Synopses & Reviews
During a meteoric career that spanned from 1825 to 1834, David Douglas made the first systematic collections of flora and fauna over many parts of the greater Pacific Northwest. Despite his early death, colleagues in Great Britain attached the Douglas name to more than 80 different species, including the iconic timber tree of the region. David Douglas, a Naturalist at Work
is a colorfully illustrated collection of essays that examines various aspects of Douglas's career, demonstrating the connections between his work in the Pacific Northwest of the 19th century and the place we know today. From the Columbia River's perilous bar to luminous blooms of mountain wildflowers; from ever-changing frontiers of technology to the quiet seasonal rhythms of tribal families gathering roots, these essays collapse time to shed light on people and landscapes.
This volume is the companion book to a major museum exhibit about Douglas's Pacific Northwest travels that will open at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane in September 2012.
"This new volume will delight anyone with an interest in wild Northwest history and the naturalist's adventure. In these elegantly crafted essays, Nisbet guides us beneath the surface of Douglas's narrative, and into deeper questions of plants, people, and place. The journey leaves the reader inspired, challenged, and more attuned to this unique landscape than ever before." Lyanda Lynn Haupt, author of Crow Planet
"The young David Douglas comes alive with the reading of this incredible thoughtful account, where upon revisiting the exact sites where Douglas collected 199 years ago, the author charmingly describes the species of plants and animals that Douglas encountered. This is a must read for any of us interested in the natural history of the Pacific Northwest." Estella B. Leopold, Professor Emeritus, University of Washington
"A beautifully illustrated companion to 'The Collector,' the author's best-selling biography of Douglas that won the 2010 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, this volume offers 10 essays that examine the Scottish naturalist's three trips to the Northwest between 1825-1834 and connects them to modern reality." The Seattle Times
"David Douglas, A Naturalist at Work, makes perceptive connections between people and place, and tantalizing connections across time." Barbara Lloyd McMichael, The Bookmonger
About the Author
Jack Nisbet is a teacher, naturalist, and nonfiction writer who focuses on the intersection of human and natural history in the Pacific Northwest. His award-winning books include the essay collection Visible Bones, the short stories of Purple Flat Top, and treatments of contact-era explorers David Thompson (Sources of the River) and David Douglas (The Collector).