Following his acclaimed guides to air, fire, and water, David Carle now offers a fascinating exploration of one more primary element of the natural world—the land beneath our feet. From earthworms and earthquakes to Earth Day, this concise, engaging guide is a multifaceted primer on the literal foundation of California’s environment. Carle tells how soil ecosystems function, discusses what lives in the soil, and examines various soil types. He then turns to the relationship between humans and the land, and investigates the various uses and abuses that land in California endures: large scale agriculture, mining, and development, as well as fires, floods, and erosion. The guide also details the history of land use in the state, making it an essential resource for understanding our total reliance on soil, the marvelous substrate that is the basis of life.
• Covers the entire state, including California’s wildlands, farmland, cities, and landfills
• Assesses California’s ecological footprint on planet Earth
• Discusses many different life forms found in soil, including bacteria, fungi, insects, and mammals
• Features 92 color photographs and 18 maps
A book in the Californians and Their Environment subseries, dedicated to understanding human influences on the state's ecology and natural resources
David Carle worked as a California State Park ranger for twenty-seven years. His books include Introduction to Water in California, Introduction to Air in California, and Introduction to Fire in California, all from UC Press.
“A fascinating look at the land in California. . . . He explains how this amazing ecosystem functions, and he does it in an understandable way. There are lots of photographs that bring a potentially very dull subject to life. Carle has written guides on air, fire and water. His work goes on my recommended list.”—Fresno Bee, Earth Log
"David Carle has produced another gem of a book that should be in easy reach of every lover of California, along with its companion volumes on air, fire, and water. Introduction to Earth, Soil and Land in California
is a portable encyclopedia—fun to read and filled with photos and facts about everything from earthworms to earthquakes to Earth Day."—Peter Moyle, author of Inland Fishes of California
"As environment and society, California depends upon premises of earth, air, water, and fire. Explicating the intricacies of these elements as they function on their own and in the web of life, David Carle—briefly and with unassuming elegance—introduces us to the basic requirements of our continuing existence on this Planet and, in the process of so doing, suggests for California a shared social stewardship of sustainability."—Kevin Starr, University of Southern California