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Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats
Cover of Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats
Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats
Urban Ecology, Community Science, and How We Share Our Cities
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Gripping narrative non-fiction with STEM and social justice themes that proves cities can be surprisingly wild places—and why understanding urban nature matters. What can city bees tell us about...
Gripping narrative non-fiction with STEM and social justice themes that proves cities can be surprisingly wild places—and why understanding urban nature matters. What can city bees tell us about...
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    3

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Description-

  • Gripping narrative non-fiction with STEM and social justice themes that proves cities can be surprisingly wild places—and why understanding urban nature matters.

    What can city bees tell us about climate change? How are we changing coyote behavior? And what the heck is a science bike? Featuring the work of a diverse group of eleven scientists—herself included!—Dr. Cylita Guy shows how studying urban wildlife can help us make cities around the world healthier for all of their inhabitants. In the process, Guy reveals how social injustices like racism can affect not only how scientists study city wildlife, but also where urban critters are likelier to thrive. Sidebars include intriguing animal facts and the often-wacky tools used by urban ecologists, from a ratmobile to a bug vacuum. Cornelia Li's engaging illustrations bring the scientists' fieldwork adventures to life, while urban ecology challenges encourage readers to look for signs of wildlife in their own neighborhoods.

    *A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

About the Author-

  • CYLITA GUY, PhD is a Toronto-based ecologist, data scientist, and science communicator who studies bats. In her downtime, you can find your friendly neighborhood batgirl chasing her next big outdoor adventure.

Table of Contents-

  • Introduction: Living in the Urban Jungle

    Talk Like an Urban Ecologist: Key Terms

    Chapter 1: Chasing Down Big Browns
    How much do wildlife rely on city green spaces? Cylita Guy tracks bats in Toronto, Canada.

    Chapter 2: Ratmobile to the Rescue
    How do animals in cities affect human health? Kaylee Byers studies how rats move around Vancouver, Canada.

    Chapter 3: Bees and Bug Vacuum
    Why are cities a good place to study the impact of climate change on bees? Charlotte de Keyzer looks at what bees and the plants they pollinate can tell us about the effects of climate change in cities like Toronto, Canada.

    Chapter 4: Backyard Bear Buffet
    What happens when humans and wildlife in cities don't get along? Jesse Popp gets to the bottom of human-bear conflict in Sudbury, Canada.

    Chapter 5: Bold Coyote, Bashful Coyote
    How are humans changing animal behavior in cities? Chris Schell studies coyote behavior in Utah and Washington, and looks at how human policies like redlining affect urban biodiversity.

    Chapter 6: Microplastics, Major Problems
    How does the pollution we create affect city animals? Rachel Giles wades into Toronto's waterways to discover the impacts of pollution on invertebrates.

    Chapter 7: Birdwatching Bias
    What happens when citizen science doesn't tell us the whole story? Deja Perkins asks how human bias can affect what we know about birds in cities like Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh, North Carolina.

    Chapter 8: A Bike to Beat the Heat
    Why are greener cities better for people? Carly Ziter pedals around Madison, Wisconsin to track how trees cool cities. 

    Conclusion: But this is only the beginning!

    Acknowledgments

    Select Sources

    Index 

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2021
    An ecologist offers glimpses of scientists at work exploring the "urban jungle." Guy kicks off her set of episodic profiles with a description of her own studies of brown bats in Toronto's High Park. She then introduces fellow researchers tracking city-dwelling creatures, from rats and native bees to bears and coyotes, mapping microclimates in different city neighborhoods, or organizing censuses--in locales ranging from Vancouver to South Africa. Though it's a swiftly moving survey, the discourse digs down deep enough to suggest that, counterintuitively, some species seem to do better in urban than natural environments, to call attention to potential ecological effects of redlining and gentrification, and to describe an encounter between a Black bird counter and a hostile White woman in North Carolina as prelude to a discussion of racial bias. Better yet, nearly all of the scientists here are women and at least three, including the author, people of color. For both specific portraits and certain scenes like a gallery of urban animal butts readers are challenged to identify, photographs would have done better service, but Li's substantial mix of naturalistic animal silhouettes and silk-screen-style scenes of scientists engaged in outdoorsy tasks does add some visual detail as well as bright notes of color. The closing resource list is substantial, though light on material for younger audiences. An uneven but wide-angled look at our closest neighbors...welcome and otherwise. (index, glossary) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2022

    Gr 2-6-This work takes a unique and effective approach to educating middle graders on urban ecology. Rather than the clinical removal of a typical science nonfiction book, the author uses personal narrative and anecdotes in addition to more traditional fact-based writing on current issues in ecology. Each chapter introduces a friend in the urban ecology field with a pithy vignette about their interactions with wildlife or nature, and then a description of their field of study and its key issues. Especially delightful is the representation of urban ecologists who are frequently marginalized in science; all of the collegial friends she features are women and/or POC (the author is Black). She directly addresses how bias and policing against ecologists who are, for example, Black or Indigenous, hurts the process of science and, by extension, the protection of our ecosystem. The inclusion of real people with exciting careers and passions makes the book highly readable yet informative enough to supplement a research project. Importantly, urban wildlife, including bats, rats, bees, bears, coyotes, and insects are destigmatized and depicted as valuable city dwellers worthy of respect and tolerance. Her warm, personal approach to science is inviting, while Li's stylized illustrations are contemporary, fun, and enrich the text. VERDICT Acute yet entertaining writing on an exciting and diverse cohort of real-life scientists makes this book a wonderful urban ecology text for an elementary or even middle school library.-Mallory Weber

    Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • School Library Connection, 11/21

    "A high-interest, intriguing piece of work . . . Curious readers will find this book easy to read and will learn plenty along the way. Teachers could use it to start a discussion or begin a unit on the ecosystems in urban areas."

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    Annick Press
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Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats
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Urban Ecology, Community Science, and How We Share Our Cities
Cylita Guy
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