Island Press Events


Thicker Than Water | Island Press

Author Talk: Thicker Than Water with Erica Cirino

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 7:00pm EST

95 Harbor Rd
Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
United States

In Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis, journalist Erica Cirino brings readers on a globe-hopping journey to meet the scientists and activists telling the real story of the plastic crisis. From the deck of a plastic-hunting sailboat with a disabled engine, to the labs doing cutting-edge research on microplastics and the chemicals we ingest, Cirino paints a full picture of how plastic pollution is threatening wildlife and human health. Thicker Than Water reveals that the plastic crisis is also a tale of environmental justice, as poorer nations take in a larger share of the world’s trash, and manufacturing chemicals threaten predominantly black and low-income communities.

This is an in-person event and will take place at the library. Registration required. Limited to 25.

Mark Elbroch with Chris Morgan: Can humans and mountain lions coexist?

Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 7:30pm PST

Town Hall Seattle
1119 8th Ave
(Entrance off Seneca St.)
Seattle, WA 98101
United States

Mountain Lions aren’t frequent visitors to Seattle’s urban areas, though unconfirmed sightings have been reported in places like Discovery Park as recently as January 2021. But a little further to the east, mountain lions (also called cougars or pumas) are regularly spotted on rural farms and in hiking areas, parks, and suburban yards. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, mountain lions have made a massive comeback in North America. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reports a mountain lion population between 3,500 and 4,000 in our state alone. Its recovery has led to some critical questions: Is their growing population leading to more sightings, or are human and cougar habitats colliding? Do mountain lions still need protection as a species or do increases in their numbers make them a threat to humans?

In his book, The Cougar Conundrum: Sharing the World with a Successful Predator, mountain lion biologist Mark Elbroch dispels myths about mountain lions and shares groundbreaking science about their social habits. Elbroch describes cougars as curious, cautious, and generally peaceful; they are keystone predators that enrich and support healthy ecosystems — our shared ecosystems. But Elbroch also acknowledges that cougars are also powerful hunters; is it possible for humans and mountain lions to coexist? Elbroch tackles this question and more, offering practical advice for wildlife managers, conservationists, hunters, and those living in communities where large predators are becoming more common.

Mark Elbroch is an internationally recognized expert on carnivores and cougars. He is Director of Panthera’s Puma Program and has contributed to cougar research and conservation in Idaho, California, Colorado, Wyoming, Washington, Mexico, and Chile. His work with mountain lions has been covered by National Geographic, the BBC, National Public Radio, The New York TimesScientific American, and The Washington Post, among others. Elbroch is twice a National Geographic Explorer, a 2011 Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation Fellow for environmental leadership, and the 2017 recipient of the Craighead Conservation Award for “creating positive and lasting conservation outcomes.” He is a regular contributor to National Geographic’s Cat Watch blog and has authored and coauthored ten books on natural history.

 Chris Morgan is an ecologist and award-winning conservationist, educator, TV host, film producer, speaker, and podcaster. In 2019 Morgan partnered with KUOW in Seattle to produce and host “THE WILD with Chris Morgan,” a podcast series that takes listeners on immersive adventures into the wild to discover incredible species and conservationists. He has regularly hosted TV productions for PBS, National Geographic Television, BBC, and Discovery Channel, and has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. Morgan is a familiar host and voice of PBS NATURE and has narrated over twenty films since 2011.

Presented by KUOW and Town Hall Seattle as part of the Town Green series.

Bet the Farm by Beth Hoffman | An Island Press book


Friday, December 3, 2021 - 7:00pm CST

Please join us for a reading and conversation with Beth Hoffman to celebrate the release of her new book Bet the Farm: The Dollars and Sense of Growing Food in America. She will be joined in conversation by Chuck Offenburger

John Piotti, President of the American Farmland Trust says of the book, "Honest and authentic, Beth Hoffman accomplishes what few authors who write about farms ever achieve: conveying amid the hard work and simple pleasures, the realities of running a tough business. Readers seldom get to view farming so accurately."

Beth Hoffman has been reporting on food and agriculture for over twenty years, airing on NPR, The World, Latino USA, Living on Earth, and others. She blogged for Forbes as the Hungry Hack and studied the food system in depth as a student, fellow and co-lecturer at UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism. She has completed several documentary projects including a year cooking with immigrant women in their homes and telling their stories. She was an Associate Professor in Media Studies at the University of San Francisco for six years. Two years ago, in her late 40s, she and her husband left San Francisco and moved to rural Iowa to take over his family’s farm. Bet the Farm looks at the economics of American agriculture, told through Hoffman’s personal story of becoming a farmer.

Chuck Offenburger is a mostly-retired Iowa writer who had a 26-year career covering Iowa and its people for the Des Moines Register. His "Iowa Boy" column in the Register took him all over the state, across the nation and around the world. He now lives and writes at his "Simple Serenity Farm" outside the tiny town of Cooper (pop. 30, maybe) in west central Iowa, "surrounded by some of the most interesting farming operations you could find anywhere."  His writing -- on a wide range of topics -- now appears first on his website which is one of the oldest news and opinion sites in Iowa.

Thicker Than Water | Island Press

Lecture & Book Signing with Erica Cirino at the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 - 7:00pm EST

180 Little Neck Road
Centerport, NY 11721
United States

"A ground-breaking work of journalism and essential reading for those eager to understand the enormous impact plastic has on our planet."

Join science writer, author, and artist Erica Cirino for a book discussion & signing at the beautiful Vanderbilt Planetarium in Centerport, NY! Cirino’s book, Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis is a ground-breaking work of journalism and essential reading for those eager to understand the enormous impact plastic has on our planet—and people.

Members are free. Non-members $10.00.

Swamplands | Island Press

Swamplands as Untapped Climate Solutions: A Look to the Hudson Bay Lowlands

Thursday, December 16, 2021 - 1:00pm EST

Swamplands such as peatlands, bogs, fens, marshes, and swamps have been demonized and dismissed as dismal, unhealthy “wastelands,” with little ecological value. But these underappreciated ecosystems are home to many rare and newly discovered species They also play a critical role in mitigating floods, filtering water, slowing wildfires, and regulating climate change. These ancient peatlands have cooled the planet for thousands of years. If the world’s peatlands are disturbed and degraded as they have been in many parts of the world, they will release rather than store carbon, accelerating the warming that is already taking place.

The Hudson Bay Lowlands comprise one of the largest intact natural peatlands left on the planet. Some parts of this vast region store 4 to 5x’s more carbon than the equivalent area in the Amazon Rainforest. Currently, there are more than 17,000 active mining claims held by 18 companies and individuals in the Lowlands known as the Ring of Fire.

The Omushkego Cree, the Indigenous people who have lived in this area for thousands of years, know the importance of these ancient peatlands. The Mushkegowuk Council, the senior representative for 7 First Nations in the northern James Bay and Hudson Bay region, is working on a conservation plan for part of the Lowlands. The National Audubon Society, Wildllands League, and other nonprofits are working with them to make that happen.

Join the conversation to better appreciate why we should preserve our peatlands. Learn how the Mushkegowuk Council of Hudson Bay Lowlands are leading in understanding and communicating the importance of these globally significant sites in the face of many competing interests. 

Participants include:

Swamplands | Island Press

January 2022 Wetland Knowledge Exchange Webinar

Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 2:00pm EST

Join Edward Struzik as he discusses his latest book Swamplands: Tundra Beavers, Quaking Bogs, and the Improbable World of Peat and adventures through peatlands the world over, including many across Canada’s North.

Peatlands cover around 4% of the earth and yet they store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests. But these remarkable landscapes are being systematically drained and degraded, with peat burned for fuel and bogs, fens, swamps and marshes destroyed to make way for oilsands, mines, farms, hydroelectric projects, and soil conditioners. If the world’s frozen peatlands continue to thaw and release carbon, these ecosystems will accelerate climate change rather than mitigate it.

Effective solutions to the conservation of these lands does exist and can even be done relatively inexpensively as scientists in Great Britain and the European Union are demonstrating. But the path forward in North America requires government support, industry partnerships and public engagement. In this presentation, Edward Struzik, journalist and fellow at Queen’s University’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy, will engage the audience around the vitality, diversity, and resilience of peatlands. Struzik will share elements of his global journey as he explores the often-overlooked landscapes. He’ll explain why we need to take peatlands more seriously and how we can do that.

Attendees will also receive a 30% discount code for Struzik's new book.