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Northeastern Naturalist, Volume 23, Issue 3 (2016)

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Northeastern Naturalist Noteworthy Books 2016 Vol. 23, No. 3 B10 Bogs and Fens: A Guide to the Peatland Plants of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Ronald B. Davis. 2016. University Press of New England, Lebnon, NH. 304 pp. $24.95, softcover. ISBN 9781611687934. The word is spreading among outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers that bogs and fens (peatlands) are among the most fascinating and beautiful places to visit. This growing reputation, along with the development of boardwalks that allow a close look at the ecosystem without getting one’s feet wet, has led to an upsurge in visits to these wetlands. To aid the increasing number of bog walkers, Ronald B. Davis has produced an attractive and informative guide to the trees, shrubs, and wildflowers of the peatlands of the greater American northeastern region. The book covers 155 of the species most likely to be discovered alongside the boardwalks and presents stunning photographs of 98 of them. Audubon: America’s Greatest Naturalist and his Voyage of Discovery to Labrador. Peter B. Logan. 2016. Ashbryn Press, San Francisco, CA. xviii + 732 pp. (incl. maps & line drawings), plus 32 pp. of color and 16 pp. of b/w photographic illustrations. $40.00, hardcover. ISBN 9780997228212.This fascinating and detailed biographical account of John James Audubon (1785–1851), one of America’s foremost naturalists, includes a wealth of information, particularly in respect of the life and times of his friends and contacts within an area of northeastern America stretching from Massachusetts to Labrador. Although this work, as its title implies, concentrates on Audubon’s journey to Labrador in 1833, which was to prove influential on his bird studies, due attention is given to his earlier life, with the whole based on substantial, often unpublished documentation. In fact, nearly half (344 pages) of this biography, classed as appendices (textual apparatus, extensive bibliography, and comprehensive index), include such extremely important sources. This is a splendid and enjoyable work of scholarship. The author and publishers of this lavishly illustrated and well-crafted book, and those duly acknowledged therein, are to be congratulated on its content and production at such a modest price. It is strongly recommended to libraries and of course to all those interested in natural history, as well as those interested in 19th-century history generally. Human Ecology: How Nature and Culture Shape Our World. Frederick R. Steiner; Foreword by Richard T.T. Forman. 2016. Island Press, Washington, DC. 256 pp. $30.00, softcover, ISBN 9781610917384. Humans have always been influenced by natural landscapes, and always will be—even as we create everlarger cities and our developments fundamentally change the nature of the earth around us. In Human Ecology, noted city planner and landscape architect Frederick Steiner encourages us to consider how human cultures have been shaped by natural forces, and how we might use this understanding to contribute to a future where both nature and people thrive. Human ecology is the study of the interrelationships between humans and their environment, drawing on diverse fields from biology and geography to sociology, engineering, and architecture. Steiner admirably synthesizes these perspectives through the lens of landscape architecture, a discipline that requires its practitioners to consciously connect humans and their environments. After laying out 8 principles for understanding human ecology, the book’s chapters build from the smallest scale of connection—our homes—and expand to community scales, regions, nations, and, ultimately, examine global relationships between people and nature. In this age of climate change, a new approach to planning and design is required to envision a livable future. Human Ecology provides architects, landscape architects, urban designers, and planners—and students in those fields— with timeless principles for new, creative thinking about how their work can shape a vibrant, resilient future for ourselves and our planet. Noteworthy Books Received by the Northeastern Naturalist, Issue 23/3, 2016 The Northeastern Naturalist welcomes submissions of review copies of books that publishers or authors would like to recommend to the journal’s readership and are relevant to the journal’s mission of publishing information about the natural history of the northeastern US. Accompanying short, descriptive summaries of the text are also welcome.