Ecotravel on the World's Rivers

By Mary A. Hood

Subjects: Ecofeminist
Paperback : 9780791473900, 302 pages, October 2018
Hardcover : 9780791473894, 302 pages, March 2008

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Part I. Small United States Rivers

Three Rivers: Writing Our World
Fossil Rivers: Apalachicola and Other Rivers of Three Corners
Willamette River: Mousing the Owl
Flathead River: Fires in the West
Tensaw River: Longleaf Magnolias
Cumberland River: Magnolias and Other Rare Plants of the Appalachians
Conhocton River: A New York State of Mind
Penobscot River: In Search of Moose
Klamath River: Forest Monoliths
Ellijay River: Applesauce
Alligator River: Tidewater Wolves and Swans
Yellow River: Conservation, Preservation, Restoration

Part II. The Amazon

Introduction to the Amazon
Cities of the Amazon
Amazon Water Lilies
Birds and Bats of the Amazon
Pacaya Samiria Preserve of the Amazon
Amazon Canopy Walkway
Insects of the Amazon
Trees of the Amazon

Part III. Other Great World Rivers

Mississippi River: The Atchafalaya Basin
Danube River: The Tizsa and the Hortobagy
Yangtze River: River of Change
Ganges River: One Lone Ibisbill and a Half-Billion People
Nile River: Tombs, Temples and Tourists


Journeys on the world’s rivers, from a naturalist’s point of view.


In this engaging travelogue of our world's rivers, great and small, poet and biologist Mary A. Hood reflects on rivers as creators of place. Recounting her journeys along portions of the Mississippi, the Danube, the Amazon, the Yangtze, the Ganges, the Nile, and a dozen small U. S. rivers, Hood weaves together natural history, current environmental and conservation issues, encounters with endangered plants and animals, and tells some interesting tales along the way.

Like a river, the book begins small, with essays that are narrowly focused on themes of environment and place, such as the need to write our world (Three Rivers), how fires (and corporations) control the West (the Flathead), the effect of wind farms on a small town in western New York (the Conhocton), the giant redwoods and how they were preserved (the Klamath), and the search for moose in the great north woods (the Penobscot). The second section expands the themes of environment and place and looks at great world rivers, their long histories, their biological diversity, the effects of human use and tourism, and the paradox of human reverence and destruction. From endangered species to invasive species, from corporate control of national parks to wind farms, from urban sprawl to efforts at conservation and restoration, RiverTime offers insights into our relationship to the environment in the twenty-first century.

Mary A. Hood is Professor Emerita of Biology at the University of West Florida. She is the author of The Strangler Fig and Other Tales: Field Notes of a Conservationist.


"…this earnest eco-travelogue … is … plush with tidbits about these waterways' natural history. " — ForeWord Magazine

"…[a] profound and pensive collection of essays…" — Booklist

"Part ecotravel journal, part natural history, part plea for the assaulted rivers, RiverTime carries us around the world. There is beauty here, and fascination, and a desperate sense of last chances. " — Kathleen Dean Moore, author of The Pine Island Paradox and coeditor of Rachel Carson: Legacy and Challenge

"If you want to fall in love with a river, read this book. " — Tom Skerritt, American Rivers

"The author's range of knowledge, her thorough research, and her ability to address the importance of rivers to human and nonhuman life is impressive. She is an environmentalist, a scientist, and a scholar who attends to detail while also writing a fascinating and engaging personal account. " — Sue Walker, coauthor of In the Realm of Rivers: Alabama's Mobile-Tensaw Delta