Paper pub. date
September 2024
ISBN 9781962645140 (paperback)
6 x 9, 280 pages. 1 b&w illustrations. 2 maps. Notes. Bibliography. Index.
Available September 2024

Nature on the Edge

Lessons for the Biosphere from the California Coast

Bruce A. Byers

In Nature on the Edge, ecologist Bruce Byers offers readers new perspectives on two iconic California coastal regions, San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate and the Santa Barbara Channel Islands. While many people—in California and elsewhere—are familiar with these two areas, they may not know that they are part of a network of international biosphere reserves organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Nature on the Edge traces the history of nature conservation in these places and introduces the committed individuals who led those efforts and model effective action.

In compelling dispatches from the edge of the continent, Byers explores topics ranging from butterflies to scrub jays, from salmon to whales. He describes the natural history, ecology, and evolution of key species and ecosystems in scientifically sound but accessible language, and notes that despite all we know, fascinating ecological mysteries still abound. Byers also surveys ecocentric philosophies and worldviews rooted in these places and argues for their importance in developing a more harmonious and sustainable relationship between humans and our home planet.

UNESCO biosphere reserves are laboratories for understanding how humans affect ecosystems and models for how we can heal the human-nature relationship. While the biosphere concept and network has existed for fifty years now, it is still not well-known by the general public. Today, the US has twenty-eight biosphere reserves. By focusing on two beloved sites in California, Byers draws attention to the important work being done in these reserves around the world, with the goal of inspiring readers to reflection, action, and hope in the face of climate change, biodiversity loss, and other environmental challenges.

About the author

Bruce A. Byers is an ecologist, writer, and consultant with more than forty years of professional experience in more than forty countries. His work aims to inform and inspire a more ecologically sustainable, equitable, and resilient relationship between humans and the planet. He has worked in thirty-five biosphere reserves in seventeen countries.

Read more about this author

Upcoming Events

The annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America invites all ecologists to come together and share new knowledge, learn from one another, meet old friends and make new ones, and grow professionally. This year’s meeting will emphasize the society’s mission of supporting ecologists throughout their careers.

Visit us in the exhibit hall at booth 12.

9:30 am, Monday, August 5th - 6:30 pm, Wednesday, August 7th

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