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Sippewissett: Or, Life on a Salt Marsh [Paperback]

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Item description for Sippewissett: Or, Life on a Salt Marsh by Tim Traver...

A biography of the famous New England salt marsh, interweaving science, history, and memoir.
Tim Traver's Sippewissett is heir to a rich history of nature writing. Akin to classics like Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac and Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, the book forms an eloquent bridge between ecology and memory, science and art. Traver alternates between remembrances of the Cape Cod salt marsh where he spent his boyhood summers and the history of Sippewissett, a place that has been studied by many of America's great biologists, from Louis Agassiz to Rachel Carson.
There is poetry in his retelling of the past, a childhood of mud and tides and water; there is great love in the peace and satisfaction he finds later in life fishing and clamming and watching his own children discover the secrets of the marsh. Traver manages to weave these personal details into mesmerizing historical passages and meditations on the ecology of place that read like whodunits; one discovery leads to another, from the most beautiful dance of life to more somber considerations, such as the way the marsh can tell us so much about our environmental crises.
Sippewissett is an intimate exploration of place by a man of science and strong family bonds. Here is one of ecology's most studied places through the eyes of someone determined to make sense of its beauty and complexity--at once private and public--filled with poetry yet grounded in science, a place disappearing in the face of development and global climate change.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   250
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.74 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 12, 2008
Publisher   Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN  1933392789  
ISBN13  9781933392783  

Availability  0 units.

More About Tim Traver

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Tim Traver holds a master's degree in environmental science from Yale University. He is a freelance travel and science writer and has had a column in the "Providence Journal" and "Falmouth Enterprise." He works on issues of land use, wildlife management, open space protection, and environmental education and is past executive director of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science and the Upper Valley Land Trust and past director of the Norman Bird Sanctuary. Traver lives in Taftsville, Vermont, with his wife and three children.

Tim Traver currently resides in Taftsville, in the state of Vermont. Tim Traver was born in 1954.

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Product Categories

1Books > Bargain Books > Children > Science, Nature & How It Works
2Books > Bargain Books > Sports > Hiking & Camping
3Books > Subjects > Outdoors & Nature > Conservation > General
4Books > Subjects > Outdoors & Nature > Environment > Conservation
5Books > Subjects > Outdoors & Nature > Environment > Ecology
6Books > Subjects > Outdoors & Nature > Essays
7Books > Subjects > Outdoors & Nature > Reference

Reviews - What do customers think about Sippewissett: Or, Life on a Salt Marsh?

Salt Marsh Philosophy  Jul 14, 2008
Woods Hole, Massachusetts, is almost holy ground if you are a biologist. Founded by Louis Agassiz, it has seen many of the greatest biologists of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, including Lynn Margulis and E. O. Wilson, among many others. Sippewissett Marsh is close to Woods Hole and as such is one of the most studied of all salt marshes.

Like most wild or semi-wild places, salt marshes are nearly magical (if a scientist can use that term). My main memory of a salt marsh is of a spartina marsh along the Gulf Coast of Florida on a botanical field trip, during which we often sank in the mud while trying to reach some rare or unusual plant. Also by happenstance I passed close to Sippewissett on a trip to Martha's Vineyard via Falmouth Harbor. Thus I have at least a slight acquaintance with the ecosystem and the specific area involved.

Tim Traver has now published a enchanting account of Sippewissett, simply titled "Sippewissett: Or, Life on a Salt Marsh." It is a delight to read and probably one of the best collections of nature and philosophy essays that I've seen in recent times.

Traver certainly loves the area. This comes across with every paragraph. Here he fishes, does research for conservation work, watches birds, and generally makes observations of life and the human interaction with the salt marsh as a microcosm of the human interaction with the natural world. He fishes with a fundamentalist who tell him nature is too high in complexity to have evolved, he discusses Agassiz and his association with the marsh, Lynn Margulis' and James Lovelock's ideas of Gaia, and he brings to reader face to face with the results of oil spills, hurricanes and other destructive forces in the salt marsh. The discussions are humane and interesting. His style is in no way polemic and he comes across as a person who is genuinely interested in the marsh and the opinions of other people, whether he agrees with them or not. This is a truly rare commodity in today's constant drone of absolute opinions.

I highly recommend this excellent collection of essays on one of the most endangered and productive ecosystems on the planet.
The Modern Bible - creation, prophets, and neighbors  Mar 14, 2007
We bought four more copies for friends and family. Our UU minister is building a service around just part of this. Add our emphasis on the incredible continuous dedication to researching life of this marsh over 75 years starting with Rachel Carson.
Life on a salt marsh  Jan 10, 2007
A delight! Well written story of one man's life-long enjoyment of and study of one of Cape Cod's best kept treasures - Sippewisset Salt Marsh. This is an accessible account of the value of salt marshes in protecting our environment and how important it is to preserve marshes for the future.
Sippewissett: A universal reflection of life  Sep 26, 2006
Tim Traver writes with grace, humor and insight. He tells the compelling story of a small salt marsh on Cape Cod - where he, his family and friends spent endless summers discovering the world and themselves. His story blends intimate memories of growing up - fearless and curious - with science history and the broad progress of ecological inquiry. Readers are drawn into a thoughtful journey that reveals our place in the living, still-breathing world. Traver's salt marsh is transformed into a harbinger of the planet's health. We learn that everything we do matters.
Wonderful story  Sep 20, 2006
Traver's stories in Sippewissett make the progression of environmentalists in the Eastern United States a tale of interest, rather than one of dry history. And the recounting of Traver's childhood, young adulthood, and recent visits to the magnificient marsh bring this place and its inhabitants of all kinds to life. I can almost hear the birds cry and feel the slimey smoothness of the fish. What a wonderful read. I've even shared some of the passages with my teenage son.

Such a delightful book!

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