The best 36 Environmental Science books

Explore the fascinating field of environmental science with this curated book list. Delve into the complexities of our planet's ecosystems, climate change, and sustainable practices. From the basics to groundbreaking research, these titles offer valuable insights into the pressing issues we face.
Whether you're a student, researcher, or simply interested in understanding the environment, this collection provides a comprehensive view of environmental science, empowering you to make informed decisions for our planet's future.

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1
Environmental Science Books: On Trails by Robert Moor

On Trails

Robert Moor

What's On Trails about?

On Trails by Robert Moor is a thought-provoking exploration of the trails we find in nature and in our lives. Through a blend of personal anecdotes, scientific research, and historical insights, the book delves into the significance of trails and how they shape our understanding of the world. It offers a unique perspective on topics such as migration, navigation, and the interconnectedness of all living beings.

Who should read On Trails?

  • Readers who are curious about the natural world and the history of trails
  • Outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, backpacking, or exploring nature
  • Those who appreciate a blend of personal narrative, science, and philosophy in non-fiction writing

2
Environmental Science Books: Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert

What's Field Notes from a Catastrophe about?

Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert delves into the science and politics of climate change. Through first-hand reporting and scientific research, the book explores the irrefutable evidence of global warming and its potentially catastrophic consequences. It also examines our society's response to this looming crisis and the urgent need for collective action.

Who should read Field Notes from a Catastrophe?

  • Individuals concerned about the impact of climate change
  • Environmentalists and activists looking to deepen their understanding of the topic
  • Policy makers and professionals seeking insights into potential solutions

3
Environmental Science Books: The End Of Nature by Bill McKibben

The End Of Nature

Bill McKibben

What's The End Of Nature about?

The End of Nature by Bill McKibben explores the devastating impact of human activity on the environment. McKibben argues that our actions have fundamentally altered the natural world, leading to irreversible changes such as climate change. He calls for a shift in our relationship with nature and a renewed focus on sustainability to prevent further damage.

Who should read The End Of Nature?

  • Anyone concerned about the impact of human activity on the environment
  • Individuals looking to deepen their understanding of climate change and its consequences
  • Readers interested in exploring the intersection of science, philosophy, and activism

4
Environmental Science Books: Nature's Best Hope by Douglas W. Tallamy

Nature's Best Hope

Douglas W. Tallamy

What's Nature's Best Hope about?

Nature's Best Hope by Douglas W. Tallamy challenges the way we view and interact with our natural surroundings. It offers practical solutions for conserving and restoring biodiversity in our own neighborhoods. With inspiring stories and scientific insights, this book empowers readers to become stewards of the land and make a positive impact on the environment.

Who should read Nature's Best Hope?

  • Individuals who are passionate about preserving and restoring biodiversity
  • Gardeners and homeowners looking to create wildlife-friendly landscapes
  • Environmentalists and conservationists seeking practical ways to make a positive impact

5
Environmental Science Books: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Lab Girl

Hope Jahren

What's Lab Girl about?

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren is a memoir that draws the reader into the world of science, exploring the life of a woman who has dedicated her career to studying plants. With beautiful prose and personal anecdotes, Jahren reveals the challenges and triumphs of a life in science, while also celebrating the wonders of the natural world.

Who should read Lab Girl?

  • Those who are curious about the inner workings of the natural world
  • People who enjoy memoirs that blend personal experiences with scientific exploration
  • Readers who are inspired by stories of resilience, passion, and perseverance

What's Cracking the AP Environmental Science Exam, 2020 Edition about?

Cracking the AP Environmental Science Exam, 2020 Edition by The Princeton Review provides comprehensive coverage of the AP Environmental Science exam. It includes thorough content review, practice tests, and proven strategies to help you achieve a high score. Whether you're self-studying or looking for additional resources, this book is a valuable tool for acing the exam.

Who should read Cracking the AP Environmental Science Exam, 2020 Edition?

  • High school students preparing to take the AP Environmental Science exam
  • Individuals who want a comprehensive review of environmental science concepts and practices
  • Students seeking effective test-taking strategies and practice tests to maximize their scores

7
Environmental Science Books: The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Overstory

Richard Powers

What's The Overstory about?

The Overstory by Richard Powers is a thought-provoking novel that weaves together the lives of nine individuals, all with a deep connection to trees. It explores the profound impact of trees on our world and challenges our perspective on the environment. Through beautiful prose and intricate storytelling, Powers brings to light the importance of conservation and the interconnectedness of all living beings.

Who should read The Overstory?

  • Environmentalists and nature lovers looking for a thought-provoking read
  • Readers interested in the interconnectedness of trees and human life
  • Those who enjoy literary fiction with deep character development

8
Environmental Science Books: Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Salvage the Bones

Jesmyn Ward

What's Salvage the Bones about?

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward is a powerful novel that delves into the lives of a family living in rural Mississippi. Set against the backdrop of an approaching hurricane, the book explores themes of survival, resilience, and the bond between siblings. Ward's lyrical prose and vivid storytelling make this a compelling and unforgettable read.

Who should read Salvage the Bones?

  • Readers interested in exploring the impact of natural disasters on marginalized communities
  • Those who appreciate lyrical and evocative writing
  • People who enjoy character-driven narratives with a strong sense of place

9
Environmental Science Books: Toms River by Dan Fagin

Toms River

Dan Fagin

What's Toms River about?

Toms River by Dan Fagin is a gripping account of the environmental and health crisis in a small town in New Jersey. Through meticulous research and compelling storytelling, Fagin uncovers the devastating impact of industrial pollution on the community and the long battle for justice. This book sheds light on the urgent need for environmental regulation and the power of individuals to bring about change.

Who should read Toms River?

  • Readers interested in environmental issues and pollution
  • Residents of Toms River or similar towns affected by industrial contamination
  • Health professionals and researchers studying the impact of pollution on public health

10
Environmental Science Books: Changes in the Land by William Cronon

Changes in the Land

William Cronon

What's Changes in the Land about?

Changes in the Land by William Cronon explores the ecological transformation of New England in the colonial period. It delves into the ways in which European settlers altered the land and its resources, and the impact this had on the region's ecosystems and Native American communities. Through meticulous research and analysis, Cronon offers a compelling account of the profound changes that took place and their lasting effects.

Who should read Changes in the Land?

  • Ecology enthusiasts who want to understand the impact of European colonization on the environment
  • History buffs interested in the interconnectedness of colonialism and ecology
  • Environmentalists and policymakers seeking insights into sustainable land management

11

What's Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice about?

Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice by Mark J. Plotkin is a captivating exploration of the Amazon rainforest and the indigenous tribes that call it home. Through his firsthand experiences and encounters with shamans, Plotkin delves into the world of traditional healing practices and the vast knowledge of medicinal plants. This book offers a unique perspective on the importance of preserving indigenous cultures and the invaluable wisdom they hold.

Who should read Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice?

  • Anyone interested in traditional healing practices and ethnobotany
  • Readers who enjoy stories of adventure and exploration in remote and diverse cultures
  • Those seeking a greater understanding of the interconnectedness between humans and the natural world

12
Environmental Science Books: Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan

Dragons of Eden

Carl Sagan

What's Dragons of Eden about?

Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan takes readers on a journey through the evolution of human intelligence. Combining scientific knowledge with captivating storytelling, Sagan explores the origins of our brain, the role of genetics and the impact of culture on our development. This thought-provoking book offers a new perspective on what it means to be human.

Who should read Dragons of Eden?

  • Readers who are curious about the history and future of human intelligence
  • People interested in the intersection of science and philosophy
  • Those who enjoy exploring complex ideas through engaging and accessible writing

13
Environmental Science Books: Surviving the Extremes by Kenneth Kamler

Surviving the Extremes

Kenneth Kamler

What's Surviving the Extremes about?

Surviving the Extremes by Kenneth Kamler is a gripping exploration of the limits of human survival. Through real-life stories and scientific analysis, the book delves into the challenges posed by extreme environments such as deserts, jungles, and high altitudes. It offers valuable insights into how the human body adapts and copes with these harsh conditions, making it a fascinating read for anyone interested in the science of survival.

Who should read Surviving the Extremes?

  • Individuals seeking to understand the limits of human endurance
  • Adventurous spirits who are fascinated by extreme environments
  • Medical professionals and outdoor enthusiasts looking to expand their knowledge of survival

14
Environmental Science Books: Six Degrees by Mark Lynas

Six Degrees

Mark Lynas

What's Six Degrees about?

Six Degrees by Mark Lynas explores the potential consequences of global warming at different temperature increases. Drawing on scientific research and historical data, the book presents a chilling account of the catastrophic effects that could unfold if we fail to address climate change. It serves as a wake-up call and a call to action for individuals and governments to take meaningful steps towards a sustainable future.

Who should read Six Degrees?

  • Anyone interested in understanding the potential impact of global warming
  • Individuals who want to educate themselves about the science behind climate change
  • Environmental activists seeking to gain a deeper insight into the challenges ahead

What's Caesar's Last Breath about?

Caesar's Last Breath (Goodreads) by Sam Kean is an engaging exploration of the role of gases in shaping our planet and its history. From the air we breathe to the impact of volcanic eruptions, this book reveals the incredible stories behind the invisible gases that have played a crucial role in determining the fate of civilizations and the natural world.

Who should read Caesar's Last Breath?

  • Anyone curious about the science and history of the air we breathe
  • Readers who enjoy popular science books with a narrative and storytelling approach
  • People interested in understanding the interconnectedness of natural phenomena and human existence

16
Environmental Science Books: A Terrible Thing to Waste by Harriet A. Washington

A Terrible Thing to Waste

Harriet A. Washington

What's A Terrible Thing to Waste about?

A Terrible Thing to Waste by Harriet A. Washington is a thought-provoking book that examines the environmental and societal factors contributing to the racial health gap. It delves into the systemic issues that lead to disproportionate exposure to toxins and pollutants among marginalized communities, and the resulting impact on their physical and cognitive health. Through in-depth research and compelling storytelling, the book sheds light on an important and often overlooked issue.

Who should read A Terrible Thing to Waste?

  • Individuals interested in understanding environmental racism and its impact on marginalized communities
  • Activists and advocates working towards environmental justice and equality
  • Policy makers and officials looking to address and rectify systemic injustices in environmental policies

What's No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference about?

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference is a collection of speeches by Greta Thunberg, a young climate activist who gained international recognition for her advocacy. In these powerful addresses, she calls for urgent action to address the global climate crisis and highlights the role of individuals in making a meaningful impact. The book serves as a compelling reminder that everyone has the ability to contribute towards positive change.

Who should read No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference?

  • Individuals who are passionate about environmental activism and climate change
  • Young people who want to make a difference and feel inspired by Greta Thunberg's activism
  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and impactful speeches

18
Environmental Science Books: The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey

What's The Monkey Wrench Gang about?

The Monkey Wrench Gang is a novel by Edward Abbey that follows a group of environmental activists as they plan and execute sabotages against industrial development in the American Southwest. Filled with humor, adventure, and a call to protect the natural world, this book is a provocative and entertaining read that challenges the status quo.

Who should read The Monkey Wrench Gang?

  • Individuals who are passionate about environmental conservation and activism
  • Readers interested in exploring the ethical and moral complexities of environmentalism
  • Those who enjoy engaging with thought-provoking and slightly rebellious narratives

19
Environmental Science Books: Amity and Prosperity by Eliza Griswold

Amity and Prosperity

Eliza Griswold

What's Amity and Prosperity about?

Amity and Prosperity by Eliza Griswold is a powerful and eye-opening book that delves into the complex issues surrounding fracking in rural America. Through in-depth research and compelling storytelling, Griswold uncovers the environmental and social consequences of this controversial industry, while also shining a light on the resilience of the individuals fighting for their community.

Who should read Amity and Prosperity?

  • Individuals interested in environmental and social justice issues
  • Readers who want to understand the impact of fracking on rural communities
  • Those who enjoy compelling narratives that blend personal stories with investigative journalism

20
Environmental Science Books: Eye of the Albatross by Carl Safina

What's Eye of the Albatross about?

Eye of the Albatross by Carl Safina is a captivating exploration of the mysterious world of these magnificent birds. Through his own observations and scientific research, Safina delves into the lives of albatrosses, uncovering their incredible abilities, their struggles for survival, and the profound connection they have with the ocean. This book offers a thought-provoking look at the delicate balance of nature and the impact of human activity on these remarkable creatures.

Who should read Eye of the Albatross?

  • Readers interested in marine biology and conservation
  • Environmentalists and nature lovers who want to learn more about the ocean's ecosystems
  • Those who enjoy captivating true stories that combine science, adventure, and personal insights

21

What's Folks, This Ain't Normal about?

Folks, This Ain't Normal (2011) by Joel Salatin challenges our conventional ideas of food, farming, and the environment. Through insightful observations and personal experiences, Salatin exposes the shortcomings of industrial agriculture and offers alternative solutions for a more sustainable and healthier way of life.

Who should read Folks, This Ain't Normal?

  • Health-conscious individuals seeking to understand the drawbacks of modern food production
  • Environmental advocates looking for ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle
  • Readers interested in alternative farming methods and local food movements

22
Environmental Science Books: Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner

Cadillac Desert

Marc Reisner

What's Cadillac Desert about?

Cadillac Desert is a thought-provoking book by Marc Reisner that delves into the complex history of water management in the American West. Through extensive research and captivating storytelling, the author uncovers the political, environmental, and social consequences of water development projects, revealing the unsustainable practices that have shaped the region. A must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of water, power, and the environment.

Who should read Cadillac Desert?

  • Environmentalists or individuals concerned about water conservation
  • Policy makers and government officials involved in water resource management
  • Anyone interested in the history of water development and infrastructure in the American West

23
Environmental Science Books: Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham

Midnight in Chernobyl

Adam Higginbotham

What's Midnight in Chernobyl about?

Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham is a gripping account of the catastrophic nuclear disaster that took place in 1986. Through extensive research and interviews, the book delves into the events leading up to the explosion at the Chernobyl power plant, the immediate aftermath, and the long-term consequences. It offers a compelling blend of science, history, and human drama, shedding light on one of the most devastating man-made disasters in history.

Who should read Midnight in Chernobyl?

  • Readers with an interest in history, specifically the Chernobyl disaster
  • People who enjoy immersive and meticulously researched non-fiction narratives
  • Those who want to gain a deeper understanding of the human and environmental impact of nuclear accidents

24
Environmental Science Books: Salmon by Mark Kurlansky

Salmon

Mark Kurlansky

What's Salmon about?

Salmon by Mark Kurlansky explores the fascinating history and cultural significance of this beloved fish. From its role in Native American traditions to the modern challenges of overfishing and environmental degradation, Kurlansky delves into the complex relationship between humans and salmon. Informative and thought-provoking, this book sheds light on the importance of protecting the natural world.

Who should read Salmon?

  • Enthusiasts of environmental issues and sustainability
  • People interested in the history and cultural significance of salmon
  • Cooks and foodies looking for inspiration on how to prepare and enjoy salmon

What's A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There about?

A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There (1949) by Aldo Leopold is a classic of environmental literature. It presents a series of essays that reflect on the author's observations of the natural world and his thoughts on conservation and the relationship between humans and the land. Through beautiful prose and deep reflections, Leopold advocates for a more ethical and sustainable approach to our interactions with the environment.

Who should read A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There?

  • Readers who are passionate about conservation and environmental ethics
  • Nature lovers who enjoy poetic and lyrical descriptions of the natural world
  • Those who appreciate thought-provoking essays that challenge conventional attitudes towards land and wildlife

What's The Death and Life of the Great Lakes about?

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan is a captivating exploration of the ecological challenges facing the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world. Egan delves into the history, science, and politics behind the environmental degradation of the Great Lakes, while also offering insights into potential solutions. This thought-provoking book sheds light on the urgent need for conservation and restoration efforts to protect this vital ecosystem.

Who should read The Death and Life of the Great Lakes?

  • Environmentalists and conservationists interested in the health of the Great Lakes
  • Policy makers and lawmakers who want to understand the impact of human activity on natural ecosystems
  • Scientists and researchers studying freshwater ecology and invasive species

27

What's Restoration Agriculture about?

Restoration Agriculture by Mark Shepard is a groundbreaking book that challenges traditional agricultural practices and offers a sustainable alternative. Shepard introduces the concept of “regenerative agriculture,” which aims to mimic the structure and function of natural ecosystems. Through real-life examples and practical advice, the book demonstrates how this approach can not only restore degraded land and increase biodiversity but also provide abundant and nutritious food for future generations.

Who should read Restoration Agriculture?

  • Individuals interested in sustainable agriculture and permaculture
  • Farmers and landowners looking to restore and regenerate their land
  • Environmentalists and conservationists seeking holistic approaches to land management

28
Environmental Science Books: Inconvenient Facts by Gregory Wrightstone

Inconvenient Facts

Gregory Wrightstone

What's Inconvenient Facts about?

Inconvenient Facts by Gregory Wrightstone challenges the mainstream narrative on climate change by presenting data and evidence that contradict commonly held beliefs. The book aims to provoke critical thinking and open dialogue about the complex issue of climate change.

Who should read Inconvenient Facts?

  • Readers who seek to understand the complexities of climate change
  • Individuals who want to explore alternative perspectives on environmental issues
  • Those who are open to challenging their existing beliefs and knowledge about climate science

29
Environmental Science Books: The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery

The Weather Makers

Tim Flannery

What's The Weather Makers about?

The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery is a thought-provoking book that delves into the science and politics of climate change. It explores the impact of human activities on the Earth's climate and offers potential solutions to mitigate the crisis. A must-read for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of global warming and its far-reaching consequences.

Who should read The Weather Makers?

  • Lovers of science and environmental issues
  • Individuals who want to understand the complexities of climate change
  • People looking to explore potential solutions to global warming

30
Environmental Science Books: The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen

The Song of the Dodo

David Quammen

What's The Song of the Dodo about?

The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen is a captivating exploration of island biogeography and the concept of extinction. Through fascinating stories and scientific research, Quammen delves into the unique ecosystems of islands and the impact of human activity on the survival of species. This thought-provoking book sheds light on the interconnectedness of life on Earth and the importance of conservation.

Who should read The Song of the Dodo?

  • Anyone interested in the science of evolution and extinction
  • Nature lovers and conservationists seeking a deeper understanding of ecological systems
  • Readers curious about the history and future of animal species and their habitats

31
Environmental Science Books: We Dare You! by Vicki Cobb

We Dare You!

Vicki Cobb

What's We Dare You! about?

We Dare You! by Vicki Cobb is a fun and interactive science book that challenges kids to try out various experiments and activities. From creating a homemade volcano to making a balloon-powered car, this book encourages hands-on learning and sparks curiosity about the world around us. It's a great way to get kids excited about science!

Who should read We Dare You!?

  • Curious individuals who enjoy hands-on learning and experiments
  • Teachers looking for engaging and interactive science activities for their students
  • Parents who want to encourage their kids to explore and understand scientific principles in a fun way

What's Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation about?

Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation by Tradd Cotter is an insightful guide that delves into the world of mushroom cultivation and its potential for environmental restoration. From practical techniques to fascinating scientific discoveries, this book offers a comprehensive look at the benefits of incorporating mushrooms into sustainable farming and waste management practices.

Who should read Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation?

  • People interested in sustainable agriculture and farming
  • Home gardeners looking to add mushroom cultivation to their repertoire
  • Environmentalists and conservationists seeking natural solutions for soil remediation

33
Environmental Science Books: Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna

Food of the Gods

Terence McKenna

What's Food of the Gods about?

Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna explores the relationship between humans and psychoactive plants throughout history. McKenna delves into the idea that these plants have played a crucial role in shaping human evolution and culture. He also discusses the potential benefits of reconnecting with these substances in a responsible and intentional way.

Who should read Food of the Gods?


34
Environmental Science Books: How to Give Up Plastic by Will McCallum

How to Give Up Plastic

Will McCallum

What's How to Give Up Plastic about?

'How to Give Up Plastic' by Will McCallum is a practical and inspiring guide that offers simple yet impactful tips on reducing our plastic consumption. From rethinking everyday habits to advocating for change, this book empowers individuals to make a positive difference for our planet.

Who should read How to Give Up Plastic?

  • Anyone who is concerned about the environmental impact of plastic
  • Individuals looking to reduce their personal plastic consumption
  • Environmental activists and advocates seeking practical tips for plastic-free living

35
Environmental Science Books: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

What's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek about?

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is a captivating reflection on the beauty and mystery of the natural world. Written by Annie Dillard, the book takes us on a journey through the author's observations and contemplations as she explores the landscapes and wildlife around Tinker Creek. Through lyrical prose and deep insights, Dillard invites us to see the world in a new light and contemplate our place within it.

Who should read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek?

  • Explorers and nature enthusiasts looking for an introspective journey
  • People seeking a deeper understanding of the natural world and their place in it
  • Readers who enjoy lyrical and thought-provoking prose

36
Environmental Science Books: The Big Burn by Timothy Egan

The Big Burn

Timothy Egan

What's The Big Burn about?

The Big Burn by Timothy Egan is a gripping account of the largest wildfire in American history and its profound impact on the nation's conservation efforts. Set in the early 20th century, the book delves into the political and environmental factors that led to the catastrophic fire, while also highlighting the bravery and resilience of those who fought to protect the forests.

Who should read The Big Burn?

  • Readers interested in the history of forest fires in the United States
  • Individuals looking to understand the impact of environmental conservation and land management
  • Those who enjoy narrative non-fiction that combines storytelling with in-depth research

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