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Gathering moss : a natural and cultural history of mosses /
by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
imprint
Corvallis : Oregon State University Press, c2003.
description
viii, 168 p. : ill.
ISBN
0870714996, 9780870714993
format(s)
Book
Holdings
Subjects
personal subject
More Details
imprint
Corvallis : Oregon State University Press, c2003.
isbn
0870714996
9780870714993
catalogue key
4791707
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Robin Wall Kimmerer is an Associate Professor on the faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Burroughs Medal, USA, 2005 : Won
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-11-01:
Kimmerer (State Univ. of New York) treats readers to an unusual look at the moss world up close and beautiful. She is at her best describing the subtleties of moss ecology, how a species reproduces, how it finds a home, and how its metabolism is adapted to frequent drying. Life at the surface of the earth, survival in rock crevices, sex in a thin film of water--all take on a glorious dimensionality that most readers are likely to miss without this guide. Kimmerer's forays into human emotion and behavior are usually tied to stories of moss ecology, and they may make attractive reading for nonscientists. Bryophytes are part of a larger biosphere that is characterized by almost indescribable complexity. That complexity, something we commonly call nature, is something we must try to preserve. But teachers understand that students' eyes cloud over when they start preaching. Kimmerer does tend to get on a soapbox in places, and the price she pays is that her writing is just slightly less effectual. She would be better weaving her tales of moss habits and habitats, a gift at which she is truly expert. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower- and upper-division undergraduates; faculty. S. Hammer Boston University
Appeared in Library Journal on 2003-05-15:
The best science books offer not only detailed scientific knowledge but also good writing and insights into much wider aspects of nature and life. Kimmerer, a botany professor who is also a Native American and a mother, strings together a series of essays teaching us about a fascinating, if humble and neglected, group of plants. Individual narratives are built around her own experiences related to mosses, both as a professional scientist and as a woman exploring her personal environment. She deftly interweaves her different viewpoints but avoids sentimentality and confusing the different "ways of knowing." We learn a good deal about mosses and their ecology as well as gain many insights into how larger ecological systems work and how human intervention has damaged them. Featuring informative and delicate black-and-white drawings of mosses, this gem of a book is recommended for most public and academic natural history collections.-Marit MacArthur Taylor, Auraria Lib., Denver (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
Robin Kimmerer . . . has written as good a book as you will find on a natural history subject. You will want to go outside and get on your knees with a hand lens and begin to probe this Lilliputian world she describes so beautifully.
Something I took for granted suddenly has come alive, because I have been given its story. After reading this book, I took a magnifying glass outside and pored over tree trunks. I have seen Robin Kimmerer's miniature landscape for myself. Yet, this is so much more than a book about mosses. This is a Native American woman speaking. This is a mother's story. This is science revealed through the human psyche. Robin Kimmerer is a scientist who combines empiricism with all other forms of knowing. Hers is a spectacularly different view of the world, and her true voice needs to be heard.
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, May 2003
SciTech Book News, June 2003
Choice, November 2003
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a commonbut largely unnoticed element of the natural world. GatheringMossis a beautifully written mix of science and personalreflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantlysimple lives of mosses. In this series of linked personal essays, Robin Wall Kimmerer leadsgeneral readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosseslive and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countlessother beings. Kimmerer explains the biology of mosses clearly andartfully, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinatingorganisms have to teach us. Drawing on her diverse experiences as a scientist, mother, teacher,and writer of Native American heritage, Kimmerer explains the storiesof mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenousways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and culturalrelationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of livingin the world.
Main Description
Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a commonbut largely unnoticed element of the natural world. GatheringMossis a beautifully written mix of science and personalreflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantlysimple lives of mosses.
Main Description
Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering Moss is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses.Robin Wall Kimmerer's book is not an identification guide, nor is it a scientific treatise. Rather, it is a series of linked personal essays that will lead general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings, from salmon and hummingbirds to redwoods and rednecks. Kimmerer clearly and artfully explains the biology of mosses, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us.Drawing on her diverse experiences as a scientist, mother, teacher, and writer of Native American heritage, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenous ways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world.Gathering Moss will appeal to a wide range of readers, from bryologists to those interested in natural history and the environment, Native Americans, and contemporary nature and science writing.
Table of Contents
Preface: Seeing the World Through Moss-Colored Glassesp. vi
The Standing Stonesp. 1
Learning to Seep. 7
The Advantages of Being Small: Life in the Boundary Layerp. 14
Back to the Pondp. 21
Sexual Asymmetry and the Satellite Sistersp. 29
An Affinity for Waterp. 35
Binding Up the Wounds: Mosses in Ecological Successionp. 44
In the Forest of the Waterbearp. 52
Kickapoop. 62
Choicesp. 69
A Landscape of Chancep. 82
City Mossesp. 91
The Web of Reciprocity: Indigenous Uses of Mossp. 100
The Red Sneakerp. 111
Portrait of Splachnump. 121
The Ownerp. 125
The Forest Gives Thanks to the Mossesp. 141
The Bystanderp. 151
Straw Into Goldp. 156
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 163
Indexp. 166
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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