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      Condor Comeback: Scientists in the Field

      by Sy Montgomery

      Oct 2020

      Nonfiction Middle

      In April of 1987 the last wild California condor was captured and taken to live in captivity like the other twenty-six remaining birds of its kind. Many thought that the days were over of of this remarkable, distinguished bird that had roamed the skies of North and Central American for thousands of years.

      Sy Montgomery employs her skill for on-the-ground reporting, shrewd observation, and stunning narrative prose to detail the efforts of scientists, volunteers, and everyday citizens to get California condors back in the wild. In particular, Montgomery profiles employees at the Santa Barbara Zoo who have worked tirelessly to raise abandoned chicks, nurse sick birds back to health, and conduct research that can support legislation to ban what is probably the largest threat to the existence of the wild condor: lead bullets. In turns affectionate and frustrated, hopeful and heartbreaking, Montgomery’s powerful prose does justice to these ancient, sociable, and elegant creatures.

      Complete with world-class, full-color photography and helpful sidebars that provide details such as the history of the bird’s fight back from extinction, the dangers of lead poisoning, and the relationship of condors to the Chumash nation, Condor Comeback is an inspiring story of groundbreaking science, perseverance, and cooperation.

      The Big One: The Cascadia Earthquakes and the Science of Saving Lives: Scientists in the Field

      by Elizabeth Rusch

      Oct 2020

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      No one ever thought the Pacific Northwest was due for an earthquake, let alone a catastrophic one. But geologists are transforming our understanding of the grave dangers the population in the region of Cascadia face—will there be a big one? And what can be done to save lives?

      America's Pacific Northwest has relatively few earthquakes—only a handful each year that cause even moderately noticeable shaking. But a couple decades ago, scientists discovered a geological feature running along the coast that in other parts of the world regularly triggers massive earthquakes of 8.0 magnitude and higher. Were there once massive earthquakes in this part of the world?

      Geologists think there were. Now a small group of scientists are studying things that you might not think have anything to do with earthquakes—marsh soil, ocean sediments, landslide debris, and ghost forests—and they have reason to believe that the Pacific Northwest is likely not as idyllic as it was once assumed. The population is likely in grave danger of a massive earthquake at some point. What can be done? The big one can't be stopped, but scientists are working tirelessly to learn as much as they can to prepare.

      Eclipse Chaser: Science in the Moon's Shadow

      by Ilima Loomis

      Feb 2020

      Nonfiction Middle

      On August 21, 2017, much of America stood still and looked up as a wide swath of the country experienced totality—a full solar eclipse. Even in areas outside the path of totality, people watched in awe as the moon cast its shadow on the sun. For most, this was simply a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

      Not so for Shadia Habbal, who travels the world in search of solar eclipses in order to study the sun’s corona. Solar wind and storms originating in the corona can have big effects on our planet. They can disrupt technology, expose aircraft to radiation, and even influence global climate change. In the months leading up to the 2017 eclipse, Shadia assembles a team of scientists to set up camp with her in Mitchell, Oregon. Years earlier, a long, expensive trip to Indonesia to study an eclipse failed when the skies remained too cloudy to see it. Shadia is determined to have the 2017 eclipse be a success. Will the computers fail? Will smoke from nearby fires change direction? Will the cloudy skies clear in time?

      Glossary. Selected sources. Index. Full-color photographs, maps, and diagrams.

      Saving the Tasmanian Devil: How Science Is Helping the World's Largest Marsupial Carnivore Survive

      by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

      Oct 2019

      Nonfiction Middle

      In the late 1990s, a fatal disease called Devil facial tumor disease began wiping out the Tasmanian devil population, killing nearly 90% of the devils over the past 20 years. Why was the entire population getting the same disease? Was it contagious? Then geneticist Jenny Graves made a discovery that was hard to believe, but true: the tumors were cloning and multiplying between animals. If researchers cannot get to the bottom of this mystery, this fascinating mammal will soon be gone. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent takes readers on an unforgettable tour of the Tasmania to meet the scientists working to save the devil before it's too late.

      Glossary. Suggestions for further information. Sources. Index. Full-color photographs and illustrations.

      The Orca Scientists

      by Kim Perez Valice

      Sep 2018

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Follow the scientists working in the Pacific Northwest to learn about the orca whale population there, as they race to save these remarkable mammals from extinction.

      How to get involved. Glossary. Selected bibliography and sources. Author’s note. Index. Black-and-white and full-color photographs and digital illustrations.

      The Hyena Scientist

      by Sy Montgomery

      Jun 2018

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Zoologist Kay Holecamp has made it her life's work to understand hyenas: fascinating, complex creatures that are playful, social, and highly intelligent—almost nothing like the mangy monsters of pop culture lore.

      Impact!: Asteroids and the Science of Saving the World

      by Elizabeth Rusch

      Feb 2018

      Nonfiction Middle

      Follow scientists as they search for dangerous asteroids in space, study asteroids that have smashed into the ground, and make plans to prevent an asteroid strike if one ever threatens our planet.

      Mission to Pluto: The First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt

      by Mary Kay Carson

      Mar 2017

      Nonfiction Middle

      Follow along with scientists as they build the first spacecraft to explore Pluto, fly it across the solar system, and make new discoveries three billion miles away. Time line. Glossary. List of resources for more information. Author's note. Sources and selected bibliography. Index. Full-color and black-and-white photographs, reproductions, diagrams, and digital illustrations.
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