2003 Media Information Page

On this page, you'll find the press release, reviews, and cover scans of the winners of the 2003 National Outdoor Book Awards.  Traditional media outlets, websites, and other forms of the media are welcome to use any of the materials found here. For the most current press release, see: Latest Media Information 







    Press Release:

"Winners of 2003 National Outdoor Book Awards Annouced"


Art for Use by Media Sources:

National Outdoor Book Award Medallion


Other Media Information:

Web Master Information: Website owners and developers are welcome to use our press releases, reviews and book scans.

      Mailing List:

Media Mailing List: Receive NOBA press releases.  Only two press releases are sent out annually.


Media Contact Information: 

For more information, or to be placed on a media mailing list, contact: Ron Watters, 921 South 8th Ave, Stop 8128, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID 83209.

Phone: 208- 232-6857.

Email: wattron@isu.edu.










A Note to Members of the Media and Web Site Developers

We invite you to sign up for our media email list.  Our email list is highly confidential and not shared with any other sources.  We send out only two press releases per year.  One release announces the opening of nominations for the new year's program--and the other announces the winners (in the fall immediately after the judge's decisions are finalized).  To get on the mailing list, send an email to NOBA Chair Ron Watters at wattron@isu.edu.


Press Release


NOTE: High & low resolution cover scans of all books mention below are available for download.

  • See also the announcement of the winners & reviews on our website

The following release consists of  three sections:
General Release | Complete Reviews of Winners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   

Contact: Ron Watters  (208) 282-3912 - wattron@isu.edu

The story of a mountaineer coming to grips with own his mortality is the winner of the Literature Category of the 2003 National Outdoor Book Awards. 

In The Beckoning Silence, author Joe Simpson re-examines his life as a risk-taker, and while doing so, he takes the reader on a series of adventures ranging from the airy summits of Bolivia to the treacherous North Face of the Eiger in the Alps.  Simpson is one of the mountaineering world's leading writers, and with this new book, he's clearly still very much at the top of his game. 

Adventure is also figured prominently in the winning book of the Nature and Environment Category.  In Ice Island author Gregory S. Stone and a team of scientists and divers investigate the world's largest iceberg.  Richly illustrated and beautifully designed, Ice Island is a marvelous story about adventure, science and future of humankind. 

In the Design Category, an impressive photographic work on Maine's Acadia National Park took top honors.  Entitled First Light, the book excels in all measures of an artistic achievement.  From Tom Blagden's inspiring and impassioned photography to the book's careful and sensitive design, and to the printer's nearly perfect reproduction, this work sparkles and dazzles.

These books are just three winners of this year's National Outdoor Book Award and represent some of the finest outdoor writing and artwork being published today.  The program honors books across nine individual categories. 

The announcement of the winners was made at a special evening ceremony at the International Conference on Outdoor Recreation and Education.  This year's conference was held in Orem, Utah. 

NOBA is the largest and most prestigious national award program for authors and publishers of outdoor books.  The non-profit program is sponsored by the NOBA Foundation, Idaho State University and the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education.

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Full Reviews Follows . . .

Outdoor Literature.  Winner.  The Beckoning Silence.  By Joe Simpson.  Published by The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.  ISBN 0898869412

This is the story of a mountaineer in the autumn of his career coming to grips with his own mortality and dwindling physical resources.  An extraordinary storyteller, Joe Simpson takes us on a series of adventures which span the globe, culminating in one final, career-ending climb of the North Face of the Eiger.  Simpson is at his best when the chips are down and the line between life and disaster is stretched paper thin.  Hold onto your seat.  In The Beckoning Silence, Simpson is at his best.

Design and Artistic Merit.  Winner.  First Light: Acadia National Park and Maine's Mount Desert Island.  Photography by Tom Blagden, Jr.  Text by Charles R. Tyson, Jr.  Published by Westcliffe Publishers, Englewood, CO.  ISBN 1565794729

First Light is one of those rare books that excels in all measures of an artistic achievement.  It's an impressive and fitting tribute to Acadia, the Northeast's only national park.  From Tom Blagden's inspiring and impassioned photography to the book's careful and sensitive design, and to the printer's nearly perfect reproduction, this work sparkles and dazzles. Quite simply, First Light is a tour de force.

Nature and the Environment.  Winner.  Ice Island: Expedition to Antarctica's Largest Iceberg.  By Gregory S. Stone.  Published by the New England Aquarium, Boston MA.  ISBN 1593730179

In the Year 2000, a mammoth iceberg calved off Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf.  The iceberg, known as B-15 was the world's largest, 4,500 square miles in size and holding enough fresh water to supply the United States for five years.  This is the story of the team of scientists and divers who set off in a small research ship named Braveheart to study a portion of the iceberg.  Richly illustrated and beautifully designed, it's a marvelous story about adventure, science and the future of humankind. 

History/Biography.  Winner.  Southern Exposure:  A Solo Sea Kayaking Journey Around New Zealand's South Island.  By Chris Duff.  Published by Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT.  ISBN 0762725958

With this book, Chris Duff solidly establishes himself as a leading voice in outdoor adventure writing.  His previous work, On Celtic Tides chronicled his circumnavigation of  Ireland, but in Southern Exposure, the stakes are higher.  Here, the waves loom larger, the shoreline more forbidding, and weather more unforgiving.  Duff is up to the task and has created an engrossing and mesmerizing account that sweeps the reader along.

History/Biography. Honorable Mention.  Women on High: Pioneers of Mountaineering.  By Rebecca A. Brown.  Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books, Boston, MA ISBN 192917313X 

This is a wonderful new addition to our understanding of the history of women mountaineers.  In Women on High, Rebecca Brown chronicles the mountaineering exploits of a dozen or more women, nearly all of whom climbed in the 1800's. While some of the women are known figures in the mountaineering world, Brown's research has also turned up some new interesting personalities and their stories. 

Outdoor Classic.  Winner.  Alone.  By Richard E. Byrd.  Published by Island Press,  Washington, DC.  ISBN 1559634634

Alone is the story of Richard Bryd's six months of isolation in a remote weather station in Antarctica in 1933.   The lack of companionship, coupled with the long, black days of the interminable polar winter, extract a mental and physical toll from Byrd.  Yet there is something else, some other sinister element at the root of the explorer's deteriorating condition.  Almost before it is too late, Byrd discovers that he has been slowly poisoned by a carbon monoxide leak from a defective stove installation.  Reissued by Island Press, this classic story of Arctic adventure is now available to a new generation of readers.

Children's Books. Winner.  Dot and Jabber and the Big Bug Mystery.  By Ellen Stoll Walsh.  Published by Hartcourt, Inc., New York.  ISBN 0152165185

Dot and Jabber are mice--mighty dapper looking mice, we might add--and they have an interesting vocation.  They are detectives.  Their job in the Big Bug Mystery is to find out what happened to all the bugs in the meadow that have suddenly disappeared.  There's no mystery, however, about this sweetly written and illustrated book.  It's a winner and will excite the imaginations of pre-school and kindergarten aged children. 

Children's Books. Winner.  Jam & Jelly by Holly & Nellie.  By Gloria Whelan.  Illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen.  Published by Sleeping Bear Press, Chelsea, MI. ISBN 1585361097

This story is about a young girl, Holly, whose family lives in the country in the upper Midwest.   It is a particularly difficult time for the family and there's little money available to purchase Holly a coat for the winter.  Then Nellie, Holly's mother comes up with an idea:  they'll pick berries and sell jam and jelly. What makes this book work so well is the harmony between Gloria Whelan's realistic and nuanced prose and Frankenhuysen's bright and animated character studies.  For ages 4-10.

Nature Guidebooks.  Winner.  Mammal Tracks and Sign: A Guide to North American Species.  By Mark Elbroch.  Published by Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA. ISBN 0811726266

Mammal Tracks and Sign is one of the most thorough and complete guides to animal tracking ever published.  Going beyond where other books leave off, it combines text, drawings, maps and more than 1,000 color photos to unravel the mysteries of North American mammal tracks and signs.  Mark Elbroch has poured himself into this book, writing the text, taking the photos and preparing the drawings.  It's a monumental effort and an invaluable reference for anyone who enjoys tracking and viewing wildlife.

Nature Guidebooks.  Honorable Mention.  The Rockfishes of the Northeast Pacific.  By Milton S. Love, Mary Yoklavich, and Lyman Thorsteinson.  Published by University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.  ISBN 0520234383

Who says that scientists can't have a little fun?  This 400-page, well-illustrated and scrupulously scientific book is a significant contribution to our understanding of the rockfishes.  It's also a delight to read. 

How-to/Instructional Category.  Winner.  Basic Canoeing: All the Skills and Tools You Need to Get Started.  By Jon Rounds and Wayne Dickert.  Photographs by Skip Brown.  Illustrations by Taina Litwak.  Published by Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA. ISBN 01811726444

This intelligently conceived book starts from the beginning and takes you step-by-step through the techniques of canoeing. Basic Canoeing stands out with its clear writing, effective design, and the liberal use of photographs and illustrations.

Outdoor Adventure Guidebooks.  Winner.  100 Hikes in Yosemite National Park.  By Marc J. Soares.  Published by The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.  ISBN 089886867X

Yosemite is a thoughtfully designed, full-color guide to Yosemite National Park and surrounding areas.  The book's colorful, three dimensional maps aid in planing your hikes and give you a birds-eye view of the lay of the land.

Outdoor Adventure Guidebooks. Honorable Mention.  100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest: Eastern Washington, Northern Rockies, Wallowas.  By Rich Landers and the Spokane Mountaineers.  Published by The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.  ISBN 0898869080

Outdoor columnist, Rich Landers in combination with the Spokane Mountaineers, has penned the perfect companion for hiking in the Northern Rockies.  Deeply concerned about the outdoor environment, Landers not only writes about it, but he acts too, donating all proceeds from the sale of the book to trail maintenance.

Outdoor Adventure Guidebooks.  Honorable Mention.  Trekking Washington.  By Mike Woodmansee.  Published by The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.  ISBN 0898869048

This attractive guide, illustrated with color photos and a new type of shaded-relief map, is designed for long distance hikers.  Treks start at 30 miles in length and run to 240 miles.

Work of Significance.  AMC White Mountain Guide: Hiking Trails of the White Mountain National Forest. Compiled and Edited by Gene Daniell and Steven D. Smith.  Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books, Boston, MA.  ISBN 1929173229 

The White Mountain Guide is the oldest continuously published hiking guide in the United States.  First published in 1907, it has led the way for generations of hikers through the White Mountains of Maine and New Hampshire.  If it's not quite gospel, it's darn close.  No space is wasted: no graphics, no photos, and no nonsense.  Just reliable and accurate information.  With six full-color, pull-out maps, it is a ready-to-go package.
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NOBA Medallion

The following links will download a high resolution scan of the NOBA medallion.  The medallion is copyrighted.  However, media sources (such as newspapers, periodicals and other news outlets) may use it without permission to illustrate informational articles on the NOBA program. The scan was saved in a TIFF file format. 

When downloading the following TIFF image files, we suggest using your browser's SAVE option.  On some browsers, you can do this by right clicking and selecting SAVE LINK AS. 

To download, click on the following:


Winner Medallion
National Outdoor Book Awards Winner Medallion
(Scanned as a TIFF file and available for download in two file types)

Winner Medallion TIFF format (300 dpi):  MedalWin.tif (878 Kbytes)
Winner Medallion TIFF format (300 dpi) (In ZIP file): MedalWin.zip (281 Kbytes)

Winner Medallion TIFF format (600 dpi):  MedalWin600.tif (4.8 MBytes)
Winner Medallion TIFF format (600 dpi) (In ZIP file): MedalWin.zip (1.8 MBytes)

Note that versions of medallion for use on the web are available: here

Honorable Mention Medallion
National Outdoor Book Awards Honorable Mention Medallion
(Scanned as a TIFF file and available for download in two file types)

Honorable Mention Medallion TIFF format (300 dpi): MedalHon.tif (744 Kbytes)
Honorable Mention Medallion TIFF format (300 dpi):  MedalHon.zip (283 Kbytes)


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