Science on Ice

Four Polar Expeditions

Chris Linder

Chris Linder

288 pages | 157 color plates | 11 x 8 | © 2011
Cloth $40.00 ISBN: 9780226482477 Published December 2011

“Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised,” wrote Apsley Cherry-Garrard of his time with the 1910 Scott expedition to the South Pole. And that’s how most of us still imagine polar expeditions: stolid men with ice riming their beards drawing sledges and risking death for scientific knowledge. But polar science has changed drastically over the past century—as Chris Linder shows us, brilliantly, with Science on Ice.

An oceanographer and award-winning photographer, Linder chronicles four polar expeditions in this richly illustrated volume: to a teeming colony of Adélie penguins, through the icy waters of the Bering Sea in spring, beneath the pack ice of the eastern Arctic Ocean, and over the lake-studded surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Each trip finds Linder teamed up with a prominent science journalist, and together their words and pictures reveal the day-to-day details of how science actually gets done at the poles. Breathtaking images of the stark polar landscape alternate with gritty, close-up shots of scientists working in the field, braving physical danger and brutal conditions, and working with remarkable technology designed to survive the poles—like robotic vehicles that chart undersea mountain ranges—as they gather crucial information about our planet's distant past, and the risks that climate change poses for its future.

The result is a combination travel book and paean to the hard work and dedication that underlies our knowledge of life on earth. Science on Ice takes readers to the farthest reaches of our planet; science has rarely been more exciting—or inspiring.

Amy Gulick, photographer and author of Salmon in the Trees: Life in Alaska’s Tongass Rain Forest

Science on Ice gives the reader a glimpse into the challenges of conducting field research in the extreme and isolated environments of the Arctic and Antarctic. I came away with a new appreciation of both the risks and adventures scientists experience, the creativity and adaptability they must possess to work in difficult conditions, and most of all, the fact that they are normal human beings with a strong sense of curiosity that fuels their work. This book will help us understand these distant reaches of our world, and it has enormous potential to spark the minds of future would-be scientists.”

Jeff Wilson | BBC Wildlife

"Science on Ice rightly casts those who are charged with finding out more about our changing planet as true modern era explorers. Exciting tales of helicopters, submarines and icebreakers, coupled with emotive personal experiences in the face of adversity serve to decimate the normally anodyne aura that Science carries. This book should be mandatory in all schools, careers departments, and polar fanatics’ coffee tables across the globe, and when there, I expect that Linder’s efforts will have more influence on the future of the poles than he could ever have dreamed."

David Ainley, Penguin Science and The Last Ocean

"What is science? Chris Linder and his journalist friends answer that question with exquisite photography and sensitive, informed writing as they journey with scientists to the polar regions. Through Science on Ice, the reader participates in expeditions and becomes aware of the method of inquiry, known as Science, by which, with relevant foreknowledge, questions are asked such that with a bit of creativity (but sometimes under daunting conditions) answers result. Those answers bring new inquiry. . . . It's like a drug."

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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