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The Remarkable Life of William Beebe: Explorer & Naturalist


The Remarkable Life of William Beebe: Explorer & Naturalist Cover


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When William Beebe needed to know what was going on in the depths of the ocean, he had himself lowered a half-mile down in a four-foot steel sphere to see-five times deeper than anyone had ever gone in the 1930s. When he wanted to trace the evolution of pheasants in 1910, he trekked on foot through the mountains and jungles of the Far East to locate every species. To decipher the complex ecology of the tropics, he studied the interactions of every creature and plant in a small area from the top down, setting the emerging field of tropical ecology into dynamic motion.

William Beebe's curiosity about the natural world was insatiable, and he did nothing by halves. As the first biographer to see the letters and private journals Beebe kept from 1887 until his death in 1962, science writer Carol Grant Gould brings the life and times of this groundbreaking scientist and explorer compellingly to light.

From the Galapagos Islands to the jungles of British Guiana, from the Bronx Zoo to the deep seas, Beebe's biography is a riveting adventure. A best-selling author in his own time, Beebe was a fearless explorer and thoughtful scientist who put his life on the line in pursuit of knowledge. The unique glimpses he provided into the complex web of interactions that keeps the earth alive and breathing have inspired generations of conservationists and ecologists. This exciting biography of a great naturalist brings William Beebe at last to the recognition he deserves.

About the Author

CAROL GRANT GOULD has written for publications ranging from The New York Times to Psychology Today and Harpers . She is coauthor ofBiological Science (Norton, 1997),  The Honey Bee (Scientific American Library,1988), Sexual Selection (Scientific American Library, 1989), and The Animal Mind (Scientific American Library, 1994).

Table of Contents




PART I. Naturalist

Chapter 1. Counting Crows

Chapter 2. Fledging

Chapter 3. Portrait of the Naturalist as a Young Man

Chapter 4. Sailing North

Chapter 5. The Scientists' Apprentice

Chapter 6. Bronx Zoological Park

Chapter 7. Widening Horizons

Chapter 8. Nestbuilding


PART II. Ornithologist

Chapter 9. Flying South

Chapter 10. Migration

Chapter 11. The Naturalist as Author

Chapter 12. Rain Forest at Last

Chapter 13. In Search of Wildness

Chapter 14. City Lights

Chapter 15. Pheasant Jungles

Chapter 16. Western Himalayas

Chapter 17. Bearing East

Chapter 18. Recalibration

Chapter 19. Betrayal

Chapter 20. Wilderness Found

Chapter 21. Jungle Peace


PART III. Marine Biologist

Chapter 22. The Encantadas

Chapter 23. New York Aerie

Chapter 24. The Arcturus Adventure

Chapter 25. Fire and Water

Chapter 26. Elswyth

Chapter 27. Bermuda Diary

Chapter 28. Out of the Depths

Chapter 29. On the Air

Chapter 30. Half Mile Down

Chapter 31. Fishing


PART IV. Tropical Ecologist

Chapter 32. Ocean to Jungle

Chapter 33. Rancho Grande

Chapter 34. High Jungle

Chapter 35. Simla

Chapter 36. Home to Roost

Chapter 37. Simla Sunset





Selected Bibliography

Sources of Illustrations


Product Details

Gould, Carol Grant
Island Press
Gould, Carol G.
Adventurers & Explorers
Naturalists, Gardeners, Environmentalists
Biography-Gardeners and Naturalists
Science & Technology
Biography - General
Edition Number:
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
9.25 x 6.5 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

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