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Tracks and Shadows


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Acknowledgments PART ONE: DESCENT WITH MODIFICATION 1. Tracks and Shadows 2. Naturalist 3. Nerd 4. Field Biologist 5. Medic PART TWO: CONVERSING WITH SERPENTS 6. Graduate School 7. Hot Dry Places 8. Hot Wet Places 9. Giant Serpents 10. Venomous Serpents PART THREE: PRETTY IN SUNLIGHT 11. Friends 12. Loose Ends 13. Born-Again Predator 14. Field Biology as Art Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author

Harry W. Greene is the Stephen Weiss Presidential Fellow and Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University and a recipient of the E.O. Wilson Award from the American Society of Naturalists. His book Snakes: The Evolution of Mystery in Nature (UC Press), won a PEN Literary Award and was a New York Times Notable Book.


"Achingly beautiful... Greene succeeds in illuminating the world as a place of beauty, harmony, and danger, deeply interconnected and worthy of cherishing and preserving." Starred Review. Publishers Weekly "This scientist has a poet's heart... Tracks and Shadows is a sweet surprise; rarely has science been so tender." Booklist "As beautiful and nuanced as the landscapes it evokes." The Scientist "What a pleasure it is to read these meditations on a 'personal quest for wildness.' ... What makes this book so rich is [the author's] gift with language along with his thoughtful appreciation of what it means to study nature and to travel, if ever so briefly, on a living planet." -- Laurence A. Marschall Natural History "As packed with people and drama as a novel." -- Stuart Pimm Nature "Greene engages readers from beginning to end... The book leaves us with questions to ponder but also with inspiration to indulge our curiosity for nature." -- Frances Bonier Science "Fiercely honest and fascinating." -- Jules Pretty Times Higher Education "Greene has created a rare bridge between [artists and scientists] and told us what it feels like to be a deeply sensitive research scientist, working in a world where the ecosystems are falling to bits around us." -- Rick Shine Current Biology "[Reminds] us that appreciation of the natural world is important to us as individuals and collectively." -- Hollis Walker Santa Fe New Mexican "No one reading this paean for a respect of the outdoors and its inhabitants could fail to be enthused." International Journal of Environmental Studies "Harry Greene's exuberance for life infuses this scien- tific autobiography, which overflows with his passion for herpetology, the wild places that his beloved reptiles inhabit, and very human friendships." Conservation Biology "Many will be surprised at some of the events re-lived in these pages...Tracks and Shadows reiterates the impacts of pain and renewal that characterize a life's journey." -- Bill Branch Herpetological Review "It speaks more to the conservation ethic than anything since Aldo Leopold's Sand Country Almanac. In fact, Tracks and Shadows may well be the best conservation love poem ever written." -- Peter Kareiva Science Chronicles "With affable humor and abiding curiosity, Greene takes us on collecting trips, wisely explains the latest theories, and asks how we can not only co-exist with wild animals but appreciate them as neighbors. Part memoir, part classroom, part adventure, Tracks and Shadows takes us from detailed looks at the habits of reptiles to enticing discussions of predator and prey, nature and loss, science and discovery...this is a rousing and satisfying tribute to wild things." -- Bill Broyles Southwest Books of the Year 2013

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