Adventures in the Wild


Tales from Biologists of the Natural State
Edited by Joy Trauth and Aldemaro Romero
978-1-55728-872-1 (paper)
May 2008


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The true tales in this collection will take readers from the chicken houses of Arkansas to the caves of Venezuela and Mexico to the coast of Alaska. These fifteen adventures range from amusing to life threatening. Some are filled with suspense and danger in exotic places, while others document more routine but important biological field and lab work.
Meet the roommate with the rash that wouldn’t go away, a friendly bull, some blind cave fish, killer whales, drug smugglers, and hairy roots that are used to produce new medicines. Read about researchers crawling through rotten-egg-smelling muck in search of an elusive mosquitofish, diving into the cold black water of the White River in search of mussels, flying with bush pilots in Alaska, and working with David Attenborough in Arkansas. Here are teachers and researchers, biologists all, all from one university, real people who get their feet wet and their hands dirty in the pursuit of knowledge.

Joy Trauth is an instructor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
Aldemaro Romero is professor and chair of the department.
Cristián Samper is the Acting Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

“The stories in this book . . . illustrate the excitement associated with the field work carried out by biologists around the world every day. The stories reveal the exhilaration felt by biologists when discovering new information and collecting new specimens of plants and animals . . . [and] show us how important biological collections are for the understanding and conservation of our natural heritage worldwide.”
—Cristián Samper, from the foreword
“Very readable, witty, informative, well-edited and nicely done by the multiple authors, divided among various interests, aquatic versus terrestrial, botanical versus zoological.”
—Henry W. Robison, Southern Arkansas University