Environmental Studies

Nature from the Safety of Quarantine

Spring is here, and just because we can’t leave our houses doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the beauty around us. Here are some books to get you back to nature from home. A visually stunning celebration of bird migration—one of the great marvels of the natural world. The vast transcontinental

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The First Earth Day

Richard N. L. Andrews— On April 22, 1970, a handful of volunteers led by Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin organized the first Earth Day, which grew into what Newsweek magazine described as “the biggest street festival since the Japanese surrender in 1945.” It included mass rallies of up to 25,000

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Environmental Policy

Richard N. L. Andrews— Environmental protection policy includes three elements intended to protect public health and ecological processes from adverse effects of human activities. One is pollution control, including prevention, safe management, and cleanup of waste discharges, accidental spills, and deliberate environmental dispersion of toxic materials such as pesticides. The

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Competition, Cooperation, and COVID-19

Mark Bertness— Microbial pathogens and diseases were our first and are our oldest enemies. They are a direct threat to human survival. COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS are familiar reminders of how pathogenic pandemics can threaten humanity. These are not exceptions in the human experience; they are the rule. Pathogens are formidable

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How Do You Make Electricity?

Ivo van Vulpen— One of the greatest threats to our prosperity and way of life is a shortage of energy. We don’t often pause to think about it, but our Western society is addicted to energy, and without electricity, it would come to a complete standstill in less than a

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Books for Troubled Times

Jean E. Thomson Black— Dear Yale University Press Friend, Our mission at Yale University Press is to publish books that, among other goals, stimulate public debate and enhance cultural life. The following titles represent a modest sampling from our history of science and medicine, environmental issues, and natural history lists. The

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Lessons from a Little Fish

Stephen B. Heard— In northeastern Germany, about seventy-five kilometers north of Berlin, a little lake sits nestled in the woods. In the lake’s depths swim little fish—a dwarf cisco, Coregonus fontanae. In the fish’s name, a story is tucked away. Coregonus fontanae is one of a pair of cisco species

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Human Rights and Human Responsibilities

Kathryn Sikkink— Sometimes we get so enamored with our rights that we forget about our corresponding responsibilities. In order to fully realize our own rights and the rights of others, we also need to embrace and practice responsibilities. For example, people in the United States like to think they have

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Harmonies between Preservation and Production

John M. Marzluff— When I see fences, I immediately wonder what is being kept out. As a wildlife scientist traveling through agricultural lands, I have usually figured fences were keeping cows from trampling sensitive areas, such as stream banks, steep slopes, or seeps. But to my surprise, after traveling over Red Rock

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Putting an End to Pests

John Hainze— The Endangered Species Act is one of the premier environmental laws in the United States. It offers protection for endangered and threatened organisms both large and small—from orchids to insects to bears. That the Act does not differentiate between charismatic animals and those of a lesser pedigree is

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