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Photo: Aakash Chakrabarty

Superhuman River book cover with photo of man diving into the Ganges

Superhuman River: Stories of the Ganga

Bidisha Banerjee (Aleph)

Physically, the Ganga River originates in the Himalayas and winds through India and Bangladesh before emptying into the Bay of Bengal, creating the world’s largest mangrove system. Mythically, the Ganga begins in the Milky Way and extends into the underworld. In this decade-long tale of adventure, Bidisha Banerjee ’10 MESc weaves concepts of ecology, anthropology, and spirituality to show humans trying to locate themselves in relation to what she calls a “superhuman river.” “For now, in an age of climate change,” she says, “we have the power to impact the Earth and its future in ways unimaginable before.”

Bitter Shade book cover

Bitter Shade : The Ecological Challenge of Human Consciousness

Michael R. Dove (Yale Press)

How can we achieve sufficient distance from our own everyday realities to think and act more sustainably? In this anthropological book, Michael Dove, Margaret K. Musser Professor of Social Ecology at YSE, leans on his extensive research in South and Southeast Asia on how local cultures have approached the “curse of consciousness” — the paradox that we cannot completely comprehend the ecosystem of which we are a part. Dove highlights three transcending principles: perspectivism, or how we see oneself from outside oneself; metamorphosis, or how to become something that we are not; and mimesis, or how we copy something we are not.

Forensic Forestry book cover

Forensic Forestry: A Guidebook for Foresters on the Witness Stand

Robert P. Latham (CRC Press)

Now a semi-retired professional forester and economist, Robert Latham ’63 MF relied on decades of experience to pen this unique hands-on resource for forestry and land use professionals called upon to work on legal cases and testify in court. These issues, particularly in the U.S., are becoming increasingly important — and contentious — and require considerable knowledge of the legal system in addition to technical expertise of our forestlands. Written for those who serve as expert witnesses or consultants to attorneys, the book also outlines real-world case studies that describe evidence used in legal proceedings and the testimony that was provided.

Split Waters book cover

Split Waters: The Idea of Water Conflicts

Edited by Luisa Cortesi and K.J. Joy (Routledge)

This collection of essays, co-edited by Luisa Cortesi ’18 PhD, investigates common narratives about water scarcity to make readers rethink water conflicts and how they are commonly understood and managed. Using case studies from around the world, “Split Waters” goes in-depth on how water conflicts begin and who is involved, finding deeper meaning to create alternative agendas that change the conversations among scholars and activists. Cortesi has received numerous

awards for her research on water systems, including the 2019 Theron Rockwell Field Prize, a prestigious Yale-wide award that honors scholarship of poetic, literary, or religious value.

Biodiversity Islands book cover

Biodiversity Islands: Strategies for Conservation in Human-Dominated Environments

Edited by Florencia Montagnini (Springer)

Florencia Montagnini, a senior research scientist and director of the program in tropical forestry and agroforestry at YSE, has written a dozen books and more than 250 articles about the ecology of tropical forests, agroforestry, and native species and forest landscape restoration. Her latest work provides an overview for the identification and establishment of “biodiversity islands” — sections of land where plants and animals thrive without human interruption. The book — intended for a wide range of people, from farmers to land managers to policymakers — presents real-world examples of successful biodiversity islands and offers design parameters for sizing and spatial distribution for effective conservation and regeneration.