Natural World Hero Image
Natural World
Butterflies of Pennsylvania Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780822964551
Pub Date: 25 May 2017
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
How do you tell a Striped Hairstreak butterfly from a Regal Fritillary butterfly? By using Butterflies of Pennsylvania, the most comprehensive, user-friendly field guide to date of all of the species ever recorded within Pennsylvania's 46,056 square miles. Over 900 brilliant color photographs illustrate both the upper and under side of male and female specimens of each species, including skippers. Information on distinguishing marks, traits, wingspan, habitat, larval host plants, and handy facts offer assistance for field identification. The images depict the species in their native environments, as well as finely detailed museum-quality mounted specimens. County-by-county maps show where each species has been recorded within the state, and graphs detail when they are present and most likely to be seen. Butterflies are arguably the most recognized, studied, and beloved of all insects. They are essential to healthy ecosystems, agricultural viability, and ultimately human and animal survival. Butterflies of Pennsylvania will serve as a handy reference for a broad readership including students and educators, backyard butterfly enthusiasts and gardeners, conservationists and naturalists, public and school libraries, entomologists, lepidopterists, and butterfly watchers in general.
Engineering the Environment Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780822944744
Pub Date: 10 May 2017
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Promising an end to global hunger and political instability, huge climate-controlled laboratories known as phytotrons spread around the world to thirty countries after the Second World War. The United States built nearly a dozen, including the first at Caltech in 1949. Made possible by computers and other novel greenhouse technologies of the early Cold War, phytotrons enabled plant scientists to experiment on the environmental causes of growth and development of living organisms. Subsequently, they turned biologists into technologists who, in their pursuit of knowledge about plants, also set out to master the machines that controlled their environment.Engineering the Environment tells the forgotten story of a research program that revealed the shape of the environment, the limits of growth and development, and the limits of human control over complex technological systems. As support and funding for basic science dwindled in the mid-1960s, phytotrons declined and ultimately disappeared—until, nearly thirty years later, the British built the Ecotron to study the impact of climate change on biological communities. By revisiting this history of phytotrons, David Munns reminds us of the vital role they can play in helping researchers unravel the complexities of natural ecosystems in the Anthropocene.
Kentucky Heirloom Seeds Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780813168876
Pub Date: 31 Mar 2017
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Saving seeds to plant for next year's crop has been key to survival around the globe for millennia. However, the twentieth century witnessed a grand takeover of seed producers by multinational companies aiming to select varieties ideal for mechanical harvest, long-distance transportation, and long shelf life. With the rise of the Slow Food and farm-to-table movements in recent years, the farmers and home gardeners who have been quietly persisting in the age-old habit of conserving heirloom plants are finally receiving credit for their vital role in preserving both good taste and the world's rich food heritage. Kentucky Heirloom Seeds: Growing, Eating, Saving is an evocative exploration of the seed saver's art and the practice of sustainable agriculture. Bill Best and Dobree Adams begin by tracing the roots of the tradition in the state to a 700-year-old Native American farming village in north central Kentucky. Best shares tips for planting and growing beans and describes his family's favorite varieties for the table. Featuring interviews with many people who have worked to preserve heirloom varieties, this book vividly documents the social relevance of the rituals of sowing, cultivating, eating, saving, and sharing.
Imagined Empire, The Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 456
ISBN: 9780822944652
Pub Date: 28 Feb 2017
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
The hot-air balloon, invented by the Montgolfier brothers in 1783, launched for the second time just days before the Treaty of Paris would end the American Revolutionary War. The ascent in Paris—a technological marvel witnessed by a diverse crowd that included Benjamin Franklin—highlighted celebrations of French military victory against Britain and ignited a balloon mania that swept across Europe at the end of the Enlightenment. This popular frenzy for balloon experiments, which attracted hundreds of thousands of spectators, fundamentally altered the once elite audience for science by bringing aristocrats and commoners together.The Imagined Empire explores how this material artifact, the flying machine, not only expanded the public for science and spectacle but inspired utopian dreams of a republican monarchy that would obliterate social boundaries. The balloon, Mi Gyung Kim argues, was a people-machine, a cultural performance that unified and mobilized the people of France, who imagined an aerial empire that would bring glory to the French nation. This critical history of ballooning considers how a relatively simple mechanical gadget became an explosive cultural and political phenomenon on the eve of the French Revolution.
Scientific Pluralism Reconsidered Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9780822944584
Pub Date: 31 Jan 2017
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Can we expect our scientific theories to make up a unified structure, or do they form a kind of "patchwork" whose pieces remain independent from each other? Does the proliferation of sometimes-incompatible representations of the same phenomenon compromise the ability of science to deliver reliable knowledge? Is there a single correct way to classify things that science should try to discover, or is taxonomic pluralism here to stay? These questions are at the heart of philosophical debate on the unity or plurality of science, one of the most central issues in philosophy of science today. This book offers a critical overview and a new structure of this debate. It focuses on the methodological, epistemic, and metaphysical commitments of various philosophical attitudes surrounding monism and pluralism, and offers novel perspectives and pluralist theses on scientific methods and objects, reductionism, plurality of representations, natural kinds, and scientific classifications.
Life Organic, The Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780822944669
Pub Date: 13 Jan 2017
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
As scientists debated the nature of life in the nineteenth century, two theories predominated: vitalism, which suggested that living things contained a "vital spark," and mechanism, the idea that animals and humans differed from nonliving things only in their degree of complexity. Erik Peterson tells the forgotten story of the pursuit of a Third Way in biology, known by many names, including "the organic philosophy," which gave rise to C. H. Waddington's work in the subfield of epigenetics: an alternative to standard genetics and evolutionary biology that captured the attention of notable scientists from Francis Crick to Stephen Jay Gould. The Life Organic chronicles the influential biologists, mathematicians, philosophers, and biochemists from both sides of the Atlantic who formed Joseph Needham's Theoretical Biology Club, defined and refined Third-Way thinking through the 1930s, and laid the groundwork for some of the most cutting-edge achievements in biology today. By tracing the persistence of organicism into the twenty-first century, this book also raises significant questions about how we should model the development of the discipline of biology going forward.

Free Will and the Human Sciences in Britain, 1870-1910

Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780822964766
Pub Date: 16 Dec 2016
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
From the late nineteenth century onwards religion gave way to science as the dominant force in society. This led to a questioning of the principle of free will—if the workings of the human mind could be reduced to purely physiological explanations, then what place was there for human agency and self-improvement? Smith takes an in-depth look at the problem of free will through the prism of different disciplines. Physiology, psychology, philosophy, evolutionary theory, ethics, history and sociology all played a part in the debates that took place. His subtly nuanced navigation through these arguments has much to contribute to our understanding of Victorian and Edwardian science and culture, as well as having relevance to current debates on the role of genes in determining behaviour.
Snails Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781785705144
Pub Date: 15 Dec 2016
Imprint: Oxbow Books
The remains of snails in ancient soils and sediments are one of  the most important biological indicators of past landscapes, and have attracted study for well over a century. In spite of this,  the only English-language textbook was published in 1972 and is long since out of print. Snails provides a comprehensive, up to date reference text on the use of snails as indicators of past environments in Quaternary landscape studies and archaeology. It considers the use of terrestrial and freshwater sub-fossil snail  remains as indicators of Late Quaternary (c. last 15,000 years) environmental change and as indicators of past environments and human impacts on the landscape. The volume also demonstrates how an understanding of modern snail ecology can be used to enhance our interpretation of landscape archaeology, and provides a detailed contextual approach to the main types of deposits in  which snail remains are found. Davies also puts forward an agenda for future research on the use of snails in archaeological and environmental reconstruction.
The Ancient Yew Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 216
ISBN: 9781785700781
Pub Date: 30 Nov 2016
Imprint: Windgather Press
The gnarled, immutable yew tree is one of the most evocative sights in the British and Irish language, an evergreen impression of immortality, the tree that provides a living botanical link between our own landscapes and those of the distant past. This book tells the extraordinary story of the yew’s role in the landscape through the millennia, and makes a convincing case for the origins of many of the oldest trees, as markers of the holy places founded by Celtic saints in the early medieval ‘Dark Ages’.With wonderful photographic portraits of ancient yews and a gazetteer (with locations) of the oldest yew trees in Britain, the book brings together for the first time all the evidence about the dating, history, archaeology and cultural connections of the yew. Robert Bevan-Jones discusses its history, biology, the origins of its name, the yew berry and its toxicity, its distribution across Britain, means of dating examples, and their association with folklore, with churchyards, abbeys, springs, pre-Reformation wells and as landscape markers. This third edition has an updated introduction with new photographs and corrections to the main text.
Field Life Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 512
ISBN: 9780822944539
Pub Date: 25 Nov 2016
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Intersections: Histories of Environment
Field Life examines the practice of science in the field in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains of the American West between the 1860s and the 1910s, when the railroad was the dominant form of long-distance transportation. Grounded in approaches from environmental history and the history of technology, it emphasizes the material basis of scientific fieldwork, joining together the human labor that produced knowledge with the natural world in which those practices were embedded. Four distinct modes of field practice, which were shared by different field science disciplines, proliferated during this period—surveys, lay networks, quarries, and stations—and this book explores the dynamics that underpinned each of them. Using two diverse case studies to animate each mode of practice, as well as the making of the field as a place for science, Field Life combines textured analysis of specific examples of field science on the ground with wider discussion of the commonalities in the practices of a diverse array of field sciences, including the earth and physical sciences, the life and agricultural sciences, and the human sciences. By situating science in its regional environmental context, Field Life analyzes the intersection between the cosmopolitan knowledge of science and the experiential knowledge of people living in the field. Examples of field science in the Plains and Rockies range widely: geological surveys and weather observing networks, quarries to uncover dinosaur fossils and archaeological remains, and branch agricultural experiment stations and mountain biological field stations.
Communicating Physics Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780822964728
Pub Date: 18 Nov 2016
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
The textbooks written by Adolphe Ganot (1804-1887) played a major role in shaping the way physics was taught in the nineteenth century. Ganot's books were translated from their original French into more than ten languages, including English, allowing their adoption as standard works in Britain and spreading their influence as far as North America, Australia, India and Japan.Simon's Franco-British case study looks at the role of Ganot's two textbooks: Traite elementaire de physique experimentale et appliquee (1851) and Cours de physique purement experimentale (1859), and their translations into English by Edmund Atkinson. The study is novel for its international comparison of nineteenth-century physics, its acknowledgement of the role of book production on the impact of the titles, and for its emphasis on the role of communication in the making of science.
Archaeomalacology Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781785704598
Pub Date: 15 Oct 2016
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Proceedings of the 9th ICAZ Conference
Molluscs are the most common invertebrate remains found at archaeological sites, but archaeomalacology (the study of molluscs in archaeological contexts) is a relatively new archaeological discipline and the field of zooarchaeology is seen by many as one mainly focused on the remains of vertebrates. The papers in this volume hope to redress this balance, bringing molluscan studies into mainstream zooarchaeological and archaeological debate, and resulting in a monograph with a truly international flavour.
Biosphere to Lithosphere Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9781785704604
Pub Date: 15 Oct 2016
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Proceedings of the 9th ICAZ Conference
Taphonomic studies are a major methodological advance, the effects of which have been felt throughout archaeology. Zooarchaeologists and archaeobotanists were the first to realise how vital it was to study the entire process of how food enters the archaeological record, and taphonomy brought to a close the era when the study of animal bones and plant remains from archaeological sites were regarded mainly as environmental indicators.This volume is indicative of recent developments in taphonomic studies: hugely diverse research areas are being explored, many of which would have been totally unforeseeable only a quarter of a century ago.
Shades of Green Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 375
ISBN: 9781909686779
Pub Date: 30 Sep 2016
Imprint: Windgather Press
Sitka spruce has contributed to the Pacific Coast landscapes of North America for over ten millennia. For the Tlingit First Nationit is the most important tree in terms of spiritual relationships, art, and products in daily use such as canoes, containers, fish-traps and sweet cakes. Since the late nineteenth century it has also been the most important tree to the timber industry of west coast North America. This book takes a fresh look at Sitka spruce in Britain and Ireland, explaining the reasons it was introduced and why it became ubiquitous in the archipelagos of north-west Europe. The historical background to the modern use of Sitka spruce is explored. The lack of cultural reference may explain negative public response when tree-less uplands in the UK and reland were afforested with introduced conifer species, particularly Sitka spruce, following two World Wars. The multi-purpose forestry of today recognises that Sitka spruce is the most important tree to the timber industry and to a public which uses its many products but fails to recognise the link between growing trees and bought goods. The apparently featureless and wildlife-less Sitka spruce plantations in UK uplands are gradually developing recognisable ecological features. Sitka spruce has the potential to form temperate rainforests this century as well as to produce much-needed goods for society. The major contribution of Sitka spruce to landscapes and livelihoods in western North America is, by contrast, widely accepted. But conserving natural, old-growth forests, sustaining the needs of First Nations, and producing materials for the modern timber industry will be an intricate task.
Japan after 3/11 Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 496
ISBN: 9780813167305
Pub Date: 27 Sep 2016
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Series: Asia in the New Millennium
On March 11, 2011, an underwater earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, Japan, triggered one of the most devastating tsunamis of a generation. The aftermath was overwhelming: communities were reduced to rubble, thousands of people were missing or dead, and relief organizations struggled to reach affected areas to provide aid for survivors and victims of radiation from compromised nuclear reactors. In Japan after 3/11, editors Pradyumna P. Karan and Unryu Suganuma assemble geographers, economists, humanists, and scientists to consider the complex economic, physical, and social impacts of this heartbreaking disaster. Historical geographers place the events of March 2011 in context, while other contributors assess the damage and recommend strategies for the long process of reclamation and rebuilding. The book also includes interviews with victims that explore the social implications of radioactive contamination and invite comparisons to the discrimination faced by survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Balancing the natural and social sciences, this timely volume offers not only a model of interdisciplinary research for scholars but also an invaluable guide to the planning and implementation of reconstruction.

Medicine and Modernism

A Biography of Henry Head
Format: Paperback
Pages: 360
ISBN: 9780822964360
Pub Date: 16 Sep 2016
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
This is the first in-depth study of the English neurologist and polymath Sir Henry Head (1861-1940). Head bridged the gap between science and the arts. He was a published poet who had close links with such figures as Thomas Hardy and Siegfried Sassoon. His research into the nervous system and the relationship between language and the brain broke new ground. L. S. Jacyna argues that these advances must be contextualized within wider Modernist debates about perception and language. In his time, Head was best known for his research into the human nervous system. He did a series of experiments in collaboration with W. H. R. Rivers in which cutaneous nerves were surgically severed in Head's arm and the stages by which sensation returned were chartered over several years. Head's friend, the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, drew out the epistemological implications of how, in this new conception, the nervous system furthered the knowledge of the world.