UVM's Joe Roman Wins Rachel Carson Award for Best Environmental Book
- By Jeffrey R. Wakefield
Listed: Dispatches from America’s Endangered Species Act, by Joe Roman, a conservation biologist in the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and a fellow at UVM's Gund Institute, has won the 2011/2012 Rachel Carson Award from the Society for Environmental Journalists for best environmental book.
In 1973, a tipping point of cultural concern about ecological issues — and the rapid decline of charismatic creatures like bald eagles and alligators — inspired creation of the Endangered Species Act, passed in the Senate 92-0 and signed into law by President Richard Nixon. Published in May 2011 by Harvard University Press, Listed traces the four-decade history of the law. Looking back, passage of the ESA is “a feat just about unimaginable forty years on,” says Roman.
The judges write about the book:
“Few pieces of American legislation are more important to environmental protection than the Endangered Species Act — and few are more widely maligned and misunderstood. In Listed, Joe Roman provides the expected overview of the ESA and its many impacts, as well as detailed, engaging portraits of specific endangered species and the people working to save them. But he also goes further, drawing on his own experience as a conservation biologist and the emerging lessons of ecological economics to argue that preserving biodiversity is neither excessively expensive nor a purely altruistic exercise. Roman shows persuasively that protecting endangered species and their habitats can be a win for communities and economies, as well as for nature, and in so doing, suggests a path towards greater protection for all species, not just those that make the list.”