Disconnected Rivers


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Linking Rivers to Landscapes

Ellen Wohl

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Price: $32.00
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This important and accessible book surveys the history and present condition of river systems across the United States, showing how human activities have impoverished our rivers and impaired the connections between river worlds and other ecosystems.
Ellen Wohl begins by introducing the basic physical, chemical, and biological processes operating in rivers. She then addresses changes in rivers resulting from settlement and expansion, describes the growth of federal involvement in managing rivers, and examines the recent efforts to rehabilitate and conserve river ecosystems. In each chapter she focuses on a specific regional case study and describes what happens to a particular river organism—a bird, North America’s largest salamander, the paddlefish, and the American alligator—when people interfere with natural processes.

Ellen Wohl, professor of geology at Colorado State University, is also the author of Virtual Rivers: Lessons from the Mountain Rivers of the Colorado Front Range, published by Yale University Press.

All proceeds from this book are being donated to American Rivers, a nonprofit organization

"A richly detailed summary of historical changes to river systems across the country."—David Montgomery, Earth & Space Sciences, University of Washington

“This important and original book contains one of the best compilations of human impacts on rivers that can be found.”—Douglas Thompson, Connecticut College

"The wealth of historical detail in this book will be of value to students of river science as well as to those advocating improvements in river condition."—Judy L. Meyer, University of Georgia, Distinguished Research Professor of Ecology, Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia

“To restore America’s rivers it’s not knowledge we lack, it’s resolve. This book supplies the inspiration for a nationwide rallying cry for rivers, which as Ellen Wohl makes clear, we desperately need.”—Rebecca R. Wodder, president of American Rivers, leader of the nationwide Citizens’ Agenda for Rivers     

"This book tells a story that few Americans know. We drink from rivers, swim in them, admire their beauty, without realizing how much their discharge has been manipulated and their quality reduced."—Robert Carson, Whitman College

“Well written and informative, it clearly indicates the substantial consequences of human activities on valuable river systems. This work should be required reading, especially for those in water resources, hydrology, and river management. Highly recommended.”—Choice

"This book will be useful to ecologists interested in the connections among physical processes, history, and ecology, as well as to river activists who are looking for an entree into the vast literature on river modification."—Daniel W. Schneider, Ecology

"The arrival of Wohl's most recent book is very timely indeed—go grab a copy and get connected."—Dylan S. Ahearn, Journal of the American Water Resources Association



“Ellen Wohl delivers a passionate wake-up call to preserve our watery lifelines, urging us to view holistically the connections between rivers and landscapes. . . . It’s an exhaustive, thoughtful, gut-wrenching book. We ignore what she tells us at our peril.”—Susan Dworski, Los Angeles Times

"The Story is beautifully told with diversions into the life stories of river creatures from the alligator to the salamander."—New Scientist

"Are you a geologist? A chemist? Maybe a botanist or a zoologist? Perhaps you study forestry or are a wildlife expert. You could be just a concerned citizen, worried about what the world will be like for your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. If you are any of these, buy this excellent book!"—Science Books and Films

"Wohl intersperses personal anecdotes and engaging detours with summaries of technical studies as she creates a detailed portrait of historic changes to river systems across the country. . . . This book needed to be written. . . . Richly illustrated and full of great examples."—David R. Montgomery, Geotimes

"It is clear that Wohl has deep understanding of the physical processes that shape rivers, and she provides detailed information on how pollutants such as mercury and pesticides affect river ecosystems and biota. . . . It is also. . .an important alternative to the more traditional focus on the complexity of physical and ecological processes within streams and rivers."—Windsor H. Lowe, BioScience

"A well organized survey of the present state of major river systems in North America."—Southeastern Naturalist

"This important and accessible book surveys the history and present condition of river systems across the U.S., showing how human activities have impoverished our rivers and have impaired the connections between river worlds and other systems. Generously illustrated with historical and contemporary photographs and line drawings, this book offers the most comprehensive treatment available of the human impact on our rivers."—Abstracts of Public Administration, Development, and the Environment

Selected as a 2006 Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine
ISBN: 9780300194708
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
320 pages, 6 x 9
131 b/w illus.
Virtual Rivers

Lessons from the Mountain Rivers of the Colorado Front Range

Ellen Wohl

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