The amount of surface water in the Basin and Range country of California and Nevada, where my book is set, has fluctuated tremendously over the last several million years and the fortunes of the salamanders, toads, and pupfishes have waxed and waned with the advance and retreat of these waters. Imagine standing above Death Valley 150,000 years ago and looking out over ancient Lake Manly, which was six hundred feet deep and eighty miles long. Lake Manly—and Searles Lake, Panamint Lake, and Tecopa Lake, on and on—would have been stunningly beautiful, part of a widespread Pleistocene “sea.” The fishes and amphibians that lived in or near these lakes, or along feeder streams, must have prospered. Now these waters have been replaced by desert and salt pan playas, and “my” species have retreated into refugia, where they persevere, sometimes against great odds. Continue Reading Interview: Christopher Norment on the beauty of the desert ecosystem
On 22 January 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in Roe v. Wade, the abortion rights case that culminated in one of the most controversial legal rulings in the country’s history. Forty years later, numerous myths continue to circulate about the contents and meanings of Roe. Here are five of the most significant. Continue Reading Marc Stein: Five Myths about Roe v. Wade
The shallows are a hub of biological activity. This is where many species of fishes spawn and where small fish seek haven from larger ones looking for lunch. Plants also grow in the shallows, and where there are plants there will be snails and small harmless insect-like crustaceans such as isopods and amphipods and shrimp and occasionally everyone’s favorite—a seahorse—and their close relatives, pipefishes, clinging, crawling, and slithering over the stems and blades of the vegetation. Continue Reading Robert Lippson: Wading in the shallows and loving it!
Rock Center with Brian Williams airs a story about North Carolina’s history of state-ordered sterilizations, featuring audio recordings of social workers involved in the program that were uncovered in Johanna Schoen’s research on the subject in the 1990s. Continue Reading North Carolina’s eugenics history: Testimonies from victims (video)
One of the strengths of UNC Press is our commitment to publishing first-rate books about the region in which we live. From college hoops to environmental history, from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, from the coast to the hills, our books about the South educate and entertain readers within the region and… Continue Reading Southern Gateways: The best in southern reading from UNC Press
On Monday the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to the biologist who helped develop in vitro fertilization (IVF). As a New York Times op-ed noted, the honoree is “a man who was reviled, in his time, as doing work that was considered the greatest threat to humanity since the atomic bomb.” Thirty-two years later,… Continue Reading Karey Harwood: IVF Kids: Are They Really All Right?
I once went on an epic camping trip to a state park with my extended family. On this trip, my cousin “accidentally” bumped into me while I was kneeling beside our campfire. “Luckily,” I caught myself on the hot coals around the perimeter. Then, this same cousin–we’ll call him Teddy (cough…Michael)–“accidentally” ran into my brother… Continue Reading Celebrate North Carolina State Parks…and Watch Out for My Cousin Teddy
We are happy as clams—and horses and chickens and goats and all creatures, really—to announce that today, at the American Society for Environmental History’s annual meeting in Portland, our author Carolyn Merchant, receives the Distinguished Scholar Award for her significant contribution to environmental history scholarship. Professor Merchant has focused, throughout her career, on human interactions… Continue Reading Congrats to Carolyn Merchant, winner of ASEH’s Distinguished Scholar Award
Congratulations to author Alan Feduccia, who has just had a 120-million-year-old bird named after him! The fossil of the early Cretaceous period bird, named Confuciusornis feducciai, was recently discovered in ancient, dried up lake deposits in Liaoning Province in northeastern China, an area that has produced a “gold rush” of fossils in the last decade,… Continue Reading New (old) bird species named for biologist Alan Feduccia
It’s an old idea that now has a very modern twist, like a newspaper serial for the 21st century. . . . Want to read a book but don’t have large blocks of time for settling in and curling up? We’ve found a solution for you with DailyLit — the first e-book vendor to send… Continue Reading UNCP books now available in small doses through DailyLit
And now, back to our regularly scheduled program. Chances are, if you don’t already have a beach trip lined up this summer and you plan a road trip now, you’ll probably have to camp out in a tent or in your car, because North Carolina beaches are awesome and everyone wants to go and they… Continue Reading Weekend Roadtrip #2: Beach book grab bag (it’s educational!)