Thursday, April 19, 2007

April 22 Is Earth Day

Earth Day celebrates our environmental citizenship. By paying closer attention to human impacts on the environment, we can make positive changes in the way we interact with the world around us. The University of Georgia Press publishes books about the natural environments of the South, including highly regarded books for outdoor enthusiasts that promote conservation through education and responsible exploration.

By Earth Day, some 58 species of dragonflies and 36 species of damselflies will be in flight throughout Georgia and beyond.
DRAGONFLIES AND DAMSELFLIES OF GEORGIA AND THE SOUTHEAST by Giff Beaton is a comprehensive guide to the region’s odonates. Anyone who has seen these shimmering aerobatic daredevils that dart above the water can understand why many birders have taken to watching and identifying dragonflies and their generally smaller cousins, damselflies. Beaton’s stunning photographs detail more than 150 species found in the state. The survival of some of these species is threatened: cumulative land development has impacted the odonates’ aquatic habitats, clogging them with pollution and silt. Some odonate breeding and feeding areas have been eliminated altogether, which is even more detrimental to species with limited habitats. The book details how to observe these creatures without harming them or their environment, including the proper way to hold their wings. Beaton provides a list and map of good public sites in Georgia for watching odonates.

Most of the plants in Hugh and Carol Nourse’s
FAVORITE WILDFLOWER WALKS IN GEORGIA will be in their peak flowering season from April to May. With this guide in hand, Earth Day should be a colorful time to explore fields and meadows. Valuable for the novice, the book also contains information of interest to more experienced wildflower enthusiasts. The book features walks in all five regions of Georgia on public land with fairly unrestricted access. Trail maps are accompanied by detailed descriptions of the walks in all seasons and by scenic photographs of the trails and the flowers found along them. The Nourses tell how we can respectfully enjoy wildflower habitats with minimal impact.

FIELD GUIDE TO THE RARE PLANTS OF GEORGIA by Linda G. Chafin recognizes that plant diversity is essential to earth’s biodiversity and stresses management and protection of rare species. The guide contains photographs by Hugh and Carol Nourse and information to facilitate quick recognition of rare and endangered Georgia plants. With its tough flexibind format, the guide is an ideal companion on hikes. Spend some time on Earth Day broadening your awareness of these plants' distribution and ecological significance. That’s a good first step toward helping to ensure their survival.

Dorinda G. Dallmeyer’s
ELEMENTAL SOUTH is an anthology of southern nature writing that acknowledges humanity’s ties to the earth. Dallmeyer is a moving force behind the Southern Nature Project, which brings writers together to showcase their distinctive voices and common concerns about human interaction with the environment.

UGA Earth Day Celebration
Monday, April 23, 2007
Sponsored by the Energy Conservation Executive Committee, the Physical Plant, and UGA Unplugged. Showcasing hybrid vehicles, Planet Smoothie's biodiesel bus tour, energy conservation efforts at UGA, live music, activities, and giveaways to raise awareness of the need for energy conservation. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Tate Center Plaza.

Giff Beaton, Hugh and Carol Nourse, and Linda G. Chafin are reading and signing copies of their books on Sunday, July 22, 2007, 2-4 p.m., at the
State Botanical Garden of Georgia.


Left (from top to bottom):
"Pacific Shows Signs of Morphing From Warm El Nino To Cool La Nina," 2/12/07, NASA/JPL Ocean Surface Topography Team
Cover of Dragonflies and Damselflies of Georgia and the Southeast
Hugh and Carol Nourse
Cover of Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Georgia
Homepage of Southern Nature Project's web site

Right (from top to bottom):
Giff Beaton in the field, photo by Dennis Paulson
Cover of Favorite Wildflower Walks in Georgia
Fringed Gentian, photo by Hugh Nourse, from Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Georgia
Cover of Elemental South

Research and writing by Sarah Sapinski

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