9780300078183 / 0300078188

Life in the Treetops: Adventures of a Woman in Field Biology


Publisher:Yale University Press



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About the book:

Life in the Treetops reflects many of the difficulties faced by women scientists in all fields. Margaret Lowman, a field biologist specializing in forest-canopy research, shows how dealing with the emotional challenges is as tough as or tougher than dangling from a precarious perch counting beetles or facing down a deadly sea snake. This chronicle of her adventures (and misadventures) among the treetops encourages readers to understand both the science and the scientist. One can't help but sympathize with Lowman as she struggles to be a good researcher and a traditional rural housewife at the same time, and fails. Luckily, her kids and parents always remain supportive, taking care of the house during her long absences and accompanying her to faraway research stations when possible. Lowman studies small things--leaves and insects, mostly--and getting to them can be tricky. She chronicles the history of forest-canopy research techniques (which have grown apace with her career), starting with simple climbing gear and ending with treetop walkways and giant construction cranes. Life in the Treetops is an engaging look at one woman's struggle to find balance, whether she's high up in a tree or on the ground with her fellow humans. --Therese Littleton

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