Category Archives: Celebrate

The World’s Beaches : A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline

A book by Orrin H. Pilkey, William J. Neal, James Andrew Graham Cooper and Joseph T. Kelley


Published by University Of California Press

” Beaches are the most dynamic features on Earth, constantly changing shape and providing vital ecological functions and a home to environments of amazing biodiversity. Understanding the importance of the beach’s role vis-a-vis the land, the nearshore and the ocean and its biodiversity is crucial to its protection and preservation.”
—Santa Aguila Foundation

” We, the authors of this book, often think we are the luckiest people in the world. We have walked on and looked at beaches all over the world, on all seven continents. With our feets and eyes we study one of the world’s most dynamic natural environments. Best of all, the work is part of our job: we study the present as geologists in order to understand the past, and as educators to pass on our global experience to students”
– Orrin H. Pilkey, William J. Neal, James Andrew Graham Cooper and Joseph T. Kelley.

Orrin H. Pilkey is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Geology at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, and Founder and Director Emeritus of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, based at Western Carolina University.

William J. Neal , is Professor Emeritus of Geology, Department of Geology, at Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI.

James Andrew Graham Cooper, PhD, is Professor of Coastal Studies, at the University of Ulster.

Joseph T. Kelley is Professor of Geology and Oceanography, at Lehigh University.

Pre-order available now on Amazon.com


REVIEWS


“Take this book to the beach; it will open up a whole new world…
Illustrated throughout with color photographs, maps, and graphics,”The World’s Beaches” explores one of the planet’s most dynamic environments, from tourist beaches to Arctic beaches strewn with ice chunks to steaming hot tropical shores…This fascinating, comprehensive guide also considers the future of beaches, and explains how extensively people have affected them, from coastal engineering to pollution, oil spills, and rising sea levels.” Guardian, Culture, Book Review.


“The World’s Beaches: A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline,” By Orrin H. Pilkey, William J. Neal, James Andrew Graham Cooper and Joseph T. Kelley.
Best Sellers: Geology, March 1, 2012.
Library Journals list of Best Sellers in Geology, Book Review.


“The World’s Beaches: A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline,” a comprehensive, readable guide to the physical features of many kinds of beaches and some of the threats they face.” The New York Times


The World’s Beaches, A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline, by Orrin H. Pilkey, William J. Neal, Joseph T. Kelley, and J. Andrew G. Cooper.
Illustrated throughout with color photographs, maps, and graphics, The World’s Beaches tells how beaches work, explains why they vary so much, and shows how dramatic changes can occur on them in a matter of hours – from tourist beaches to Arctic beaches strewn with ice chunks to steaming hot tropical shores. This fascinating, comprehensive guide also considers the future of beaches, and explains how extensively people have affected them. Patagonia


The authors of “The World’s Beaches: A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline,” explain what kinds of changes late-season beachgoers can expect in the wake of Hurricane-turned-Tropical-Storm Irene. Metro Focus


Made possible by the Santa Aguila Foundation (a non-profit dedicated to coastline preservation around the world), “The World’s Beaches: A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline,” has wide appeal. The aim is not to dazzle, but to inform, and in this way encourage preservation efforts worldwide. Written in an engaging style, the text covers classifications of beaches; the action of waves, currents, and tides; and how to “read” a beach through a close look at surfaces, wind action, beach creatures, and shells. Review, Reference & Research Book News / SCITECH Book News, October Issue


The World’s Beaches: A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline,” EARTH Magazine, December 1, 2011, Kathryn Hansen, Included in a holiday roundup of the editors’ favorite books from 2011..Earth Magazine


When will we ever learn the lessons of hurricanes? A Special to CNN.
“Orrin Pilkey is the James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Earth Science at Duke University. His latest co-authored books are “Global Climate Change: A Primer” (Duke) and “The World’s Beaches” (University of California Press).” CNN


The World’s Beaches: A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline (2011),” written by Orrin Pilkey and three fellow scientists from around the world — William J. Neal, James Andrew Graham Cooper and Joseph T. Kelley — is a comprehensive but relatable guide to the science of the shoreline, teaching readers precisely how beaches work and how to read the “character” of any given shoreline…
Dr. Pilkey, professor emeritus of Geology and of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Duke University, is unusual in his willingness to advocate for changes in policies that affect the environment. “Scientists, in my view, have a responsibility to spread the word,” he told Kirkus. While the book may appear academic to the everyday reader, Pilkey warns that beaches remain one of the best indicators of things to come with global warming.
“Part of the purpose of The World’s Beaches is to get people to love and appreciate beaches on a different level. They are the most dynamic geomorphic feature on the surface of the Earth.”— Clayton Moore, The Kirkus Review


Pre-order available now on Amazon.com

Global Climate Change: A Primer

A Book by Orrin H. Pilkey and Keith C. Pilkey, Illustrated with batik art by Mary Edna Fraser



Published by Duke University Press

This timely, informative book is exactly what the public needs to understand the ongoing disruption of the earth’s climate. Orrin H. and Keith C. Pilkey present an excellent summary of what we know, and what we don’t know, about the planet’s climate. They also provide a superb overview of a huge campaign underwritten by corporate dollars and intended to confuse the public and manufacture doubt about climate issues.”
Brent Blackwelder, President Emeritus, Friends of the Earth.

An internationally recognized expert on the geology of barrier islands, Orrin H. Pilkey is one of the rare academics who engages in public advocacy about science-related issues. He has written dozens of books and articles explaining coastal processes to lay readers, and he is a frequent and outspoken interviewee in the mainstream media. Here, the colorful scientist takes on climate change deniers in an outstanding and much-needed primer on the science of global change and its effects.

After explaining the greenhouse effect, Pilkey, writing with son Keith C. Pilkey, turns to the damage it is causing: sea level rise, ocean acidification, glacier and sea ice melting, changing habitats, desertification, and the threats to animals, humans, coral reefs, marshes, and mangroves. These explanations are accompanied by Mary Edna Fraser’s stunning batiks depicting the large-scale arenas in which climate change plays out.

The Pilkeys directly confront and rebut arguments typically advanced by global change deniers. Particularly valuable are their discussions of “Climategate,” a manufactured scandal that undermined respect for the scientific community, and the denial campaigns by the fossil fuel industry, which they compare to the tactics used by the tobacco companies a generation ago to obfuscate findings on the harm caused by cigarettes.

About The Authors And Illustrator:

Orrin H. Pilkey is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Geology at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, and Founder and Director Emeritus of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, based at Western Carolina University.

Pilkey has written and edited many books, including, most recently, (with Rob Young) The Rising Sea and (with Linda Pilkey-Jarvis) Useless Arithmetic, an indictment of mathematical models used to predict environmental change.

He is the author or co-author of many books in the Living with the Shore book series that he co-edited for Duke University Press.

Pilkey is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Francis Shepard Medal for excellence in Marine Geology, the Priestley Award for distinguished contributions to environmental science, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Carolina Coastal Federation, and the Outstanding Public Service Award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Pilkey lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Pilkey’s son, Keith C. Pilkey, is an attorney with a longstanding interest in geoengineering and corporate influence on science policy. He lives in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Orrin and Keith Pilkey
Orrin H. Pilkey and Keith C. Pilkey. ©SAF

Mary Edna Fraser is an artist who highlights environmental concerns in large silk batiks, which are often based on maps, satellite images, and the photographs that she takes while flying her family’s 1946 propeller plane.

Deemed a “pilot with a palette” by Michael Kilian of the Chicago Tribune, Fraser has exhibited widely, including at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Reviewing that show, Hank Burchard of the Washington Post declared that “the batiks amount to visual poetry.”

Fraser and Orrin H. Pilkey are the co-authors of A Celebration of the World’s Barrier Islands. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

“An internationally recognized expert on the geology of barrier islands, Orrin H. Pilkey is one of the rare academics who engages in public advocacy about science-related issues. After explaining the greenhouse effect, Pilkey, writing with son Keith, turns to the damage it is causing: sea level rise, ocean acidification, glacier and sea ice melting, changing habitats, desertification, and the threats to animals, humans, coral reefs, marshes, and mangroves. These explanations are accompanied by Mary Edna Fraser’s stunning batiks depicting the large-scale arenas in which climate change plays out.The Pilkeys directly confront and rebut arguments typically advanced by global change deniers. Particularly valuable are their discussions of “Climategate,” a manufactured scandal that undermined respect for the scientific community, and the denial campaigns by the fossil fuel industry…”
Book Review, By Alyce at Athomewithbooks.

“Dr. Orrin Pilkey, professor emeritus of Geology and of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Duke University, is unusual in his willingness to advocate for changes in policies that affect the environment. “Scientists, in my view, have a responsibility to spread the word,” he told Kirkus. “Part of the problem is that we scientists tend to be dullards when it comes to selling our case. Those who work in science tend to be very unsuited for spreading the word—that’s why they’re scientists. But although we should have opinions about policy, scientists should not determine policy per se, but should provide the basis for policy decisions.” Pilkey warns that beaches remain one of the best indicators of things to come with global warming. “I believe that the first truly global crisis will be sea-level rise and the movement of beaches retreating into cities and other places requiring massive changes of one kind or another,” he says. “Understanding how shorelines work will be critical to our response to sea-level rise…” To the audience for Global Climate Change, Pilkey has a message, especially for those who remain burdened by doubt…
Book Review, By Clayton Moore, The Kirkus Review

Shifting Sands and Rising Seas

By Celie Dailey & Orrin H. Pilkey

Edingsville Beach (SC), Batik on silk by Mary Edna Fraser
2009, 79” x 35”

One important societal need, in the face of climate change, is to stop hardened structures from being placed along our sandy barrier island shorelines.

Unlike buildings, which the hard structures are supposed to protect, barrier islands are flexible, dynamic, and are even capable of landward migration in response to sea level rise.

Two of the problems with hard structures are that they cause the eventual loss of the beach and rarely protect the buildings from the really big storm. A beachside lot on a barrier island loses its mystique when there is no beach. The desire for a beach house or hotel view of the ocean overrides the obvious hazards of beachfront living and the eventual need for hard structures contributing to the loss of beaches.

In a time of rising seas, it is senseless and dangerous to build on barrier islands. With sea level rise expected to reach 3 feet above the present level by 2100, barrier island development will become impossible unless protected by massive seawalls around entire islands.

An entire Atlantic Coast barrier island community getting wiped out is not new news. Over the years a number of small communities have disappeared. Some have been lost to the waves of big storms, such as Edingsville, South Carolina, in 1893. Others have fallen into the sea more gradually because of a combination of storms and shoreline erosion, such as Broadwater, Virginia, in 1941. Still others were abandoned in the face of perceived future storm hazards, a wise move. Diamond City, North Carolina, for examples, was abandoned and its buildings moved to safer sites on the mainland after three close calls with closely spaced hurricanes in the late 1890s but before significant damage to buildings had occurred.

In pre-Civil War South Carolina, Edingsville was a high-end resort community with sixty houses, two churches, and a tavern. Wealthy people from Charleston and nearby Edisto Island escaped to the resort to enjoy the seabreeze and avoid the summer malarial mosquitoes on the nearby coastal plain interior. A drawing of the community shows people promenading on the beach, fully attired in formal clothing, following the customs of the day. An 1851 Geodetic Survey chart shows the houses neatly spaced across the entire island. After the Civil War, the wealth that supported the island community diminished and the town fell into disrepair. The end came when the great Sea Island Hurricane of 1893 struck and destroyed all the houses.

Subsequent erosion and island migration reduced the island to a narrow strip of sand less than a hundred feet wide. The old village, perhaps a harbinger, is now four hundred meters (one-quarter mile) offshore. Still, bits of brick, pottery and nails from the village often wash ashore in storms.

Mary Edna Fraser caught the image that inspired her batik in 1983 with her Nikon 35mm film camera. Orrin Pilkey recognized the beach as the former Edingsville location. The art was created in 2009 at Orrin’s request. Mary Edna considers this scene her “aerial backyard,” south of Charleston, South Carolina. Mary Edna often depicts regions that are free of the marks of man across the landscape, inspiring reverence for the dynamic power of the Earth.

The batik on silk of Edingsville Beach is featured in Our Expanding Oceans, a comprehensive art and science exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh which features the collaboration of Mary Edna Fraser and Orrin H. Pilkey and supports the newly published text by Duke University Press, Global Climate Change: A Primer.

The book is co-authored by geoscientist Orrin H. Pilkey and his son, Keith C. Pilkey, with art by Mary Edna Fraser. The exhibit, Our Expanding Oceans, is on view until November 6, 2011 and is scheduled to travel in 2012.

Our Expanding oceans, And Global Climate Change: A Primer, Article And Video, Coastal Care

Artist And Scientist Make A Natural Pair: United They Are An Educational Force, Coastal Care

Nil Delta Desert Islands: An Artist And A Scientist Symbiotic Point Of View, Coastal Care

Delete Apathy

Lilly and Minot Visit the New Orleans Oil Spill

A children’s book written by William Sargent, Illustrated by Julia Purinton


Strawberry Hill Press Publishing just released Lilly and Minot Visit the New Orleans Oil Spill ,
a children’s book from the Lilly and Minot series, which provide a whimsical look at the environment.

“Lilly and Minot live at a dairy farm in the little town of Ipswich, north of Boston. They became famous when Lilly taught kids how to ride her bull-friend, Minot.

Their unbounded curiosity and desire to help others have led to great adventures around the world, from marching in the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans to learning about Minot’s Indian bovine counterparts.

In this witty and charming book, Lilly and Minot travel to New Orleans to help clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of New Mexico.”

william sargent LM

William Sargent is a consultant for the NOVA Science Series and has authored more than a dozen books on environmental science and coastal issues.

The Well From Hell

A book by William Sargent.

Strawberry Hill Press Publishing just announced the release of The Well from Hell, a book that explores the greater social and political impact of last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

“In his trademark style of gracefully examining the interplay between political and environmental concerns, The Well From Hell offers an engaging, informative, and important context for BP’s tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico, placing the company’s short-cuts and lack of preparedness in the larger and colorful story of BP’s corporate culture. Just as importantly, Sargent also considers the spill’s potential legacy in the broader frame of other oil spills, the geology of our remaining oil, and the incentives that drive energy production and consumption.”

william sargent book

William Sargent is a consultant for the NOVA Science Series and has authored more than a dozen books on environmental science and coastal issues.

Mr. Sargent also created a line of childrens’ books, the Lilly and Minot series, which provide a whimsical look at the environment.

Mr. Sargent also maintains a blog The Coastlines Project. Many of the subjects he writes about are of interest to coastal organizations.

Our Expanding Oceans, and Global Climate Change: A Primer

An exhibit by Mary Edna Fraser and Orrin H. Pilkey, Our Expanding Oceans, opened at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh on Thursday, June 23, 2011.

The exhibit, featuring over 50 batiks on silk illustrating threatened landscapes around the world, and coincides with the publication of “Global Climate Change: A Primer” (Duke University Press), co-authored by Orrin and Keith Pilkey with art by Mary Edna Fraser.

Our Expanding Oceans is set to tour to other venues in 2012.


” Global Climate Change: A Primer ”

The Preview’s Invitation:

pilkey-global-climate-change

Tuesday, July 19, 2011
6:30-8:30 p.m. with discussion beginning at 7:00 followed by Q&A
Tir Na Nog, 218 South Blount Street, Raleigh, 833-7795

Dr. Orrin H. Pilkey will discuss global climate change and his soon-to-be-released book, “Global Climate Change: A Primer” (Duke University Press).

“This timely, informative book is exactly what the public needs to understand the ongoing disruption of the earth’s climate. Orrin H. and Keith C. Pilkey present an excellent summary of what we know, and what we don’t know, about the planet’s climate. They also provide a superb overview of a huge campaign underwritten by corporate dollars and intended to confuse the public and manufacture doubt about climate issues.” — Brent Blackwelder, President Emeritus, Friends of the Earth.

Is climate change real? How is it happening and how can we slow its progression? During this café we will learn about the science of global climate change and the damage that rising temperatures are causing: sea level rise, ocean acidification, glacier and sea ice melting, changing habitats, desertification, and the threats to animals, humans, coral reefs, marshes and mangroves. We will also discuss the arguments typically advanced by global change deniers. Could fossil fuel companies be promoting the controversy?

Artist Mary Edna Fraser illustrated the book with her batik art and will join the Café. A book signing will take place immediately following the Science Café.

This Café was made possible through a partnership with the NC Coastal Federation.

About our Speaker:
Orrin Pilkey is a research professor, James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Earth and Ocean Sciences, and Director Emeritus of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) within the Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences in the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University.

Please RSVP to katey.ahmann@ncdenr.gov

Something pretty from something ugly: climate change, NewsObserver Article

Artist and Scientist Make A Natural Pair: United They Are An Educational Force, Coastal Care

Nil Delta Desert Islands: An Artist And A Scientist Symbiotic Point Of View, Coastal Care

Living Beaches of Georgia and the Carolinas

living-beaches-carolinas-cover

Living Beaches of Georgia and the Carolinas, a book by Blair and Dawn Witherington

Excerpts from Pineapple Press Publishing

Georgia and the Carolinas beckon curious beachcombers with over 600 miles of wave-swept Atlantic coastline. These beaches offer more than a sandy stroll amidst stunning scenery, they are alive!

As ever-changing ribbons of sand, these beaches foster unique life forms and accept beguiling castaways from a vast marine wilderness. Mysteries abound. What is this odd creature? Why does the beach look this way? How did this strange item get here?

Living Beaches of Georgia and the Carolinas satisfies a beachcomber’s curiosity within a comprehensive yet easily browsed guide covering beach processes, plants, animals, minerals, and manmade objects. The guide is written in a familiar style and is illustrated with hundreds of distribution maps and over a thousand color photos.

The book follows a previous work on Florida’s Living Beaches, A Guide for the Curious Beachcombers

About the authors:
Blair and Dawn Witherington are professional naturalists. Blair is a research scientist with the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. He has a B.A. and Masters degree in biology from the University of Central Florida and a doctorate in zoology from the University of Florida. He has contributed numerous scientific articles and book chapters on sea turtle biology and conservation. His books include an edited volume on the loggerhead sea turtle and a popular book on sea turtles.

Dawn is a graphic design artist and scientific illustrator trained at the Art Institutes of Colorado and Ft. Lauderdale. Her art and design are prominent in natural history books, posters, exhibits, and a line of sea-themed greeting cards. Together, Blair and Dawn have merged their art, writing, photography, and design in a number of projects.

Witherington,-Dawn-and-Blair

Australia’s Ningaloo coast Gets Unesco’s World Heritage Listing

dinosaur footprints
Concrete cast of dinosaur footprints, over 130 million years old, at Gantheaume Point, Broome, Western Australia. There are six sets of prints, but they are under the water most of the tides. Photo source: ©© Lin Padgham

Excerpts;

The Ningaloo coast in Western Australia covers 708,350 hectares of coastal waters and land, including one of the longest near-shore reefs in the world, and is home to rare wildlife including whale sharks and sea turtles. It’s an area of outstanding beauty and home to 13 threatened bird species, and is the latest sites to be added to the World Heritage List at the Unesco meeting this week in Paris.

At Gantheaume Point and 30 metres out to sea are dinosaur footprints believed to be from the Cretaceous Age approximately 130 million years ago. The tracks can be seen only during very low tide.

Read Original Article, ABC News Australia

Ningaloo Coast, Photos Source

“Why was the Ningaloo Coast included on the World Heritage List?” Australian Department of Sustainability and Environment

Ningaloo Coast, UNESCO

Coastal Dunes, Lençóis Maranhenses, Brazil

lençois-maranhenses-sand-dunes
Lençóis Maranhenses Sand Dunes. Photo source: Wikimedia

Excerpts; from Gracie Murano, and Justin Wilkinson (Lockheed Martin / Earth Observations Laboratory, Johnson Space Center.)

It seems incredible, but in a country that keeps around 30% of the fresh water and shelters the largest rain forest in the world, we can find a “desert”. Located on the north shore of Brazil, the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is an area of about 300 square kilometers (155,000 ha) of blinding white dunes and deep blue lagoons, forming one of the most beautiful and unique places in the world.

The Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, created on June 2, 1981, (Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses) is located in northeastern Brazil, just east of the Baía de São José.

The landscape consists of dunes up to 40 metres high, interspersed with lagoons of clear fresh water which form during the rainy season at the beginning of the year. The place: 155 thousand hectares, roughly 1000 square kilometers, which go from the coast as far as 50 kilometres inland, which form expanding sandbanks.

sand-dunes-coastal-brazil
Image source: M. Justin Wilkinson (Lockheed Martin / Earth Observations Laboratory, Johnson Space Center).

Persistent winds blow off the equatorial Atlantic Ocean onto Brazil from the east, driving white sand inland from the 100 km stretch of coast (upper margin of the image), to form a large field of dunes. The strongly regular pattern of these dunes is a common characteristic of dune fields. The basic shape of each sand mass, repeated throughout the view, is a crescent-shaped dune. In an area with a rich supply of sand such as coastal Brazil, individual crescents coalesce to form entire chains many miles long. The wind strength and supply of sand are sufficient to keep the dunes active, and thus free of vegetation, despite 1500 mm (60 inches) of rainfall annually. Justin Wilkinson (Lockheed Martin / Earth Observations Laboratory, Johnson Space Center)

Composed of large, white, sweeping dunes, at first glance Lençóis Maranhenses looks like an archetypal desert. In fact it isn’t actually a desert.

Lying just outside the Amazon basin, the region is subject to a regular rain season during the beginning of the year. Despite its desert-like appearance, Lençóis Maranhenses records an annual rainfall 300 times more than in the Sahara.

The rains cause a peculiar phenomenon: fresh water collects in the valleys between sand dunes, spotting the desert with blue and green lagoons that reach their fullest between July and September, forming one of the most beautiful and unique places in the world.

The area is also surprisingly home to a variety of fish which, despite the almost complete disappearance of the lagoons during the period of drought, where the lagoons evaporate and become completely dried. The mystery in this story lies in the fact that when the lagoons fill up, life comes back, as if they had never left the place. One of the hypotheses to explain the phenomenon is that the eggs of the fish and crabs are maintained alive in the sand, exploding when rain comes back, or that have their eggs are brought back from the sea, by birds.

Read Original Article

NASA, Original Article

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Wikipedia