The Columbia University Press virtual booth for the American Geophysical Union’s 2020 Fall Meeting is now open! I’m Miranda Martin, the press’s science editor. We may have met at previous events; if not, I hope to have the opportunity to meet you in person in the future.
We continue to publish books across the sciences, and our list in the earth and climate sciences is one of our strengths. Here, I’ll share what’s new and noteworthy this year. And keep in mind: books make excellent holiday gifts!
If you’re interested in what eons of biological evolution can teach us about how to confront the complex problems we’re facing today, What Would Nature Do? by Ruth DeFries is the book for you. Among other examples, DeFries highlights how the earth’s carbon cycle can
Next, I’d like to share a book I was really proud to work on this year: The Bearded Lady Project, edited by filmmaker Lexi Jamieson Marsh and paleontologist Ellen Currano. In it, women scientists “challenge the face of science” by donning fake beards at their field sites and in their labs in a pointed commentary on how scientists are expected to look. The personal essays accompanying the photos are revealing, amusing, and moving.
For anyone looking for ways to further reduce their negative impacts on our environment, Plastic Free, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz and Joanna Atherfold Finn, offers inspiration from a global environmental movement. Learn more about the problem of plastic pollution and get ideas from real people who have taken the challenge to reduce or even eliminate single-use plastic from their lives.
Another increasingly relevant issue is disaster preparedness. In Rethinking Readiness, Jeff Schlegelmilch, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, outlines five types of megadisasters that threaten to overwhelm our capacity to respond. Key among these are pandemics; the book also addresses climate change, critical infrastructure failure, cybersecurity threats, and the threat of nuclear conflict. How can we build better systems for a more resilient future?
Finally, for instructors looking for a new textbook on climate change, I’d like to recommend Climate Change, second edition, by Edmond A. Mathez and Jason E. Smerdon. It’s a broad introduction with many color illustrations, appropriate for students at a variety of levels. Plus, supplemental PowerPoint slides are available for teaching.