Ryan’s Beasties Just the Beginning – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Ryan’s Beasties Just the Beginning

An article titled “Wee Beasties,” in the January issue of “Adirondack Life” magazine (available on newsstands now), gives readers a colorful glimpse into the Adirondacks’ habitats and inhabitants as Professor of Biology James Ryan details them in his upcoming book, “Adirondack Wildlife: A Field Guide.” The feature article, complete with a number of photos, is an excerpt from the book, which will be published in April 2009 by University Press of New England (UPNE).

“Adirondack Wildlife” is already detailed in the UPNE catalog, which describes it as “The first comprehensive field guide to the habitats and wildlife of the Adirondack State Park.” It goes on to explain it will be “the first field guide to the natural history and ecology of the Adirondacks, a guide to the Park’s plants, invertebrates, fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals by a respected native-born naturalist.”

Ryan opens with a brief history of the Park, moves onto the varied habitats within it and then a detailed guide to the Adirondack Park’s many species, complete with illustrations. According to the catalog, back matter will include species checklists, an annotated list of additional resources, and bibliography.

The UPNE Web site includes the following pre-release reviews of the book:

 “A hiker can stash half a dozen field guides in a pack for identifying Adirondack wildflowers and wildlife-or carry instead the compact, concise Trailside Companion, with specific information on native plants and animals. James Ryan’s entertaining and informative book catalogs an array of organisms in a new format that’s user friendly and fun.”-Elizabeth Folwell, Creative Director, Adirondack Life

“Reading Adirondack Wildlife reminded me of what a precious source of life and well-being we have been given here in the Adirondacks. One could sit down for a great read on a couple of rainy days or toss it in your backpack as a hiking companion for a day or a week in the woods.” -Nathan Farb, photographer, and author of Adirondack Wilderness.

Ryan has been professor of biology and environmental studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges for more than two decades. He has spent significant time conducting field research and focuses on mammalian biodiversity and conservation of African small mammals. He holds a Ph.D in zoology from The University of Massachusetts, a master’s degree in biological sciences from The University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from The State University of New York at Oswego. He is the recipient of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Faculty Prize for Scholarship in 1997.