(Mark Stander Bowen)
PERSONAL: Male. Education: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D. Hobbies and other interests: Mountain climbing.
CAREER: Magazine journalist and photographer.
Contributor to periodicals, including Natural History and Climbing.
SIDELIGHTS: After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a doctorate in physics, Mark Bowen became a magazine journalist and continued to pursue a love of mountaineering. Combining all three of his skills—writing, science, and climbing—he went on assignment to cover the story of Lonnie Thompson, an Ohio State University professor who was conducting research atop some of the world's tallest peaks. It is Thompson's contention that the strongest evidence for global warming can be found by taking samples from the snowy caps of mountains near the earth's equator. Bowen accompanied the scientist to expeditions above 18,000 feet on Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and Nevado Sajama in the Andes. He relates his experiences in his first book, Thin Ice: Unlocking the Secrets of Climate in the World's Highest Mountains, which also includes a history of climatology and information on the growing international debate on global warming. Mixed in with the more scientific details are Bowen's descriptions of the harrowing work involved in climbing mountains in a rarified atmosphere and bitter-cold conditions. Gloria Maxwell, writing in Library Journal, called Thin Ice "a gripping adventure tale," while Mother Jones contributor Elizabeth Gettelman maintained that the work "should correct the notion that climatologists are just number-crunching geeks." Not only is Thin Ice an exciting narrative, according to these critics, but a Publishers Weekly writer added that it "should be read by everyone concerned about the future of our planet" because of the convincing evidence it offers about what is happening to the earth's climate.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 2005, George Cohen, review of Thin Ice: Unlocking the Secrets of Climate in the World's Highest Mountains, p. 33.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2005, review of Thin Ice, p. 950.
Library Journal, October 1, 2005, Gloria Maxwell, review of Thin Ice, p. 104.
Mother Jones, November, 2005, Elizabeth Gettelman, review of Thin Ice, p. 86.
Publishers Weekly, August 8, 2005, review of Thin Ice, p. 220.
Science News, November 12, 2005, review of Thin Ice, p. 319.
Washington Post Book World, November 20, 2005, David Laskin, "The Great Meltdown," review of Thin Ice, p. 9.
Mark Bowen Home Page, http://www.mark-bowen.com (January 19, 2006).