Hot Best Seller

The Arbornaut: A Life Discovering the Eighth Continent in the Trees Above Us

Availability: Ready to download

Nicknamed the “Real-Life Lorax” by National Geographic, the biologist, botanist, and conservationist Meg Lowman—aka “CanopyMeg”—takes us on an adventure into the “eighth continent” of the world's treetops, along her journey as a tree scientist, and into climate action Welcome to the eighth continent! As a graduate student exploring the rain forests of Australia, Meg Lowman r Nicknamed the “Real-Life Lorax” by National Geographic, the biologist, botanist, and conservationist Meg Lowman—aka “CanopyMeg”—takes us on an adventure into the “eighth continent” of the world's treetops, along her journey as a tree scientist, and into climate action Welcome to the eighth continent! As a graduate student exploring the rain forests of Australia, Meg Lowman realized that she couldn’t monitor her beloved leaves using any of the usual methods. So she put together a climbing kit: she sewed a harness from an old seat belt, gathered hundreds of feet of rope, and found a tool belt for her pencils and rulers. Up she went, into the trees. Forty years later, Lowman remains one of the world’s foremost arbornauts, known as the “real-life Lorax.” She planned one of the first treetop walkways and helps create more of these bridges through the eighth continent all over the world. With a voice as infectious in its enthusiasm as it is practical in its optimism, The Arbornaut chronicles Lowman’s irresistible story. From climbing solo hundreds of feet into the air in Australia’s rainforests to measuring tree growth in the northeastern United States, from searching the redwoods of the Pacific coast for new life to studying leaf eaters in Scotland’s Highlands, from conducting a BioBlitz in Malaysia to conservation planning in India and collaborating with priests to save Ethiopia’s last forests, Lowman launches us into the life and work of a field scientist, ecologist, and conservationist. She offers hope, specific plans, and recommendations for action; despite devastation across the world, through trees, we can still make an immediate and lasting impact against climate change. A blend of memoir and fieldwork account, The Arbornaut gives us the chance to live among scientists and travel the world—even in a hot-air balloon! It is the engrossing, uplifting story of a nerdy tree climber—the only girl at the science fair—who becomes a giant inspiration, a groundbreaking, ground-defying field biologist, and a hero for trees everywhere. Includes black-and-white illustrations


Compare

Nicknamed the “Real-Life Lorax” by National Geographic, the biologist, botanist, and conservationist Meg Lowman—aka “CanopyMeg”—takes us on an adventure into the “eighth continent” of the world's treetops, along her journey as a tree scientist, and into climate action Welcome to the eighth continent! As a graduate student exploring the rain forests of Australia, Meg Lowman r Nicknamed the “Real-Life Lorax” by National Geographic, the biologist, botanist, and conservationist Meg Lowman—aka “CanopyMeg”—takes us on an adventure into the “eighth continent” of the world's treetops, along her journey as a tree scientist, and into climate action Welcome to the eighth continent! As a graduate student exploring the rain forests of Australia, Meg Lowman realized that she couldn’t monitor her beloved leaves using any of the usual methods. So she put together a climbing kit: she sewed a harness from an old seat belt, gathered hundreds of feet of rope, and found a tool belt for her pencils and rulers. Up she went, into the trees. Forty years later, Lowman remains one of the world’s foremost arbornauts, known as the “real-life Lorax.” She planned one of the first treetop walkways and helps create more of these bridges through the eighth continent all over the world. With a voice as infectious in its enthusiasm as it is practical in its optimism, The Arbornaut chronicles Lowman’s irresistible story. From climbing solo hundreds of feet into the air in Australia’s rainforests to measuring tree growth in the northeastern United States, from searching the redwoods of the Pacific coast for new life to studying leaf eaters in Scotland’s Highlands, from conducting a BioBlitz in Malaysia to conservation planning in India and collaborating with priests to save Ethiopia’s last forests, Lowman launches us into the life and work of a field scientist, ecologist, and conservationist. She offers hope, specific plans, and recommendations for action; despite devastation across the world, through trees, we can still make an immediate and lasting impact against climate change. A blend of memoir and fieldwork account, The Arbornaut gives us the chance to live among scientists and travel the world—even in a hot-air balloon! It is the engrossing, uplifting story of a nerdy tree climber—the only girl at the science fair—who becomes a giant inspiration, a groundbreaking, ground-defying field biologist, and a hero for trees everywhere. Includes black-and-white illustrations

30 review for The Arbornaut: A Life Discovering the Eighth Continent in the Trees Above Us

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Anderson

    It takes a dense book to contain the research, impact, and living legacy of Meg Lowman. Yet in approachable and endearing style her aptly named book, "The Arbornaut", not only accomplishes that but lays out a compelling case of what each of us can (and must) do to mitigate the devastation of our planet’s richest sanctuaries of biodiversity: our old-growth forests. While I first approached this title with the anticipation of expanding my scientific understanding of forest ecology (and I did), I wa It takes a dense book to contain the research, impact, and living legacy of Meg Lowman. Yet in approachable and endearing style her aptly named book, "The Arbornaut", not only accomplishes that but lays out a compelling case of what each of us can (and must) do to mitigate the devastation of our planet’s richest sanctuaries of biodiversity: our old-growth forests. While I first approached this title with the anticipation of expanding my scientific understanding of forest ecology (and I did), I was hardly prepared for such an adventure with Meg across all 7 continents and up hundreds of feet into the canopies themselves. Detailing each forest within its context of geography, environment, regional economics, and unique climate-related challenges, I soon came face to face with the flora and fauna living in the heights well above the commotion of daily life. Sometimes sounding out the various genus and species she met in these upper reaches (and admittedly, sometimes not), I soon found myself captivated by their remarkable uniqueness and then seconds later, grieving for the precariousness of their survival. While she is not shy about demonstrating her command of the subject matter—which spans far beyond the trees themselves—she offers explanation and analogy that kept me engaged and in-tune with the significance of her observations. If this were simply a compilation of species encountered and the research her work inspired, it’d be a great read. But overshadowing the science is the story of a budding pioneer with unstoppable curiosity, courage, and determination to study the whole tree and not just its “big toe”—its trunk—as traditionally done in decades before her. Rigging a series of ropes and pulleys into branches overhead and “after a lot of thought and some trial and error”, Lowman hoists herself into the 8th continent. It’s 1978, and the world she discovers spawns decades of new research, educational outreach, eco-tourism, and global conservation efforts. To portray any of those achievements adequately requires (at least) its own paragraph. It is truly remarkable what Lowman has accomplished in her lifetime and continues accomplishing in her sixth decade. No impact of this significance comes without its hardship, though. As a "shy" female breaking into a male-dominated discipline, she encounters condescension, opposition, disapproval, and multiple setbacks. She shares these disappointments openly and without bitterness. In her own humble and practical way, she works around these temporary roadblocks much like she accommodates uncomfortable living and research conditions all throughout her career: she simply pushes on. As I reflect back on the nearly 8 hours we have spent together (the time it took me to read her book), “The Arbornaut” inspired me on a number of different levels: first, by Lowman’s personal sacrifice (any mom can attest to the emotional, physical, and oftentimes financial drain of balancing professional and family life—how many juggle this on a global scale?); by the integrity and meticulousness of her research style (no wonder it yielded such great discoveries); her results (which impact individual lives and scale to school districts, communities, forests, and countries). Finally, by being true to her highest calling, she’s created awareness, interest, and urgency for conservation efforts worldwide. There’s only one Meg Lowman, and readers, she’s done her part. It’s time to do ours! This is a must-read for anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of the impacts of climate change, those who teach science or seek to inspire kids in science, those who enjoy science, and those who just need a dose of inspiration of a life fully lived. My sincerest thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux for allowing this review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    Before the review, I'm a tree hugger and a member of the American Conifer Society (https://conifersociety.org) and also North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS) (https://www.nargs.org). And a female who recently retired after working over 30 years in a very male dominated field. And would have been happy to have continued going to college forever. So ... this review may be (is!) biased. This book was perfect for me and I really enjoyed it. Would everybody like this book? Probably not. (But in m Before the review, I'm a tree hugger and a member of the American Conifer Society (https://conifersociety.org) and also North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS) (https://www.nargs.org). And a female who recently retired after working over 30 years in a very male dominated field. And would have been happy to have continued going to college forever. So ... this review may be (is!) biased. This book was perfect for me and I really enjoyed it. Would everybody like this book? Probably not. (But in my opinion, everybody should take the time to understand how biodiversity and trees impact the world around them. Or at least check out some of her webpages, www.treefoundation.org ) The version reviewed was an advance read pdf version courtesy of NetGalley and was 769 pages; GoodReads indicates that the book is 368 pages. I'm not confident that the version reviewed is the final version; I'm suspecting that there will be some editing for the final version. The reviewed book contained quite a bit about family dynamics while married in Australia and then she brought her two young sons back to America so that she could continue with the research and work with trees and biodiversity that she is so impassioned. And then there is very little included about her sons until very late in the book. I thought it was odd that there was so much information about the boys and her life in Australia; and then once she was in America she jetted off from one country to another country to study biodiversity with little mention of her boys. It seems that Meg's efforts have taken her to nearly every region of the globe that has trees. It is all very fascinating; and she has been constantly discovering new creatures in the upper canopies of trees. She developed a method of climbing trees using a slingshot. She has championed walkways through the upper canopies of trees so that people can understand the importance of trees in their community and the world. She has also reached out to those who have limited mobility and found a way for them to also get into the treetops. Additionally she spent extra effort to bring women into the this field. I'm really in awe of Meg Lowman and everything that she has accomplished. At the end of the book she said that her boys would call her an ArborNUT! I would agree. LOL. The title of this book is a bit misleading. There is a great bit of detail about biodiversity in Ethiopia, the Amazon, India. I can't even count the number of countries mentioned. Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) and the author (Meg Lowman) for the opportunity to review the advance read copy of The Arbornaut in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chantal Lyons

    The world would undoubtedly be a poorer place without Meg Lowman in it. The oldest author in this list, Dr Lowman became a scientist in the 1970s. The amount of misogyny she had to battle in the lab (and at home, when she married into an Australian farming family) genuinely made me swear out loud at times. But she overcame these obstacles again and again thanks to her love for the natural world and, most of all, trees. An “arbonaut” is someone who climbs into trees, the canopies of which are call The world would undoubtedly be a poorer place without Meg Lowman in it. The oldest author in this list, Dr Lowman became a scientist in the 1970s. The amount of misogyny she had to battle in the lab (and at home, when she married into an Australian farming family) genuinely made me swear out loud at times. But she overcame these obstacles again and again thanks to her love for the natural world and, most of all, trees. An “arbonaut” is someone who climbs into trees, the canopies of which are called “the eighth continent” by Lowman and others. It’s thought that millions of species live in tree canopies that are not yet known to science. I vicariously experienced the author’s joy of discovery and her fascination with this aerial world. I also loved reading about her journey from child naturalist to fully-fledged scientist, and it made me appreciate anew how lucky students are these days to have the internet at our fingertips – no trawling through heaps of dusty journals for us. Although it’s fairly long, there was not a boring moment in this book. Lowman has been all over the world for her work, taking us from her birthplace on the eastern coast of the USA, to the Scottish Highlands, to Ethiopian “church forests”, to rainforests in Australia, Malaysia, India, and Central and South America. A fair portion of the book also recounts her work to engage the public in citizen science and to involve more underrepresented groups in science, including young people in wheelchairs, and women in more culturally-conservative countries. I read pretty much the whole book in a state of awe at what a powerhouse Lowman is – but of course, she couldn’t finish the book without delivering stark warnings about the future of the Earth if we continue to destroy the forests that help to sustain our world. (With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an advance e-book in exchange for an honest review)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sheila Lynn

    The Arbor bait by Meg Lowman is a present waiting to be read. It is a delightful book for anyone who loves trees, nature, or has environmental concerns. Ms. Lowman presents data in a very readable manner, and reading this made me look at our world in a different way. Hands down , it's one of the best scientific books I've read in some time, and made me miss the little I used to be when I would climb trees to see what's up there. Read it, you will.enjoy it. The Arbor bait by Meg Lowman is a present waiting to be read. It is a delightful book for anyone who loves trees, nature, or has environmental concerns. Ms. Lowman presents data in a very readable manner, and reading this made me look at our world in a different way. Hands down , it's one of the best scientific books I've read in some time, and made me miss the little I used to be when I would climb trees to see what's up there. Read it, you will.enjoy it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣

    Q: IMAGINE GOING TO THE DOCTOR for a complete checkup and, in the course of an entire visit, the only body part examined was your big toe. The visit ends with a pronouncement that you are perfectly healthy, but there was no test of your vital signs, heartbeat, vision, or any other part of you—just the big toe. You may have gone in with a broken arm or a headache from high blood pressure, but the assessment of your lowest bipedal extremity alone couldn’t clue the doctor in to the real trouble. How Q: IMAGINE GOING TO THE DOCTOR for a complete checkup and, in the course of an entire visit, the only body part examined was your big toe. The visit ends with a pronouncement that you are perfectly healthy, but there was no test of your vital signs, heartbeat, vision, or any other part of you—just the big toe. You may have gone in with a broken arm or a headache from high blood pressure, but the assessment of your lowest bipedal extremity alone couldn’t clue the doctor in to the real trouble. How would you feel? At the very least, you’d probably switch doctors. For centuries, the health of trees, even those ancient giants stretching hundreds of feet high into the clouds, was assessed in just the same way. Examining woody trunks at eye level, scientists essentially inspected the “big toes” of their patients and then made sweeping deductions about forest health without ever gazing at the bulk of the tree, known as the canopy, growing overhead. The only time foresters had the chance to evaluate a whole tree was when it was cut down—which is kind of like assessing a person’s entire medical history from a few ashes after cremation. In tropical forests especially, the lower levels are as different from the upper reaches as night and day. The ground receives as little as 1 percent of the light shining on the crowns. So the understory is dark, windless, and often humid whereas the canopy is blasted with sun, whipped by high winds, and often crispy in its dryness between rainstorms. The gloomy forest floor is inhabited by a few shade-loving creatures, while the canopy hosts a riotous variety of life—millions of species of every imaginable color, shape, and size that pollinate flowers, eat leaves, and also eat each other. (c) Q:

  6. 5 out of 5

    phil breidenbach

    Great book! I enjoyed reading about Megs adventures in the tops of trees around the world. I also enjoyed reading about her quest for racial and sexual equality in the scientific fields. She actively promotes her field of expertise with no worries about her students overcoming her own high points, in fact she strives for this! (Something we should all try to do!) She always talks with students and children, never knowing which ones might become a future scientist, perhaps one that might help so Great book! I enjoyed reading about Megs adventures in the tops of trees around the world. I also enjoyed reading about her quest for racial and sexual equality in the scientific fields. She actively promotes her field of expertise with no worries about her students overcoming her own high points, in fact she strives for this! (Something we should all try to do!) She always talks with students and children, never knowing which ones might become a future scientist, perhaps one that might help solve some of the problems our world faces! This is a book that will someday, soon, reside in my own collection!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ula Tardigrade

    Meg Lowman had an extraordinary life: full of adventures, travels all around the world, scientific discoveries and successes. In this book she describes it all but also shows a dark side: constant struggle to achieve recognition or at least respect as a woman (and a single mother) in the patriarchal world of academia. It is truly shocking how hard it can be, even in the rich West. You can also learn a lot from this book about trees themselves and forest ecology. Parts of it were very interesting, Meg Lowman had an extraordinary life: full of adventures, travels all around the world, scientific discoveries and successes. In this book she describes it all but also shows a dark side: constant struggle to achieve recognition or at least respect as a woman (and a single mother) in the patriarchal world of academia. It is truly shocking how hard it can be, even in the rich West. You can also learn a lot from this book about trees themselves and forest ecology. Parts of it were very interesting, parts would benefit from a harsher editor, but it is worth reading if you are into this topic. Thanks to the publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and NetGalley for the advance copy of this book

  8. 5 out of 5

    BookBlanketFort

    I loved so much about this book. The author takes us into the fascinating world of field biology, teaching us about the flora and fauna she studied as well as the sexism she encountered in her rise through the field. I enjoyed reading about the plants and animals that the author studied around the world. I never knew the extent to which field biologists go—foregoing comforts such as indoor plumbing and hot food—to complete their research. The book moved through the numerous countries where the au I loved so much about this book. The author takes us into the fascinating world of field biology, teaching us about the flora and fauna she studied as well as the sexism she encountered in her rise through the field. I enjoyed reading about the plants and animals that the author studied around the world. I never knew the extent to which field biologists go—foregoing comforts such as indoor plumbing and hot food—to complete their research. The book moved through the numerous countries where the author researched plants and wildlife. She also explores international conservation partnerships. Throughout the book the author weaves in her experiences of sexism in biology. She illustrates how the tall poppy gets cut first—a bias that encourages women to hold back instead of excel due to unsupportive professional environments. One area where I wish the author had given us more was her effort to elevate women of color in science in the US. She talked about efforts to elevate women overall, but women of color face special barriers that need to be addressed. Still, I could not put this fascinating book down and highly recommend it. Thanks to NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Comfort Me With Nature

    “The easy solution, according to Hal, was to visit the local pubs with a slingshot and tell a few good tree-rigging yarns.” As this quote attests, this is a humble memoir of understated accomplishment. As you learn about her work as a scientist, field biologist, educator, and conservationist, you also uncover not only the scientific challenges but the many gender-based obstacles she needed to overcome to progress in her career. And did she ever. Most people would declare a career successful with “The easy solution, according to Hal, was to visit the local pubs with a slingshot and tell a few good tree-rigging yarns.” As this quote attests, this is a humble memoir of understated accomplishment. As you learn about her work as a scientist, field biologist, educator, and conservationist, you also uncover not only the scientific challenges but the many gender-based obstacles she needed to overcome to progress in her career. And did she ever. Most people would declare a career successful with one of her discoveries or contributions, but not Dr. Lowman. (Yes, I am calling her Dr. Lowman because although ‘Canopy Meg’ seems very approachable, after reading her story, I believe she deserves as much respect as we can show including the use of her honorific.) As Lowman systematically studies the world’s canopies, she must define the scientific questions, develop study methodology, design new equipment, deal with disrespectful faculty, raise a family, educate the masses, encourage young women to enter the sciences, improve access for the disabled, and tackle climate change. Why hasn’t this woman won a MacArthur Genius Grant? Anyone interested in science, the environment, innovative thinking, or women’s history will not only admire her grit but also enjoy her story. I have read Dr. Lowman’s previous books, Life In the Treetops and It’s a Jungle Up There. If you have as well, you might recognize some of the narratives but this does not detract from this tale’s freshness. It might even give you the sense that you are visiting an old friend that you haven’t heard from in a while. Dr. Lowman ends her memoir with a call to action regarding climate change. She knows that her beloved trees are threatened. As I write this, I cannot stop looking at the treetops outside my office window. I wonder about their health and what kind of insects reside within the crown. If Dr. Lowman intends to make us care about trees, I believe she has succeeded extraordinarily well. Why you should not miss this one: * No matter how well-versed you are in the subject of trees, you will effortlessly learn something new * Dr. Lowman’s story is a masterclass in ingenuity, perseverance, and inclusiveness * If you’d like to know what is likely to be the most common creature that lives in the tree canopy, you need to read the book. The answer may surprise you! Thanks to NetGalley, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and the author, Dr. Meg Lowman, for the opportunity to read a digital copy in exchange for this review. #NetGalley #TheArbornaut @canopymeg

  10. 5 out of 5

    Theediscerning

    Three and a half stars for me for this - it's a welcome look at someone who quickly became a notable tree scientist, and gave everyone the techniques for close-up examination of the tops of the trees, where all the action and nature is - first through using abseiling gear and then through permanent walkways. However, being such a consummate scientist seems to have made the author demand the full story of herself, so we get every research idea, every project trip, and so much more. The result is Three and a half stars for me for this - it's a welcome look at someone who quickly became a notable tree scientist, and gave everyone the techniques for close-up examination of the tops of the trees, where all the action and nature is - first through using abseiling gear and then through permanent walkways. However, being such a consummate scientist seems to have made the author demand the full story of herself, so we get every research idea, every project trip, and so much more. The result is not hard to read in regards its levels of science, but does kind of fall off the 'popular' end of that shelf, and while in the autobiography area is a little too forensically detailed to be a hit. It looks like being a success, but for once I sought something a bit more populist - with its welcome message about saving forests being so important, that would not have gone amiss, surely?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Susan McBeth

    Perhaps inspired by the international acclaim of The Overstory by Richard Powers and a monumental tide of interest in these majestic giants, The Arbornaut focuses on the canopy and the life and adventure contained therein as evidenced by the work of biologist, botanist and environmentalist Meg Lowman. The author's enthusiasm and passion, as well as her deep scientific knowledge of the topic combine to make a compulsively readable yet activistic call to save the world's trees. (Thank you FSG for t Perhaps inspired by the international acclaim of The Overstory by Richard Powers and a monumental tide of interest in these majestic giants, The Arbornaut focuses on the canopy and the life and adventure contained therein as evidenced by the work of biologist, botanist and environmentalist Meg Lowman. The author's enthusiasm and passion, as well as her deep scientific knowledge of the topic combine to make a compulsively readable yet activistic call to save the world's trees. (Thank you FSG for the advance copy.)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Edie

    hard to rate this one. well worth the read and most of the time kept me interested and fascinated at the world of tree canopies and its significance in our world and human and species health, but at times got too technical for me to keep focused. really informative and a great source of inspiration for both young people and women interested in dendrology and arborlogy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Randy Garry

    Did not finish. Read a little more than one-third of it, but found it to be way too involved. She has a good writing style, but it was simply “too much information”. That Sid, I certainly admire her strong work ethic, and how well she investigates things in “the upper canopy”. (An arbornaut is someone who explores treetops, often putting her over one hundred feet above ground level.)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chris Selin

    This book is incredible once I reached chapter 6. It is informative and highly, direly important. Lowman clearly excels as an educator. Every part of the book that was purely educational had me rapt. The memoir sections should have been guided and improved by her editors. Learn how forests and large trees are key to the ecology of Earth, then spread the word and take any action you can.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Boon

    Meg Lowman has led an interesting life with a lot of great research adventures, but that doesn't come through as much as I'd like in this book. I suspect it's because it's all expository writing, with no scenes or dialogue. See my review at Undark Magazine (will post link when it's up). Meg Lowman has led an interesting life with a lot of great research adventures, but that doesn't come through as much as I'd like in this book. I suspect it's because it's all expository writing, with no scenes or dialogue. See my review at Undark Magazine (will post link when it's up).

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tristan

    An interesting topic by an extraordinary scientist. She's jut not a very good writer. An interesting topic by an extraordinary scientist. She's jut not a very good writer.

  17. 4 out of 5

    M.

    It was a good read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gina Beirne

  19. 4 out of 5

    Claire Weatherly

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

  21. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Meisenheimer

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dan Patrick

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sage

  25. 5 out of 5

    Naomi Scott

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jennie

  27. 4 out of 5

    Holly Cooper

  28. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Kinder

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carla

  30. 5 out of 5

    Audacia Ray

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...