Gary Paul Nabhan

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Arab/American

The University of Arizona Press

The landscapes, cultures, and cuisines of deserts in the Middle East and North America have commonalities that have seldom been explored by scientists--and have hardly been celebrated by society at large. Sonoran Desert ecologist Gary Nabhan grew up around Arab grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in a family that has been emigrating ...

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The Desert Smells Like Rain

The University of Arizona Press

Longtime residents of the Sonoran Desert, the Tohono O'odham people have spent centuries living off the land—a land that most modern citizens of southern Arizona consider totally inhospitable. Ethnobotanist Gary Nabhan has lived with the Tohono O'odham, long known as the Papagos, observing the delicate balance between these ...

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Enduring Seeds

The University of Arizona Press

As biological diversity continues to shrink at an alarming rate, the loss of plant species poses a threat seemingly less visible than the loss of animals but in many ways more critical. In this book, one of America's leading ethnobotanists warns about our loss of natural vegetation and plant diversity while providing insights into ...

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Woodlands in Crisis

Bilby Research Center, NAU

In recent years, the West has suffered from unprecedented stand-replacing wildfires, and the government has invested more money in preventative forest thinning than ever before. This forest crisis has led to much controversy over the Healthy Forests legislation passed by Congress in 2003. On the Colorado Plateau, it has also spurred ...

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Unnatural Landscapes

The University of Arizona Press

Louisiana crawfish, cheatgrass, Russian thistle, Hottentot figs, rats, and sweet fennel. These and dozens of other seemingly benign flora and fauna have become some of the worst culprits in the destruction of ecosystems and native wildlife in the American Southwest and Baja California.

Although widely publicized threats--such as ...

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Food, Genes, and Culture

Eating Right for Your Origins

Island Press
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Counting Sheep

The University of Arizona Press

Imagine sending a number of nature writers out into the same unrelenting stretch of Sonoran Desert. Then consider telling them to focus their attention on just one animal—Ovis canadensis, popularly called the desert bighorn or borrego cimarrón—and have them write about it. Have them write from makeshift blinds or from ...

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Gathering the Desert

The University of Arizona Press

To the untrained eye, a desert is a wasteland that defies civilization; yet the desert has been home to native cultures for centuries and offers sustenance in its surprisingly wide range of plant life.

Gary Paul Nabhan has combed the desert in search of plants forgotten by all but a handful of American Indians and Mexican ...

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Tequila

The University of Arizona Press

The array of bottles is impressive, their contents finely tuned to varied tastes. But they all share the same roots in Mesoamerica's natural bounty and human culture.

The drink is tequila—more properly, mescal de tequila, the first mescal to be codified and recognized by its geographic origin and the only one known ...

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Ethnobiology for the Future

Linking Cultural and Ecological Diversity

The University of Arizona Press
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Conserving Migratory Pollinators and Nectar Corridors in Western North America

The University of Arizona Press

When migrating birds and other creatures move along a path of plant communities in bloom, they follow what has come to be known as a nectar trail. Should any of these plants be eliminated from the sequence—whether through habitat destruction, pests, or even aberrant weather—the movement of these pollinators may be ...

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Counting Sheep

The University of Arizona Press

Imagine sending a number of nature writers out into the same unrelenting stretch of Sonoran Desert. Then consider telling them to focus their attention on just one animal—Ovis canadensis, popularly called the desert bighorn or borrego cimarrón—and have them write about it. Have them write from makeshift blinds or from behind a gun barrel. Have them write while walking across the Cabeza Prieta at night, or while flying over it trying to radio-collar the creatures. Have them write from actual sightings of the animals or simply from their tracks and droppings.

What would result from such an exercise is Counting Sheep, an unusual anthology that demonstrates the range of possibilities in nature writing. While ostensibly a collection of writings about these desert sheep that live along the U.S.-Mexico border, it also represents an attempt to broaden the scope of the natural history essay.

Writers trained in a wide range of disciplines spanning the natural and social sciences here offer a similarly diverse collection of writings, with women's, Hispanic, and Native American views complementing those in a genre long dominated by Anglo men. The four sections of the anthology comprise pre-Anglo-American tradition, examples of early nature writing, varied responses by modern writers to actually counting sheep, and a selection of essays that place bighorns in the context of the larger world.

Counting Sheep celebrates the diversity of cultural responses to this single animal species in its Sonoran Desert habitat and invites readers to change the way in which they view their relationship to wild creatures everywhere. It also shows how nature writers can delight us all by the varied ways in which they practice their craft.

Contributors:

Charles Bowden

David E. Brown

Bill Broyles

Julian Hayden

William T. Hornaday

Paul Krausman

Danny Lopez

Eric Mellink

Mauricio Mixco

Gale Monson

Gary Paul Nabhan

Doug Peacock

Kermit Roosevelt

Harley G. Shaw

Charles Sheldon

Peter Steinhart

Anita Alvarez de Williams

Terry Tempest Williams

Ann Zwinger

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