Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (509 B9379s )
Publication Date: 2015-02-13
In The Scientific Revolution in Global Perspective, William Burns places the Scientific Revolution - and its causes and effects - in a global context. Rather than taking a Eurocentric position, Burns fully reimagines the emergence of modern science on a global scale. Written in a clear, directstyle and rich with examples, the book fluidly integrates the history of the Scientific Revolution into the story of world history in a convincing and seamless fashion. Based on cutting-edge scholarship, it reveals the wider motivations and global connections of scientific innovation and providesstudents with a new appreciation for the origins of the global, technological world around them.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (500 D344m )
Publication Date: 2017-03-13
"I'm not a scientist" is a familiar refrain among people asked to evaluate scientific claims they feel are beyond their ken. Most citizens learn about science from media coverage, and even the most conscientious reporters sometimes struggle to offer a clear, unbiased explanation to readers. Politicians, activists, business spokespersons, and religious leaders with their own agendas to pursue also influence the way science is reported and discussed. Meanwhile, anyone seeking factual information on climate change, vaccine safety, risk of terrorist attack, or other topics in the news must sift through an avalanche of bogus assertions and self-interested spin. Making Sense of Science seeks to equip nonscientists with a set of critical tools to evaluate the scientific claims and controversies that shape our lives. Cornelia Dean draws on thirty years of experience as a science journalist with the New York Times to expose the flawed reasoning and knowledge gaps that handicap readers with little background in science. Shortcomings in K-12 education are partly to blame, but so too is the public's indifference to the way science is done and communicated. Dean shows how venues such as courtrooms and talk shows become fonts of scientific misinformation. She also calls attention to the conflicts of interest that color scientific research, as well as the price society pays when science journalism declines and government funding for research dries up. Timely and provocative, Making Sense of Science warns us all that we can no longer afford to make a virtue of our collective scientific ignorance.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (576.839 W6794a )
Publication Date: 2016-08-23
Where would you look for alien life? An astronomer and science popularizer explains the basics of astrobiology to outline five plausible scenarios for finding extraterrestrials Long before space travel was possible, the idea of life beyond Earth transfixed humans. In this fascinating book, astronomer Jon Willis explores the science of astrobiology and the possibility of locating other life in our own galaxy. Describing the most recent discoveries by space exploration missions, including the Kepler space telescope, the Mars Curiosity rover, and the New Horizons probe, Willis asks readers to imagine--and choose among--five scenarios for finding life. He encourages us to wonder whether life might exist within Mars's subsoil ice. He reveals the vital possibilities on the water-ice moons Europa and Enceladus. He views Saturn's moon Titan through the lens of our own planet's ancient past. And, he even looks beyond our solar system, investigating the top candidates for a "second Earth" in a myriad of exoplanets and imagining the case of a radio signal arriving from deep space. Covering the most up-to-date research, this accessibly written book provides readers with the basic knowledge necessary to decide where they would look for alien life.
Call Number: Valley City State University Lower Level (930.107473 R2486b )
Publication Date: 2016-03-14
In 1864 a U.S. army doctor dug up the remains of a Dakota man who had been killed in Minnesota. Carefully recording his observations, he sent the skeleton to a museum in Washington, DC, that was collecting human remains for research. In the "bone rooms" of this museum and others like it, a scientific revolution was unfolding that would change our understanding of the human body, race, and prehistory. In Bone Rooms Samuel Redman unearths the story of how human remains became highly sought-after artifacts for both scientific research and public display. Seeking evidence to support new theories of human evolution and racial classification, collectors embarked on a global competition to recover the best specimens of skeletons, mummies, and fossils. The Smithsonian Institution built the largest collection of human remains in the United States, edging out stiff competition from natural history and medical museums springing up in cities and on university campuses across America. When the San Diego Museum of Man opened in 1915, it mounted the largest exhibition of human skeletons ever presented to the public. The study of human remains yielded discoveries that increasingly discredited racial theory; as a consequence, interest in human origins and evolution-ignited by ideas emerging in the budding field of anthropology-displaced race as the main motive for building bone rooms. Today, debates about the ethics of these collections continue, but the terms of engagement were largely set by the surge of collecting that was already waning by World War II.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (551.312 T133g )
Publication Date: 2015-07-01
Though not traditionally thought of as strategic natural resources, glaciers are a crucial part of our global ecosystem playing a fundamental role in the sustaining of life around the world. Comprising three quarters of the world's freshwater, they freeze in the winter and melt in the summer,supplying a steady flow of water for agriculture, livestock, industry and human consumption. The white of glacier surfaces reflect sunrays which otherwise warm our planet. Without them, many of the planet's rivers would run dry shortly after the winter snow-melt. A single mid-sized glacier in highmountain environments of places like California, Argentina, India, Kyrgyzstan, or Chile can provide an entire community with a sustained flow of drinking water for generations. On the other hand, when global temperatures rise, not only does glacier ice wither away into the oceans and cease to act aswater reservoirs, but these massive ice bodies can become highly unstable and collapse into downstream environments, resulting in severe natural events like glacier tsunamis and other deadly environmental catastrophes. But despite their critical role in environmental sustainability, glaciers oftenexist well outside our environmental consciousness, and they are mostly unprotected from atmospheric impacts of global warming or from soot deriving from transportation emissions, or from certain types of industrial activity such as mining, which has been shown to have devastating consequences forglacier survival. Glaciers: The Politics of Ice is a scientific, cultural, and political examination of the cryosphere - the earth's ice - and the environmental policies that are slowly emerging to protect it. Jorge Daniel Taillant discusses the debates and negotiations behind the passage of the world's firstglacier-protection law in the mid-2000s, and reveals the tension that quickly arose between industry, politicians, and environmentalists when an international mining company proposed dynamiting three glaciers to get at gold deposits underneath. The book is a quest to educate general society aboutthe basic science behind glaciers, outlines current and future risks to their preservation, and reveals the intriguing politics behind glacier melting debates over policies and laws to protect the resource. Taillant also makes suggestions on what can be done to preserve these crucial sources offresh water, from both a scientific and policymaking standpoint.Glaciers is a new window into one of the earth's most crucial and yet most ignored natural resources, and a call to reawaken our interest in the world's changing climate.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (591.479 W6596r )
Publication Date: 2016-02-23
Most of us never think about how we get from one place to another. For most people, putting one foot in front of the other requires no thought at all. Yet the fact that we and other species are able to do so is one of the great triumphs of evolution. To truly understand how life evolved on Earth, it is crucial to understand movement. Restless Creatures makes the bold new argument that the true story of evolution is the story of locomotion, from the first stirrings of bacteria to the amazing feats of Olympic athletes. By retracing the four-billion-year history of locomotion, evolutionary biologist Matt Wilkinson shows how the physical challenges of moving from place to place--when coupled with the implacable logic of natural selection--offer a uniquely powerful means of illuminating the living world. Whales and dolphins look like fish because they have been molded by the constraints of underwater locomotion. The unbending physical needs of flight have brought bats, birds, and pterodactyls to strikingly similar anatomies. Movement explains why we have opposable thumbs, why moving can make us feel good, how fish fins became limbs, and even why--classic fiction notwithstanding--there are no flying monkeys nor animals with wheels. Even plants aren't immune from locomotion's long reach: their seeds, pollen, and very form are all determined by their aptitude to disperse. From sprinting cheetah to spinning maple fruit, soaring albatross to burrowing worm, crawling amoeba to running human--all are the way they are because of how they move. There is a famous saying: "nothing in biology makes sense unless in the light of evolution.” As Wilkinson makes clear: little makes sense unless in the light of locomotion. A powerful yet accessible work of evolutionary biology, Restless Creatures is the essential guide for understanding how life on Earth was shaped by the simple need to move from point A to point B.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (610.28 B4641o )
Publication Date: 2015-10-13
A panoramic overview of biotechnologies that can endlessly boost human capabilities and the drastic changes these "superhuman" traits could trigger Biotechnology is moving fast. In the coming decades, advanced pharmaceuticals, bioelectronics, and genetic interventions will be used not only to heal the sick but to boost human physical and mental performance to unprecedented levels. People will have access to pills that make them stronger and faster, informatic devices will interface seamlessly with the human brain, and epigenetic modification may allow people to reshape their own physical and mental identities at will. Until recently, such major technological watersheds--like the development of metal tools or the industrialization of manufacturing--came about incrementally over centuries or longer. People and social systems had time to adapt: they gradually developed new values, norms, and habits to accommodate the transformed material conditions. But contemporary society is dangerously unprepared for the dramatic changes it is about to experience down this road on which it is already advancing at an accelerating pace. The results will no doubt be mixed. People will live longer, healthier lives, will fine-tune their own thought processes, and will generate staggeringly complex and subtle forms of knowledge and insight. But these technologies also threaten to widen the rift between rich and poor, to generate new forms of social and economic division, and to force people to engage in constant cycles of upgrades and boosts merely to keep up. Individuals who boost their traits beyond a certain threshold may acquire such extreme capabilities that they will no longer be recognized as unambiguously human. In this important and timely book, prize-winning historian Michael Bess provides a clear, nontechnical overview of cutting-edge biotechnology and paints a vivid portrait of a near-future society in which bioenhancement has become a part of everyday life. He surveys the ethical questions raised by the enhancement enterprise and explores the space for human agency in dealing with the challenges that these technologies will present. Headed your way over the coming decades: new biotechnologies that can powerfully alter your body and mind. The possibilities are tantalizing: * Rejuvenation therapies offering much longer lives (160 and even beyond) in full vigor and mental acuity * Cognitive enhancement through chemical or bioelectronic means (the rough equivalent of doubling or tripling IQ scores) * Epigenetic tools for altering some of your genetically influenced traits at any point in your lifetime (body shape, athletic ability, intelligence, personality) * Bioelectronic devices for modulating your own brain processes, including your "pleasure centers" (a potentially non-stop high) * Direct control of machines by thought, and perhaps direct communication with other people, brain-to-brain (a new dimension of sharing and intimacy) But some of the potential consequences are also alarming: * A growing rift between the biologically enhanced and those who can't afford such modifications * A constant cycle of upgrades and boosts as the bar of "normal" rises ever higher--"Humans 95, Humans XP, Humans 8" * The fragmentation of humankind into rival "bioenhancement clusters" * A gradually blurring boundary between "person" and "product" * Extreme forms of self-modification, with some individuals no longer recognized as unambiguously human
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (509 B3266s )
Publication Date: 2015-05-11
In the tradition of her perennial bestseller The Well-Educated Mind, Susan Wise Bauer delivers an accessible, entertaining, and illuminating springboard into the scientific education you never had. Far too often, public discussion of science is carried out by journalists, voters, and politicians who have received their science secondhand. The Story of Western Science shows us the joy and importance of reading groundbreaking science writing for ourselves and guides us back to the masterpieces that have changed the way we think about our world, our cosmos, and ourselves.Able to be referenced individually, or read together as the narrative of Western scientific development, the book's twenty-eight succinct chapters lead readers from the first science texts by Hippocrates, Plato, and Aristotle through twentieth-century classics in biology, physics, and cosmology. The Story of Western Science illuminates everything from mankind's earliest inquiries to the butterfly effect, from the birth of the scientific method to the rise of earth science and the flowering of modern biology.Each chapter recommends one or more classic books and provides entertaining accounts of crucial contributions to science, vivid sketches of the scientist-writers, and clear explanations of the mechanics underlying each concept. The Story of Western Science reveals science to be a dramatic undertaking practiced by some of history's most memorable characters. It reminds us that scientific inquiry is a human pursuit--an essential, often deeply personal, sometimes flawed, frequently brilliant way of understanding the world.The Story of Western Science is an "entertaining and unique synthesis" (Times Higher Education), a "fluidly written" narrative that "celebrates the inexorable force of human curiosity" (Wall Street Journal), and a "bright, informative resource for readers seeking to understand science through the eyes of the men and women who shaped its history" (Kirkus).Previously published as The Story of Science.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (570 D443m )
Publication Date: 2014-01-07
Throughout the world, closely related species are found on landmasses separated by wide stretches of ocean. What explains these far-flung distributions? Why are such species found where they are across the Earth? Since the discovery of plate tectonics, scientists have conjectured that plants and animals were scattered over the globe by riding pieces of ancient supercontinents as they broke up. In the past decade, however, that theory has foundered, as the genomic revolution has made reams of new data available. And the data has revealed an extraordinary, stranger-than-fiction story that has sparked a scientific upheaval. In The Monkey’s Voyage, biologist Alan de Queiroz describes the radical new view of how fragmented distributions came into being: frogs and mammals rode on rafts and icebergs, tiny spiders drifted on storm winds, and plant seeds were carried in the plumage of sea-going birds to create the map of life we see today. In other words, these organisms were not simply constrained by continental fate; they were the makers of their own geographic destiny. And as de Queiroz shows, the effects of oceanic dispersal have been crucial in generating the diversity of life on Earth, from monkeys and guinea pigs in South America to beech trees and kiwi birds in New Zealand. By toppling the idea that the slow process of continental drift is the main force behind the odd distributions of organisms, this theory highlights the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the history of life. In the tradition of John McPhee’s Basin and Range, The Monkey’s Voyage is a beautifully told narrative that strikingly reveals the importance of contingency in history and the nature of scientific discovery.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor 576.8 T2561n
Publication Date: 2016-03-29
“Simultaneously sobering and exhilarating, Michael Tennesen’s wide-ranging survey of disasters highlights both life’s fragility and its metamorphosing persistence” (Booklist) and describes what life on earth could look like after the next mass extinction. A growing number of scientists agree we are headed toward a mass extinction, perhaps in as little as 300 years. Already there have been five mass extinctions in the last 600 million years, including the Cretaceous Extinction, during which an asteroid knocked out the dinosaurs. Though these events were initially destructive, they were also prime movers of evolutionary change in nature. And we can see some of the warning signs of another extinction event coming, as our oceans lose both fish and oxygen, and our lands lose both predators and prey. In The Next Species, Michael Tennesen questions what life might be like after it happens. In thoughtful, provocative ways, Tennesen discusses the future of nature and whether humans will make it through the bottleneck of extinction. Could life suddenly get very big as it did before the arrival of humans? Could the conquest of Mars lead to another form of human? Could we upload our minds into a computer and live in a virtual reality? How would we recognize the next humans? Are they with us now? Tennesen delves into the history of the planet and travels to rainforests, canyons, craters, and caves all over the world to explore the potential winners and losers of the next era of evolution. His predictions, based on reports and interviews with top scientists, have vital implications for life on earth today. The Next Species is “an engrossing history of life, the dismal changes wrought by man, and a forecast of life after the sixth mass extinction” (Kirkus Reviews).
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (576.5 K754g )
Publication Date: 2015-12-01
This book won the INDIEFAB 2015 Bronze Award for Science (Adult nonfiction).Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) including plants and the foods made from them, are a hot topic of debate today, but soon related technology could go much further and literally change what it means to be human. Scientists are on the verge of being able to create people who are GMOs.Should they do it? Could we become a healthier and 'better' species or might eugenics go viral leading to a real, new world of genetic dystopia? GMO Sapiens tackles such questions by taking a fresh look at the cutting-edge biotech discoveries that have made genetically modified people possible.Bioengineering, genomics, synthetic biology, and stem cells are changing sci-fi into reality before our eyes. This book will capture your imagination with its clear, approachable writing style. It will draw you into the fascinating discussion of the life-changing science of human genetic modification.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (372.35 AL796r )
Publication Date: 2016-02-10
"We need both literacy and science skills to provide students with the knowledge and ability to cope with and understand our world today and in the future. Jennifer meets that challenge with many suggestions about how we can integrate these important skills in the classroom. This is an important book for today's best teaching practices." -Seymour Simon, award-winning author of more than 300 books for children How can we prepare our students to think, read, and write like scientists? In Reading Science, Jennifer Altieri reminds us that literacy skills aren't add-ons to the science class-they are critical parts of instruction. She addresses the need for both literacy and science skills in our classrooms to prepare our students for the future challenges they will meet. Filled with practical strategies customized for science classrooms based on Jennifer's decades of experience connecting content areas with literacy, this book supports: teaching students to be critical consumers of scientific information they read, regardless of the source or type of text developing students' interest in scientific vocabulary and rich understanding of how words relate to each other encouraging collaboration as students seek answers to scientific questions and communicate their findings. Science requires specialized literacy demands. Our students should be prepared for not only the science class as we know it today but for future science classes and the world beyond. To create classrooms that support this kind of learning, we must use literacy as a tool to help students access science content, communicate their ideas precisely, and apply their discoveries in new contexts.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (639.979 M742f )
Publication Date: 2017-04-26
To be an environmentalist early in the twenty-first century is always to be defending, arguing, acknowledging the hurdles we face in our efforts to protect wild places and fight climate change. But let’s be honest: hedging has never inspired anyone. So what if we stopped hedging? What if we grounded our efforts to solve environmental problems in hope instead, and let nature make our case for us? That’s what George Monbiot does in Feral, a lyrical, unabashedly romantic vision of how, by inviting nature back into our lives, we can simultaneously cure our "ecological boredom” and begin repairing centuries of environmental damage. Monbiot takes readers on an enchanting journey around the world to explore ecosystems that have been "rewilded”: freed from human intervention and allowed--in some cases for the first time in millennia--to resume their natural ecological processes. We share his awe, and wonder, as he kayaks among dolphins and seabirds off the coast of Wales and wanders the forests of Eastern Europe, where lynx and wolf packs are reclaiming their ancient hunting grounds. Through his eyes, we see environmental success--and begin to envision a future world where humans and nature are no longer separate and antagonistic, but are together part of a single, healing world. Monbiot’s commitment is fierce, his passion infectious, his writing compelling. Readers willing to leave the confines of civilization and join him on his bewitching journey will emerge changed--and ready to change our world for the better.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (509.252 W839b )
Publication Date: 2014-12-17
Why is it that, while women in the United States have generally made great strides in establishing parity with their male counterparts in educational attainment, they remain substantially underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)? Why is it that, in proportion to the PhDs they obtain in STEM, they attain fewer administrative and managerial positions in academia and industry than their numbers warrant and, moreover, are more likely leave the field once started in their careers? In the culture and context of women's advancement and satisfaction with careers in STEM, the data show that many challenges and obstacles remain. By showcasing the stories of eight women scientists who have achieved successful careers in the academy, industry and government, Breaking In offers vivid insights into the challenges and barriers that women face in entering STEM while also describing these women's motivations, the choices they made along their paths, and the intellectual satisfactions and excitement of scientific discovery they derive from their work. Breaking In underscores issues aspiring women scientists will encounter on their journeys and what they can do to forestall potential obstacles, advocate for change, and fulfill their ambitions. And it speaks to the question: What can be done to encourage more women to specialize in science, mathematics, and engineering? In doctoral granting institutions, where women must start if they hope to earn advanced degrees, Breaking In can serve both as a student text and as guide for department chairs and deans who are concerned about organizational climate and culture and their impact on retention in STEM fields. At a broader level, this book offers advice and inspiration to women contemplating entering STEM fields, as well to the teachers, researchers, and administrators responsible for nurturing these women, growing enrollments in their disciplines, and developing creative and intellectual capital that the nation needs to compete in the global marketplace.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (580 J198L )
Publication Date: 2017-02-28
National Bestseller Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography A New York Times Notable Book Winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Science Books & Film Prize for Excellence in Science Books Finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, TIME.com, NPR, Slate, Entertainment Weekly, Newsday, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Kirkus Reviews Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life--but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist. In these pages, Hope takes us back to her Minnesota childhood, where she spent hours in unfettered play in her father's college laboratory. She tells us how she found a sanctuary in science, learning to perform lab work "with both the heart and the hands." She introduces us to Bill, her brilliant, eccentric lab manager. And she extends the mantle of scientist to each one of her readers, inviting us to join her in observing and protecting our environment. Warm, luminous, compulsively readable, Lab Girl vividly demonstrates the mountains that we can move when love and work come together.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (507.2 J2317s )
Publication Date: 2014-08-05
Why in the world are we paying for all this "basic" research? The answer to this question becomes clear in this romp through the "seemingly useless" world of pure science, where one thing leads to another in ways that result in major scientific advancements. With a novelistic style, C. Ren#65533;e James reveals how obscure studies of natural phenomena—including curved space-time, poisonous cone snails, exploding black holes, and the precise chemical makeup of the sun—led unexpectedly to WiFi, GPS, genetic sequencing, pain medications, and cancer treatments. Science Unshackled brings both science and scientists to life and shows how simple curiosity can result in life-changing breakthroughs. Scientists engaged in basic research, funded in large part by governments around the globe and throughout the centuries, never know when exploring small questions will have big impacts. But, by following the scientific method, disciplined inquiry can lead to wondrous and practical discoveries that benefit all of us in the end. The next time someone asks you why "the government" wastes its money on weird research, recall the intriguing stories James has told and tell them the answer.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (598.1468 B535m )
Publication Date: 2016-04-12
A bird's egg is a nearly perfect survival capsule--an external womb--and one of natural selection’s most wonderful creations. Shortlisted for the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize 2016.One of Forbes' Best Books About Birds and Birding in 2016. Renowned ornithologist Tim Birkhead opens this gripping story as a female guillemot chick hatches, already carrying her full quota of tiny eggs within her undeveloped ovary. As she grows into adulthood, only a few of her eggs mature, are released into the oviduct, and are fertilized by sperm stored from copulation that took place days or weeks earlier. Within a matter of hours, the fragile yolk is surrounded by albumen and the whole is gradually encased within a turquoise jewel of a shell. Soon the fully formed egg is expelled onto a rocky ledge, where it will be incubated for four weeks before a chick emerges and the life cycle begins again. THE MOST PERFECT THING is about how eggs in general are made, fertilized, developed, and hatched. Birkhead uses birds' eggs as wondrous portals into natural history, enlivened by the stories of naturalists and scientists, including Birkhead and his students, whose discoveries have advanced current scientific knowledge of reproduction.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (598 Ac574g )
Publication Date: 2016-04-12
Birds are astonishingly intelligent creatures. According to revolutionary new research, some birds rival primates and even humans in their remarkable forms of intelligence. In The Genius of Birds, acclaimed author Jennifer Ackerman explores the newly discovered brilliance of birds. As she travels around the world to the most cutting-edge frontiers of research--the distant laboratories of Barbados and New Caledonia, the great tit communities of the United Kingdom and the bowerbird habitats of Australia, the ravaged mid-Atlantic coast after Hurricane Sandy and the warming mountains of central Virginia and the western states--Ackerman not only tells the story of the recently uncovered genius of birds but also delves deeply into the latest findings about the bird brain itself that are shifting our view of what it means to be intelligent. Consider, as Ackerman does, the Clark's nutcracker, a bird that can hide as many as 30,000 seeds over dozens of square miles and remember several months later where it put them, or the mockingbirds and thrashers, species that can store 200 to 2,000 different songs in a brain a thousand times smaller than ours. But beyond highlighting how birds use their unique genius in technical ways, Ackerman points out the impressive social smarts of birds. They deceive and manipulate. They eavesdrop. They give gifts. They kiss to console one another. They blackmail their parents. They alert one another to danger. They summon witnesses to the death of a peer. They may even grieve. This elegant scientific investigation and travelogue weaves personal anecdotes with fascinating science. Ackerman delivers an extraordinary story that will both give readers a new appreciation for the exceptional talents of birds and let them discover what birds can reveal about our changing world. Richly informative and beautifully written, The Genius of Birds celebrates the triumphs of these surprising and fiercely intelligent creatures.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (579.17 Y8i )
Publication Date: 2016-08-09
New York Times Bestseller New York Times Notable Book of 2016 NPR Great Read of 2016 Economist Best Books of 2016 Brain Pickings Best Science Books of 2016 Smithsonian Best Books about Science of 2016 Science Friday Best Science Book of 2016 A Mother Jones Notable Read of 2016 A Bill Gates “Gates Notes” Pick MPR Best Books of 2016 Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books of 2016 Minnesota Star-Tribune Best of the Year A Kirkus Best Book of the Year A PW Best Book of the Year Guardian Best of the Year Times (London) Best of the Year Joining the ranks of popular science classics like The Botany of Desire and The Selfish Gene, a groundbreaking, wondrously informative, and vastly entertaining examination of the most significant revolution in biology since Darwin—a “microbe’s-eye view” of the world that reveals a marvelous, radically reconceived picture of life on earth. Every animal, whether human, squid, or wasp, is home to millions of bacteria and other microbes. Ed Yong, whose humor is as evident as his erudition, prompts us to look at ourselves and our animal companions in a new light—less as individuals and more as the interconnected, interdependent multitudes we assuredly are. The microbes in our bodies are part of our immune systems and protect us from disease. In the deep oceans, mysterious creatures without mouths or guts depend on microbes for all their energy. Bacteria provide squid with invisibility cloaks, help beetles to bring down forests, and allow worms to cause diseases that afflict millions of people. Many people think of microbes as germs to be eradicated, but those that live with us—the microbiome—build our bodies, protect our health, shape our identities, and grant us incredible abilities. In this astonishing book, Ed Yong takes us on a grand tour through our microbial partners, and introduces us to the scientists on the front lines of discovery. It will change both our view of nature and our sense of where we belong in it.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (500.89 M3425i )
Publication Date: 2017-03-06
Every arena of science has its own flash-point issues chemistry and poison gas, physics and the atom bomb and genetics has had a troubled history with race. As Jonathan Marks reveals, this dangerous relationship rumbles on to this day, still leaving plenty of leeway for a belief in the basic natural inequality of races. The eugenic science of the early twentieth century and the commodified genomic science of today are unified by the mistaken belief that human races are naturalistic categories. Yet their boundaries are founded neither in biology nor in genetics and, not being a formal scientific concept, race is largely not accessible to the scientist. As Marks argues, race can only be grasped through the humanities: historically, experientially, politically. This wise, witty essay explores the persistence and legacy of scientific racism, which misappropriates the authority of science and undermines it by converting it into a social weapon.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (576.839 Sq37w )
Publication Date: 2016-09-20
"A cogent, engaging history of humanity's most ambitious quest--seeking outward for other minds."--David Brin, author of Existence "A fascinating perspective on humankind's obsession for knowing if there is anyone else out there."--Gerrit L. Verschuur, author of The Invisible Universe: The Story of Radio Astronomy "Squeri has written what will likely be the definitive history of the early days of SETI that includes profiles of some of its leading characters."--Ben Zuckerman, coeditor of Extraterrestrials: Where Are They? "An insightful history that explores the scientific foundations of the modern-day search for our place in the cosmos. Waiting for Contact delivers unparalleled access to the inner history of SETI and invites us to ride along on the journey to answer one of science's ultimate questions: Are we alone?"--Douglas Vakoch, president, METI International "Waiting for Contact is a balanced account, telling the tale of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence without the overpromise usually trumpeted by enthusiastic proponents and the hyperventilation so commonly added by UFO enthusiasts. If you are simply interested in the history, unvarnished by an agenda, you'll enjoy this book."--Don Lincoln, author of Alien Universe: Extraterrestrial Life in Our Minds and in the Cosmos Imagine a network of extraterrestrials in radio contact with each other across the universe, superior beings who hail from advanced civilizations quadrillions of miles away, just waiting for Earth to tune in. Some people believe it's only a matter of time before we discover the right "station." Waiting for Contact tells the story of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) movement, which emerged in 1959 as astronomers began using radio telescopes to listen for messages from space. New technological developments turned what once was speculation into science. Boosted by support from Frank Drake, Philip Morrison, Carl Sagan, and the genre of science fiction, the SETI movement gained followers and continues to capture imaginations today. In this one-of-a-kind history, Lawrence Squeri looks at the people, reasons, goals, and mindsets behind SETI. He shows how it started as an expression of the times, a way out of Cold War angst with hope for a better world. SETI's early advocates thought that with guidance from technically and ethically advanced outsiders, humanity might learn how to avoid horrors like nuclear annihilation and societal collapse from overpopulation. Some hoped that good news from outer space might reveal a cure for cancer or even the secret of immortality. Squeri also describes the challenges SETI has faced over the years: the struggle to be taken seriously by the scientific community and by NASA, competition for access to radio telescopes, perpetual lack of funding, and opposition from influential politicians. He covers the rise and fall of Soviet SETI and the few rare meetings between Soviet and American astronomers. Despite many setbacks, the movement pressed forward with the aid of private donations and developed outreach programs. Volunteers can now help search for new civilizations on their personal computers by joining the SETI@Home project. Today, SETI researchers continue to see themselves as explorers. They often identify with Columbus, and just as Columbus never realized the full implications of his discovery, we cannot predict what will happen if contact is made. This book points out that if, against all expectations, the embattled SETI movement finally succeeds, the long-awaited first signal picked up by its radio antennas will usher the greatest shift in human history. A new adventure will begin.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (500 W992q )
Publication Date: 2016-12-23
Get the straight, scientific story on things like astrology, ghosts, spontaneous human combustion, psychic surgery, and ESP. You hear about these fantastic happenings every day on television and in the supermarket tabloids. Is any of this true or are they making it all up? While many peopletune in just for laughs, plenty of readers believe their outrageous claims - often because they simply don't have a clear notion of what science really is. So how do you figure out what constitutes real science and what is nonsense? Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction carefully deconstructs fiveexamples of pseudoscience - UFOs, out-of-body experiences, astrology, creationism, and ESP - and gives easy recipes to test other dubious notions so that you can tell what lies in the realm of real science and what more properly deserves the tag of pseudoscience. This second edition of Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction will include a brand new chapter on alternative medicine, up-to-date links for reliable skeptical websites, organizations and meetings, and a fully updated additional reading section.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (507.8 F8541w )
Publication Date: 2016-05-03
What makes a good experiment? Although experimental evidence plays an essential role in science, as Franklin argues, there is no algorithm or simple set of criteria for ranking or evaluating good experiments, and therefore no definitive answer to the question. Experiments can, in fact, be good in any number of ways: conceptually good, methodologically good, technically good, and pedagogically important. And perfection is not a requirement: even experiments with incorrect results can be good, though they must, he argues, be methodologically good, providing good reasons for belief in their results. Franklin revisits the same important question he posed in his 1981 article in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, when it was generally believed that the only significant role of experiment in science was to test theories. But experiments can actually play a lot of different roles in science--they can, for example, investigate a subject for which a theory does not exist, help to articulate an existing theory, call for a new theory, or correct incorrect or misinterpreted results. This book provides details of good experiments, with examples from physics and biology, illustrating the various ways they can be good and the different roles they can play.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (501.4 G652s )
Publication Date: 2015-04-13
English is the language of science today. No matter which languages you know, if you want your work seen, studied, and cited, you need to publish in English. But that hasn’t always been the case. Though there was a time when Latin dominated the field, for centuries science has been a polyglot enterprise, conducted in a number of languages whose importance waxed and waned over time--until the rise of English in the twentieth century. So how did we get from there to here? How did French, German, Latin, Russian, and even Esperanto give way to English? And what can we reconstruct of the experience of doing science in the polyglot past? With Scientific Babel, Michael D. Gordin resurrects that lost world, in part through an ingenious mechanism: the pages of his highly readable narrative account teem with footnotes--not offering background information, but presenting quoted material in its original language. The result is stunning: as we read about the rise and fall of languages, driven by politics, war, economics, and institutions, we actually see it happen in the ever-changing web of multilingual examples. The history of science, and of English as its dominant language, comes to life, and brings with it a new understanding not only of the frictions generated by a scientific community that spoke in many often mutually unintelligible voices, but also of the possibilities of the polyglot, and the losses that the dominance of English entails. Few historians of science write as well as Gordin, and Scientific Babel reveals his incredible command of the literature, language, and intellectual essence of science past and present. No reader who takes this linguistic journey with him will be disappointed.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (577 Sch568n )
Publication Date: 2016-11-08
Our species has transitioned from being one among millions on Earth to the species that is single-handedly transforming the entire planet to suit its own needs. In order to meet the daunting challenges of environmental sustainability in this epoch of human domination--known as the Anthropocene--ecologists have begun to think differently about the interdependencies between humans and the natural world. This concise and accessible book provides the best available introduction to what this new ecology is all about--and why it matters more than ever before. Oswald Schmitz describes how the science of ecology is evolving to provide a better understanding of how human agency is shaping the natural world, often in never-before-seen ways. The new ecology emphasizes the importance of conserving species diversity, because it can offer a portfolio of options to keep our ecosystems resilient in the face of environmental change. It envisions humans taking on new roles as thoughtful stewards of the environment to ensure that ecosystems have the enduring capacity to supply the environmental services on which our economic well-being--and our very existence--depend. It offers the ecological know-how to maintain and enhance our planet's environmental performance and ecosystem production for the benefit of current and future generations. Informative and engaging, The New Ecology shows how today's ecology can provide the insights we need to appreciate the crucial role we play in this era of unprecedented global environmental transition.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (598.1513 Em367b )
Publication Date: 2016-09-06
Birds have not been known for their high IQs, which is why a person of questionable intelligence is sometimes called a "birdbrain." Yet in the past two decades, the study of avian intelligence has witnessed dramatic advances. From a time when birds were seen as simple instinct machines responding only to stimuli in their external worlds, we now know that some birds have complex internal worlds as well. This beautifully illustrated book provides an engaging exploration of the avian mind, revealing how science is exploding one of the most widespread myths about our feathered friends--and changing the way we think about intelligence in other animals as well. Bird Brain looks at the structures and functions of the avian brain, and describes the extraordinary behaviors that different types of avian intelligence give rise to. It offers insights into crows, jays, magpies, and other corvids--the "masterminds" of the avian world--as well as parrots and some less-studied species from around the world. This lively and accessible book shows how birds have sophisticated brains with abilities previously thought to be uniquely human, such as mental time travel, self-recognition, empathy, problem solving, imagination, and insight. Written by a leading expert and featuring a foreword by Frans de Waal, renowned for his work on animal intelligence, Bird Brain shines critical new light on the mental lives of birds.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (597.96 L6285h )
Publication Date: 2014-02-28
Anyone can look at a snake and see a creature unique unto itself, a reptile with a set of zoological and biological traits that are entirely its own. Just looking at this distinct animal raises many scientific questions. With regard to evolution, how did such an animal come to be? How does asnake move, and how do its sense organs differ from that of other reptiles? How does it eat, and how does it reproduce? Essentially, how does a snake "work"? In How Snakes Work: The Structure, Function and Behavior of the World's Snakes, leading zoologist Harvey B. Lillywhite has written thedefinitive scientific guide to the functional biology of snakes. Written for both herpetologists and a more general audience with an interest in the field, How Snakes Work features nearly two hundred color images of various species of snakes, used to provide visual examples of biological featuresexplained in the text.Chapter topics include the evolutionary history of the snake, feeding, locomotion, the structure and function of skin, circulation and respiration, sense organs, sound production, and reproduction. Containing all the latest research and advances in our biological knowledge of the snake, How SnakesWork is an indispensable asset to professional zoologists and enthusiasts alike.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (591.38 C321a )
Publication Date: 2015-08-17
Gerardo Ceballos, Anne H. Ehrlich, and Paul R. Ehrlich serve as witnesses in this trial of human neglect, where the charge is the massive and escalating assault on living things. Nature is being annihilated, not only because of the human population explosion, but also as a result of massive commercial endeavors and public apathy. Despite the well-intentioned work of conservation organizations and governments, the authors warn us that not enough is being done and time is short for the most vulnerable of the world's wild birds and mammals. Thousands of populations have already disappeared, other populations are dwindling daily, and soon our descendants may live in a world containing but a minuscule fraction of the birds and mammals we know today. The Annihilation of Nature is a clarion call for engagement and action. These outspoken scientists urge everyone who cares about nature to become personally connected to the victims of our inadequate conservation efforts and demand that restoration replace destruction. Only then will we have any hope of preventing the worst-case scenario of the sixth mass extinction.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (597.89 M435f )
Publication Date: 2011-05-22
With nearly 6,000 species currently identified, frogs and toads are the most familiar and abundant amphibians on the planet. Frogs and Toads of the World is a comprehensive guide to the natural history of this large and diverse group of creatures. Stunningly illustrated throughout with 200 color photographs, this one-of-a-kind book traces the evolution and classification of frogs and toads, providing detailed information about each of the 49 unique families and highlighting distinctive and notable species. It vividly describes their remarkable diversity in shape, color, and markings; anatomy and development; life cycle; habitats; the various methods they use to attract mates and hunt for food; and the physiological and behavioral tricks they use to survive and thrive around the world. This indispensable guide also explores frogs' interaction with humans, from modern-day collection for the meat trade, scientific research, and the trade in exotic pets to how their survival is being threatened by habitat destruction, climate change, and disease. A comprehensive guide to the natural history of frogs and toads Features 200 stunning color photographs Covers each of the 49 unique frog families Describes anatomy, life cycle, habitats, survival tricks, and more
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (576.8 T2153b )
Publication Date: 2015-10-22
We think of medical science and doctors as focused on treating conditions--whether it's a cough or an aching back. But the sicknesses and complaints that cause us to seek medical attention actually have deeper origins than the superficial germs and behaviors we regularly fault. In fact, as Jeremy Taylor shows in Body by Darwin, we can trace the roots of many medical conditions through our evolutionary history, revealing what has made us susceptible to certain illnesses and ailments over time and how we can use that knowledge to help us treat or prevent problems in the future. In Body by Darwin, Taylor examines the evolutionary origins of some of our most common and serious health issues. To begin, he looks at the hygiene hypothesis, which argues that our obsession with anti-bacterial cleanliness, particularly at a young age, may be making us more vulnerable to autoimmune and allergic diseases. He also discusses diseases of the eye, the medical consequences of bipedalism as they relate to all those aches and pains in our backs and knees, the rise of Alzheimer's disease, and how cancers become so malignant that they kill us despite the toxic chemotherapy we throw at them. Taylor explains why it helps to think about heart disease in relation to the demands of an ever-growing, dense, muscular pump that requires increasing amounts of nutrients, and he discusses how walking upright and giving birth to ever larger babies led to a problematic compromise in the design of the female spine and pelvis. Throughout, he not only explores the impact of evolution on human form and function, but he integrates science with stories from actual patients and doctors, closely examining the implications for our health. As Taylor shows, evolutionary medicine allows us think about the human body and its adaptations in a completely new and productive way. By exploring how our body's performance is shaped by its past, Body by Darwin draws powerful connections between our ancient human history and the future of potential medical advances that can harness this knowledge.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (577.18 K284i )
Publication Date: 2014-11-24
Over the past several decades, the field of invasion biology has rapidly expanded as global trade and the spread of human populations have increasingly carried animal and plant species across natural barriers that have kept them ecologically separated for millions of years. Because some of these nonnative species thrive in their new homes and harm environments, economies, and human health, the prevention and management of invasive species has become a major policy goal from local to international levels. Yet even though ecological research has led to public conversation and policy recommendations, those recommendations have frequently been ignored, and the efforts to counter invasive species have been largely unsuccessful. Recognizing the need to engage experts across the life, social, and legal sciences as well as the humanities, the editors of this volume have drawn together a wide variety of ecologists, historians, economists, legal scholars, policy makers, and communications scholars, to facilitate a dialogue among these disciplines and understand fully the invasive species phenomenon. Aided by case studies of well-known invasives such as the cane toad of Australia and the emerald ash borer, Asian carp, and sea lampreys that threaten US ecosystems, Invasive Species in a Globalized World offers strategies for developing and implementing anti-invasive policies designed to stop their introduction and spread, and to limit their effects.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (599.7725 F66313c )
Publication Date: 2016-06-07
Finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award "A masterly synthesis of scientific research and personal observation." -Wall Street Journal Legends don't come close to capturing the incredible story of the coyote In the face of centuries of campaigns of annihilation employing gases, helicopters, and engineered epidemics, coyotes didn't just survive, they thrived, expanding across the continent from Alaska to New York. In the war between humans and coyotes, coyotes have won, hands-down. Coyote America is the illuminating five-million-year biography of this extraordinary animal, from its origins to its apotheosis. It is one of the great epics of our time.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (580 Ar578h )
Publication Date: 2015-07-08
On this blue planet, long before pterodactyls took to the skies and tyrannosaurs prowled the continents, tiny green organisms populated the ancient oceans. Fossil and phylogenetic evidence suggests that chlorophyll, the green pigment responsible for coloring these organisms, has been in existence for some 85% of Earth’s long history--that is, for roughly 3.5 billion years. In How the Earth Turned Green, Joseph E. Armstrong traces the history of these verdant organisms, which many would call plants, from their ancient beginnings to the diversity of green life that inhabits the Earth today. Using an evolutionary framework, How the Earth Turned Green addresses questions such as: Should all green organisms be considered plants? Why do these organisms look the way they do? How are they related to one another and to other chlorophyll-free organisms? How do they reproduce? How have they changed and diversified over time? And how has the presence of green organisms changed the Earth’s ecosystems? More engaging than a traditional textbook and displaying an astonishing breadth, How the Earth Turned Green will both delight and enlighten embryonic botanists and any student interested in the evolutionary history of plants.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (639.2 L864t )
Publication Date: 2015-06-25
Although humans have long depended on oceans and aquatic ecosystems for sustenance and trade, only recently has human influence on these resources dramatically increased, transforming and undermining oceanic environments throughout the world. Marine ecosystems are in a crisis that is global in scope, rapid in pace, and colossal in scale. In The Tragedy of the Commodity, sociologists Stefano B. Longo, Rebecca Clausen, and Brett Clark explore the role human influence plays in this crisis, highlighting the social and economic forces that are at the heart of this looming ecological problem. In a critique of the classic theory "the tragedy of the commons" by ecologist Garrett Hardin, the authors move beyond simplistic explanations--such as unrestrained self-interest or population growth--to argue that it is the commodification of aquatic resources that leads to the depletion of fisheries and the development of environmentally suspect means of aquaculture. To illustrate this argument, the book features two fascinating case studies--the thousand-year history of the bluefin tuna fishery in the Mediterranean and the massive Pacific salmon fishery. Longo, Clausen, and Clark describe how new fishing technologies, transformations in ships and storage capacities, and the expansion of seafood markets combined to alter radically and permanently these crucial ecosystems. In doing so, the authors underscore how the particular organization of social production contributes to ecological degradation and an increase in the pressures placed upon the ocean. The authors highlight the historical, political, economic, and cultural forces that shape how we interact with the larger biophysical world. A path-breaking analysis of overfishing, The Tragedy of the Commodity yields insight into issues such as deforestation, biodiversity loss, pollution, and climate change.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (577.18 R1807L )
Publication Date: 2016-04-04
There are more than 180 exotic species in the Great Lakes. Some, such as green algae, the Asian tapeworm, and the suckermouth minnow, have had little or no impact so far. But a handful of others-sea lamprey, alewife, round goby, quagga mussel, zebra mussel, Eurasian watermilfoil, spiny water flea, and rusty crayfish-have conducted an all-out assault on the Great Lakes and are winning the battle. In Lake Invaders: Invasive Species and the Battle for the Future of the Great Lakes, William Rapai focuses on the impact of these invasives. Chapters delve into the ecological and economic damage that has occurred and is still occurring and explore educational efforts and policies designed to prevent new introductions into the Great Lakes. Rapai begins with a brief biological and geological history of the Great Lakes. He then examines the history of the Great Lakes from a human dimension, with the construction of the Erie Canal and Welland Canal, opening the doors to an ecosystem that had previously been isolated. The seven chapters that follow each feature a different invasive species, with information about its arrival and impact, including a larger story of ballast water, control efforts, and a forward-thinking shift to prevention. Rapai includes the perspectives of the many scientists, activists, politicians, commercial fishermen, educators, and boaters he interviewed in the course of his research. The final chapter focuses on the stories of the largely unnoticed and unrecognized advocates who have committed themselves to slowing, stopping, and reversing the invasion and keeping the lakes resilient enough to absorb the inevitable attacks to come. Rapai makes a strong case for what is at stake with the growing number of invasive species in the lakes. He examines new policies and the tradeoffs that must be weighed, and ends with an inspired call for action. Although this volume tackles complex ecological, economical, and political issues, it does so in a balanced, lively, and very accessible way. Those interested in the history and future of the Great Lakes region, invasive species, environmental policy making, and ecology will enjoy this informative and thought-provoking volume.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (591.53 Sh693p )
Publication Date: 2015-04-14
An expert in wildlife management tells the stories of those who are finding new ways for humans and mammalian predators to coexist. Stories of backyard bears and cat-eating coyotes are becoming increasingly common--even for people living in non-rural areas. Farmers anxious to protect their sheep from wolves aren't the only ones concerned: suburbanites and city dwellers are also having more unwanted run-ins with mammalian predators. And that might not be a bad thing. After all, our government has been at war with wildlife since 1914, and the death toll has been tremendous: federal agents kill a combined ninety thousand wolves, bears, coyotes, and cougars every year, often with dubious biological effectiveness. Only recently have these species begun to recover. Given improved scientific understanding and methods, can we continue to slow the slaughter and allow populations of mammalian predators to resume their positions as keystone species? As carnivore populations increase, however, their proximity to people, pets, and livestock leads to more conflict, and we are once again left to negotiate the uneasy terrain between elimination and conservation. In The Predator Paradox, veteran wildlife management expert John Shivik argues that we can end the war while still preserving and protecting these key species as fundamental components of healthy ecosystems. By reducing almost sole reliance on broad scale "death from above" tactics and by incorporating nonlethal approaches to managing wildlife--from electrified flagging to motion-sensor lights--we can dismantle the paradox, have both people and predators on the landscape, and ensure the long-term survival of both. As the boundary between human and animal habitat blurs, preventing human-wildlife conflict depends as much on changing animal behavior as on changing our own perceptions, attitudes, and actions. To that end, Shivik focuses on the facts, mollifies fears, and presents a variety of tools and tactics for consideration. Blending the science of the wild with entertaining and dramatic storytelling, Shivik's clear-eyed pragmatism allows him to appeal to both sides of the debate, while arguing for the possibility of coexistence: between ranchers and environmentalists, wildlife managers and animal-welfare activists, and humans and animals. From the Hardcover edition.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (509 M7674h )
Publication Date: 2015-06-30
To understand modern science, it is essential to recognize that many of the most fundamental scientific principles are drawn from the knowledge of ancient civilizations. Taking a global yet comprehensive approach to this complex topic, A History of Science in World Culturesuses a broad range of case studies and examples to demonstrate that the scientific thought and method of the present day is deeply rooted in a pluricultural past. Covering ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, Greece, China, Islam, and the New World, this volume discusses the scope of scientific and technological achievements in each civilization and how the knowledge it developed came to impact the European Renaissance. Themes covered include the influence these scientific cultures had upon one another, the power of writing and its technologies, visions of mathematical order in the universe and how it can be represented, and what elements of the distant scientific past we continue to depend upon today. Topics often left unexamined in histories of science are treated in fascinating detail, such as the chemistry of mummification and the Great Library in Alexandria in Egypt, jewellery and urban planning of the Indus Valley, hydraulic engineering and the compass in China, the sustainable agriculture and dental surgery of the Mayas, and algebra and optics in Islam. This book shows that scientific thought has never been confined to any one era, culture, or geographic region. Clearly presented and highly illustrated, A History of Science in World Cultures is the perfect text for all students and others interested in the development of science throughout history.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (577.27 V742a )
Publication Date: 2015-09-15
We live in times of great change on Earth. In fact, while previous shifts from one geological epoch to another were caused by events beyond human control, the dramatic results of our emission of carbon to the atmosphere over the past century have moved many scientists to declare the dawn of a new era: the Anthropocene, or Age of Man. Watching this consensus develop from her seat as an editor at Nature, Gaia Vince couldn’t help but wonder if the greatest cause of this dramatic planetary change--humans’ singular ability to adapt and innovate--might also hold the key to our survival. And so she left her professional life in London and set out to travel the world in search of ordinary people making extraordinary changes and, in many cases, thriving. Part science journal, part travelogue, Adventures in the Anthropocene recounts Vince’s journey, and introduces an essential new perspective on the future of life on Earth.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (508.78 C7662i )
Publication Date: 2014-08-15
Why do quaking aspens grow in prominent clumps rather than randomly scattered across the landscape? Why and how does a rufous hummingbird drop its metabolism to one-hundredth of its normal rate? Why do bull elk grow those enormous antlers? Using his experience as a biologist and ecologist, George Constantz illuminates these remarkable slices of mountain life in plain but engaging language. Whether it sketches conflict or cooperation, surprise or familiarity, each story resolves when interpreted through the theory of evolution by natural selection. These provocative accounts of birds, insects, rodents, predators, trees, and flowers are sure to stir the reader’s curiosity. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by a rattlesnake’s ability to hunt in total darkness by detecting the infrared radiation emitted by a mouse? Or how white-tailed ptarmigan thrive in their high, treeless alpine environments -- even through the winter? The narratives, often brought home with a counterintuitive twist, invite readers to make new connections and broaden perspectives of a favorite outdoor place.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (509 C6604r )
Publication Date: 2015-09-24
For centuries, laymen and priests, lone thinkers and philosophical schools in Greece, China, the Islamic world and Europe reflected with wisdom and perseverance on how the natural world fits together. As a rule, their methods and conclusions, while often ingenious, were misdirected when viewed from the perspective of modern science. In the 1600s thinkers such as Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, Bacon and many others gave revolutionary new twists to traditional ideas and practices, culminating in the work of Isaac Newton half a century later. It was as if the world was being created anew. But why did this recreation begin in Europe rather than elsewhere? This book caps H. Floris Cohen's career-long effort to find answers to this classic question. Here he sets forth a rich but highly accessible account of what, against many odds, made it happen and why.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (598.6 H654b )
Publication Date: 2015-12-01
For ten months of the year, the prairie-chicken's drab colors allow it to disappear into the landscape. However, in April and May this grouse is one of the most outrageously flamboyant birds in North America. Competing with each other for the attention of females, males gather before dawn in an explosion of sights and sounds--"booming from the mists of nowhere," as Aldo Leopold wrote decades ago. There's nothing else like it, and it is perilously close to being lost. In this book, ecologist Greg Hoch shows that we can ensure that this iconic bird flourishes once again. Skillfully interweaving lyrical accounts from early settlers, hunters, and pioneer naturalists with recent scientific research on the grouse and its favored grasslands, Hoch reveals that the prairie-chicken played a key role in the American settlement of the Midwest. Many hungry pioneers regularly shot and ate the bird, as well as trapping hundreds of thousands, shipping them eastward by the trainload for coastal suppers. As a result of both hunting and habitat loss, the bird's numbers plummeted to extinction across 90 percent of its original habitat. Iowa, whose tallgrass prairies formed the very center of the greater prairie-chicken's range, no longer supports a native population of the bird most symbolic of prairie habitat. The steep decline in the prairie-chicken population is one of the great tragedies of twentieth-century wildlife management and agricultural practices. However, Hoch gives us reason for optimism. These birds can thrive in agriculturally productive grasslands. Careful grazing, reduced use of pesticides, well-placed wildlife corridors, planned burning, higher plant, animal, and insect diversity: these are the keys. If enough blocks of healthy grasslands are scattered over the midwestern landscape, there will be prairie-chickens--and many of their fellow creatures of the tall grasses. Farmers, ranchers, conservationists, and citizens can reverse the decline of grassland birds and insure that future generations will hear the booming of the prairie-chicken.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (509 W43e )
Publication Date: 2016-02-09
A masterful commentary on the history of science from the Greeks to modern times, by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg—a thought-provoking and important book by one of the most distinguished scientists and intellectuals of our time. In this rich, irreverent, and compelling history, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg takes us across centuries from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad and Oxford, from Plato’s Academy and the Museum of Alexandria to the cathedral school of Chartres and the Royal Society of London. He shows that the scientists of ancient and medieval times not only did not understand what we understand about the world—they did not understand what there is to understand, or how to understand it. Yet over the centuries, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as the curious backward movement of the planets and the rise and fall of the tides, the modern discipline of science eventually emerged. Along the way, Weinberg examines historic clashes and collaborations between science and the competing spheres of religion, technology, poetry, mathematics, and philosophy. An illuminating exploration of the way we consider and analyze the world around us, To Explain the World is a sweeping, ambitious account of how difficult it was to discover the goals and methods of modern science, and the impact of this discovery on human knowledge and development.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (530.01 P386f )
Publication Date: 2016-09-27
What can fashionable ideas, blind faith, or pure fantasy possibly have to do with the scientific quest to understand the universe? Surely, theoretical physicists are immune to mere trends, dogmatic beliefs, or flights of fancy? In fact, acclaimed physicist and bestselling author Roger Penrose argues that researchers working at the extreme frontiers of physics are just as susceptible to these forces as anyone else. In this provocative book, he argues that fashion, faith, and fantasy, while sometimes productive and even essential in physics, may be leading today's researchers astray in three of the field's most important areas--string theory, quantum mechanics, and cosmology. Arguing that string theory has veered away from physical reality by positing six extra hidden dimensions, Penrose cautions that the fashionable nature of a theory can cloud our judgment of its plausibility. In the case of quantum mechanics, its stunning success in explaining the atomic universe has led to an uncritical faith that it must also apply to reasonably massive objects, and Penrose responds by suggesting possible changes in quantum theory. Turning to cosmology, he argues that most of the current fantastical ideas about the origins of the universe cannot be true, but that an even wilder reality may lie behind them. Finally, Penrose describes how fashion, faith, and fantasy have ironically also shaped his own work, from twistor theory, a possible alternative to string theory that is beginning to acquire a fashionable status, to "conformal cyclic cosmology," an idea so fantastic that it could be called "conformal crazy cosmology." The result is an important critique of some of the most significant developments in physics today from one of its most eminent figures.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (500 C7844 )
Publication Date: 2016-12-20
Think you need a degree in science to contribute to important scientific discoveries? Think again. All around the world, in fields ranging from astronomy to zoology, millions of everyday people are choosing to participate in the scientific process. Working in cooperation with scientists in pursuit of information, innovation, and discovery, these volunteers are following protocols, collecting and reviewing data, and sharing their observations. They are our neighbors, our in-laws, and people in the office down the hall. Their story, along with the story of the social good that can result from citizen science, has largely been untold, until now. Citizen scientists are challenging old notions about who can conduct research, where knowledge can be acquired, and even how solutions to some of our biggest societal problems might emerge. In telling their story, Cooper will inspire readers to rethink their own assumptions about the role that individuals can play in gaining scientific understanding and putting that understanding to use as stewards of our world. Citizen Science will be a rallying call-to-arms, and will also function as an authoritative resource for those inspired by the featured stories and message.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (613.7 C217w )
Publication Date: 2017-01-03
What Doesn't Kill Us,a New York Timesbestseller, traces our evolutionary journey back to a time when survival depended on how well we adapted to the environment around us. Our ancestors crossed deserts, mountains, and oceans without even a whisper of what anyone today might consider modern technology. Those feats of endurance now seem impossible in an age where we take comfort for granted. But what if we could regain some of our lost evolutionary strength by simulating the environmental conditions of our ancestors? Investigative journalist and anthropologist Scott Carney takes up the challenge to find out: Can we hack our bodies and use the environment to stimulate our inner biology? Helping him in his search for the answers is Dutch fitness guru Wim Hof, whose ability to control his body temperature in extreme cold has sparked a whirlwind of scientific study. Carney also enlists input from an Army scientist, a world-famous surfer, the founders of an obstacle course race movement, and ordinary people who have documented how they have cured autoimmune diseases, lost weight, and reversed diabetes. In the process, he chronicles his own transformational journey as he pushes his body and mind to the edge of endurance, a quest that culminates in a record-bending, 28-hour climb to the snowy peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro wearing nothing but a pair of running shorts and sneakers. An ambitious blend of investigative reporting and participatory journalism,What Doesn’t Kill Us explores the true connection between the mind and the body and reveals the science that allows us to push past our perceived limitations.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (576.8 G5695t )
Publication Date: 2015-12-08
Dean of Columbia University's medical school explains why our bodies are out of sync with today's environment and how we can correct this to save our health. Over the past 200 years, human life-expectancy has approximately doubled. Yet we face soaring worldwide rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, mental illness, heart disease, and stroke. In his fascinating new book, Dr. Lee Goldman presents a radical explanation: The key protective traits that once ensured our species' survival are now the leading global causes of illness and death. Our capacity to store food, for example, lures us into overeating, and a clotting system designed to protect us from bleeding to death now directly contributes to heart attacks and strokes. A deeply compelling narrative that puts a new spin on evolutionary biology, TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING also provides a roadmap for getting back in sync with the modern world.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (509 W336c )
Publication Date: 2017-02-21
A brilliant history of science over the past 150 years that offers a powerful new argument—that the many disparate scientific branches are converging on the same truths. Convergence is a history of modern science with an original and significant twist. Various scientific disciplines, despite their very different beginnings, have been coming together over the past 150 years, converging and coalescing. Intimate connections have been discovered between physics and chemistry, psychology and biology, genetics and linguistics. In this groundbreaking book, Peter Watson identifies one extraordinary master narrative, capturing how the sciences are slowly resolving into one overwhelming, interlocking story about the universe. Watson begins his narrative in the 1850s, the decade when, he argues, the convergence of the sciences began. The idea of the conservation of energy was introduced in this decade, as was Darwin’s theory of evolution—both of which rocketed the sciences forward and revealed unimagined interconnections and overlaps between disciplines. The story then proceeds from each major breakthrough and major scientist to the next, leaping between fields and linking them together. Decade after decade, the story captures every major scientific advance en route to the present, proceeding like a cosmic detective story, or the world’s most massive code-breaking effort. Watson’s is a thrilling new approach to the history of science, revealing how each piece falls into place, and how each uncovers an “emerging order.” Convergence is, as Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg has put it, “The deepest thing about the universe.” And Watson’s comprehensive and eye-opening book argues that all our scientific efforts are indeed approaching unity. Told through the eyes of the scientists themselves, charting each discovery and breakthrough, it is a gripping way to learn what we now know about the universe and where our inquiries are heading.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (576.84 D323e )
Publication Date: 2016-07-22
Some thousands of years ago, the world was home to an immense variety of large mammals. From wooly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers to giant ground sloths and armadillos the size of automobiles, these spectacular creatures roamed freely. Then human beings arrived. Devouring their way down the food chain as they spread across the planet, they began a process of voracious extinction that has continued to the present. Headlines today are made by the existential threat confronting remaining large animals such as rhinos and pandas. But the devastation summoned by humans extends to humbler realms of creatures including beetles, bats and butterflies. Researchers generally agree that the current extinction rate is nothing short of catastrophic. Currently the earth is losing about a hundred species every day. This relentless extinction, Ashley Dawson contends in a primer that combines vast scope with elegant precision, is the product of a global attack on the commons, the great trove of air, water, plants and creatures, as well as collectively created cultural forms such as language, that have been regarded traditionally as the inheritance of humanity as a whole. This attack has its genesis in the need for capital to expand relentlessly into all spheres of life. Extinction, Dawson argues, cannot be understood in isolation from a critique of our economic system. To achieve this we need to transgress the boundaries between science, environmentalism and radical politics.Extinction: A Radical History performs this task with both brio and brilliance.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (612.67 P115a )
Publication Date: 2017-02-01
Ageing is an activity we are familiar with from an early age. In our younger years upcoming birthdays are anticipated with an excitement that somewhat diminishes as the years progress. As we grow older we are bombarded with advice on ways to overcome, thwart, resist, and, on the rare occasion,embrace, one's ageing. Have all human beings from the various historical epochs and cultures viewed aging with this same ambivalence? In this Very Short Introduction Nancy A. Pachana discusses the lifelong dynamic changes in biological, psychological, and social functioning involved in ageing. Increased lifespans in the developed and the developing world have created an urgent need to find ways to enhance our functioning andwell-being in the later decades of life, and this need is reflected in policies and action plans addressing our ageing populations from the World Health Organization and the United Nations. Looking to the future, Pachana considers advancements in the provision for our ageing populations, includingrevolutionary models of nursing home care such as Green House nursing homes in the USA and Small Group Living homes in the Netherlands. She shows that understanding the process of ageing is not only important for individuals, but also for societies and nations, if the full potential of thoseentering later life is to be realised.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (509 Sch363t )
Publication Date: 2015-07-14
Science has had a profound influence in shaping contemporary perspectives of reality, yet few in the public have fully grasped the profound implications of scientific discoveries. This book describes three intellectual revolutions that led to the current scientific consensus, emphasizing how science over the centuries has undermined traditional, religious worldviews. The author begins in ancient Greece, where the first revolution took place. Beginning in the sixth-century BCE, a series of innovative thinkers rejected the mythology of their culture and turned to rational analysis and the empirical study of reality. This change in thinking, though it lay dormant for the many centuries of Christian hegemony in the West, eventually gave rise to the Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries--the second revolution. Highlighted by such luminaries as Kepler, Galileo, and Isaac Newton, the Enlightenment laid the foundations for our current understanding of the world. Today we live amidst the third scientific revolution, including Darwin's theory of evolution, Planck's concept of the quantum, Einstein's relativity theories, Bohr's quantum mechanics, along with Watson and Crick's decoding of the human genome with the prospect of improving human nature. Besides technological wonders, this revolution has also supported widespread respect for freedom of thought, greater educational opportunities, and democratic governments. Looking to the future, Schlagel sees many exciting possibilities yet also potentially devastating threats to the environment. He underscores the need for widespread scientific literacy, stressing that only unfettered scientific inquiry offers a realistic hope of overcoming these daunting challenges.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (598 W6221 )
Publication Date: 2016-08-24
For over one hundred years, ornithologists and amateur birders have jointly campaigned for the conservation of bird species, documenting not only birds' beauty and extraordinary diversity, but also their importance to ecosystems worldwide. But while these avian enthusiasts have noted that birds eat fruit, carrion, and pests; spread seed and fertilizer; and pollinate plants, among other services, they have rarely asked what birds are worth in economic terms. In Why Birds Matter, an international collection of ornithologists, botanists, ecologists, conservation biologists, and environmental economists seeks to quantify avian ecosystem services--the myriad benefits that birds provide to humans. The first book to approach ecosystem services from an ornithological perspective, Why Birds Matter asks what economic value we can ascribe to those services, if any, and how this value should inform conservation. Chapters explore the role of birds in such important ecological dynamics as scavenging, nutrient cycling, food chains, and plant-animal interactions--all seen through the lens of human well-being--to show that quantifying avian ecosystem services is crucial when formulating contemporary conservation strategies. Both elucidating challenges and providing examples of specific ecosystem valuations and guidance for calculation, the contributors propose that in order to advance avian conservation, we need to appeal not only to hearts and minds, but also to wallets.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (509.03 W889i )
Publication Date: 2016-12-13
A companion to such acclaimed works as The Age of Wonder, A Clockwork Universe, and Darwin’s Ghosts—a groundbreaking examination of the greatest event in history, the Scientific Revolution, and how it came to change the way we understand ourselves and our world. We live in a world transformed by scientific discovery. Yet today, science and its practitioners have come under political attack. In this fascinating history spanning continents and centuries, historian David Wootton offers a lively defense of science, revealing why the Scientific Revolution was truly the greatest event in our history. The Invention of Science goes back five hundred years in time to chronicle this crucial transformation, exploring the factors that led to its birth and the people who made it happen. Wootton argues that the Scientific Revolution was actually five separate yet concurrent events that developed independently, but came to intersect and create a new worldview. Here are the brilliant iconoclasts—Galileo, Copernicus, Brahe, Newton, and many more curious minds from across Europe—whose studies of the natural world challenged centuries of religious orthodoxy and ingrained superstition. From gunpowder technology, the discovery of the new world, movable type printing, perspective painting, and the telescope to the practice of conducting experiments, the laws of nature, and the concept of the fact, Wotton shows how these discoveries codified into a social construct and a system of knowledge. Ultimately, he makes clear the link between scientific discovery and the rise of industrialization—and the birth of the modern world we know.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (576.84 B4467w )
Publication Date: 2015-08-11
Today it is common knowledge that the dinosaurs were wiped out by a meteorite impact 65 million years ago that killed half of all species then living. It is far less widely understood that a much greater catastrophe took place at the end of the Permian period 251 million years ago: at least ninety percent of life on earth was destroyed. When Life Nearly Died documents not only what happened during this gigantic mass extinction but also the recent renewal of the idea of catastrophism: the theory that changes in the earth’s crust were brought about suddenly in the past by phenomena that cannot be observed today. Was the end-Permian event caused by the impact of a huge meteorite or comet, or by prolonged volcanic eruption in Siberia? The evidence has been accumulating, and Michael J. Benton gives his verdict at the end of the volume. The new edition brings the study of the greatest mass extinction of all time thoroughly up-to-date. In the twelve years since the book was originally published, hundreds of geologists and paleontologists have been investigating all aspects of how life could be driven to the brink of annihilation, and especially how life recovered afterwards, providing the foundations of modern ecosystems.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (500 B7916a )
Publication Date: 2016-03-22
The atom. The Big Bang. DNA. Natural selection. All are ideas that have revolutionized science—and all were dismissed out of hand when they first ap#65533;peared. The surprises haven’t stopped in recent years, and in At the Edge of Uncertainty, bestselling author Michael Brooks investigates the new wave of radical insights that are shaping the future of scientific discovery. Brooks takes us to the extreme frontiers of what we understand about the world. He journeys from the observations that might rewrite our story of how the cosmos came to be, through the novel biology behind our will to live, and on to the physi#65533;ological root of consciousness. Along the way, he examines how it’s time to redress the gender im#65533;balance in clinical trials, explores how merging hu#65533;mans with other species might provide a solution to the shortage of organ donors, and finds out whether the universe really is like a computer or if the flow of time is a mere illusion.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (808.06657 H6771w )
Publication Date: 2015-07-17
Practical and easy to use, Writing in the Biological Sciences provides students with all of the techniques and information they need to communicate their scientific ideas, insights, and discoveries. Angelika H. Hofmann introduces students to the underlying principles and guidelines ofprofessional scientific writing and then teaches them how to apply these methods when composing essential forms of scientific writing and communication.Ideal as a free-standing textbook for courses on writing in the biological sciences - or as an accompanying text or reference guide in courses and laboratories with writing-intensive components - this indispensable handbook gives students the tools they need to succeed in their undergraduate sciencecareers and beyond.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (508.092 C1976m )
Publication Date: 2015-09-15
"In Rachel Carson and Her Sisters, Musil fills the gap by placing Carson's achievements in a wider context, weaving connections from the past through the present. Readers will find new insight into Carson and contemporary figures she influenced...who have historically received less attention. Musil's respect and enthusiasm for these women is evident throughout the book, making it a deeply engaging and enjoyable read. A valuable addition to scholarship on Rachel Carson, female environmentalists, and the American environmental movement in general. Highly recommended. All academic and general readers." --Choice "This is a long overdue book, giving great credit to the long line of women who have done so much to shape our culture's view of the world around us and of our prospects in it. We desperately need that culture to heed their words!" --Bill McKibben, author Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist "A vibrant, engaging account of the women who preceded and followed Rachel Carson's efforts to promote environmental and human health. In exquisite detail, Musil narrates the brilliant careers and efforts of pioneering women from the 1850s onward to preserve nature and maintain a healthy environment. Anyone interested in women naturalists, activists, and feminist environmental history will welcome this compelling, beautifully-written book." --Carolyn Merchant, author of The Death of Nature and professor of environmental history, philosophy, and ethics, University of California, Berkeley. "Bob Musil brilliantly documents the rich trajectory of women's intellectual and political influence, not just on environmentalism but on public policy and activism. Musil offers fascinating details of Rachel Carson's struggles to be taken seriously as a scientist and unearths the stories of the women--unsung heroes all--who influenced her. A must read for anyone interested in American history, science and environmental politics." --Heather White, Executive Director, the Environmental Working Group "Musil uses the life and writings of Rachel Carson as an exemplar of women's participation in the American environmental movement. He places Carson's achievements in contexts by illuminating...the lives of trailblazing female scientists who inspired her and for whom she, in turn, paved the way. Extremely well-researched." --Foreword Reviews
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (501 L581m )
Publication Date: 2016-01-26
Science has produced explanations for everything from the mechanisms of insect navigation to the formation of black holes and the workings of black markets. But how much can we trust science, and can we actually know the world through it? How does science work and how does it fail? And how can the work of scientists help--or hurt--everyday people? These are not questions that science can answer on its own. This is where philosophy of science comes in. Studying science without philosophy is, to quote Einstein, to be "like somebody who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest.” Cambridge philosopher Tim Lewens shows us the forest. He walks us through the theories of seminal philosophers of science Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn and considers what science is, how far it can and should reach, and how we can determine the nature of its truths and myths. These philosophical issues have consequences that stretch far beyond the laboratory. For instance: What role should scientists have in policy discussions on environmental issues such as fracking? What are the biases at play in the search for a biological function of the female orgasm? If brain scans can be used to demonstrate that a decision was made several seconds before a person actually makes a conscious choice, what does that tell us about the possibility of free will? By examining science through this philosophical lens, Lewens reveals what physics can teach us about reality, what biology teaches us about human nature, and what cognitive science teaches us about human freedom. A masterful analysis of the biggest scientific and ethical issues of our age, The Meaning of Science forces us to confront the practical, personal, and political purposes of science--and why it matters to all of us.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (612.67 M5523o )
Publication Date: 2015-02-03
People in developed countries are living longer and, just as the aged population around the world is steadily growing, the number of adults eighty-five and older in the United States is projected to quadruple to twenty-one million people by 2050. The aging of our population has huge implications for baby boomers and their children, and has generated a greater interest in the causes and effects of aging. Our Aging Bodiesnbsp;provides a clear, scientifically based explanation of what happens to all the major organ systems and bodily processes--such as the cardiovascular and digestive systems--as people age. The first section is an overview of secondary aging--changes that occur with age that are related to disease and the environment--and include the effect of such things as diet, humor, and exercise. Readers will also learn about primary aging--intrinsic changes that occur with the aging of specific organs and body systems (including the prostate, the heart, the digestive system, and the brain). Throughout the book, Gary F. Merrill weaves in personal anecdotes and stories that help clarify and reinforce the facts and principles of the underlying scientific processes and explanations.nbsp;Our Aging Bodiesnbsp;is accessible to a general reader interested in the aging phenomenon, or baby boomers wanting to be more informed when seeing their doctor and discussing changes to their bodies as they age.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (591.56 Sa178b )
Publication Date: 2016-07-12
I wanted to know what they were experiencing, and why to us they feel so compelling, and so-close. This time I allowed myself to ask them the question that for a scientist was forbidden fruit: Who are you? Weaving decades of field observations with exciting new discoveries about the brain, Carl Safina's landmark book offers an intimate view of animal behavior to challenge the fixed boundary between humans and nonhuman animals. InBeyond Words, readers travel to Amboseli National Park in the threatened landscape of Kenya and witness struggling elephant families work out how to survive poaching and drought, then to Yellowstone National Park to observe wolves sort out the aftermath of one pack's personal tragedy, and finally plunge into the astonishingly peaceful society of killer whales living in the crystalline waters of the Pacific Northwest. Beyond Words brings forth powerful and illuminating insight into the unique personalities of animals through extraordinary stories of animal joy, grief, jealousy, anger, and love. The similarity between human and nonhuman consciousness, self-awareness, and empathy calls us to re-evaluate how we interact with animals. Wise, passionate, and eye-opening at every turn,Beyond Words is ultimately a graceful examination of humanity's place in the world.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (629.222 V9419c )
Publication Date: 2015-10-15
Whether you drool over their horsepower or decry their emissions, the car is an important and ubiquitous part of nearly all of our lives. And the history of their design and the innovations of their technologies can tell us a lot about how our values and attitudes have changed. In this book, Gregory Votolato shows us how and why the automobile has become--since its rise in the late nineteenth century--at once an object of unparalleled popular desire and a hugely problematic emblem of the modern world. Votolato explores the ways that our love-hate relationship with the car has been intimately connected with car design. He tells the story of the rise of the private passenger car and all the psychological, social, and economic functions it has come to serve beyond mere transportation. Introducing readers to the automotive design process, he traces the lifecycle of the car from the drawing board to the scrapyard, offering insights from key figures in the industry, as well as a careful evaluation of the car’s enormous environmental impact. At the same time, he looks at the many cultures tied into the automobile, from drag racing and customizing to the luxury coachcraft of the classic era. Along the way, he takes us for a ride in some of the most famous cars ever to have had their tires inflated, from the Model T to the Tesla. The result is a top-down, thrilling burn through the history of one of our most beloved--and lamented--inventions.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (609 K385i )
Publication Date: 2016-12-13
"Elegant prose and excellent reporting . . . By the time I had finished reading, I had underlined many intriguing ideas."--New York Times Book Review "No doubtInventology will be marketed to the creative business class, but there's ample interest here even for readers who aren't actively inventing anything."--Boston Globe A doctor realizes that an innocent-looking tube is killing his patients, then reads a newspaper article that inspires him to create a better version that serves as an early warning system for infections. A father cleans up after his toddler and builds a "sippy" cup that won't spill. An engineer dreams of a different world and pioneers the cell phone. By studying breakthroughs like these, we can learn how people imagine their way around "impossible" problems to discover groundbreaking answers. Pagan Kennedy reports on how enduring methods of invention can be adapted to the twenty-first century, as millions of us deploy tools like crowdfunding, big data, and 3-D printing to address our needs or realize our dreams. Drawing on fresh research and the surprising stories behind many inventions old and new to reveal the stepsthat most reliably produce discovery,Inventology is a myth-shattering book and a must-read for anyone who is curious about creativity and the mental leaps required to solve our most challenging problems. "'Inventology' may be a real science; researchers are beginning to study it, and teachers are teaching it . . . A delightful account of how inventors do what they do."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Offers a new perspective into the process of invention that will inform and illuminate."--Publishers Weekly
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (599.643 M8317b )
Publication Date: 2015-12-15
Stoic, regal, and formidable in size and strength, the bison has long epitomized the American West. Perhaps this is even more so because we have, in our avarice, nearly destroyed them all, and are now seeking to restore their populations. From spiritual figure to abused resource to powerful symbol of wildlife preservation, the bison is a microcosm of the West itself, and in this book, renowned zoologist Desmond Morris tells its fascinating story from the first evidence of its fossil record two million years ago all the way up to today. Exploring the bison’s evolution and habitat, Morris paints a nuanced portrait of this iconic animal, exploring the different sides of its personality. He shows that, while generally seen as gentle and calm, bison in fact are very unpredictable, liable to attack at any moment. Comparing and contrasting the two remaining species--the European wisent and the American bison--he goes on to tell the heartbreaking story of their near-extinction, how we hunted them down from innumerable numbers to less than a thousand, with such little regard that it was a common practice for train travelers to shoot them from their passing cars. He also tells the story of our more recent efforts--and successes--at bringing them back to such a point that their domestically raised meat has now become a popular alternative to beef. Throughout, Morris balances this natural history with a cultural one, the lore of the bison and the spirit of the west, dotting his text with vibrant images of the bison from nature, art, and popular culture. The result is an absorbing history of one of the most majestic creatures to walk the plains of the earth.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (581.6 H2437w )
Publication Date: 2016-02-15
When did the British Government become the world's largest drugs pusher? What tree is frequently used to treat cancer? Which everyday condiment is the most widely traded spice on the planet?Plants are an indispensable part of our everyday life. From the coffee bush and grass for cattle which give us milk for our cappuccinos to the rubber tree which produces tyres for our cars, our lives are inextricably linked to the world of plants.Taking us on a chronological journey, Stephen Harris identifies fifty plants that have been key to the development of the Western world, discussing trade, politics, medicine, travel and chemistry along the way.Plants have provided paper and ink, chemicals that could kill or cure, vital sustenance and stimulants. Some, such as barley, have been staples from earliest times; others, such as oil palm, are newcomers to Western industry. Moreover, with time, uses change: beets, which have been used variously as a treatment for leprosy, source of sugar and animal feed, are now showing potential as biofuels. What may the future hold for mandrake or woad?We remain dependent on plants for our food, our fuel and our medicines. Their effects on our lives, as the stories in this wide-ranging and engaging book demonstrate, continue to be profound, and often unpredictable.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (576.84 W6398w )
Publication Date: 2015-09-29
Two hundred sixty million years ago, life on Earth suffered wave after wave of cataclysmic extinctions, with the worst wiping out nearly every species on the planet. The Worst of Times delves into the mystery behind these extinctions and sheds light on the fateful role the primeval supercontinent, known as Pangea, might have played in causing these global catastrophes. Drawing on the latest discoveries as well as his own firsthand experiences conducting field expeditions to remote corners of the world, Paul Wignall reveals what scientists are only now beginning to understand about the most prolonged and calamitous period of environmental crisis in Earth's history. Wignall shows how these series of unprecedented extinction events swept across the planet, killing life on a scale more devastating than the dinosaur extinctions that would follow. The Worst of Times unravels one of the great enigmas of ancient Earth and shows how this ushered in a new age of vibrant and more resilient life on our planet.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (635.9 B8539r )
Publication Date: 2016-02-09
A “fascinating” (The Wall Street Journal), engaging, and expert account of the botany, ecology, history, culture, and meaning of flowers, written by a passionately devoted scientist, photographer, and writer, and illustrated with his stunning photographs. Flowers, and the fruits that follow, feed, clothe, sustain, and inspire all humanity. They have done so since before recorded history. Flowers are used to celebrate all-important occasions, to express love, and are also the basis of global industries. Americans buy ten million flowers a day and perfumes are a worldwide industry worth $30 billion dollars annually. Yet, we know little about flowers, their origins, bizarre sex lives, or how humans relate and depend upon them. Stephen Buchmann takes us along on an exploratory journey of the roles flowers play in the production of our foods, spices, medicines, perfumes, while simultaneously bringing joy and health. Flowering plants continue to serve as inspiration in our myths and legends, in the fine and decorative arts, and in literary works of prose and poetry. Flowers seduce us—and animals, too—through their myriad shapes, colors, textures, and scents. And because of our extraordinary appetite for more unusual and beautiful “super flowers,” plant breeders have created such unnatural blooms as blue roses and black petunias to cater to the human world of haute couture fashion. In so doing, the nectar and pollen vital to the bees, butterflies, and bats of the world, are being reduced. Buchmann explains the unfortunate consequences, and explores how to counter them by growing the right flowers. Here, he integrates fascinating stories about the many colorful personalities who populate the world of flowers, and the flowers and pollinators themselves, with a research-based narrative that illuminates just why there is, indeed, a Reason for Flowers.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (598.3 J629c )
Publication Date: 2015-12-18
"Since long before medieval times cranes have been considered messengers of the gods, calling annually from on high to remind humans below of the passing years and of their own mortality. Now it is up to humans to take responsibility for controlling our own fate--and also to cry out to protect not only cranes but all the other wonderful creatures that share our increasingly fragile and threatened planetary ecosystem with us." --Paul A. Johnsgard, from the acknowledgments Accompanied by the stunning photography of Thomas D. Mangelsen, A Chorus of Cranes details the natural history, biology, and conservation issues surrounding the abundant sandhill crane and the endangered whooping crane in North America. Author Paul A. Johnsgard, one of the leading authorities on cranes and crane biology, describes the fascinating social behaviors, beautiful natural habitats, and grueling seasonal migrations that have stirred the hearts of people as far back as medieval times and garnered the crane a place in folklore and mythology across continents. Johnsgard has substantially updated and significantly expanded his 1991 work Crane Music, incorporating new information on the biology and status of these two North American cranes and providing abbreviated summaries on the other thirteen crane species of the world. The stories of these birds and their contrasting fates provide an instructive and moving history of bird conservation in North America. A Chorus of Cranes is a gorgeous and invaluable resource for crane enthusiasts, birders, natural historians, and conservationists alike. The University Press of Colorado gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Iain Nicholson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary, Audubon Nebraska, Ron and Judy Parks, Wagon Tongue Creek Farm, and the Trull Foundation toward the publication of this book.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (576.8 M561b )
Publication Date: 2016-12-06
In this essential and illuminating history of Western science, Bill Mesler and H. James Cleaves II seek to answer the most crucial question in science: How did life begin? They trace the trials and triumphs of the iconoclastic scientists who have sought to solve the mystery, from Darwin's theory of evolution to Crick and Watson's unveiling of DNA. This fascinating exploration not only examines the origin-of-life question, but also interrogates the very nature of scientific discovery and objectivity.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (579.3 P3841h )
Publication Date: 2015-12-21
Today, we are far less likely to die from infection than at any other time in history, but still we worry about epidemics, the menace of antibiotic resistance and modern plagues like Ebola. In this timely new book, eminent bacteriologist Hugh Pennington explores why these fears remain and why they are unfounded. He reports on outright victories (such as smallpox), battles where the enemy is on its last stand (polio), surprise attacks from vegetarian bats (Ebola, SARS) and demented cows (BSE). Qualified optimism, he argues, is the message for the future but the battles will go on forever.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (540 C925h )
Publication Date: 2016-11-03
In many ways, Marie Curie represents modern science. Her considerable lifetime achievements--the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize, the only woman to be awarded the Prize in two fields, and the only person to be awarded Nobel Prizes in multiple sciences--are studied by schoolchildren across the world. When, in 2009, the New Scientist carried out a poll for the "Most Inspirational Female Scientist of All Time,” the result was a foregone conclusion: Marie Curie trounced her closest runner-up, Rosalind Franklin, winning double the number of Franklin’s votes. She is a role model to women embarking on a career in science, the pride of two nations--Poland and France--and, not least of all, a European Union brand for excellence in science. Making Marie Curie explores what went into the creation of this icon of science. It is not a traditional biography, or one that attempts to uncover the "real” Marie Curie. Rather, Eva Hemmungs Wirt#65533;n, by tracing a career that spans two centuries and a world war, provides an innovative and historically grounded account of how modern science emerges in tandem with celebrity culture under the influence of intellectual property in a dawning age of information. She explores the emergence of the Curie persona, the information culture of the period that shaped its development, and the strategies Curie used to manage and exploit her intellectual property. How did one create and maintain for oneself the persona of scientist at the beginning of the twentieth century? What special conditions bore upon scientific women, and on married women in particular? How was French identity claimed, established, and subverted? How, and with what consequences, was a scientific reputation secured? In its exploration of these questions and many more, Making Marie Curie provides a composite picture not only of the making of Marie Curie, but the making of modern science itself.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (616.9101 Z653p )
Publication Date: 2015-10-06
The past year has been one of viral panic--panic about viruses, that is. Through headlines, public health warnings, and at least one homemade hazmat suit, we were reminded of the powerful force of viruses. They are the smallest living things known to science, yet they can hold the entire planet in their sway. A Planet of Viruses is Carl Zimmer's eye-opening look at the hidden world of viruses. Zimmer, the popular science writer and author of National Geographic's award-winning blog The Loom, has updated this edition to include the stories of new outbreaks, such as Ebola, MERS, and chikungunya virus; new scientific discoveries, such as a hundred-million-year-old virus that infected the common ancestor of armadillos, elephants, and humans; and new findings that show why climate change may lead to even deadlier outbreaks. Zimmer's lucid explanations and fascinating stories demonstrate how deeply humans and viruses are intertwined. Viruses helped give rise to the first life-forms, are responsible for many of our most devastating diseases, and will continue to control our fate for centuries. Thoroughly readable, and as reassuring as it is frightening, A Planet of Viruses is a fascinating tour of a formidable hidden world.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (362.1969 W387d )
Publication Date: 2015-12-03
Diseases have had more influence on us than we realize. They have taken a major role in making us humans and probably determine the way we run our lives. They emerged with us from our ancestral home in Africa, to spread to the rest of the planet. History is full of the great epidemics of plague, smallpox and anthrax, with the present catastrophe of HIV that is changing the demography of the world in a similar way to its predecessors. We survived because of our genetic variation and immune system and it will be this that will save us again. So fundamental has been the part that disease has played in the world that it has brought about change, just as much as has natural selection. Actually disease has been another force, sometimes acting with natural selection but often in opposition. It continues to have a far more profound effect on all of us than realized, selecting the course of the world just as much as nature has.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (615.788 M6175d )
Publication Date: 2014-12-16
"Morphine," writes Richard J. Miller, "is the most significant chemical substance mankind has ever encountered." So ancient that remains of poppies have been found in Neolithic tombs, it is the most effective drug ever discovered for treating pain. "Whatever advances are made in medicine,"Miller adds, "nothing could really be more important than that." And yet, when it comes to mind-altering substances, morphine is only a cc or two in a vast river that flows through human civilization, ranging LSD to a morning cup of tea.In Drugged, Miller takes readers on an eye-opening tour of psychotropic drugs, describing the various kinds, how they were discovered and developed, and how they have played multiple roles in virtually every culture. The vast scope of chemicals that cross the blood-brain barrier boggle the verybrain they reach: cannabis and cocaine, antipsychotics and antidepressants, alcohol, amphetamines, and Ecstasy - and much more. Literate and wide-ranging, Miller weaves together science and history, telling the story of the undercover theft of 20,000 tea plants from China by a British spy, forexample, the European discovery of coffee and chocolate, and how James Wolfgang von Goethe, the famous man of letters, first isolated the alkaloid we now know as caffeine. Miller explains what scientists know - and don't - about the impact of each drug on the brain, down to the details ofneurotransmitters and their receptors. He clarifies the differences between morphine and heroin, mescaline and LSD, and other similar substances. Drugged brims with surprises, revealing the fact that antidepressant drugs evolved from the rocket fuel that shot V2 rockets into London during World WarII, highlighting the role of hallucinogens in the history of religion, and asking whether Prozac can help depressed cats.Entertaining and authoritative, Drugged is a truly fascinating book.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (551.577 B2643r )
Publication Date: 2016-04-05
Rain is elemental, mysterious, precious, destructive. It is the subject of countless poems and paintings; the top of the weather report; the source of the world's water. Yet this is the first book to tell the story of rain. Cynthia Barnett's Rain begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans, and builds to the storms of climate change. It weaves together science--the true shape of a raindrop, the mysteries of frog and fish rains--with the human story of our ambition to control rain, from ancient rain dances to the 2,203 miles of levees that attempt to straitjacket the Mississippi River. It offers a glimpse of our "founding forecaster," Thomas Jefferson, who measured every drizzle long before modern meteorology. Two centuries later, rainy skies would help inspire Morrissey's mopes and Kurt Cobain's grunge. Rain is also a travelogue, taking readers to Scotland to tell the surprising story of the mackintosh raincoat, and to India, where villagers extract the scent of rain from the monsoon-drenched earth and turn it into perfume. Now, after thousands of years spent praying for rain or worshiping it; burning witches at the stake to stop rain or sacrificing small children to bring it; mocking rain with irrigated agriculture and cities built in floodplains; even trying to blast rain out of the sky with mortars meant for war, humanity has finally managed to change the rain. Only not in ways we intended. As climate change upends rainfall patterns and unleashes increasingly severe storms and drought, Barnett shows rain to be a unifying force in a fractured world. Too much and not nearly enough, rain is a conversation we share, and this is a book for everyone who has ever experienced it.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (333.95 W6927d )
Publication Date: 2010-11-15
View a collection of videos on Professor Wilson entitled "On the Relation of Science and the Humanities" "In the Amazon Basin the greatest violence sometimes begins as a flicker of light beyond the horizon. There in the perfect bowl of the night sky, untouched by light from any human source, a thunderstorm sends its premonitory signal and begins a slow journey to the observer, who thinks: the world is about to change." Watching from the edge of the Brazilian rain forest, witness to the sort of violence nature visits upon its creatures, Edward O. Wilson reflects on the crucible of evolution, and so begins his remarkable account of how the living world became diverse and how humans are destroying that diversity. Wilson, internationally regarded as the dean of biodiversity studies, conducts us on a tour through time, traces the processes that create new species in bursts of adaptive radiation, and points out the cataclysmic events that have disrupted evolution and diminished global diversity over the past 600 million years. The five enormous natural blows to the planet (such as meteorite strikes and climatic changes) required 10 to 100 million years of evolutionary repair. The sixth great spasm of extinction on earth--caused this time entirely by humans--may be the one that breaks the crucible of life. Wilson identifies this crisis in countless ecosystems around the globe: coral reefs, grasslands, rain forests, and other natural habitats. Drawing on a variety of examples such as the decline of bird populations in the United States, the extinction of many species of freshwater fish in Africa and Asia, and the rapid disappearance of flora and fauna as the rain forests are cut down, he poignantly describes the death throes of the living world's diversity--projected to decline as much as 20 percent by the year 2020. All evidence marshaled here resonates through Wilson's tightly reasoned call for a spirit of stewardship over the world's biological wealth. He makes a plea for specific actions that will enhance rather than diminish not just diversity but the quality of life on earth. Cutting through the tangle of environmental issues that often obscure the real concern, Wilson maintains that the era of confrontation between forces for the preservation of nature and those for economic development is over; he convincingly drives home the point that both aims can, and must, be integrated. Unparalleled in its range and depth, Wilson's masterwork is essential reading for those who care about preserving the world biological variety and ensuring our planet's health.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (616.99 C76217c )
Publication Date: 2017-01-24
Discover some of the newest cancer treatments available today--and a plan for prevention and healing At the Cancer Center for Healing, Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy offers her groundbreaking integrative approach to both treating and preventing cancer. Now, in The Cancer Revolution, Dr. Connealy shares her program, offering the practical strategies that have helped thousands of patients: Let food be your medicine Remove toxins to repair and restore your body Harness the healing power of supplements Get moving to get well Reduce stress and reclaim your life Strengthen your immune system with sleep With a 7-day detox and a 14-day healing program--including recipes based on anti-cancer foods, as well as inspiring stories from patients successfully treated at the Center--Dr. Connealy provides the tools to prevent and treat cancer, and hope for patients and those at risk that they can live cancer-free.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (577.27 W878w )
Publication Date: 2016-02-26
A century of industrial development is the briefest of moments in the half billion years of the earth's evolution. And yet our current era has brought greater changes to the earth than any period in human history. The biosphere, the globe's life-giving envelope of air and climate, has been changed irreparably. In A World to Live In, the distinguished ecologist George Woodwell shows that the biosphere is now a global human protectorate and that its integrity of structure and function are tied closely to the human future. The earth is a living system, Woodwell explains, and its stability is threatened by human disruption. Industry dumps its waste globally and makes a profit from it, invading the global commons; corporate interests overpower weak or nonexistent governmental protection to plunder the planet. The fossil fuels industry offers the most dramatic example of environmental destruction, disseminating the heat-trapping gases that are now warming the earth and changing the climate forever. The assumption that we can continue to use fossil fuels and "adapt" to climate disruption, Woodwell argues, is a ticket to catastrophe. But Woodwell points the way toward a solution. We must respect the full range of life on earth -- not species alone, but their natural communities of plant and animal life that have built, and still maintain, the biosphere. We must recognize that the earth's living systems are our heritage and that the preservation of the integrity of a finite biosphere is a necessity and an inviolable human right.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (001.96 N489n )
Publication Date: 2015-11-04
A falling apple inspired Isaac Newton's insight into the law of gravity-or so the story goes. Is it true? Perhaps not. But the more intriguing question is why such stories endure as explanations of how science happens. Newton's Apple and Other Myths about Science brushes away popular misconceptions to provide a clearer picture of great scientific breakthroughs from ancient times to the present. Among the myths refuted in this volume is the idea that no science was done in the Dark Ages, that alchemy and astrology were purely superstitious pursuits, that fear of public reaction alone led Darwin to delay publishing his theory of evolution, and that Gregor Mendel was far ahead of his time as a pioneer of genetics. Several twentieth-century myths about particle physics, Einstein's theory of relativity, and more are discredited here as well. In addition, a number of broad generalizations about science go under the microscope of history: the notion that religion impeded science, that scientists typically adhere to a codified "scientific method," and that a bright line can be drawn between legitimate science and pseudoscience. Edited by Ronald Numbers and Kostas Kampourakis, Newton's Apple and Other Myths about Science debunks the widespread belief that science advances when individual geniuses experience "Eureka!" moments and suddenly comprehend what those around them could never imagine. Science has always been a cooperative enterprise of dedicated, fallible human beings, for whom context, collaboration, and sheer good luck are the essential elements of discovery.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (579.3 D4514w )
Publication Date: 2016-11-22
Revolutionary research is revealing how the trillions of microbes living on and in our bodies can keep us healthy . . . or make us sick Suddenly, research findings require a paradigm shift in our view of the microbial world. The Human Microbiome Project at the National Institutes of Health is well under way, and unprecedented scientific technology now allows the censusing of trillions of microbes inside and on our bodies as well as in the places where we live, work, and play. This intriguing, up-to-the-minute book for scientists and nonscientists alike explains what researchers are discovering about the microbe world and what the implications are for modern science and medicine. Rob DeSalle and Susan Perkins illuminate the long, intertwined evolution of humans and microbes. They discuss how novel DNA sequencing has shed entirely new light on the complexity of microbe-human interactions, and they examine the potential benefits to human health: amazing possibilities for pinpoint treatment of infections and other illnesses without upsetting the vital balance of an individual microbiome. This book has been inspired by an exhibition, The Secret World Inside You: The Microbiome, at the American Museum of Natural History, which will open in New York in early November 2015 and run until August 2016. It will then travel to other museums in the United States and abroad.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (522.1 So122g )
Publication Date: 2016-12-06
New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel, the "inspiring" (People), little-known true story of women's landmark contributions to astronomy "A joy to read." --The Wall Street Journal Named one of the best books of the year by NPR, The Economist, Smithsonian, and Science Friday Nominated for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or "human computers," to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but soon the female corps included graduates of the new women's colleges--Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates. The "glass universe" of half a million plates that Harvard amassed over the ensuing decades--through the generous support of Mrs. Anna Palmer Draper, the widow of a pioneer in stellar photography--enabled the women to make extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what stars were made of, divided the stars into meaningful categories for further research, and found a way to measure distances across space by starlight. Their ranks included Williamina Fleming, a Scottish woman originally hired as a maid who went on to identify ten novae and more than three hundred variable stars; Annie Jump Cannon, who designed a stellar classification system that was adopted by astronomers the world over and is still in use; and Dr. Cecilia Helena Payne, who in 1956 became the first ever woman professor of astronomy at Harvard--and Harvard's first female department chair. Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, The Glass Universe is the hidden history of the women whose contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523 Sch74L )
Publication Date: 2015-03-01
Living with the Stars tells the fascinating story of what truly makes the human body. The body that is with us all our lives is always changing. We are quite literally not who we were years, weeks, or even days ago: our cells die and are replaced by new ones at an astonishing pace. The entirebody continually rebuilds itself, time and again, using the food and water that flow through us as fuel and as construction material. What persists over time is not fixed but merely a pattern in flux. We rebuild using elements captured from our surroundings, and are thereby connected to animals and plants around us, and to the bacteria within us that help digest them, and to geological processes such as continental drift and volcanism here on Earth. We are also intimately linked to the Sun'snuclear furnace and to the solar wind, to collisions with asteroids and to the cycles of the birth of stars and their deaths in cataclysmic supernovae, and ultimately to the beginning of the universe. Our bodies are made of the burned out embers of stars that were released into the galaxy in massiveexplosions billions of years ago, mixed with atoms that formed only recently as ultrafast rays slammed into Earth's atmosphere. All of that is not just remote history but part of us now: our human body is inseparable from nature all around us and intertwined with the history of the universe.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (641.3 Sch18d )
Publication Date: 2015-05-05
A lively and important argument from an award-winning journalist proving that the key to reversing America’s health crisis lies in the overlooked link between nutrition and flavor. In The Dorito Effect, Mark Schatzker shows us how our approach to the nation’s number one public health crisis has gotten it wrong. The epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are not tied to the overabundance of fat or carbs or any other specific nutrient. Instead, we have been led astray by the growing divide between flavor—the tastes we crave—and the underlying nutrition. Since the late 1940s, we have been slowly leeching flavor out of the food we grow. Those perfectly round, red tomatoes that grace our supermarket aisles today are mostly water, and the big breasted chickens on our dinner plates grow three times faster than they used to, leaving them dry and tasteless. Simultaneously, we have taken great leaps forward in technology, allowing us to produce in the lab the very flavors that are being lost on the farm. Thanks to this largely invisible epidemic, seemingly healthy food is becoming more like junk food: highly craveable but nutritionally empty. We have unknowingly interfered with an ancient chemical language—flavor—that evolved to guide our nutrition, not destroy it. With in-depth historical and scientific research, The Dorito Effect casts the food crisis in a fascinating new light, weaving an enthralling tale of how we got to this point and where we are headed. We’ve been telling ourselves that our addiction to flavor is the problem, but it is actually the solution. We are on the cusp of a new revolution in agriculture that will allow us to eat healthier and live longer by enjoying flavor the way nature intended.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (576.809 T3771r )
Publication Date: 2015-10-15
Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species a little over one hundred and fifty years ago, and it changed everything. But many don’t realize that it took Darwin over twenty years to develop his theory, that others had been advocating a similar theory before him, and many others have been developing it since. In A Remarkable Journey, R. Paul Thompson tells the story of evolutionary theory, of the empirical and theoretical discoveries and the endless heated debates that have led to our understanding of it today. As Thompson shows, the tortuous path from Darwin’s brilliant formulation to today’s robust and vibrant model is filled with intrigue. Evolutionary theory has become, in many respects, the center of biological science, and its maturation is an indication of a larger and more sophisticated scientific understanding more generally. But this development was not easily won, a point Thompson makes clear as he takes readers from one stage of the theory’s maturation to the next, detailing all that went into the development of what most of us now take for granted as a basic--and beautiful--principle of life.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (576.82 W216n )
Publication Date: 2016-08-02
Charles Darwin's theories, first published more than 150 years ago, still set the paradigm of how we understand the evolution of life--but scientific advances of recent decades have radically altered that. Now two pioneering scientists draw on their years of experience in paleontology, biology, chemistry, and astrobiology to deliver an eye-opening narrative using a generation's worth of insights culled from new research. Writing with zest, humor, and clarity, Ward and Kirschvink show that many of our long-held beliefs about the history of life are wrong. Three central themes emerge. First, Ward and Kirschvink argue that catastrophe shaped life's history more than all other forces combined--from notorious events like the sudden extinction of dinosaurs to the recently discovered "Snowball Earth" and the "Great Oxygenation Event." Second, life consists of carbon, but oxygen, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide determined how it evolved. Third, ever since Darwin we have thought of evolution in terms of species. Yet it is the evolution of ecosystems--from deep-ocean vents to rainforests--that has formed the living world as we know it. Ward and Kirschvink tell a story of life on Earth that is at once fabulous and familiar. And in a provocative coda, they assemble discoveries from the latest cutting-edge research to imagine how the history of life might unfold deep into the future.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (576.82 EL24e )
Publication Date: 2016-11-08
All organisms and species are transitory, yet life endures. The origin, extinction, and evolution of species—interconnected in the web of life as "eternal ephemera"—are the concern of evolutionary biology. In this riveting work, renowned paleontologist Niles Eldredge follows leading thinkers as they have wrestled for more than two hundred years with the eternal skein of life composed of ephemeral beings, revitalizing evolutionary science with their own, more resilient findings. Eldredge begins in France with the naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, who in 1801 first framed the overarching question about the emergence of new species. The Italian geologist Giambattista Brocchi followed, bringing in geology and paleontology to expand the question. In 1825, at the University of Edinburgh, Robert Grant and Robert Jameson introduced the astounding ideas formulated by Lamarck and Brocchi to a young medical student named Charles Darwin. Who can doubt that Darwin left for his voyage on the Beagle in 1831 filled with thoughts about these daring new explanations for the "transmutation" of species. Eldredge revisits Darwin's early insights into evolution in South America and his later synthesis of knowledge into a theory of the origin of species. He then considers the ideas of more recent evolutionary thinkers, such as George Gaylord Simpson, Ernst Mayr, and Theodosius Dobzhansky, as well as the young and brash Niles Eldredge and Steven Jay Gould, who set science afire with their concept of punctuated equilibria. Filled with insights into evolutionary biology and told with a rich affection for the scientific arena, this book celebrates the organic, vital relationship between scientific thinking and its subjects.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (595.7165 Sch547s )
Publication Date: 2016-03-03
Entomologist Justin O. Schmidt is on a mission. Some say it’s a brave exploration, others shake their heads in disbelief. His goal? To compare the impacts of stinging insects on humans, mainly using himself as the gauge. In The Sting of the Wild, the colorful Dr. Schmidt takes us on a journey inside the lives of stinging insects, seeing the world through their eyes as well as his own. He explains how and why they attack and reveals the powerful punch they can deliver with a small venom gland and a "sting," the name for the apparatus that delivers the venom. We learn which insects are the worst to encounter and why some are barely worth considering. The Sting of the Wild includes the complete Schmidt Sting Pain Index, published here for the first time. In addition to a numerical ranking of the agony of each of the eighty-three stings he’s sampled so far (from below 1 to an excruciatingly painful 4), Schmidt describes them in prose worthy of a professional wine critic: "Looks deceive. Rich and full-bodied in appearance, but flavorless" and "Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a three-inch nail embedded in your heel." Schmidt explains that, for some insects, stinging is used for hunting: small wasps, for example, can paralyze huge caterpillars and then lay their eggs inside so that their larvae can feast within. Others are used to kill competing insects, even members of their own species. Humans usually experience stings as defensive maneuvers used by insects to protect their nest mates. With colorful descriptions of each venom’s sensation and a story that leaves you tingling with awe, The Sting of the Wild’s one-of-a-kind style will fire your imagination.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (333.823 Se677g )
Publication Date: 2016-02-23
Gary Sernovitz leads a double life. A typical New York liberal, he is also an oilman - a fact his left-leaning friends let slide until the word "fracking" entered popular parlance. "How can you frack?" they suddenly demanded, aghast. But for Sernovitz, the real question is, "What happens if we don't?" Fracking has become a four-letter word to environmentalists. But most people don't know what it means. In his fast-paced, funny, and lively book, Sernovitz explains the reality of fracking: what it is, how it can be made safer, and how the oil business works. He also tells the bigger story. Fracking was just one part of a shale revolution that shocked our assumptions about fueling America's future. The revolution has transformed the world with consequences for the oil industry, investors, environmentalists, political leaders, and anyone who lives in areas shaped by the shales, uses fossil fuels, or cares about the climate - in short, everyone. Thanks to American engineers' oilfield innovations, the United States is leading the world in reducing carbon emissions, has sparked a potential manufacturing renaissance, and may soon eliminate its dependence on foreign energy. Once again the largest oil and gas producer in the world, America has altered its balance of power with Russia and the Middle East. Yet the shale revolution has also caused local disruptions and pollution. It has prolonged the world's use of fossil fuels. Is there any way to reconcile the costs with the benefits of fracking? To do so, we must start by understanding fracking and the shale revolution in their totality.The Green and the Black bridges the gap in America's energy education. With an insider's firsthand knowledge and unprecedented clarity, Sernovitz introduces readers to the shales - a history-upturning "Internet of oil" - tells the stories of the shale revolution's essential characters, and addresses all the central controversies. To capture the economic, political, and environmental prizes, we need to adopt a balanced, informed perspective. We need to take the green with the black. Where we go from there is up to us.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (577.51 An2329n )
Publication Date: 2015-05-01
Propelled by wings, fins, legs, and the wind, life has found a way to Minnesota's North Shore for more than twelve thousand years. Some plants and animals have taken up residence in the region's ancient mountains, others in its lakes and flowing rivers. Together, they weave a living fabric of sublime and fascinating beauty. These organisms come to life in North Shore, a comprehensive environmental history of one of Minnesota's most beloved places. The story of this region unfolds through the five interconnected areas of Minnesota's North Shore watershed--the meandering rivers of the Headwaters, the deep and dense forest of the Highlands, the rocky Nearshore, the drama of Lake Superior, and its mysterious islands, including Isle Royale and Susie Island archipelagos. Each section begins with an overview of the forces that have shaped the area, then the focus turns to a wide range of inhabitants, such as chorus frogs and star-nosed moles, butterworts and coaster brook trout, jeweled diatoms and pitcher plants, black bears and blue-spotted salamanders. Each chapter links to the region's broader history, from the sculpting of the land by mile-high glaciers to the role of scientific exploration, the advent of logging, the development of tourism, and the changing global climate. North Shore reminds us that the natural history of this extraordinary region is still being created and that each of us--individually and collectively--are the authors of this ongoing narrative. Compelling and accessible, the book will provide readers with a science-based knowledge of the Minnesota North Shore watershed so that together we can write a new, hopeful chapter for its inhabitants, both human and wild.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (523.1 T988w )
Publication Date: 2016-09-20
Welcome to the Universe is a personal guided tour of the cosmos by three of today's leading astrophysicists. Inspired by the enormously popular introductory astronomy course that Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss, and J. Richard Gott taught together at Princeton, this book covers it all--from planets, stars, and galaxies to black holes, wormholes, and time travel. Describing the latest discoveries in astrophysics, the informative and entertaining narrative propels you from our home solar system to the outermost frontiers of space. How do stars live and die? Why did Pluto lose its planetary status? What are the prospects of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe? How did the universe begin? Why is it expanding and why is its expansion accelerating? Is our universe alone or part of an infinite multiverse? Answering these and many other questions, the authors open your eyes to the wonders of the cosmos, sharing their knowledge of how the universe works. Breathtaking in scope and stunningly illustrated throughout, Welcome to the Universe is for those who hunger for insights into our evolving universe that only world-class astrophysicists can provide.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (591.5 F6631a )
Publication Date: 2016-04-12
America’s Great Plains once possessed one of the grandest wildlife spectacles of the world, equaled only by such places as the Serengeti, the Masai Mara, or the veld of South Africa. Pronghorn antelope, gray wolves, bison, coyotes, wild horses, and grizzly bears: less than two hundred years ago these creatures existed in such abundance that John James Audubon was moved to write, “it is impossible to describe or even conceive the vast multitudes of these animals.” In a work that is at once a lyrical evocation of that lost splendor and a detailed natural history of these charismatic species of the historic Great Plains, veteran naturalist and outdoorsman Dan Flores draws a vivid portrait of each of these animals in their glory—and tells the harrowing story of what happened to them at the hands of market hunters and ranchers and ultimately a federal killing program in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Great Plains with its wildlife intact dazzled Americans and Europeans alike, prompting numerous literary tributes. American Serengeti takes its place alongside these celebratory works, showing us the grazers and predators of the plains against the vast opalescent distances, the blue mountains shimmering on the horizon, the great rippling tracts of yellowed grasslands. Far from the empty “flyover country” of recent times, this landscape is alive with a complex ecology at least 20,000 years old—a continental patrimony whose wonders may not be entirely lost, as recent efforts hold out hope of partial restoration of these historic species. Written by an author who has done breakthrough work on the histories of several of these animals—including bison, wild horses, and coyotes—American Serengeti is as rigorous in its research as it is intimate in its sense of wonder—the most deeply informed, closely observed view we have of the Great Plains’ wild heritage.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (597.15 B189w )
Publication Date: 2016-06-07
ANew York Times Bestseller Do fishes think? Do they really have three-second memories? And can they recognize the humans who peer back at them from above the surface of the water? InWhat a Fish Knows, the myth-busting ethologist Jonathan Balcombe addresses these questions and more, taking us under the sea, through streams and estuaries, and to the other side of the aquarium glass to reveal the surprising capabilities of fishes. Although there are more than thirty thousand species of fish—more than all mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians combined—we rarely consider how individual fishes think, feel, and behave. Balcombe upends our assumptions about fishes, portraying them not asunfeeling, dead-eyed feeding machines but as sentient, aware, social, and even Machiavellian—in other words, much like us. What a Fish Knows draws on the latest science to present a fresh look at these remarkable creatures in all their breathtaking diversity and beauty. Fishes conduct elaborate courtship rituals and develop lifelong bonds with shoalmates. They also plan, hunt cooperatively, use tools, curry favor, deceive one another, and punish wrongdoers. We may imagine that fishes lead simple, fleeting lives—a mode of existence that boils down to a place on the food chain, rote spawning, and lots of aimless swimming. But, as Balcombe demonstrates, the truth is far richer and more complex, worthy of the grandest social novel. Highlighting breakthrough discoveries from fish enthusiasts and scientists around the world and pondering his own encounters with fishes, Balcombe examines the fascinating means by which fishes gain knowledge of the places they inhabit, from shallow tide pools to the deepest reaches of the ocean. Teeming with insights and exciting discoveries,What a Fish Knows offers a thoughtful appraisal of our relationships with fishes and inspires us to take a more enlightened view of the planet’s increasingly imperiled marine life.What a Fish Knows will forever change how we see our aquatic cousins—the pet goldfish included.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (333.72 H7833r )
Publication Date: 2016-09-06
Many of the men and women doing today’s most consequential environmental work—restoring America’s grasslands, wildlife, soil, rivers, wetlands, and oceans—would not call themselves environmentalists; they would be too uneasy with the connotations of that word. What drives them is their deep love of the land: the iconic terrain where explorers and cowboys, pioneers and riverboat captains forged the American identity. They feel a moral responsibility to preserve this heritage and natural wealth, to ensure that their families and communities will continue to thrive. Unfolding as a journey down the Mississippi River, Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman tells the stories of five representatives of this stewardship movement: a Montana rancher, a Kansas farmer, a Mississippi riverman, a Louisiana shrimper, and a Gulf fisherman. In exploring their work and family histories and the essential geographies they protect, Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman challenges pervasive and powerful myths about American and environmental values.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (576.8 B3979p )
Publication Date: 2016-05-24
The Physics of Life explores the roots of the big question by examining the deepest urges and properties of living things, both animate and inanimate: how to live longer, with food, warmth, power, movement and free access to other people and surroundings. Bejan explores controversial and relevant issues such as sustainability, water and food supply, fuel, and economy, to critique the state in which the world understands positions of power and freedom. Breaking down concepts such as desire and power, sports health and culture, the state of economy, water and energy, politics and distribution, Bejan uses the language of physics to explain how each system works in order to clarify the meaning of evolution in its broadest scientific sense, moving the reader towards a better understanding of the world's systems and the natural evolution of cultural and political development. The Physics of Lifeargues that the evolution phenomenon is much broader and older than the evolutionary designs that constitute the biosphere, empowering readers with a new view of the globe and the future, revealing that the urge to have better ideas has the same physical effect as the urge to have better laws and better government. This is evolution explained loudly but also elegantly, forging a path that flows sustainability.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (338.97306 C6798c )
Publication Date: 2016-05-25
In Courting Science, Damon Coletta offers a novel explanation for the decline of American leadership in world affairs. Whether the American Century ends sooner rather than later may depend on America's capacity for self-reflection and, ultimately, self-restraint when it comes to science, technology, and engineering. Democracy's affinity for advanced technology has to be balanced against scientific research and progress as a global enterprise. In an era of rising challengers to America's lead in the international order and an increasingly globalized civil society, a "Scientific State" has a better chance of extending its dominance. In order to draw closer to this ideal, though, the United States will have to reconsider its grand strategy. It must have a strategy that scrutinizes how tightly it constrains, how narrowly it directs, and how far it trusts American scientists. If given the opportunity, scientists have the potential to lead a second American Century through domestic science and technology policy, international diplomacy, and transnational networks for global governance.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (577 K871w )
Publication Date: 2016-05-25
Global temperatures and seawater levels rise; the world's smallest porpoise species looms at the edge of extinction; and a tiny emerald beetle from Japan flourishes in North America--but why does it matter? Who cares? With this concise, accessible, and up-to-date book, Charles J. Krebs answers critics and enlightens students and environmental advocates alike, revealing not why phenomena like these deserve our attention, but why they demand it. Highlighting key principles in ecology--from species extinction to the sun's role in powering ecosystems--each chapter introduces a general question, illustrates that question with real-world examples, and links it to pressing ecological issues in which humans play a central role, such as the spread of invasive species, climate change, overfishing, and biodiversity conservation. While other introductions to ecology are rooted in complex theory, math, or practice and relegate discussions of human environmental impacts and their societal implications to sidebars and appendices, Why Ecology Matters interweaves these important discussions throughout. It is a book rooted in our contemporary world, delving into ecological issues that are perennial, timeless, but could not be more timely.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (363.7384 M36p )
Publication Date: 2015-11-06
“Presto! No More Pests!” proclaimed a 1955 article introducing two new pesticides, "miracle-workers for the housewife and back-yard farmer." Easy to use, effective, and safe: who wouldn’t love synthetic pesticides? Apparently most Americans did—and apparently still do. Why—in the face of dire warnings, rising expense, and declining effectiveness—do we cling to our chemicals? Michelle Mart wondered. Her book, a cultural history of pesticide use in postwar America, offers an answer. America's embrace of synthetic pesticides began when they burst on the scene during World War II and has held steady into the 21st century—for example, more than 90% of soybeans grown in the US in 2008 are Roundup Ready GMOs, dependent upon generous use of the herbicide glyphosate to control weeds. Mart investigates the attraction of pesticides, with their up-to-the-minute promise of modernity, sophisticated technology, and increased productivity—in short, their appeal to human dreams of controlling nature. She also considers how they reinforced Cold War assumptions of Western economic and material superiority. Though the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and the rise of environmentalism might have marked a turning point in Americans’ faith in pesticides, statistics tell a different story. Pesticides, a Love Story recounts the campaign against DDT that famously ensued; but the book also shows where our notions of Silent Spring’s revolutionary impact falter—where, in spite of a ban on DDT, farm use of pesticides in the United States more than doubled in the thirty years after the book was published. As a cultural survey of popular and political attitudes toward pesticides, Pesticides, a Love Story tries to make sense of this seeming paradox. At heart, it is an exploration of the story we tell ourselves about the costs and benefits of pesticides—and how corporations, government officials, ordinary citizens, and the press shape that story to reflect our ideals, interests, and emotions.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (579 F189L )
Publication Date: 2016-11-22
For almost four billion years, microbes had the primordial oceans all to themselves. The stewards of Earth, these organisms transformed the chemistry of our planet to make it habitable for plants, animals, and us. Life's Engines takes readers deep into the microscopic world to explore how these marvelous creatures made life on Earth possible--and how human life today would cease to exist without them. Paul Falkowski looks "under the hood" of microbes to find the engines of life, the actual working parts that do the biochemical heavy lifting for every living organism on Earth. With insight and humor, he explains how these miniature engines are built--and how they have been appropriated by and assembled like Lego sets within every creature that walks, swims, or flies. Falkowski shows how evolution works to maintain this core machinery of life, and how we and other animals are veritable conglomerations of microbes. A vibrantly entertaining book about the microbes that support our very existence, Life's Engines will inspire wonder about these elegantly complex nanomachines that have driven life since its origin. It also issues a timely warning about the dangers of tinkering with that machinery to make it more "efficient" at meeting the ever-growing demands of humans in the coming century.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (363.7072 Af89 )
Publication Date: 2015-03-25
From John Muir to David Brower, from the creation of Yellowstone National Park to the Endangered Species Act, environmentalism in America has always had close to its core a preservationist ideal. Generations have been inspired by its ethos--to encircle nature with our protection, to keep it apart, pristine, walled against the march of human development. But we have to face the facts. Accelerating climate change, rapid urbanization, agricultural and industrial devastation, metastasizing fire regimes, and other quickening anthropogenic forces all attest to the same truth: the earth is now spinning through the age of humans. After Preservation takes stock of the ways we have tried to both preserve and exploit nature to ask a direct but profound question: what is the role of preservationism in an era of seemingly unstoppable human development, in what some have called the Anthropocene? Ben A. Minteer and Stephen J. Pyne bring together a stunning consortium of voices comprised of renowned scientists, historians, philosophers, environmental writers, activists, policy makers, and land managers to negotiate the incredible challenges that environmentalism faces. Some call for a new, post-preservationist model, one that is far more pragmatic, interventionist, and human-centered. Others push forcefully back, arguing for a more chastened and restrained vision of human action on the earth. Some try to establish a middle ground, while others ruminate more deeply on the meaning and value of wilderness. Some write on species lost, others on species saved, and yet others discuss the enduring practical challenges of managing our land, water, and air. From spirited optimism to careful prudence to critical skepticism, the resulting range of approaches offers an inspiring contribution to the landscape of modern environmentalism, one driven by serious, sustained engagements with the critical problems we must solve if we--and the wild garden we may now keep--are going to survive the era we have ushered in. Contributors include: Chelsea K. Batavia, F. Stuart (Terry) Chapin III, Norman L. Christensen, Jamie Rappaport Clark, William Wallace Covington, Erle C. Ellis, Mark Fiege, Dave Foreman, Harry W. Greene, Emma Marris, Michelle Marvier, Bill McKibben, J. R. McNeill, Curt Meine, Ben A. Minteer, Michael Paul Nelson, Bryan Norton, Stephen J. Pyne, Andrew C. Revkin, Holmes Rolston III, Amy Seidl, Jack Ward Thomas, Diane J. Vosick, John A. Vucetich, Hazel Wong, and Donald Worster.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (578.62 P3146n )
Publication Date: 2016-04-05
Named one of the best books of 2015 by The Economist A provocative exploration of the "new ecology" and why most of what we think we know about alien species is wrong For a long time, veteran environmental journalist Fred Pearce thought in stark terms about invasive species: they were the evil interlopers spoiling pristine "natural" ecosystems. Most conservationists and environmentalists share this view. But what if the traditional view of ecology is wrong--what if true environmentalists should be applauding the invaders? In The New Wild, Pearce goes on a journey across six continents to rediscover what conservation in the twenty-first century should be about. Pearce explores ecosystems from remote Pacific islands to the United Kingdom, from San Francisco Bay to the Great Lakes, as he digs into questionable estimates of the cost of invader species and reveals the outdated intellectual sources of our ideas about the balance of nature. Pearce acknowledges that there are horror stories about alien species disrupting ecosystems, but most of the time, the tens of thousands of introduced species usually swiftly die out or settle down and become model eco-citizens. The case for keeping out alien species, he finds, looks increasingly flawed. As Pearce argues, mainstream environmentalists are right that we need a rewilding of the earth, but they are wrong if they imagine that we can achieve that by reengineering ecosystems. Humans have changed the planet too much, and nature never goes backward. But a growing group of scientists is taking a fresh look at how species interact in the wild. According to these new ecologists, we should applaud the dynamism of alien species and the novel ecosystems they create. In an era of climate change and widespread ecological damage, it is absolutely crucial that we find ways to help nature regenerate. Embracing the new ecology, Pearce shows us, is our best chance. To be an environmentalist in the twenty-first century means celebrating nature's wildness and capacity for change. From the Hardcover edition.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (577.727 W4342m )
Publication Date: 2014-11-03
Marine pollution occurs today in varied forms--chemical, industrial, and agricultural-and the sources of pollution are endless. In recent history, we've seen oil spills, untreated sewage, eutrophication, invasive species, heavy metals, acidification, radioactive substances, marine litter, and overfishing, among other significant problems. Though marine pollution has long been a topic of concern, it has very recently exploded in environmental, economic, and political debate circles; scientists and non-scientists alike continue to be shocked and dismayed at the sheer diversity of water pollutants and the many ways they can come to harm our environment and our bodies. In Marine Pollution: What Everyone Needs to Know, Judith Weis covers marine pollution from numerous angles, each fascinating in its own right. Beginning with its sources and history, she discusses common pollutants, why they are harmful, why they cause controversy, and how we can prevent them from destroying our aquatic ecosystems. Questions ask what actually happened with the Exxon Valdez, and why harmful algal blooms are a serious concern. Covering pollutants that are only now surfacing as major threats, such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and metal nanoparticles, she explains how these can begin in the water and progress up the food chain to emerge in human bodies. Looking at the effects of climate change and acidification on marine pollution levels, we learn how we can begin to reduce pollution at the local and global levels.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (333.95 B9118c )
Publication Date: 2016-06-14
"Tracing the arc of evolutionary history, biologist William C. Burger shows that cooperation and symbiosis have played a critical role in the ever increasing complexity of life on earth. Life may have started from the evolution of cooperating organic molecules, which outpaced their noncooperating neighbors. A prime example of symbiosis was the early incorporation of mitochondria into the eukaryotic cell (through a process called "endosymbiosis"). This event gave these cells a powerful new source of energy. Later, cooperation was again key when millions to trillions of individual eukaryotic cells eventually came together to build the unitary structures of large plants and animals. And cooperation between individuals of the same species resulted in complex animal societies, such as ant colonies and bee hives. Turning to our own species, the author argues that our ability to cooperate, along with incessant inter-group conflict, has driven the advancement of cultures, the elaboration of our technologies, and made us the most "invasive" species on the planet. But our very success has now become a huge problem, as our world dominion threatens the future of the biosphere and confronts us with a very uncertain future. Thought-provoking and full of fascinating detail, this eloquently told story of life on earth and our place within it presents a grand perspective and raises many important questions."
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (571.6 C3529c )
Publication Date: 2015-10-16
The cell is the basic building block of life. In its 3.5 billion years on the planet, it has proven to be a powerhouse, spreading life first throughout the seas, then across land, developing the rich and complex diversity of life that populates the planet today. With The Cell: A Visual Tour of the Building Block of Life, Jack Challoner treats readers to a visually stunning tour of these remarkable molecular machines. Most of the living things we're familiar with--the plants in our gardens, the animals we eat--are composed of billions or trillions of cells. Most multicellular organisms consist of many different types of cells, each highly specialized to play a particular role--from building bones or producing the pigment in flower petals to fighting disease or sensing environmental cues. But the great majority of living things on our planet exist as single cell. These cellular singletons are every bit as successful and diverse as multicellular organisms, and our very existence relies on them. The book is an authoritative yet accessible account of what goes on inside every living cell--from building proteins and producing energy to making identical copies of themselves--and the importance of these chemical reactions both on the familiar everyday scale and on the global scale. Along the way, Challoner sheds light on many of the most intriguing questions guiding current scientific research: What special properties make stem cells so promising in the treatment of injury and disease? How and when did single-celled organisms first come together to form multicellular ones? And how might scientists soon be prepared to build on the basic principles of cell biology to build similar living cells from scratch.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (155.915 K543f )
Publication Date: 2016-03-01
Facing Climate Change explains why people refuse to accept evidence of a warming planet and shows how to move past partisanship to reach a consensus for action. A climate scientist and licensed Jungian analyst, Jeffrey T. Kiehl examines the psychological phenomena that twist our relationship to the natural world and their role in shaping the cultural beliefs that distance us further from nature. He also accounts for the emotions triggered by the lived experience of climate change and the feelings of fear and loss they inspire, which lead us to deny the reality of our warming planet. But it is not too late. By evaluating our way of being, Kiehl unleashes a potential human emotional understanding that can reform our behavior and help protect the Earth. Kiehl dives deep into the human brain's psychological structures and human spirituality's imaginative power, mining promising resources for creating a healthier connection to the environment-and one another. Facing Climate Change is as concerned with repairing our social and political fractures as it is with reestablishing our ties to the world, teaching us to push past partisanship and unite around the shared attributes that are key to our survival. Kiehl encourages policy makers and activists to appeal to our interdependence as a global society, extracting politics from the process and making decisions about our climate future that are substantial and sustaining.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (599.097 K184m )
Publication Date: 2009-11-29
The best-selling field guide that "sets new standards" (New Scientist) and "makes all other field guides for mammals of the United States. . . and Canada obsolete" (Journal of Mammalogy) is now even better. Covering 20 species recognized since 2002 and including 13 new color plates, this fully revised edition of Mammals of North America illustrates all 462 known mammal species in the United States and Canada--each in beautiful color and accurate detail. With a more up-to-date species list than any other guide, improved facing-page descriptions, easier-to-read distribution maps, updated common and scientific names, and track and scat illustrations, this slim, light, and easy-to-use volume is the must-have source for identifying North American mammals. Roland Kays and Don Wilson have scoured the technical literature to pull out the key differences between similar species, and illustrated these whenever possible, making the guide useful to amateur naturalists and professional zoologists alike. Casual animal watchers will appreciate the overview of mammal diversity and the tips on identifying animals they can spy in their binoculars, while scientists will appreciate the exacting detail needed to distinguish similar species, including illustrations of shrew teeth, bat toes, and whale dorsal fins. The best-illustrated and easiest-to-use field guide to North American mammals Beautiful and accurate color illustrations of all 462 mammals found in the United States and Canada--including 20 species recognized since 2002 112 color plates--including 13 new ones Key identification information--fully revised--on facing pages The most current taxonomy/species list Fully revised, easy-to-read range maps Illustrations of tracks, scat, and whale and dolphin dive sequences
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (509.252 Sw12h )
Publication Date: 2015-04-07
"In March 2013, the New York Times published an obituary for Yvonne Brill. It began: "She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job, and took eight years off from work to raise three children." It wasn't until the second paragraph that readers discovered why the Times had devoted several hundred words to her life: Brill was a brilliant rocket scientist who invented a propulsion system to keep communications satellites in orbit, and had recently been awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The obituary--and consequent outcry in response--highlighted not only that women in science are often treated with less respect than their male counterparts, but also that there are still so few women in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and medicine). This is in part because they are lacking the critical encouragement and support they need to help them advance. Headstrong delivers a powerful and entertaining response to the question: Who are the role models for today's female scientists? Covering Nobel Prize winners and major innovators, as well as lesser-known but hugely significant scientists who influence our
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (130 W39o )
Publication Date: 2015-11-19
A tour through the new science of the Omniverse, its spiritual and physical dimensions, and its incalculable intelligent civilizations • Reveals the key travel and communication technologies of the Omniverse: time travel, teleportation, and telepathy • Unveils newly disclosed state secrets about these technologies, about the findings of the NASA Mars rover missions, and about a secret colony and life on Mars • Explains through science how souls are holographic fragments of God and how they help create planets, solar systems, galaxies, and universes in the multiverse We are all citizens of the Omniverse, the overarching matrix of energy, spirit, and intelligence that encompasses all that exists: all universes within the multiverse as well as the spiritual dimensions centered on the divine Source that many call God. In this scientific guide to the Omniverse, Alfred Lambremont Webre reveals startling replicable evidence about extraterrestrial and extra-universal life, the intelligent civilizations created by souls in the afterlife, top-secret alien technology, and the existence of a secret base as well as life on Mars. The author explains how our souls are holographic fragments of God/Source and how souls and Source are co-creating planets and galaxies as virtual realities for soul development. He addresses Grey alien control over soul reincarnation and also sheds light on the presence of invisible hyperdimensional controllers known as the Archons, who feed off negative energy. Revealing the key technologies of the Omniverse, the author explains how hyperdimensional civilizations communicate telepathically, teleport interdimensionally, and travel through time. He unveils newly disclosed state secrets about government possession of these technologies, the findings of the NASA Mars rover missions, and the secret Mars colony whose permanent security personnel is age-reversed and shot back through time to their specific space-time origin points--with their memories blocked. Integrating science and spirituality, this map of the dimensions of the Omniverse sounds the call for scientific inquiry into the holographic origins of the soul, the potential of time travel, and our role as divine co-creators with Source.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (305.3 R755e )
Publication Date: 2013-09-14
In this innovative celebration of diversity and affirmation of individuality in animals and humans, Joan Roughgarden challenges accepted wisdom about gender identity and sexual orientation. A distinguished evolutionary biologist, Roughgarden takes on the medical establishment, the Bible, social science--and even Darwin himself. She leads the reader through a fascinating discussion of diversity in gender and sexuality among fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals, including primates. Evolution's Rainbow explains how this diversity develops from the action of genes and hormones and how people come to differ from each other in all aspects of body and behavior. Roughgarden reconstructs primary science in light of feminist, gay, and transgender criticism and redefines our understanding of sex, gender, and sexuality. Witty, playful, and daring, this book will revolutionize our understanding of sexuality. Roughgarden argues that principal elements of Darwinian sexual selection theory are false and suggests a new theory that emphasizes social inclusion and control of access to resources and mating opportunity. She disputes a range of scientific and medical concepts, including Wilson's genetic determinism of behavior, evolutionary psychology, the existence of a gay gene, the role of parenting in determining gender identity, and Dawkins's "selfish gene" as the driver of natural selection. She dares social science to respect the agency and rationality of diverse people; shows that many cultures across the world and throughout history accommodate people we label today as lesbian, gay, and transgendered; and calls on the Christian religion to acknowledge the Bible's many passages endorsing diversity in gender and sexuality. Evolution's Rainbow concludes with bold recommendations for improving education in biology, psychology, and medicine; for democratizing genetic engineering and medical practice; and for building a public monument to affirm diversity as one of our nation's defining principles.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (629.892 M3421m )
Publication Date: 2015-08-25
As robots are increasingly integrated into modern society—on the battlefield and the road, in business, education, and health—Pulitzer-Prize-winning New York Times science writer John Markoff searches for an answer to one of the most important questions of our age: will these machines help us, or will they replace us? In the past decade alone, Google introduced us to driverless cars, Apple debuted a personal assistant that we keep in our pockets, and an Internet of Things connected the smaller tasks of everyday life to the farthest reaches of the internet. There is little doubt that robots are now an integral part of society, and cheap sensors and powerful computers will ensure that, in the coming years, these robots will soon act on their own. This new era offers the promise of immense computing power, but it also reframes a question first raised more than half a century ago, at the birth of the intelligent machine: Will we control these systems, or will they control us? In Machines of Loving Grace, New York Times reporter John Markoff, the first reporter to cover the World Wide Web, offers a sweeping history of the complicated and evolving relationship between humans and computers. Over the recent years, the pace of technological change has accelerated dramatically, reintroducing this difficult ethical quandary with newer and far weightier consequences. As Markoff chronicles the history of automation, from the birth of the artificial intelligence and intelligence augmentation communities in the 1950s, to the modern day brain trusts at Google and Apple in Silicon Valley, and on to the expanding tech corridor between Boston and New York, he traces the different ways developers have addressed this fundamental problem and urges them to carefully consider the consequences of their work. We are on the verge of a technological revolution, Markoff argues, and robots will profoundly transform the way our lives are organized. Developers must now draw a bright line between what is human and what is machine, or risk upsetting the delicate balance between them.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (612.84 P2286c )
Publication Date: 2016-09-01
This thought-provoking book examines life before there was vision and considers how it changed when the image-forming eye evolved. It goes back to the earliest life on Earth to trace the evolution of vision and color in nature. For color to exist there needs to be light, an image-forming eye, and a brain to process the data. We know that more than 543 million years ago there were no image-forming eyes, only basic light receptors that allowed organisms to tell the difference between light and dark. We also know that about two million years later there were roughly six major groups of animals in existence. It was not until just 20 million years later -- a blink of the eye in evolutionary history -- that there were 38 groups, about the same number that exists today. This dramatic and rapid increase may be explained by the evolution of image-forming eyes. With the world suddenly in focus for many species, and with an ability to perceive color, the benefit of being able to hide oneself, appear threatening or attractive, and communicate with one's own species or others, became much more acute. The better the vision, the greater the chance of survival. Drawing on spectacular specimens from the collections of London's Museum of Natural History, Color and Vision looks at the evolution of the eye, the uses of color in nature, from a warning or disguise to an irresistible invitation, and explains how color works. From the first race between hunters and hunted, to the rich color of today's natural world, it traces the intertwined evolutionary history of color and vision. Color and Vision is an essential selection that will be of interest to popular science and natural history readers, amateur naturalists, and researchers.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (507.11 K795r )
Publication Date: 2015-02-15
The undergraduate years are a turning point in producing scientifically literate citizens and future scientists and engineers. Evidence from research about how students learn science and engineering shows that teaching strategies that motivate and engage students will improve their learning. So how do students best learn science and engineering? Are there ways of thinking that hinder or help their learning process? Which teaching strategies are most effective in developing their knowledge and skills? And how can practitioners apply these strategies to their own courses or suggest new approaches within their departments or institutions? "Reaching Students" strives to answer these questions. "Reaching Students" presents the best thinking to date on teaching and learning undergraduate science and engineering. Focusing on the disciplines of astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, geosciences, and physics, this book is an introduction to strategies to try in your classroom or institution. Concrete examples and case studies illustrate how experienced instructors and leaders have applied evidence-based approaches to address student needs, encouraged the use of effective techniques within a department or an institution, and addressed the challenges that arose along the way. The research-based strategies in "Reaching Students" can be adopted or adapted by instructors and leaders in all types of public or private higher education institutions. They are designed to work in introductory and upper-level courses, small and large classes, lectures and labs, and courses for majors and non-majors. And these approaches are feasible for practitioners of all experience levels who are open to incorporating ideas from research and reflecting on their teaching practices. This book is an essential resource for enriching instruction and better educating students.
Call Number: Valley City State University 2nd Floor (616.042 M8968g )
Publication Date: 2016-05-17
THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies—a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information? Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices. Throughout the narrative, the story of Mukherjee’s own family—with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness—cuts like a bright, red line, reminding us of the many questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In superb prose and with an instinct for the dramatic scene, he describes the centuries of research and experimentation—from Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Morgan to Crick, Watson and Franklin, all the way through the revolutionary twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome. As The New Yorker said of The Emperor of All Maladies, “It’s hard to think of many books for a general audience that have rendered any area of modern science and technology with such intelligence, accessibility, and compassion…An extraordinary achievement.” Riveting, revelatory, and magisterial history of a scientific idea coming to life, and an essential preparation for the moral complexity introduced by our ability to create or “write” the human genome, The Gene is a must-read for everyone concerned about the definition and future of humanity. This is the most crucial science of our time, intimately explained by a master.