Synopses & Reviews
Drawn to the mysteries of tropical rain forests and fascinated by life in the treetops, Meg Lowman has pursued a life of scientific exploration while raising her two sons, Edward and James Burgess. This book recounts their family adventures in remote parts of the world (Samoa, West Africa, Peru, Panama, India, Biosphere 2, and others), from the perspectives of both kids and parent. Together they explore tropical rain forests, encounter anacondas and piranhas, eat crickets as hors dand#8217;oeuvres, discover new species, and nurture a family ethic for conservation.
The chapters of the book focus on field biology questions, the canopy access methods developed to answer the questions, andand#160;conservation or education components of each expedition. Lowman enumerates the challenges and joys of juggling parenthood and career, and the children reflect on how their momand#8217;s work has affected their lives. A rollicking, inspiring book, Itand#8217;s a Jungle Up There is an upbeat portrayal of how a parentand#8217;s career can imprint children, and how children in turn can influence the success and trajectory of their parentand#8217;s career.
"A single mother who studies the science of eaten leaves (herbivory), Lowman (Life in the Treetops) has traveled to distant tropical locations such as Peru, India and Samoa, often with her two sons in tow, and in this testament to her rarified approach to parenting, urges parents to get out there with their kids and let them get dirty. Her co-authors are her sons, and their essays on Biosphere 2, bromeliads and beetles bolster her claims that immersion in nature can produce young conservationists. She also boasts that her science work and her parenting style inform one another and help promote her goal of expanding forest conservation. She proselytizes throughout the book for environmental education, but it is the stories of spending water-logged nights aloft in the rainforest canopy and gross-out stories of eating hissing cockroaches that persuade most effectively. Readers will find themselves skipping through her repetitive exhortations to get back to the forests in order to get at the book's meat: adventure stories and oddball ecological information. The essays by her sons read like college-admissions essays, and the illustrations are needlessly whimsical, but Lowman's spirited tale of science and single parenting is inspirational." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Margaret D. Lowman
is director of environmental initiatives and professor of biology and environmental studies at New College of Florida. Edward Burgess
is a member of the class of 2007 at Princeton University, where he is majoring in chemistry. James Burgess
is a member of the class of 2009 at Princeton University, where he plans to focus on engineering.
"A lively, readable book that will help to educate variety of readers about scientific research and processes in forest environments, as well as the importance of environmental conservation."-Ellen Wohl, Colorado State University(Ellen Wohl)
"The inspiring story of a woman who has been able to pursue her love of science, research, and conservation while raising children."-Laura Meyerson, University of Rhode Island(Laura Meyerson)
"In this marvelous book Margaret Lowman reveals with clarity, grace and passion a nobility of purpose as she takes the reader through her fascinating journey through life. She continues to break the mold of scientist by revealing how she pursued a life of research while raising a family literally in the jungle. This book is an inspiration and Margaret Lowman an original with her fascinating insights on motherhood and saving this planet. But most of all Lowman provides a beautifully written plea for why everyone can and must find a reason for hope. Her eloquent prose will resonate with readers of all ages and educational backgrounds."-Richard Wiese, President, Explorers Club (Richard Wiese)
"Imagine if Tarzan and Jane had two boys and Jane were a scientist as well as mom, and you will understand the fascination of this stimulating, hard-to-put-down and personal account. A most engaging tale of how rich and exciting a scientific life can be." -Thomas Lovejoy, President, Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment (Thomas Lovejoy)