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The Green Life: Book Roundup Wednesday: National Parks

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September 01, 2010

Book Roundup Wednesday: National Parks

Books about environmentalismEvery Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. This week, we're recommending books about national parks.

National Parks: The American Experience, 4th Edition (by Alfred Runte, $26, Taylor Trade Publishing, Mar. 2010) Runte, a prominent environmental historian, argues that America's national parks were not established for purposes of environmental protection but from a rising sense of nationalism. His book, an engaging and enlightening history of national park development, also contains beautiful color illustrations.

Stars Above, Earth Below: A Guide to Astronomy in the National Parks (by Tyler Nordgren, $20, Praxis, May 2010) With breathtaking photos of night skies, Nordgren weaves an equally beautiful narrative that links astronomy to geology and history. The book explores everything from star formations to the autumn moon, highlighting the intricate connections between the heavens, natural landscapes, and the human culture reflected in our national parks.

Knowing Yellowstone: Science in America's First National Park (edited by Jerry Johnson, $16, Taylor Trade Publishing, June 2010) Each chapter explores a specific research project at Yellowstone, and how its findings inform policy at the national park. Johnson's narration clearly depicts how scientists continue to work to understand one of the world's largest ecological refuges.

Adventures with the Parkers: An Adventure Series in National Parks (by Mike Graf and Marjorie Leggitt, $11, Fulcrum Publishing, 2010) From focusing on the Grand Canyon to Yosemite to Yellowstone, each book in this vibrant children's series goes on a journey with the Parker family foursome through a different U.S. national park. Each book is filled with nature facts and outdoor safety tips, and introduces kids to some of the environmental issues facing national parks.

J.B. Harkin: Father of Canada's National Parks (by E.J. Hart, $27, University of Alberta Press, Jan. 2009) This biography of James Bernard Harkin explores the life of a pioneer wildlife conservationist and major force behind Canada's national parks system.

--Allison McCann



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