Tues., July 13, 2021 • 5:30pm PT • Live • Online
In what has been called wildlife biologist Douglas Chadwick's “career-capping" book, Four-Fifths a Grizzly: A New Perspective on Nature that Just Might Save Us All presents an engaging series of personal essays that illustrate the amazing interconnectedness of nature, advocating that the path toward conservation begins with how we see our place in the world.
Gathered from decades of observing and reporting, Four-Fifths a Grizzly offers a fresh view of human’s place in the natural world and challenges anyone to consider whether they are separate from or part of nature. Starting with reflections from Chadwick’s childhood, readers are introduced to a 10-year-old boy who receives a microscope handed down from his father. Fascinated by nearly invisible lifeforms he views through the lens, Chadwick is propelled on a lifelong curiosity of nature and pursuit of adventure and discovery. Today he is known for his research and coverage of Earth’s larger lifeforms: mountain goats, whales, wolverines, and grizzly bears, and the conservation issues that surround them.
Approaches nature from a scientific angle, Chadwick shows how human DNA is not all that different from any other creature, including the surprisingly close relationship between our DNA and that of grizzly bears (we share between 80 and 90 percent of our genes in common.) We are also 60 percent similar to salmon, 40 percent the same as many insects, and 24 percent of our genes match those of a wine grape. This new perspective also means understanding that we are not that far removed from our ancestors who lived closer to nature.
Douglas H. Chadwick is a wildlife biologist who carried out research on mountain goat ecology and social behavior atop the Rockies for years and has assisted other scientists studying harlequin ducks, wolverines, grizzly bears, and whales. He is also a natural history journalist who has produced 14 popular books and hundreds of magazine stories. Many of his articles have been for the National Geographic Society on subjects from snow leopards high in the Himalayas to lowland rainforests and the underwater kingdoms of coral. A founding Board member of the Vital Ground Foundation, a conservation land trust, Chadwick serves as well on the Board of the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation, which supports wildlife research and community-based conservation programs throughout the world.
Douglas Chadwick photo by Joe Riis