Everett Cafe Book Display: Teaching About Species... and an Excerpt Concerning Scarabaeinae
Fairy lights cast a warm glow over an appetizing spread of potjiekos, bobotie, chakalaka, and other traditional dishes, when all of a sudden a large black insect crashes to the table like a fighter plane making a forced landing. Agog amid the distress of the fairer ladies, one seemingly heroic guest earnestly grabs a meat knife, hoists it machete-like over his shoulders, and slams it down, dissecting the poor creature with a resounding thud between the dinner plates. Arms flailing and lips pursed, the game warden walks over to firmly, but quietly lecture on the need to never, ever
, kill a dung beetle
. Known for its ability to roll elephant poop (upon which it feeds) into balls as much as 250 times its own weight, this remarkable (though admittedly scary), insect is not only vital to the South African bush, but sacred in other parts of the world, modern India to ancient Egypt, where it symbolizes the sun, if not life itself. A hush ensues, offering food for thought and enduring embarrassment that sparks a giggle or two at the antics of the novice tourist. We quickly learn to cover our heads completely at night, most especially on the jeep for the night drives.
Is it true that we care mostly about giant, often tropical or subtropical animals when thinking about endangered species and conservation? There's the Amur Leopard, Black Rhino, Hawksbill Turtle, South China Tiger, Sumatran Elephant .... but what about the smaller fauna and flora -- the honeybee, American burying beetle, Louisiana quillwort, Georgia aster ... that are also disappearing from our landscape?
Our big take-away on African safari is that it’s not just about conserving leopards and giraffes, but all creatures, great and small, and indeed all living things, including trees, shrubs, and flowers. As we grapple with the causes and effects of our changing climate and human habits, we appreciate how the lesson of the dung beetle translates to the oceans, forests, grasslands, mountains, and even the cities, where the last passenger pigeon met its uncanny fate in 1914 at the Cincinnati Zoo. Enter fight, flight, or fright, with acute stress occurring in response to threat or survival.
In support of this year’s Earth Day, whose theme is "Protect Our Species
", we present Teaching About Species
to nurture deeper educational awareness and human sensitivities to the whole world around us. Included are works that probe the meaning and debate over species, extinction, and the Anthropocene through research, narrative, and lessons from Nature.
The following books, which can be checked out for two weeks, are on display in Everett Cafe through the end of May. Be sure to read the Edlab blog about the design process
Avery, Mark. A Message From Martha: The Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon and Its Relevance Today
. London: Bloomsbury Natural History, 2014.
Cafe QL696.C63 A87 2014
Davies, Nicola. Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth
. New York: Candlewick Press, 2017.
Cafe QH541.15.B56 D38 2017
Flach, Tim and Sam Wells. Endangered
. New York: Abrams, 2017.
Cafe QL82 .F595 2017
Grant, Tim and Gail Littlejohn, eds. Teaching Green: The High School Years: Hands-On Learning in Grades 9-12
. Gabriola Island, Canada: New Society, 2009.
Heise, Ursula K. Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species
. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016.
Cafe QH78 .H45 2016
Jickling, Bob, et al. Wild Pedagogies: Touchstones for Re-Negotiating Education and the Environment In the Anthropocene
. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2018.
Cafe LB14.7 .W55 2018
Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions, 2015.
Kolbert, Elizabeth. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
.New York: Picador, 2015.
Cafe QE721.2.E97 K65 2014
Leakey, Richard E. and Roger Lewin. The Sixth Extinction: Patterns of Life and the Future of Humankind
. New York: Doubleday, 1995.
Cafe GF75 .L425 1995
Lorimer, Jamie. Wildlife in the Anthropocene: Conservation After Nature
. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2018.
Cafe QH75 .L62 2015
MacKinnon, J.B. The Once and Future World: Finding Wilderness In the Nature We've Made: Nature As It Was, As It Is, and As It Could Be
. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
Cafe GF75 .M322 2013
Moore, Jason W. Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital
. London, New York: Verso, 2015.
Cafe HD75.6 .M66 2015
Reynolds, Heather L., et al. Teaching Environmental Literacy: Across Campus and Across the Curriculum
. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2010.
Slater, Matthew H. Are Special Real? An Essay on the Metaphysics of Species
. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
Cafe QH83 .S55 2013
Seymour, Nicole. Bad Environmentalism: Irony and Irreverence in the Ecological Age
. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2018.
Cafe NX650.E58 S49 2018
Stefoff, Rebecca, adapter. Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species
. Young Readers Edition. New York: Atheneum, 2018.
Cafe QH367.1 .S74 2018
Tsing, Anna Lowenhaupt. The Mushroom At the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins
. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017.
Cafe GF21 .T76 2015
Wohlleben, Peter. The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries From a Secret World
. Vancouver, Berkeley: Greystone Books, 2016.
Cafe QK475 .W6413 2018
Wohlleben, Peter. The Secret Wisdom of Nature: Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance Of All Living Things: Stories From Science and Observation
. Vancouver, Berkeley: Greystone Books, 2019.
Cafe QH549.5 .W6413 2019
Poster Image: Passenger Pigeon
, by Johann Seligmann, 1749, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
At the Everett News Cafe, you'll find a new book collection every few weeks that relates to current affairs, education, or learning environments.