDF file here. A limited number of printed copies are available free with S&H fee; download an order form. ISBN 978-1-60725-447-8.

Read the SEJournal review by Stefan Milkowski.


Gators, Gourdheads, and Pufflings: A Biologist Slogs, Climbs, And Wings Her Way To Save Wildlife

By Susan Jewell

Cover of Gators, Gourdheads, and Pufflings

Gators, Gourdheads, and Pufflings is the true tale of the everyday life of a wildlife biologist — but it's far from mundane. With humor and drama, author Susan Jewell weaves vignettes of her work in the wilds from Maine to Florida, studying alligators, wood storks (gourdheads), puffins (babies are pufflings), and more. As a petite gal in a traditionally male occupation, the author deals with situations in a resourceful and captivating way. She brings the wild animals and the places they live to life and reveals why biologists feel compelled to protect them. Jewell has studied wildlife from Maine to Florida by motorboat, airboat, canoe, airplane, helicopter, tree-climbing, scuba, and muddy feet. Her previous books include Exploring Wild South Florida and Exploring Wild Central Florida. More information. Infinity Publishing, 2008. ISBN 0-7414-4961-7. 220 pages.


Making Up with Mom

By Julie Halpert and Deborah Carr

Cover of Making Up with Mom

As young women today wrestle with decisions about work and family, they need all the support they can get. But the person whose support they crave most-their mother-often can't get on board. Why does a mother's approval matter so much? And why is it so painful for mothers when daughters choose paths different from theirs? In Making Up with Mom, Julie Halpert and Deborah Carr answer these questions by focusing on the issues of dating/marriage, career and child rearing. Relying on interviews with nearly 100 mothers and daughters, and offering tips from more than two dozen therapists, the book explores a range of communication issues and how to resolve them. St. Martins Press/Thomas Dunne, 2008. More information. ISBN 0-312-36881-X.


More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want

By Robert Engelman

Cover of More

A journey of discovery through the three-way dance of human population, the environment, and women's connection to both, More explores the provocative thesis that when women exercise choice over childbearing, human numbers move toward environmental sustainability. Author Robert Engelman, secretary of SEJ's founding board, scans history from the emergence of bipedal hominids to the present to examine women's essential contribution to the survival of homo sapiens. The book highlights women's long struggle to bear each child when the timing is right — not just for women themselves, but for the social and natural environment that surrounds their families. Island Press, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-1-59726-019-0. More information.


Night Fire: Big Oil, Poison Air, and Margie Richard's Fight To Save Her Town

By Ronnie Greene

Cover of Night Fire

This environmental justice narrative explores how a seemingly powerless, four-street community residing in the shadow of Louisiana's chemical corridor took on the world's second largest oil company — with surprising results. Written by investigative journalist Ronnie Greene, "Night Fire" was critically lauded for exploring the issue of environmental justice through deep reporting and a human narrative. "Infuriating, frustrating, and inspirational — a worthy read for any proponent of justice." (New Orleans Magazine) "A fascinating account of a remarkable woman's ten-year battle with Shell and the ultimate victory that transformed a company." (Library Journal) With its approachable, storytelling style, the book reads like a novel. . . . Anyone engaged in a fight against a mega-corporation — or considering launching one — should read this inspirational tale." (Public Citizen News) HarperCollins/Amistad, 2008. ISBN-10: 0061123625. More information.



Owls of North America

By Frances Backhouse

Cover of Owls of North America

Owls of North America delves into the lives of these enigmatic and fascinating birds of prey, shedding light on their anatomy, adaptations, life history and ecology. The engaging text is enhanced by line drawings and numerous colour photos. Individual profiles of the 23 owl species found in Canada, the U.S. and northern Mexico include detailed information about appearance, voice, feeding and breeding behaviour, distribution, habitat and conservation, as well as range maps. Like Woodpeckers of North America, this is a solid reference for birders, naturalists and general readers. By Frances Backhouse. Firefly Books, 2008. ISBN 1554073421. More information.


Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization

By Lester Brown

Cover of Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization

The world has set in motion environmental trends that are threatening civilization itself. We are now in a race between tipping points in the earth's natural systems and those in our political systems. Which will tip first? Will we reach the point when the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and the associated 23-foot-rise in sea level are irreversible? Or will we phase out coal-fired power plants fast enough to prevent it? We do not have much time. We are crossing natural thresholds that we cannot see and violating deadlines that we do not recognize. These deadlines are set by nature. Nature is the timekeeper, but we cannot see the clock. Author Lester Brown writes that it is time for Plan B 3.0 — an ambitious plan that includes cutting carbon emissions 80 percent by 2020. This will be achieved with a full-court press to raise energy efficiency worldwide. It will involve harnessing new energy sources including wind, solar, and geothermal in order to back out coal-fired power plants. Implementing Plan B 3.0 means mobilizing to bring about an exciting new world: a world where population has stabilized, forests are expanding, and carbon emissions are falling. More info/free download. Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008. Paperback ISBN 978-0-393-33087-8. Hardcover ISBN 978-0-393-06589-3.


See Sam Run: A Mother's Story of Autism

By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

Cover of See Sam Run

Thousands of children are diagnosed with autism each year, with a rate of occurrence of 1 in 150 births, compared to 5 per 10,000 just two decades ago. This astounding escalation has professionals scrambling to explain why the devastating neurological disorder, which profoundly affects a person's language and social development, is on the rise. Are we simply getting better at diagnosing autism, or is a modern health crisis unfolding before us? Of course, behind the numbers, the debate, and the speculation, individual families are struggling to live with autism every day. In See Sam Run, award-winning writer and journalist Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe describes how her parenthood quickly descended into chaos as her son, Sam, became uncommunicative and unmanageable. Little by little, she found a new truth: that by learning to understand the ugliness inside herself, she learned to love her new life and her son, and to harness, at last, the energy needed to realize Sam's fullest potential. See Sam Run reaches deep into the heart of anyone whose life has been touched by developmental disability-and it will resonate profoundly with those who have been transformed by a newfound ability to love. Hardcover. University of North Texas Press, 2008. ISBN 978-1574412444. More information.


Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds

By Claire Hope Cummings

Cover of Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds

In Uncertain Peril, environmental journalist Claire Hope Cummings exposes the stories behind the rise of industrial agriculture and plant biotechnology, the fall of public interest science, and the folly of patenting seeds. She examines how farming communities are coping with declining water, soil, and fossil fuels, as well as with new commercial technologies. Cummings takes readers from the Fertile Crescent in Iraq to the island of Kaua'i in Hawai'i; from Oaxaca, Mexico, to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. She examines the plight of farmers who have planted transgenic seeds and scientists who have been persecuted for revealing the dangers of modified genes. Uncertain Peril uncovers the stories behind the threats to seeds, focusing on the declining integrity and diversity of seeds, and the agricultural technologies and commercial interests that have made seeds scarce and vulnerable. The book also explores the possibilities for a more abundant future based on restoring agriculture to its ecological roots. Ultimately, Uncertain Peril is a powerful reminder that what's at stake right now is nothing less than the nature of the future. Beacon Press, 2008. ISBN 978-080708580-6. More information.