Biologist, botanist, and conservationist Meg Lowman―aka “Canopy Meg”―takes us on an adventure into the “eighth continent” of the world's treetops, along her journey as a tree scientist, and into climate action.
[Lowman] excels at bringing the natural world to life in language ... Lowman’s driving curiosity finds a productive outlet in the scientific process, which she ably describes for lay readers. Her research is full of life, energy, intelligence and determination. It’s impossible to read about it without wanting to examine the natural world more closely! While reading The Arbornaut, I found myself staring out of my second-story windows, trying to discern whether the leaves of the 'upper canopy'” of my Midwestern trees differed from those visible at ground level. This is exactly the kind of response Lowman hopes for. She is dedicated to getting everyday folks into the canopies, which she argues can advance scientific discovery (more eyes collecting more data) and benefit the planet (more people dedicated to ecological preservation) ... a book to reach for if you, like Lowman, love the natural world and want to live in it fully.
Though the book can be a bit dense at times with scientific facts and figures, as well as study designs and findings, Lowman’s enthusiasm and passion for her work and our planet’s trees is apparent on every page. Lowman’s voice reads like that of a beloved mentor, especially as she describes the challenges she faced as a female scientist in a male-dominated field as well as those she experienced as a single working mother ... includes photographs from Lowman’s expeditions, as well as charming illustrations of trees. But most charming of all is Lowman’s joy and wonder at the natural world ... Though we are now in a climate crisis, Lowman offers suggestions for ways we can fight deforestation and protect the trees, and by the time you reach the last page of this book, you’ll either want to climb a tree, hug a tree or both.
Lowman connects her life to her research in chronological chapters, interspersed with short histories of various tree species. A highly engaging read for fans of popular science or ecology titles, and budding (or experienced) scientists.