Cover: In a Patch of Fireweed: A Biologist’s Life in the Field, from Harvard University PressCover: In a Patch of Fireweed in PAPERBACK

In a Patch of Fireweed

A Biologist’s Life in the Field

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Product Details


$30.50 • £24.95 • €27.50

ISBN 9780674445512

Publication Date: 09/01/1991


208 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

51 fine line illustrations


In this autobiographical reflection…[Heinrich] is intent on explaining why he became an insect physiologist and ecologist. In the process, he gives us a winning portrait of a fine scientific mind at work… There is a fine balance here between intellection and practical experience, speculation and discovery. This is a book that sends you right outdoors.—Barry Lopez, The New York Times Book Review

Heinrich’s stated purpose is to ‘tell about the natural links forged between one’s life and a life in science.’ He succeeds magnificently. His prose reflects Thoreau’s empathy with nature and the contemporary naturalist’s technical knowledge… This meticulously observed book will please scientists, but it will also delight non-scientist readers who wonder what, in this increasingly polymerized world, is truly human and truly natural.—John Wilkes, The San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle

[Heinrich’s] memoir explains, with great charm, how he came to devote his life to such projects as measuring the temperature of wasps and swindling gullible beetles with phony dungballs… [He is] delightful company.The Atlantic

In this charming volume, Heinrich combines biographical details with his economic-ecological approach to flora and fauna—embellishing the whole with precisionist pencil drawings… To be read and savored for the writing, the drawings, and the science.Kirkus Reviews

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