Mastro, Jim 1953–

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Mastro, Jim 1953–

PERSONAL: Born 1953; married; wife's name Lisa; children: one son. Education: San Diego State University, B.S.; University of New Hampshire, M.A.

ADDRESSES: Home—NH. Office—MastroMedia, 12 Cherokee St., Dover, NH 03820. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer and photographer. MastroMedia, Dover, NH, photographer and writer. Photography has appeared in Omni, Discover, International Wildlife, and Geo. Worked in Antarctica, 1982–96, including for ITT Antarctic Services and as manager of U.S. scientific diving program for National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs for five years.


Antarctica: A Year at the Bottom of the World, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2002.

(With Norbert Wu) Antarctic Ice, photographs by Wu, Holt (New York, NY), 2003.

(With Norbert Wu) Under Antarctic Ice: The Photographs of Norbert Wu, photographs by Wu, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2004.

Contributor to periodicals, including International Wildlife and Skin Diver.

SIDELIGHTS: Jim Mastro is a freelance writer and photographer who spent nearly fifteen years working in Antarctica, including time as a diver on a scientific research project. "There were many times when I saw underwater landscapes that had never before been seen by a human being," Mastro explained on Antarctica Online. "Those were the times when I felt like a true explorer." Referring to his experience in Antarctica, the author also noted: "My entire perception of the planet we live on has been irrevocably altered." Since returning from Antarctica, Mastro has authored or coauthored several books focusing on the frozen land. In Antarctica: A Year at the Bottom of the World, for example, he writes about his experiences diving in the Antarctica waters and also includes numerous photographs both of the landscape and the animals he encounters.

Mastro has also collaborated with noted undersea photographer Norbert Wu on two books about the area. In Antarctic Ice, Mastro and Wu focus on the brief Antarctic summer, highlighting the life and landscape both below the water and on shore. In addition to Wu's photographs, the text provides explanations about Antarctic life with a focus on the Weddell seal, Orca whale, and Adelie and Emperor penguins. He discusses how their surrounding habitat helps these creatures survive. A Kirkus Reviews contributor noted that the book is "well-written, smooth, and interesting," and Cristina Macrinici noted in Childhood Education that the "book makes for a fascinating read."

In Under Antarctic Ice: The Photographs of Norbert Wu Mastro provides most of the text explaining the region's animal and plant life, including the introductory chapter about the area's natural history, while Wu provides the photographs and notes about his pictures. Betty Galbraith, writing in Library Journal, noted that "Mastro tries to condense complex scientific information to an understandable level" but felt that difficulties remain for those not familiar with some scientific terminology. As Booklist contributor Nancy Bent noted, "Mastro's text artfully summarizes Antarctic ecology for the lay reader." Writing in Geographical, Octavia Lamb called the book a "scintillating tome," labeled the author's introduction "informative and evocative," and added that Mastro's text "manages to convey the struggle of diving … in the perishing cold and the beauty of the sublime wonderland." Writing in the American Scientist, David Schoonmaker noted that the "photographs and captions offer peeks into places few of us will ever be privileged enough to visit." Natural History contributor Laurence A. Marschall, wrote that "Wu's photographs, along with Mastro's background text, provide access for the armchair traveler."



American Scientist, January-February, 2005, David Schoonmaker, review of Under Antarctic Ice: The Photographs of Norbert Wu, p. 77.

Booklist, December 1, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of Antarctic Ice, p. 679; October 15, 2004, Nancy Bent, review of Under Antarctic Ice: The Photographs of Norbert Wu, p. 375.

Childhood Education, fall, 2004, Cristina Macrinici, review of Antarctic Ice, p. 48.

Choice, April, 2005, P.E. Lutz, review of Under Antarctic Ice, p. 1426.

Geographical, March, 2005, Octavia Lamb, review of Under Antarctic Ice, p. 82.

Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2003, review of Antarctic Ice, p. 1273.

Library Journal, September 1, 2004, Betty Galbraith, review of Under Antarctic Ice, p. 183.

Natural History, December, 2004, Laurence A. Marschall, review of Under Antarctic Ice, p. 54.

Publishers Weekly, December 15, 2003, review of Antarctic Ice, p. 72.

School Library Journal, November, 2003, Margaret Bush, review of Antarctic Ice, p. 128; October, 2004, review of Antarctic Ice, p. S23.

Science News, November 13, 2004, review of Under Antarctic Ice, p. 319.


Antarctica Online, (June 6, 2005), author home page.