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Steller's Island: Adventures of a Pioneer Naturalist in Alaska Paperback – October 1, 2006
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"..reveals the natural beauty of Alaska the way Steller saw it more than two centuries ago" -- Alaska Airlines
"A wide audience will find this absorbing.." -- --The Midwest Book Review
"Author and naturalist Dean Littlepage gives the tenacious Steller his due in Steller's Island, -- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (syndicated)
"Hikers, historians, and conservationists will appreciate Littlepage's well-researched, thought-provoking narrative." -- Wilderness Medicine magazine
"Littlepage masterfully illustrates the bitter ironies of Steller's legacy." -- Bookmonger
"Littlepage provides a gripping and vivid account of the struggles the surviving crewmen endured" -- Fairbanks Daily News
"Littlepage's own expertise in outdoor journalism [is] on display here...." -- Natural History Magazine
"Author and naturalist Dean Littlepage gives the tenacious Steller his due in Steller's Island," -- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (syndicated)
"Historian and adventurer Dean Littlepage reveals the fascinating final few years of one of the great, and least known, naturalist." -- The Seattle Times
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Georg Steller was a German naturalist, a predecessor of Linneaus, and a member of the early Russian expeditions to map the Pacific coast of North America. Steller was a multi-talented product of the Enlightenment. He spoke several languages and received formal training in theology, medicine, and biology. After teaching in Germany for a short stint, he moved to Russia and joined the newly formed Russian Academy of Science. He joined Captain Bering (for whom the Bering strait is named) and in a visit to Kayak Island began the first scientific exploration of the Northwest. But Steller was much more than just a talented naturalist (he collected 140 specimens in a mere 6 hours on Kayak Island.) He was also an extraordinary physician who correctly hypothesized that a diet heavy in green vegetables would fend of scurvy centuries before the discovery of vitamin C. His scientific background ultimately saved the crew of the St. Peter, Bering's ship, in the face of disaster. The challenges facing the crew shipwrecked for the winter are truly gripping and it is hard to put the book down as Littlepage recounts this period.
This book makes a for a fascinating read.Read more ›
He identified hundreds of plant species in just a few hours of landfall on an Alaskan island. He also was the first European to closely examine animals such as the Steller's sea lion, Steller's sea cow (now extinct) and others.
Unfortunately, many of his research samples didn't make it back to Russia. Bering's flagship, St. Peter, became separated from his other ship, St. Paul, on the way east to Alaska. And, it didn't make it all the way back to Kamchatka. Eventually, after wintering on a sub-arctic island, the crew made a small hooker out of St. Peter's remains and completed the trip.
The crew who were left, that is. Many died from scurvy, though Steller saved many others with his knowledge of plants, and observation of Siberian and Aleut customs.
The remaining crew forced Steller to leave behind his specimen slides and his dissected sea cow, among other things. He wrote up what he could after getting back to European Russia, but his samples were lost forever.
An excellent book on science, natural history, and Arctic exploration, all in one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely Remarkable! Epic story of Danish sea captain Vitus Bering's 2nd attempt to discover the mythical Northwest Passage, and German physician/naturalist Georg Steller's role... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Alaskan
I loved this book so much that I just couldn't help wishing I'd written it myself. Part historical narrative, part natural history, and all adventure, I can't recommend it highly... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Old Troll
Excellent book about this great Naturalist Steller!!!Published on August 6, 2014 by CLIFFORD R. SCOTT
A fascinating account of the early exploration of North America, specifically the land which became Alaska and the Bering Sea. Read morePublished on October 4, 2012 by David L. Filkin
I love narrative history and enjoyed this book. Steller is a great hero. I think five stars are too much for this book, because-
There was so little information about who... Read more