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The Back Road to Crazy

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Copyright: 2005
Trim: 6 x 9
Pages: 240 pp.


The Back Road to Crazy

Stories from the Field

Edited by Jennifer Bové

Nature and Environment

Strap on your snake chaps and slap on some sunscreen as biologist Jennifer Bové takes you out to the field in the company of biologists working on the frontlines of wildlife studies, botany, and resource management. This exuberant and entertaining collection of stories ranges from Myanmar to the Midwest, from Argentina to Alaska and many points in between, offering tales that are by turns thoughtful, funny, tragic, and just-plain-crazy.

During five years of working in snake-ridden sloughs and rough northern seas, Jennifer Bové often asked herself "Why am I doing this?" Realizing her own experiences were only the tip of the iceberg, she invited friends and colleagues to answer the same question. The result is stories that include deadly snakebites, a plague of marmots, special delivery skunk oil, bald eagle wrangling, and a mountain goat loose in the galley of a research vessel. These adventures are the details behind the data collected by these men and women driven to unlock nature’s truths. In The Back Road to Crazy, seasoned researchers and novices alike reveal the impulse to trade the comfort of a more sheltered career for demanding physical labor, whims of weather, and the company of unruly creatures.

Jennifer Bové obtained her B.S. in biology from the University of Missouri. Her writing has appeared in various magazines and journals.

Table of Contents:

1. Bit, Mark W. Moffett
2. What Joe Loved Mark W. Moffett
3. Skunk Oil, Betsy L. Howell
4. Connections Are Everything, Ram Papish
5. Creeping Death, Howard Whiteman
6. In Big Fence Country, Michael Rogner
7. No Forwarding Address for Vernal Pools, Roy A. Woodward
8. Running the Wind, Jennifer Bové
9. Swimmin' Hole, Wendell R. Haag
10. The Goat in the Galley, Chris Smith
11. A Fox's Love Story, Ran Levy-Yamamori
12. Fire: A Prairie's Own Companion, Alice Cascorbi
13. Road Hunter, David M. Liberty
14. Snares, Troy Davis
15. Pileated Woodpeckers, Patrick Loafman
16. Museum Sisters of Cheerful Disposition, Barbara Blanchard DeWolfe
17. Up Trapper Creek, Jennifer Bové
18. Love in the Margin: Finding Refuge in the Blue Mountains, Joseph L. Ebersole
19. The Clinch River Diner, Charles F. Saylor
20. The Science of Islands, Scott Stollery
21. Tigerland, Eric Dinerstein
22. A Mother's Worst Nightmare, Tonya M. Haff
23. Potheads, Sharyn Hedrick
24. Gumbo, Lynn Sainsbury
25. La Yunga, Betsy L. Howell
26. Rollie's Catch, Chris Smith
27. The Gift Eagle, Dan Mulhern
28. Tequila, Patrick Loafman
29. Polar Summer, Cameron Walker
30. Booby, James Lazell
31. Sandhill Season, Jennifer Bové
32. Eating Crow (and Other Ways to Atone for Sins in the Wilderness, Chris Smith
33. Chasing the Tail of a Frog, Elizabeth Dayton
34. Dances with Coyotes, John Shivik
35. Snapper's Kiss, Jeff Beane
36. Whistling Dixie in the Land of the Midnight Sun, Benton Taylor
37. Dependence Day, Jeff Beane
38. The Old Camp Coffee-Pot, Badger Clark


Praise and Reviews:

"The Back Road to Crazy is an entertaining and enlightening buffet of firsthand anecdotes about conservation fieldwork. It's all here: drama, adventure, toil, tedium, tears, laughter, mystery, terror, wonder, and ecological insight throughout. Overall, The Back Road to Crazy is a colorful path to wisdom."
—Chip Ward, author of Hope's Horizon: Three Visions for Healing the American Land

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