Structured as a series of interactive field walks through ten New England ecosystems, this book challenges readers to examine seemingly static landscapes, to see the world through the eyes of a naturalist. With guided questions, immersive photography, and a narrative approach, each chapter adds layers of complexity onto a single scene, revealing the millions of years of forces at play. Tying together the disciplines of geology, forest ecology, wildlife biology, soil processes, evolution, conservation, and more, Noah Charney shows how and why landscapes appear in their current forms.
Charney’s stories and lessons will provide anyone with the necessary investigative skills for looking at a landscape, interpreting it, and telling its story—from where it started as rock or soil to the plants and animals that live on it. Ultimately, Charney argues, by critically engaging with the landscape we will become more connected with nature and more fully able understand ourselves.
Noah Charney is assistant professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Maine and coauthor of the award-winning Tracks and Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates: A Guide to North American Species. He lives in Orono, ME.