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Wild Life: Finding My Purpose in an Untamed World

Rae Wynn-Grant  (Zando)

During her childhood in California, Rae Wynn-Grant ’10 MESc was drawn to nature shows and dreamed of a life of adventure studying wild animals in tropical rainforests and desert savannas. 

In this new memoir, Grant, a research fellow with the National Geographic Society, visiting scientist at the American Museum of Natural History, and the host and writer of the PBS Nature podcast series “Going Wild,” recounts her path to becoming a world-renowned wildlife ecologist, which has included studying grizzly bears in Montana, black bears in Yellowstone, lions in Kenya and Tanzania, and gorillas in the Congo Basin. 

She also reflects on the challenges she faced in her 20-year career as one of the very few Black female scientists.

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Crossings: How Road Ecology Is Shaping the Future of Our Planet

Ben Goldfarb (W.W. Norton & Company)

Roads make up more than 40 million miles of land on Earth, and often they cut right through the middle of wildlife habitats, posing a deadly hazard for any animal trying to cross them in search of food and water or to migrate elsewhere. Each year, cars kill more than one million animals in the U.S.

In this fascinating look into road ecology, Goldfarb ’13 MEM highlights innovative solutions such as the bridges over highways that conservationists are building for mountain lions in California and the tunnels being built for English toads.

“When alien archaeologists exhume the rubble of human civilization, they may conclude that our raison d’être was building roads … To us, roads signify connection and escape; to other life forms, they spell death and division,” writes Goldfarb.

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Industrial Ecology and Sustainability

Thomas E. Graedel and Matthew J. Eckelman (World Scientific Publishing Co.)

Considered the pioneer of industrial ecology, Professor Emeritus Thomas Graedel founded and directed the Center for Industrial Ecology at YSE as well as the International Society for Industrial Ecology. His book “Industrial Ecology” was the first textbook in the field. In this newly published textbook, co-written with former student Matthew Eckelman ’10 PhD, who studied environmental engineering at Yale, the authors delve into various sustainability topics, including economic geology, recycling and reuse, and rapid technological changes. The highlights are the examples in each chapter that give readers the ability to visualize and better understand the tools that industrial ecologists utilize, such as life cycle assessments, material flow analysis, and matrix analytics, among others.

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Love for the Land: Lessons from Farmers who Persist in Place

Brooks Lamb (Yale University Press)

America is losing its farmland — every day roughly 2,000 acres are paved over or converted to other uses. In this new book Brooks Lamb ’21 MEM looks at why farming as a way of life is rapidly disappearing from the American landscape. The book, an expansion of his YSE thesis for which he received the Strachan Donnelly Award, explores the effects of agricultural consolidation, racial injustice, and suburban sprawl on the farming industry through personal stories from in-depth interviews.

Having grown up on a small farm in rural Tennessee, Lamb has unique insight into the obstacles farmers face, and his evocative narrative style paints a picture not only of hardship but also of tenacity and resilience. Throughout the book, Lamb shows how appreciating the bond between humans and the earth can lead to a greater level of environmental stewardship.