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In Search of the Canary Tree

The Story of a Scientist, a Cypress, and a Changing World
Narrated by: Ellen Archer
Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The surprisingly hopeful story of one woman's search for resiliency in a warming world

Several years ago, ecologist Lauren E. Oakes set out from California for Alaska's old-growth forests to hunt for a dying tree: the yellow-cedar. With climate change as the culprit, the death of this species meant loss for many Alaskans.

Oakes and her research team wanted to chronicle how plants and people could cope with their rapidly changing world. Amidst the standing dead, she discovered the resiliency of forgotten forests, flourishing again in the wake of destruction, and a diverse community of people who persevered to create new relationships with the emerging environment. Eloquent, insightful, and deeply heartening, In Search of the Canary Tree is a case for hope in a warming world.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2018 Lauren E. Oakes (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Through the lens of a majestic tree, Oakes tells a powerful, nuanced story of climate change and our response to it. Deftly crossing boundaries from the scientific to the personal and from the measurable to the immeasurable, she takes the reader on an extraordinary adventure from despair to faith. This book is a must-read for anyone looking for optimism about the future of our changing planet." (Juli Berwald, author of Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone)

"Oakes traces the slow death of the yellow cedar, alternatively known as the yellow cypress, in this significant ecological study...Oakes admirably melds the professional with the highly personal, ultimately delivering a work of sensitivity and philosophical grace." (Publishers Weekly)

"In a warming world, we need wisdom as well as knowledge; In Search of the Canary Tree is a rich source of both. Join Lauren Oakes in the fragile yellow-cedar forests of Alaska and discover not only how field ecologists do their work, but why." (Dan Fagin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Toms River)

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More personal journey than science

Very informative and articulate. I was hoping for more science and a lot less personal story. Much of the text is occupied by the author’s own coming-of-age dialogue.

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Moving and inspiring

As someone who constantly battles to find hope and the determination to keep up the fight on climate change I found this work motivating and grounding.
As someone told me not too long ago, it can no longer be about optimism and pessimism, only determination.
I hope more scientists can write books on their studies in the field to help us all connect the dots in these difficult times.
Narration was very good.

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The lessons that centuries-old trees can teach us

The core of a yellow cedar is packed with marks that chart its history. But Lauren Oakes shows us that it’s also packed with lessons for the modern world.
A great read, this book taps into—and contributes to—a proud eco-literary tradition. The twist here is that this book feels like an ecological murder mystery. . . and instead of a whodunnit, it’s a whatdunnit. This makes for a lively read. As the author roams Alaska trying to figure it out, you feel like you’re on her adventures with her.