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Virtual Library Book Displays

Check out our virtual book displays curated by student employees and librarians.

The Great Outdoors

With seasons changing and social distancing practices still in place, explore the great outdoors through literature. The books below explore a variety of outdoor themes - outdoor activities like hiking and gardening, backyard animals, human perspectives of nature, native plants, and more!

For even more at home outdoor adventure - check out these live feeds and tours. 

Display curated by Chrissy O'Grady, Research & Education Librarian

Books

Wildlife Watching in America's National Parks A Seasonal Guide by Gary Vequist and Daniel S. Licht

From the Great Smoky Mountains to Point Reyes National Seashore, America's national parks are home to some of nature's great wildlife spectacles. Here, Gary W. Vequist and Daniel S. Licht, two veterans of the National Park Service, focus on twelve animals that have been imperiled and at risk, but are now protected within the National Park System. Showcasing one species for each month of the year, including gray wolf, black bear, prairie dog, sea turtle, bison, bats, salmon, elk, beaver, American alligator, gray whale, and bald eagle, Vequist and Licht pair each premier species with a featured park, adding information about other parks where the species may also be readily seen and identifying other animals to look for in the same habitat—animals that prey, are preyed upon, or exist side by side with the focal species.

Urban gardening and the struggle for social and spatial justice edited by Martin Sondermann, Susan Noori, Susan, Chiara Certomà€

The book presents an in-depth and theoretically-grounded analysis of urban gardening practices (re)emerging worldwide as new forms of bottom-up socio-political participation. By complementing the scholarly perspectives through posing real cases, it focuses on how these practices are able to address -- together with environmental and planning questions -- the most fundamental issues of spatial justice, social cohesion, inclusiveness, social innovations and equity in cities. Through a critical exploration of international case studies, this collection investigates whether, and how, gardeners are willing and able to contrast urban spatial arrangements that produce peculiar forms of social organisation and structures for inclusion and exclusion, by considering pervasive inequalities in the access to space, natural resources and services, as well as considerable disparities in living conditions.

Small Creatures and Ordinary Places : Essays on Nature by Allen M. Young

Small Creatures and Ordinary Places reveals to us the beauty and value of hornets, bats, katydids, mice, cicadas, and other tiny dwellers in our own backyards. Young, a renowned expert on butterflies and cicadas of the American tropics, records in these charming essays his keen observations of the natural world as he walks through an urban woods near the Lake Michigan shore, or sits on his deck facing his backyard, or gazes at a field of corn stubble in autumn. He invites us to venture into our own yards, neighborhood parks, fields, and forests and pause there... to look and to listen. Small creatures have unique and interesting stories to tell us, Young points out. Their brief life cycles illustrate the intricate workings of a bigger clock driving the seasons, and they dominate the larger web of life in which humans are but a strand. Far too often they are ignored, taken for granted, reviled, or misunderstood. Even now, Young writes, as we move into a new millennium as a species and the technological pace of our existence further quickens, we can gain much from appreciating nature close at hand, despite how steadily it is being pushed aside.

Hints on landscape gardening : together with a description of their practical application in Muskau

Park Muskau, Prince Pückler's extraordinary nineteenth-century creation on both sides of the River Neisse, together with Hints on Landscape Gardening (Andeutungen über Landschaftsgärtnerei), his instructive 1834 treatise based on the park's design,are as important to American landscape architects as the work and writings of Frederick Law Olmsted. This thoroughly new and authoritative edition translated by John Hargraves, with an introduction by landscape historian and Pückler authority Linda Parshall, contains the same forty-four images and four maps as the original large-format Atlas accompanying the German text. Published in collaboration with the Foundation for Landscape Studies, the print edition of the book shall be matched by an electronic publication that contains the illustrations in a size corresponding with the original dimensions (approx. 51 x 35 cm) of the Atlas. The page concordance in the margins of the translated text allows for a precise reference to the German original.

Highpoints of the United States : a guide to the fifty state summits by Don W. Holmes

The highpoints of the fifty states range from Alaska’s 20,320 foot high Mount McKinley to 345 feet at Lakewood Park in Florida. Some highpoints, such as Mount Mitchell in North Carolina and New Hampshire’s Mount Washington can be reached by automobile on a sightseeing drive. Others such as Colorado’s Mount Elbert or Mount Marcy in New York are accessible as wilderness day hikes. Still others, such as Mount Rainier in Washington or Gannett Peak in Wyoming, are strenuous and risky mountaineering challenges that should be attempted only by experienced climbers. Whatever your level of skill and interest, Highpoints of the United States offers a diverse range of experiences.

The Highlands: Critical Resources, Treasured Landscapes edited by Richard G. Lathrop

Think of the Highlands as the “backyard” and “backstop” of the Philadelphia–New York–Hartford metroplex. A backyard that spans over three million acres across Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut, the Highlands serves as recreational open space for the metroplex's burgeoning human population. As backstop, Highlands' watersheds provide a ready source of high-quality drinking water for over fifteen million people.The Highlands is the first book to examine the natural and cultural landscape of this four-state region, showing how it's distinctive and why its conservation is vital. Each chapter is written by a different leading researcher and specialist in that field, and introduces readers to another aspect of the Highlands: its geological foundations, its aquifers and watersheds, its forest ecology, its past iron industry.In the 1800s, the Highlands were mined, cutover, and then largely abandoned. Given time, the forests regenerated, the land healed, and the waters cleared. Increasingly, however, the Highlands are under assault again—polluted runoff contaminating lakes and streams, invasive species choking out the local flora and fauna, exurban sprawl blighting the rural landscape, and climate change threatening the integrity of its ecosystems.The Highlands makes a compelling case for land use planning and resource management strategies that could help ensure a sustainable future for the region, strategies that could in turn be applied to other landscapes threatened by urbanization across the country. The Highlands are a valuable resource. And now, so is The Highlands.

My City Highrise Garden by Susan Brownmiller

Gardening on rooftops, balconies, and terraces is a popular trend. After thirty-five years of experience, Susan Brownmiller writes with honesty and humor about her oasis twenty floors above a Manhattan street. She reports the catastrophes: losing daytime access during building-wide renovations; assaults from a mockingbird during his mating season. And the joys: a peach tree fruited for fifteen years; the windswept birches lasted for twenty-five. Butterflies and bees pay annual visits. She pampers a buddleia, a honeysuckle, roses, hydrangeas, and more. Her adventures celebrate the tenacity of nature, inviting readers to marvel at her garden's resilience, and her own. Enhanced by over thirty color photographs, this passionate account of green life in a gritty, urban environment will appeal to readers and gardeners wherever they dwell.

A Guide to Native Plants of the New York City Region by Margaret B. Gargiullo

It is no secret that with each new office park, strip mall, and housing development that slices through the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut landscape, more and more indigenous plant habitats are being destroyed. Concrete, after all, is not a friendly neighbor to vegetative life. Less common wisdom, however, holds that plants native to this region have been disappearing rapidly for a variety of reasons, and some of the causes can be avoided, even as construction projects continue to move in. One of the most serious threats to indigenous plants is the introduction of invasive non-native species by landscapers after new developments are built. In this unique guide, ecologist Margaret B. Gargiullo presents a detailed look at the full scope of flora that is native to this region and available for propagation. Geared specifically for landscape architects, designers, land managers, and restorationists, this book offers practical advice on how to increase the amount of indigenous flora growing in the mepolitan area, and in some cases, to reintroduce plants that have completely disappeared. More than one hundred line drawings of plants and their specific habitats, ranging from forests to beaches, help readers visualize the full potential for landscaping in the area. A separate entry for each plant also provides detailed information on size, flower color, blooming time, and its possible uses in wetland mitigation, erosion control, and natural area restoration. Some plants are also highlighted for their ability to thrive in areas that are typically considered inhospitable to greenery. Easily searchable by plant type or habitat, this guide is an essential reference for everyone concerned with the region's natural plant life. Since most of the plants can also be grown well beyond the New York City metropolitan area, this book will also be useful for project managers doing restoration work in most of southern New England and the mid-Atlantic region, including Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland.

City at the Water's Edge A Natural History of New York by Betsy McCully

Concrete floors and concrete walls, buildings that pierce the sky, taxicabs and subway corridors, a steady din of noise. These things, along with a virtually unrivaled collection of museums, galleries, performance venues, media outlets, international corporations, and stock exchanges make New York City not only the cultural and financial capital of the United States, but one of the largest and most impressive urban conglomerations in the world. With distinctions like these, is it possible to imagine the city as any more than this? City at the Water's Edge invites readers to do just that. Betsy McCully, a long-time urban dweller, argues that this city of lights is much more than a human-made metropolis. It has a rich natural history that is every bit as fascinating as the glitzy veneer that has been built atop it. Through twenty years of nature exploration, McCully has come to know New York as part of the Lower Hudson Bioregion-a place of salt marshes and estuaries, sand dunes and barrier islands, glacially sculpted ridges and kettle holes, rivers and streams, woodlands and outwash plains. Here she tells the story of New York that began before the first humans settled in the region twelve thousand years ago, and long before immigrants ever arrived at Ellis Island. The timeline that she recounts is one that extends backward half a billion years; it plumbs the depths of Manhattan's geological history and forecasts a possible future of global warming, with rising seas lapping at the base of the Empire State Building. Counter to popular views that see the city as a marvel of human ingenuity diametrically opposed to nature, this unique account shows how the region has served as an evolving habitat for a diversity of species, including our own. The author chronicles the growth of the city at the expense of the environment, but leaves the reader with a vision of a future city as a human habitat that is brought into balance with nature.

Thinking Through Landscape by Augustin Berque and Ronagh J. A. Mcquigg

Our attitude to nature has changed over time. This book explores the historical, literary and philosophical origins of the changes in our attitude to nature that allowed environmental catastrophes to happen. It presents a philosophical reflection on human societies' attitude to the environment, informed by the history of the concept of landscape and the role played by the concept of nature in the human imagination and features a wealth of examples from around the world to help understand the contemporary environmental crisis in the context of both the built and natural environment. Thinking Through Landscape locates the start of this change in human labour and urban elites being cut off from nature. Nature became an imaginary construct masking our real interaction with the natural world. The book argues that this gave rise to a theoretical and literary appreciation of landscape at the expense of an effective practical engagement with nature. It draws on Heideggerian ontology and Veblen's sociology, providing a powerful distinction between two attitudes to landscape: the tacit knowledge of earlier peoples engaged in creating the landscape through their work - "landscaping thought"- and the explicit theoretical and aesthetic attitudes of modern city dwellers who love nature while belonging to a civilization that destroys the landscape - "landscape thinking". This book gives a critical survey of landscape thought and theory for students, researchers and anyone interested in human societies' relation to nature in the fields of landscape studies, environmental philosophy, cultural geography and environmental history.

Cycling the Erie Canal : a guide to 400 miles of adventure and history along the Erie Canalway trail

An indispensable resource for dedicated cyclists planning to bike across the state or the casual rider looking to take the family out for a couple of hours. Great for walkers, boaters, and auto travelers, too.

In Defense of Nature by John Hay

Originally published in 1969, In Defense of Nature is an eloquent and prescient plea on behalf of the natural world. Devoid of sentimentality yet lyrical and deeply moving in its portrayals of our despoliation of nature, Hay's classic work is now available to a new generation of readers.

Artwalks in New York delightful discoveries of public art and gardens in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island Creator by Marina Harrison and Lucy D Rosenfeld

Completely updated, the new edition of this acclaimed guide brings us 33 tours of public art, covering the length of the island, from the Cloisters and Harlem in northern Manhattan, to Central Park and the museum mile, to Rockefeller Center and Chelsea, and all the way down to the southern tip at Battery Park City. 

Observation Points The Visual Poetics of National Parks edited by Thomas Patin

National parks are the places that present ideas of nature to Americans: Zion, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone bring to mind quintessential and awe-inspiring wilderness. By examining how rhetoric—particularly visual rhetoric—has worked to shape our views of nature and the “natural” place of humans, Observation Points offers insights into questions of representation, including the formation of national identity. As Thomas Patin reveals, the term “nature” is artificial and unstable, in need of constant maintenance and reconstruction. The process of stabilizing its representation, he notes, is unavoidably political.