In her new book In Search of The Canary Tree: The Story of A Scientist, a Cypress, and a Changing World, Oakes describes how she worked (with her research team) in remote coastal areas to capture a statistical picture of warming forests. She also includes interviews with Alaskans ranging from loggers to artists about what the decline in yellow-cedars mean to them. This marriage of ecological and social science gives broad meaning Oakes's basic research question: What happens in forests when yellow-cedars die off? ... In Search of The Canary Tree is a terrific book. Its message rings out clearly. When it comes to global warming, local action matters — reducing energy consumption, protecting vulnerable floral and faunal communities, educating others about climate change, and 'holding space for optimism amidst despair.'
Ecologist Oakes traces the slow death of the yellow cedar, alternatively known as the yellow cypress, in this significant ecological study ... Discussions of academic and scientific methodology, for example, can become dull. The narrative takes a turn for the rawly emotional, however, when Oakes’s father unexpectedly dies back in Virginia, and she finds herself grieving his passing and Alaska’s environmental deterioration simultaneously. In these passages, Oakes admirably melds the professional with the highly personal, ultimately delivering a work of sensitivity and philosophical grace.
In her debut, Oakes, a conservation scientist at the Wildlife Conservation Society, presents a 'blend of ecology and social science,' looking for answers to scientific questions through meticulous, rigorous research on the Alexander Archipelago...Hardy, diligent, and empathetic, the author makes vividly clear the difficulties of conducting multiyear field research on a remote archipelago ... Readers looking for a thorough understanding of the decline of the yellow-cedar tree will not be disappointed. The data are here, collected and painstakingly recorded by intrepid young people living rough, sometimes in tents and sleeping bags, eating dehydrate The canary-in-the-coal-mine image is a powerful one, and this book carries a potent message sure to resonate with conservationists.