Item description for Water, Ice & Stone: Science and Memory on the Antarctic Lakes by Bill Green...
"Nature writing of a very high order . . . a joyride for those who enjoy deep explorations of logic, human frailty and the laws of nature."-San Francisco Chronicle
"[Bill Green's] prose rings with the elemental clarity of the ice he knows so well."-PEN committee citation
A classic of contemporary nature writing, this award-winning account of Antarctica is now available for the first time in paperback. A new introduction by the author emphasizes the ecological importance of the continent within the global warming crisis.
Bill Green is a professor of interdisciplinary studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He has been conducting research in Antarctica since 1968.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.75" Height: 9" Weight: 0.82 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2008
Publisher Bellevue Literary Press
ISBN 1934137081 ISBN13 9781934137086
Availability 0 units.
More About Bill Green
Bill Green made his first journey to Antarctica in 1968 to study the chemistry of the McMurdo Dry Valley lakes. He returns regularly to do research which has resulted in multiple articles on the biogeochemical processes at work in the primordial lakes of that continent. He is a professor of Interdisciplinary studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Reviews - What do customers think about Water, Ice & Stone: Science and Memory on the Antarctic Lakes?
The terrible beauty of the void Feb 10, 2003
I live just a few miles from Oxford, Ohio and Miami University, where Dr. Green does his work when he's not away from civilization, and have sailed or swam many times at Acton Lake, which he uses in an early chapter to introduce the science of limnology, or the study of lakes.
This is a complex and ambitious book, and the result is thoroughly engrossing. It is an introduction to lake science, an adventure tale, and an account of how a scientist plans and executes his work, but these are just at the surface. It is also a personal exploration of the author's own memories and motives. Ultimately, it is a book about what moves mankind to keep learning and exploring, presented using the author as his own example.
Wondering about the powerful emotional draw that Antarctica exerts on him, the author is reminded of his boyhood, when Great Lakes winter storms would transform his town's landscape with a featureless cover of snow, allowing him to explore what became, in his imagination, an unexplored land. He describes the beauty that can be found, if one will allow himself, in the terrifying nothingness of the universe, whether it be seen in the vast coldness of space or the inhuman bleakness of an ice-covered continent. Some of his colleagues found Antactica intolerable, probably for the same reasons. He writes...
"The ice seemed a reminder of the universe at large, of the universe as accident, as matter blown and strewn and expanding, 'heartless' as Melville had described it, all moon-filled and dry, hung with poisoned worlds, incinerating stars, vacuums of frozen light. Loneliness, the warm sun as memory, as myth, the blankness of white landscape, in which we see no trace of ourselves, no artifact of our genius and cunning...". Reading this, I was taken back to my own boyhood to find my love of exploration awakened as I stood studying the cold and vastly distant stars from by back yard, and felt the fearful thrill of being sucked upward into the eternal void...
Science, poetry and personal experience in a unique weave Aug 29, 1998
As a classicist and poet, I am shy - if not wary - of "hard science". I stumbled upon this book by accident, browsing the non-fiction shelves in the public library. It is unique! I have ordered it - and I'm not even quite finished with it - I am reluctant to finish this first reading, although it is five-star enjoyment. Water Ice and Stone is a "braided river" (read it and you'll see why the phrase is in quotation marks) of a) Green's personal passion for his field and his subject that took him to the Antarctic lakes again and again; b) scientific explanations of that field that are accessible and fascinating without being either patronizing or unscholarly; c)the personal reminiscences and experiences that led to his choice of profession and to the Anarctic; d) the daily observations, colleagues and acts of living while he was there; and e) the beauty and wonder and astonishment and inspiration that this world we live in has to offer any of us who will take the time to look, to understand, to see. The book is science and it is poetry; it is wonder and it is analysis; it is a marvel. My highest acolade for books in fields that I did NOT take up is: it makes me almost wish I had become a.... Water, Ice and Stone left me an almost-geochemist.