The Incidental Steward by Akiko Busch
Reflections on Citizen Science

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...examines how insect-eating salamanders and wood frogs kill off insects that endanger human health, examines the pros and cons of so-called invasive species, which are sometimes destructive in their new environment but, in other instances, benefit local wildlife...Sure to inform and delight nature lovers.
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Synopsis

A search for a radio-tagged Indiana bat roosting in the woods behind her house in New York’s Hudson Valley led Akiko Busch to assorted other encounters with the natural world—local ecological monitoring projects, community-organized cleanup efforts, and data-driven citizen science research. Whether it is pulling up water chestnuts in the Hudson River, measuring beds of submerged aquatic vegetation, or searching out vernal pools, all are efforts that illuminate the role of ordinary citizens as stewards of place. In this elegantly written book, Busch highlights factors that distinguish twenty-first-century citizen scientists from traditional amateur naturalists: a greater sense of urgency, helpful new technologies, and the expanded possibilities of crowdsourcing.

 

The observations here look both to precisely recorded data sheets and to the impressionistic marginalia, scribbled asides, and side roads that often attend such unpredictable outings. While not a primer on the prescribed protocols of citizen science, the book combines vivid natural history, a deep sense of place, and reflection about our changing world. Musing on the expanding potential of citizen science, the author celebrates today’s renewed volunteerism and the opportunities it offers for regaining a deep sense of connection to place.

 

About Akiko Busch

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Akiko Busch is well known for her writings on design, culture, and the natural world. She was a contributing editor to Metropolis magazine for twenty years and has written three previous essay collections. She lives in the Hudson Valley.Debby Cotter Kaspari is an artist, illustrator, and designer whose work has been featured in national exhibitions, shows, and books, including Coyote at the Kitchen Door and Birds of Trinidad and Tobago. She lives in Norman, Oklahoma.
 
Published April 22, 2013 by Yale University Press. 251 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Education & Reference, Sports & Outdoors, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Kirkus

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on Feb 04 2013

...examines how insect-eating salamanders and wood frogs kill off insects that endanger human health, examines the pros and cons of so-called invasive species, which are sometimes destructive in their new environment but, in other instances, benefit local wildlife...Sure to inform and delight nature lovers.

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