Grossman, Elizabeth 1957-
Grossman, Elizabeth 1957-
(Editor, with Susan Ewing) Shadow Cat: Encountering the American Mountain Lion, Sasquatch Books (Seattle, WA), 1999.
Watershed: The Undamming of America, Counterpoint (Washington, DC), 2002.
High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health, Island Press (Washington, DC), 2006.
Contributor to periodicals, including Nation, New York Times Book Review, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, California Wild, Audubon, Oregonian, Orion, Newsday, Washington Post, Yes!, Amicus Journal, Cascadia Times, and the Web sites Grist and the Environmental News Network.
Elizabeth Grossman is the author of books about nature and environmental conservation. Her first book, Shadow Cat: Encountering the American Mountain Lion, was edited with Susan Ewing and is a collection of twenty essays by various notable wildlife writers. The work concerns such issues as the growth of the mountain lion population in America, which, along with encroaching human populations, has resulted in increasing attacks on people by these predatory felines. In the Library Journal, Nancy J. Moeckel called the book a "nicely balanced collection," while a Publishers Weekly critic complimented Grossman and Ewing for bringing "fresh material to what the editors call the ‘debate over wildness and wilderness.’"
Grossman drew more critical attention for her first solo work, Watershed: The Undamming of America, which addresses in detail the environmental issues involving river dams. During the first two centuries of American history, dams were major components of development projects across the country that were used for creating water reservoirs, and later for generating hydroelectric power. The downside is that dams have a big impact on the environment, interrupting fish migration patterns, disrupting natural water flow, eroding soils, and causing water pollution. Today, however, fewer dams are used for electric power and there have been more dams torn down to allow rivers to return to their natural courses. There is still, however, considerable resistance to removing dams in the dry American West, where dams are important for creating reservoirs of drinking water. Grossman takes specific cases of rivers and dams in several U.S. states to detail the important task of restoring the environment by tearing down dams in what Oregon Historical Quarterly writer Jeff Crane called "a useful guide to one of the most important developments in contemporary American environmentalism." A Publishers Weekly contributor similarly concluded that "Grossman offers a compelling update on a movement that could reshape the face of America."
While Adventuring along the Lewis and Clark Trail: Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington is essentially a travel guide for those who wish to retrace the route of that famous expedition, Grossman also adds some undertones of environmentalism. The book offers historical background about Lewis and Clark, then informs readers of highlights to see along the way and includes helpful resources for travelers. The author comments, too, on how the landscape has been degraded over the centuries, but she also "reminds us … that many areas along the trail are scenic and open to anyone inclined to enjoy a moder- ate hike, walk, or paddle," related Ken DuBois in another Oregon Historical Quarterly article. DuBois concluded that this is a "useful and engaging guidebook."
A fairly new and potentially devastating threat to the environment is the subject of Grossman's High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health. While researching pollution in the Willamette River near her home in Oregon, she discovered that much of the toxic waste was the result of the high tech industry. Researching the subject, the author found that heavy metals and other toxic materials used in televisions, cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices leak into the environment whenever they are improperly disposed. Cadmium, phosphorous, lead, mercury, chlorine, and other chemicals and metals are lethal not only to wildlife but also to people, and there is a very real possibility that they are a cause of increasing cancer rates. Not only this, but tons of valuable materials, such as gold, copper, platinum, and silver, are being discarded when they could be recycled instead. Grossman points out her concern that the United States, unlike Europe and Japan, does not enforce standards for recycling high tech components; thus, only about ten percent of all computers, televisions, and phones are recycled in America. Booklist reviewer Donna Seaman declared High Tech Trash an "informative, harrowing, and invaluable report." "Her language is quiet, clear, and compelling," wrote Michael D. Cramer in the Library Journal. A Publishers Weekly reviewer observed that Grossman's "call for action is commendable and critical."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July 1, 2002, Donna Seaman, review of Watershed: The Undamming of America, p. 1803; May 1, 2003, Brad Hooper, review of Adventuring along the Lewis and Clark Trail: Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, p. 1575; April 15, 2006, Donna Seaman, review of High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxins, and Human Health, p. 9.
Discover, September 1, 2006, Joseph D'Agnese, "Where Technology Goes to Die," review of High Tech Trash, p. 69.
E, January 1, 2007, Jim Motavalli, "Talking Computer Trash," review of High Tech Trash, p. 59.
Ecos, June 1, 2006, "A Shame about Your Old TV," review of High Tech Trash, p. 32.
Library Journal, April 15, 1999, Nancy J. Moeckel, review of Shadow Cat: Encountering the American Mountain Lion, p. 141; July 1, 2002, Nancy Moeckel, review of Watershed, p. 113; April 15, 2006, Michael D. Cramer, review of High Tech Trash, p. 106.
Oregon Historical Quarterly, spring, 2003, Jeff Crane, review of Watershed.
Publishers Weekly, February 8, 1999, review of Shadow Cat, p. 201; June 10, 2002, review of Watershed, p. 54; March 20, 2006, review of High Tech Trash, p. 52.
High Tech Trash Web site,http://www.hightechtrash.com (May 18, 2007).
SearchDataCenter.com,http://searchdatacenter.blogspot.com/ (July 20, 2006), "Q&A with Elizabeth Grossman on E-Waste."