It’s a Jungle Up There


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More Tales from the Treetops

Margaret D. Lowman, Edward Burgess, and James Burgess; With a Foreword by Sir Ghillean T. Prance

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Drawn to the mysteries of tropical rain forests and fascinated by life in the treetops, Meg Lowman has pursued a life of scientific exploration while raising her two sons, Edward and James Burgess. This book recounts their family adventures in remote parts of the world (Samoa, West Africa, Peru, Panama, India, Biosphere 2, and others), from the perspectives of both kids and parent. Together they explore tropical rain forests, encounter anacondas and piranhas, eat crickets as hors d’oeuvres, discover new species, and nurture a family ethic for conservation.
The chapters of the book focus on field biology questions, the canopy access methods developed to answer the questions, and conservation or education components of each expedition. Lowman enumerates the challenges and joys of juggling parenthood and career, and the children reflect on how their mom’s work has affected their lives. A rollicking, inspiring book, It’s a Jungle Up There is an upbeat portrayal of how a parent’s career can imprint children, and how children in turn can influence the success and trajectory of their parent’s career.

Margaret D. Lowman is director of environmental initiatives and professor of biology and environmental studies at New College of Florida. Edward Burgess works for Environmental Defense in New York City. James Burgess is a member of the class of 2009 at Princeton University.

 "A lively, readable book that will help to educate a variety of readers about scientific research and processes in forest environments, as well as the importance of environmental conservation."—Ellen Wohl, Colorado State University

"The inspiring story of a woman who has been able to pursue her love of science, research, and conservation while raising children."—Laura Meyerson, University of Rhode Island


"In this marvelous book Margaret Lowman reveals with clarity, grace and passion a nobility of purpose as she takes the reader through her fascinating journey through life. She continues to break the mold of scientist by revealing how she pursued a life of research while raising a family literally in the jungle. This book is an inspiration and Margaret Lowman an original with her fascinating insights on motherhood and saving this planet. But most of all Lowman provides a beautifully written plea for why everyone can and must find a reason for hope. Her eloquent prose will resonate with readers of all ages and educational backgrounds."—Richard Wiese, President, Explorers Club

"Imagine if Tarzan and Jane had two boys and Jane were a scientist as well as mom, and you will understand the fascination of this stimulating, hard-to-put-down and personal account.  A most engaging tale of how rich and exciting a scientific life can be." —Thomas Lovejoy, President, Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment  

'There's lots of good evocative, even rollicking adventure...the descriptions of life and research in the canopy shine, and Barbara Harrison's illustrations are a delight.' - BBC Wildlife Magazine

“Several cuts above many of her contemporaries; her passion for her profession, and her children, is both powerful and moving.”

“Lowman’s spirited tale of science and single parenting is inspirational.”—Publishers Weekly

"Meg Lowman epitomizes the Earthwatch model of science and education, inspiring people to join her in the vital quest for sustainable solutions. Her eye for the details in nature, and the promise of inspired young minds, is as sharp as her scientific insights on the rainforest.  Earthwatch is proud to have supported her efforts, and thrilled with the results."—Ed Wilson, President & CEO of Earthwatch Institute

"This book tells the story of [Lowman's] more than 20 years of study, including raising her two boys as a single parent in the midst of research, travel and grant writing. It is a story that reflects the findings of her research, the growth and development of her sons, and the growing recognition of the incredible ecological value of the forest canopies around the world. Lowman seeks to educate others about the value of these resources, so that they may become the focus of expanded conservation efforts. This is a good read."—Wildlife Activist

"A delightful look at [Lowman’s] life as both a mother and a biologist dangling from canopies around the world. Lowman’s two sons, Eddie and James Burgess, wax nostalgic and recount growing up with their mother on her expeditions to India, Panama, Peru, and West Africa, making this book a charmingly personal one."—Milbry C. Polk, Explorers Journal

ISBN: 9780300129236
Publication Date: May 20, 2008
320 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
35 b/w illus.
Life in the Treetops

Adventures of a Woman in Field Biology

Margaret Lowman; Foreword by Robert D. Ballard

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