Volume 21 Number 5
Pamela Hickman's latest book, Wetlands, encourages the combination of both direct observation and hands-on activities as the method to understanding the ecological processes of wetlands. Developed with the support of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists, Wetlands takes a very complete and well-laid-out approach to basic wetlands biology.
The book contains excellent colour illustrations throughout. The material is organized in five major sections, with each section combining basic technical information and appropriate activities.
An example of one of the major sections is "Discovering Wetland Wildlife." Included in this section is a listing of different frogs and toads a young naturalist might find in a local wetland. Besides illustrating the different species, Hickman explains the "song" for each that might form a part of a wetlands evening chorus.
Within the same section are activities to map a bird's territory and to set up an aquarium. Hickman's comments seem equally balanced with respect to plants, vertebrates and invertebrates typical of wetlands.
The book's final section deals with wetland conservation. Within this section Hickman includes activities/ experiments that demonstrate the impact of oil and detergents on wetlands wildlife.
The strongest feature of the book is the way in which the total package delivers a thorough, basic review of wetlands ecology. Each and every organism within a wetland is part of that wetland community and is dependent on all other species living there. To be fully aware of wetlands biology it is important to understand each of its parts. And Wetlands reviews all the wetlands parts.
I would recommend this book to any adult working with Junior level children.
Peter Croskery is a biologist, freelance writer and instructor specializing in environmental issues in Grinsby, Ontario.
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