Resources 

Below you’ll find a list of resources to help you further your knowledge, continue your exploration, and aid in your support of environmental and wildlife conservation. If you have any recommendations for this collection, please shoot us an email at info@wildandrare.com or use the form on our Contact page—we’d love to hear from you!

 

Conservation Organizations

Books

NATURE
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers.

Darwin’s Century by Loren Eiseley
Nebraska-born nature writer traces scientific discoveries from the 1600s that paved the way for Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.

The Incidental Steward by Akiko Busch
A search for a radio-tagged Indiana bat roosting in the woods behind her house in New York’s Hudson Valley led Akiko Busch to assorted other encounters with the natural world—local ecological monitoring projects, community-organized cleanup efforts, and data-driven citizen science research. Whether it is pulling up water chestnuts in the Hudson River, measuring beds of submerged aquatic vegetation, or searching out vernal pools, all are efforts that illuminate the role of ordinary citizens as stewards of place. In this elegantly written book, Busch highlights factors that distinguish twenty-first-century citizen scientists from traditional amateur naturalists: a greater sense of urgency, helpful new technologies, and the expanded possibilities of crowdsourcing.

Man and Nature by George Perkins Marsh
Man and Nature was the first book to attack the American myth of the superabundance and the inexhaustibility of the earth. The historian Lewis Mumford described it as "the fountainhead of the conservation movement."

Nature Writings: The Story of My Boyhood and My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir
John Muir is one of the earliest and most eloquent spokesperson for the majesty of the wilderness. He founded the Sierra Club in 1892 and was a passionate activist for preserving our natural habitat.

A Sand County Almanac by Leopold Aldo
A Sand County Almanac is a classic of nature writing, widely cited as one of the most influential nature books ever published. Leopold's view that it is something of a human duty to preserve as much wild land as possible, as a kind of bank for the biological future of all species.

The Songs of Trees: Stories From Nature’s Great Connector by David George Haskell
In this love song to trees, Pulitzer prize finalist, explores their biology and the role they play in human history.

Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature by William Cronon
Environmental historian Cronon explores nature in the cultural context through essays by Carolyn Merchant, Richard White, and Donna Haraway among others.

What Has Nature Ever Done For Us: How Money Really Does Grow On Trees by Tony Juniper
A clear-eyed exploration into how nature is the source and driver behind economic engines of success.


CONSERVATION & ENVIRONMENTALISM
An American Idea: The Making of the National Parks by Kim Heacox
Using original sources, Heacox traces the founding of the nation’s environmental consciousness. From John Wesley Powell, the Civil War Officer who first mapped the Grand Canyon to Teddy Roosevelt, Using Ansel Adams photography, maps and paintings, Heacox portrays our national history through the prism of environmentalism.

The Conundrum by David Owen
"New Yorker staff writer Owen (Green Metropolis) takes a penetrating look at the earth’s shrinking and misappropriated resources and the delusion underlying our solutions to these problems. In the process, he persuades us that the serious environmental problems that humanity faces won’t be fixed by scientists and engineers, but by our behavioral changes, namely consuming less. Owen’s latest becomes a declaration against the massive greenwashing campaigns of the past decade and the presentation of scientific data that lets us ignore questions we already know the answers to and don’t like." - from Publisher’s Weekly

The End of Nature by Bill McKibben
McKibben argues that the survival of the globe is dependent on a fundamental shift in the way we view our natural resources. Among the earliest writers to address the greenhouse effect, acid rain and the depletion of the ozone layer, the book is a call to action.

The Future of Life by Edward O. Wilson
Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist, Wilson assesses the precarious state of our environment, examining the mass extinctions occurring in our time and the natural treasures we are about to lose forever. Yet, rather than eschewing doomsday prophesies, he spells out a specific plan to save our world while there is still time. His vision is a hopeful one, as economically sound as it is environmentally necessary.

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
Silent Spring, published in 1962, offered the first shattering look at widespread ecological degradation by focusing on the poisons from insecticides, weed killers, and other common products as well as the use of sprays in agriculture.  Carson argued that those chemicals were more dangerous than radiation and that for the first time in history, humans were exposed to chemicals that stayed in their systems from birth to death.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
There have been five major extinction events in Earth’s distant past and we are hurtling toward the next: the “Sixth Extinction.” Kolbert details the history of our previous mass extinctions to lay the groundwork for her exploration of the massive species die-offs happening now. Through fieldwork and interviews with biologists, geologists, and environmental specialists, she gives a sobering and cogent account of human-fueled extinction.


ANIMALS & PLANTS
Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal
A fascinating study that questions our understanding of animal intelligence written by a Dutch-American primatologist. de Waal forces us to come to terms with the fact that there are no major behavioral differences between us and animals. A very empathetic and thought-provoking read on what (if anything) it means to be human.

Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel by Carl Safina
Weaving together years of field research with new discoveries in the neuroscience of brains, this book shifts our views of animalkind—blurring the distinction between what it means to be human or animal. Heartbreaking and inspiring stories of elephants, wolves and killer whales will change your heart and your mind.

Birds of Heaven by Peter Matthiessen
Superb traveler and nature writer, Matthiessen writes, "Perhaps more than any other living creatures, cranes "evoke the retreating wilderness, the vanishing horizons of clean water, earth, and air upon which their species - and ours, too, though we learn it very late - must ultimately depend for survival."

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate by Peter Wohlleben
Retired German forester reveals what he calls the “woodwide web writing,  “Trees may recognize with their roots who are their friends, who are their families, where their kids are. Then they may also recognize trees that are not so welcome. There are some stumps in these old beech reservations that are alive, and there are some that are rotten, which obviously have had no contact with the roots of supporting neighbors. So perhaps they are like hermits.”


HISTORY

Hands on the Land: A History of the Vermont Landscape by Jan Albers
Albers’ wide-ranging narrative explores how Vermont has come to stand as a national ideal of unspoiled rural community.  

Visionary Women:  How Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall and Alice Waters Changed Our World by Andrea Barnet
The story of these four women, linked not by friendship or field, but by their choice to break with convention—show what one person speaking truth to power can do. Jane Jacobs fought for livable cities and strong communities; Rachel Carson warned us about poisoning the environment; Jane Goodall demonstrated the indelible kinship between humans and animals; and Alice Waters urged us to reconsider what and how we eat.


FICTION
The Overstory by Richard Powers
A novel about nine Americans whose life experiences with trees bring them together and address the destruction of forests. The Atlantic called it “darkly optimistic.”

The Planets: A Cosmic Pastoral by Diane Ackerman
Wonderful poetry as odes to the universe, celebrating its rich phenomena. Ackerman dedicates a poem to each planet in the universe as well as Carl Sagan.

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
In this novel, Gilbert tells the story of Alma, a 19th century self-taught botanist. You will see moss through eyes of first discovery.

Movies

DOCUMENTARIES
The 11th Hour
Angry Inuk
Before the Flood
Cane Toads: An Unnatural History
Chasing Ice
Climate Refugees
The Cove
Earth
Earth Days
Earthlings
Food, Inc.
Fractured Land
Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World
Home
How to Change the World
Ice and the Sky
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
The Ivory Game
An Inconvenient Truth
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
The Islands and the Whales
March of the Penguins
The Memory of Fish

 

The Messenger
Mission Blue
No Impact Man
Plastic China
Racing Extinction
Sea of Life
The True Cost
To The Ends of the Earth
Virunga
Winged Migration

FICTIONAL FILMS
Avatar
Erin Brockovich
FernGully: The Last Rainforest
Fly Away Home
Happy Feet
I Heart Huckabees

Princess Mononoke
Safe
Soylent Green
WALL-E
Whale Rider