Professor of Biology James M. Ryan has written “Adirondack Wildlife: A Field Guided” (University Press of New England, April 2009), 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, the book is available in the College Store and has already been excerpted in “Adirondack Life” magazine.
The six-million-acre Adirondack Park sees several million visitors each year and is home to 330,000 full-time and seasonal residents.The Park’s diverse habitats include lakes, ponds, more than 30,000 miles of running water, lowland swamps, and alpine meadows.
Ryan opens the book with a brief history of the Park, moves on to the varied habitats within it and then a detailed guide to the Adirondack Park’s many species, complete with illustrations.
Among the reviews the book has already received are one from photographer and author of “Adirondack Wilderness,” Nathan Farb, “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.”
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. Ryan’s publications include more than 25 scientific papers on the ecology, morphology, and behavior of mammals and birds.