2004 Media Information Page

On this page, you'll find the press release, reviews, and cover scans of the winners of the 2004 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 2004 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 great naturalist, John Muir called them snow flowers.  American literary icon, Henry David Thoreau described them as sweepings from the floor of heaven.  However they are described, the simple beauty of snowflakes has always enthralled and captivated us. 
Snowflakes also captured the attention of the judges in the recently announced 2004 National Outdoor Book Awards.  The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty won the top honors in the Nature and the Environment category. 
The National Outdoor Book Awards represent some of the finest outdoor writing and artwork being published today.  The program honors books across nine individual categories.
The Snowflake was written by Cal Tech physics professor, Kenneth Libbrecht and represents significant new work in natural history.  Over the last couple of decades, scientists have learned much about these minute wonders.  Yet little of that scientific information had been available to the layman--until the release of Snowflake.
Without an over reliance on technical jargon, Libbrecht explains the processes by which snow flakes are formed.  Libbrecht's clear and concise text is backed by the exquisite and mesmerizing photography of Patricia Rasumussen.  It's all packaged in a beautifully designed book that's certain find its way into homes and cabins of snow country. 
The winner of the Literature category is Out There: In the Wild in a Wired Age by Ted Kerasote.  While running a remote river in Canada's Northwest Territories, Kerasote grapples with the use of GPS and satellite phones and other technology in the wilderness.  
Instantaneous voice and email communication is now possible from the wildest and most remote corners of the earth.  More and more outdoorsmen and women are taking such technology with them into the outdoors.  What, Kerasote asks, has that done to the outdoor experience?  Is it really a wilderness trip if you can phone a friend for a chat or catch up on your email?  Out There is a perceptive and insightful look into those questions.
The announcement of the award winners was made at a special evening ceremony at the International Conference on Outdoor Recreation and Education.  This year's conference was held at Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, Tennessee. 
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 . . .

Nature and the Environment Category.  Winner.  The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty.  By Kenneth Libbrecht.  Photography by Patricia Rasmussen.  Voyageur Press, Stillwater, Minnesota.  ISBN 0896586308

John Muir called them snow flowers.  Thoreau described them as sweepings from the floor of heaven.  For ages, snow crystals have captured the attention of poets and writers.  In more recent times--particularly the last couple of decades--scientists have learned much about these seemingly simple but incredibly complex minute wonders.  Yet little of that scientific work has been available to the layman.  Until now--and it's all packaged in an elegant and splendidly designed book.  Author and researcher Kenneth Libbrecht clearly explains the processes by which crystals are formed and how to identify major crystal types.  The highlight of the book is the exquisite and mesmerizing photography of Patricia Rasumussen--which remind us why these sweepings of heaven continue to astonish and amaze.

Outdoor Literature.  Winner.  Out There: In the Wild in a Wired Age.  By Ted Kerasote.  Voyageur Press, Stillwater, Minnesota.  ISBN 0896585565
Ted Kerasote has a friendly style of writing, and in Out There you feel like you've settled in a chat with an old friend.  The chat, in this case, centers on a trip that Kerasote has taken down the Horton River of Canada's Northwest Territories.  This not a trip where death is lurking around every corner; rather it's a fine and thoughtful journey in which Kerasote grapples with the use of GPS, satellite phones, and other technology in the wilderness.  Honestly written and well-crafted, it says much about what has become of the outdoor experience.

Outdoor Literature.  Winner.  Where The Mountain Casts Its Shadow: The Dark Side of Extreme Adventure.  By Maria Coffey.  St. Martin's Press, New York.  ISBN 0312290659
This is a moving and gracefully written story, one that has been waiting to be told for a long time.  This is what it's like for the families and friends of mountaineers who die or who are injured on expeditions.  Maria Coffey, who intimately knows the pain of losing a loved one to the mountains, could have easily turned the book into a tirade against climbing.  Instead she embraces adventure, emphasizing again and again that risk serves an important role in contemporary society.  Nonetheless, she cautions that, when we venture into the unknown, we should never forget the terrible costs of adventure gone awry.  That's been missing from much contemporary outdoor literature, and Coffey is to be commended for the sensitive and rational way in which she has brought it to the forefront.

Outdoor Literature.  Honorable Mention.  A Blistered Kind of Love.  By Angela and Duffy Ballard.  The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.  ISBN 0898869021
Angela and Duffy Ballard are early in a relationship when they decide to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail together.  This book, the story of that hike, could have easily slipped into the old and tired formula employed by most long distance hiking books.  Except (surprise!) this one doesn't.  They are both good writers and innovative too, bringing to Blistered a new and fresh approach.  What makes this book work is the yin and yang of the two.  Each has written alternating chapters--and that sets up a wonderful interplay of gender perspective as they deal with the rigors of life and the trail on their long journey northward.

History/Biography Category.  Winner.  Ways to the Sky: A Historical Guide to North American Mountaineering.  By Andy Selters.  American Alpine Club Press, Golden, Colorado.  ISBN 0930410831
Author Andy Selters and the American Alpine Club deserve a big round of applause for this new and significant work in the outdoor field.  Tackling a subject as broad and diverse as the history of North American mountaineering is no easy task, easily ranking up there with making a winter attempt on Denali.  But Selters was up to the task and carried it off with aplomb.  Backing up Selters' painstakingly researched--and very readable text--are a wonderful selection of historic photos.  Rounding off an already first-rate effort, Ways to the Sky, is also part guide book, including several mini-chapters which picture and describe climbing routes dating from the era under discussion.  

Design and Artistic Merit Category.  Winner.  Edge of the Earth, Corner of the Sky.  Photography by Art Wolfe.  Essays by Art Davidson.  Wildlands Press, Seattle.  ISBN 0967591821
Nine years in the making and photographed on seven continents, Edge of the Earth showcases an artist at the peak of his powers.  While largely known for his striking wildlife photography, Art Wolfe proves in this volume that he is equally adept at capturing natural landscapes.  Wolfe hopes that his work will motivate others to protect wild lands whose destruction he has witnessed first hand.  Perhaps, that's why the book's images are so haunting:  places of temporal beauty, living on borrowed time in a world ever hungry for land and resources.

Design and Artistic Merit Category.  Winner.  The Mountains Know Arizona.  Photographs by Michael Collier.  Text by Rose Houk.  Designed by Mary Winkelmann Velgos.  Arizona Highways, Phoenix.  ISBN 1893860876
This book started with a wish that would have been difficult to achieve under any circumstances:  tell the story of Arizona through the perspective of its mountain ranges.  Arizona, after all, is a desert state.  But photographer Michael Collier and writer Rose Houk did just that.  From seven of Arizona's mountain ranges, we learn something of the state's first inhabitants, its settlers and fortune seekers, its diversity of landforms and ecosystems, and even something of contemporary life.  This is a stylish and satisfying book and a testament to a wish come true.

Classic Category.  Winner.  Walden. By Henry David Thoreau.  Edited by Jeffrey S. Cramer.  Yale University Press, New Haven.  ISBN 0300104669
There is absolutely no question about Henry David Thoreau's WaldenWalden is a literary and outdoor classic.  Knowingly and unknowingly, many of the reasons that people offer these days why they participate in outdoor activities can be traced to the pages of Walden.  "Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity," wrote Thoreau.  Indeed, in part, we enjoy outdoor activities because they allow us to get away from the rush of modern society and simplify our lives--even if it is just for a few days.  For all its impact on the literary and outdoor worlds, however, Walden is not an easy book to read.  That's why this new annotated version, edited by Thoreau scholar Jeffrey S. Cramer, is so invaluable.  Cramer's explanatory notes accompanying Thoreau's text help readers understand the richness of his writing--and why Walden is truly a great work of art.

Children's Category.  Winner.  Whose Garden Is It?  By Mary Ann Hoberman.  Illustrated by Jane Dyer.  Harcourt, New York.  ISBN 0152026312
Who owns that beautiful garden blooming with every color of the rainbow?  The gardener says it belongs to him.  But the woodchuck insists it's his.  And so does the rabbit, the butterfly, and the little squash bug.  This lovingly done book does what all good children's books should do:  it stimulates thought, and through words and illustrations, it asks youngsters to reach their own conclusion to that pressing question: who really owns that garden?   (For ages 3-7.)

Nature Guidebook Category.  Winner.  Dragonflies of the North Woods.  By Kurt Mead.  Kollath-Stensaas Publishing, Duluth, Minnesota.  ISBN 0967379369
Who doesn't love dragonflies as they flit and flutter about on a warm summer day?  Certainly Kurt Mead is smitten.  He is the author of this new and exceptionally useful identification guide.  Considerable thought has gone into the design of this compact guidebook:  sharp and colorful photos, easy-to-use field markings, habitat information, natural history notes, sizing scales, sighting frequencies, and . . . well, you get the picture.  It's a darn good little guide. 

Outdoor Adventure Guidebook Category.  Winner.  100 Classic Hikes in Oregon.  By Douglas Lorain. The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.  ISBN 0898869633
You can always tell when a guidebook author knows his stuff.  Douglas Lorain, who literally lives on the trail, was the perfect person to author this book.  Combined with a stylish design, full color photographs, and very useable maps, this is the cream of the crop of this year's guide books.

Instructional Category.  Winner.  Rock Climbing: Mastering the Basic Skills.  By Craig Luebben.  The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.  ISBN 0898867436
Looking for an up-to-date and reliable instructional book on climbing?  Look no further.  Long time guide and instructor, Craig Luebben takes you through the paces, covering top roping, sport climbing, traditional climbing and bouldering.  A lucid text is amply supplemented with instructive photographs, understandable illustrations and a clean and crisp design.
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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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