ADDRESSES: Home—Appleton, WI. Office—Department of Geology, Lawrence University, P.O. Box 599, Appleton, WI 54912. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, professor of geology and chair of geology department.
Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth, Basic Books (New York, NY), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: A geologist with a particular expertise in how mountains are formed, Marcia Bjornerud is the author of Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth, a geological history "that will instill an appreciation for the dynamism and comparative uniqueness of our planet," according to Booklist reviewer Gilbert Taylor. Bjornerud describes the major theories and recent developments in this complex field, as well as intriguing asides, such as the theory that the oceans were once entirely frozen and the fact that a small zircon found in Australia is the oldest object native to planet Earth. "Bjornerud chronicles the watersheds in Earth's history from the primordial supernova that seeded the nascent solar nebula to the man-made cataclysms of global warming," explained a Publishers Weekly reviewer, who added that at present humanity produces sixteen times as much carbon dioxide as volcanoes produce. At the same time, she sets forth the remarkable powers of renewal and recycling that the Earth has displayed over its long history, allowing it to regulate itself through redistribution of elements among the oceans, the interior, and the atmosphere. A Kirkus Reviews contributor particularly praised "Bjornerud's plain-English approach," which makes her work easily accessible to the average reader.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 15, 2005, Gilbert Taylor, review of Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth, p. 1252.
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2005, review of Reading the Rocks, p. 269.
Publishers Weekly, February 28, 2005, review of Reading the Rocks, p. 50.
Science News, June 11, 2005, Cait Goldberg, review of Reading the Rocks, p. 383.
Perseus Books Web site, http://www.perseusbooksgroup.com/ (July 5, 2005), brief biography of Marcia Bjornerud.