NOBA Medallion

Winners of the 2002
National Outdoor Book Awards











 Outdoor Literature Category

Rowing to Latitude

Winner. Rowing to Latitude.  By Jill Fredston.  Published by North Point Press, New York.  ISBN 0374281807.

In her debut book, Rowing to Latitude, Jill Fredston emerges as a fresh new voice in outdoor literature: witty, touching, literate, bold and honest.  She also emerges as a true adventurer.  Pioneering the use of a recreational rowing shell, similar in shape and size to a sea kayak, she and her husband travel more than twenty thousand miles through the Arctic and sub-Arctic.  This book is the story of those journeys, but intricately woven among them are the joys and struggles of her life.  It's a marvelous book, one that will carry you away to the great hinterlands of the north latitudes.

 History/Biography Category

Gifford PinchotWinner.  Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism.  By Char Miller.  Published by Island Press/Shearwater Books, Washington. ISBN 1559638222.

Gifford Pinchot was the first chief of the Forest Service.  To this day, his influence is still being felt on the policies which guide the management of lands used by hundreds of thousands of Americans for hiking, climbing, biking, fishing and other forms of outdoor adventure.  Yet Pinchot is a controversial figure, the bad guy in a bitter battle with the great conservationist, John Muir.  This eminently readable and erudite biography of Pinchot, the first in over forty years, reveals a much more complicated man, and sheds new light on Pinchot's contributions and place in conservation history. 

Arctic CrossingHonorable Mention.  Arctic Crossing: One Man's 2,200 Mile Odyssey Among the Inuit.  By Jonathan Waterman.  Published by the Lyons Press/Globe Pequot, Guilford, CT.  ISBN1585747300.

This is the story of Jonathan Waterman's attempt to cross the Northwest Passage by kayak, ski, dogsled and sailboat.  More than an expedition narrative, Waterman also writes about the history and his encounters with the native people of the north country, the Inuit.  Backed by solid research and written in an introspective style, it's an illuminating portrait of one man and Arctic culture. 

 Design & Artistic Merit

Wilder Mississippi
Winner. Wilder Mississippi.  Photographs by Stephen Kirkpatrick.  Text by Marlo Carter Kirkpatrick.  Design by Heidi Flynn Allen.  Published by The Marvelous Works, Madison, MS.  ISBN 0961935359.

No matter where you are—in the city, in an office, or in a bookstore in a busy shopping center—open this book to the first page, you're suddenly someplace else:  to a place of quiet sounds, the flutter of wings, the rustle of a white tail, the drip of morning dew.  This is a book of subtleties, of elegance and of mesmerizing images of Mississippi's natural world.  Stephen Kirkpatrick's brilliant and captivating photography is complemented with an equally captivating design.  So carefully executed are the design elements that even the text of the book's subtitles resembles reeds protruding from the surface of a pond.  It all comes together beautifully and harmoniously, a joyful pictorial hymn, celebrating the wilderness of Mississippi.

Southwest's Contrary Land

Honorable Mention.  The Southwest's Contrary Land: Forever Changing Between Four Corners and the Sea of Cortes.  By Craig Childs.  Designed by Mary Winkelman Velgos.  Photography Editor: Peter Ensenberger.  Published by Arizona Highways Books.  Phoenix. AZ.  ISBN1893860191.

For many years, Arizona Highways has been publishing colorful, high quality books of the Southwest—and this is one that excels both pictorially and textually.  Craig Childs' sensitive and inspired text is supplemented by intelligent design and magnificent photography.

 Nature & the Environment Category

Down to EarthWinner.   Down to Earth: Nature's Role in American History. By Ted Steinberg.  Published by Oxford University Press, New York. ISBN 0195140095.

In this fascinating and ground-breaking book, Steinberg investigates American history from a new and unique perspective: from that of the natural environment.  He argues convincingly that events as diverse as colonization, the industrial revolution, the civil war, the western gold rush and many others were shaped and influenced by nature.  It's an important seminal work and one that leads toward a better understanding of the interrelationship of man and the environment. 


Listening to WhalesHonorable Mention.  Listening to Whales:  What the Orcas Have Taught Us.  By Alexandra Morton.  Published by Ballantine Books, New York.  ISBN 034543794.

This, quite simply, is a wonderful book.  Alexandra Morton makes a strong case for the orca's continued life on earth.   She does this so remarkably well and in such an engaging style that you'll find yourself quickly drawn into the story of her life and research work with whales.

Southwest Inside and OutHonorable Mention.  The Southwest Inside Out: An Illustrated Guide to the Land and It's History.  By Thomas Wiewandt and Maureen Wilks.  Wild Horizons Publishing.  Tucson, AZ  ISBN 1879728036.

This richly illustrated and designed book describes the earthly processes and events that shape the land and wildlife of the Southwest.  The writing and research are excellent and there's something new to be learned on every page.

 Children's Category

Wing Wings
Winner.   Wild Wings: Poems for Young People.  By Jane Yolen.  Photographs by Jason Stemple.  Published by Wordsong and Boyds Mills Press, Honesdale, PA.  ISBN 1563979047.

Wild Wings is a beautiful collaborative effort between author Jane Yolen and her son, Jason, the book's photographer.  The images, both visual and verbal, can't help but engage a child's interest and nurture a desire to learn about birds.  For ages:  10-12.

LadybugsHonorable Mention. Ladybugs: Red, Fiery and Bright.  By Mia Posada.  Published by Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis. ISBN 0876143346.

Through verse and bright, colorful illustrations, children will delight in the tiny world of ladybugs.  They'll learn something too as they watch them grow from small larvae with long, skinny legs into a bright and beautiful red beetles with shiny black spots. 
For ages:  3-8.


 Nature Guidebook Category

Lichens of North America
Winner.  Lichens of North America.  By Irwin M. Brodo, Sylvia Duran Sharnoff and Stephen Sharnoff.  Published by Yale University Press, New Haven.  ISBN 0811726967.

When you spend time in the outdoors you'll see them: rocks with crusty patterned growths of orange and yellow, trees with dangling, wispy dark green beards, and forest floors laid with a soft, creamy, moss-like carpet.  They're lichens and this is the book to use to identify them: the first definitive guide to lichens in North America.  It's a masterpiece of imagery, text and science.  Be prepared: it's comprehensive, nearly 800 pages long, but the authors and publisher have carefully designed it to be useful to all, specialists and novices, alike. 

Bird Tracks & Sign
Honorable Mention. Bird Tracks & Sign: A Guide to North American Species.  By Mark Elbroch and Eleanor Marks.  Published by Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA.  ISBN 0811726967.

Bird Tracks & Sign is an innovative, major new contribution to the study of North American birds and is destined to become an indispensable reference. .

 Outdoor Adventure Category

Sierra Nevada
Winner Hiking the Sierra Nevada.  By John Mock and Kimberley O'Neil.  Published by Lonely Planet Publications, Footscray, Australia. ISBN 1740592727.

Hiking the Sierra Nevada is a user friendly, rock-solid guidebook with clear writing, useful topographic maps, inviting photos, and it's conveniently sized to fit in the side pocket of your pack. 

Alaska: A Climbing GuideHonorable Mention.   Alaska: A Climbing Guide. By Michael Wood and Colby Coombs. Published by The Mountaineers Books, Seattle. ISBN 089886724X.

If you're planning a climb in Alaska, this is the book to consult.  Nicely designed and well-written, it covers history and climbing routes throughout the state. 


 Instructional Category

Sea Kayaker's Handbook
Winner.  The Complete Sea Kayaker's Handbook.  By Shelley Johnson.  Published by Ragged Mountain Press, Camden, NH.  ISBN 007136210X.

It's all here in one well organized, well illustrated and well written book:  equipment, clothing, technique, navigation, safety, camping and trip planning.  The title says it all.  It truly is the complete sea kayaker's handbook.

Mountain Traveller's HandbookHonorable Mention. The Mountain Traveller's Handbook.  By Paul Deegan.  British Mountaineering Council, Manchester, UK. ISBN 0903908476.

Packed with solid and useful advice, use this creatively designed and colorfully illustrated book to plan treks and explore the mountains of distant lands. 


 Classic Category

Backwoods Ethics

Honorable Mention. Backwoods Ethics: A Guide to Low-Impact Camping and Hiking.  By Laura and Guy Waterman.  Published by The Countryman Press, Woodstock. VT.  ISBN 088150257X.

Laura and Guy Waterman weren't the first to write about the impacts of recreation on wild lands, but their book Backwoods Ethics, originally published in 1979, is still with us today, and still remains a thoughtful and sensible call to action.  The book has a significant following, particularly in the east, where many of their original suggestions continue to guide trail building and land management programs.


Official NOBA reviews prepared by Ron Watters.  Reviews are based on comments and insights provided by members of the judging panels.  A special thanks to Katherine Daly for her editorial work. 

End of Listing: 2002 National Outdoor Book Awards



Natalie Bartley, Boise, ID 
Idaho Outdoors columnist for the Idaho Statesman, adjunct faculty at Boise State University, licensed Idaho guide and active member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Doctorate in Recreation and Leisure Services.

Val Cunningham, St. Paul, MN
Naturalist, freelance writer and editor, author of The Gardener's Hummingbird Book. Regular columnist for Outdoor News.  Contributor of articles to local, regional and national nature and bird-oriented publications.

Whit Deschner, Baker, OR
Author and humorist (Does the Wet Suit You?, Burning the Iceberg, etc. )  Winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award for Travels with Kayak

Dave Devoe, Walhalla, SC
Vice President and co-founder of Guidebook and Map store specializing in maps and outdoor and travel books.  Licensed South Carolina and Georgia geologist.  Former environmental geology consultant.

Ann Dixon, Willow, AK
Poet and author of seven children's books, including three on outdoor and natural history topics.  Winner of several children's writing awards including the National Outdoor Book Award.  Served as the director of the Willow Public Library.  Before coming to Alaska more than 20 years ago, milked cows in Sweden, sheared sheep in Oregon, and planted trees throughout the Pacific Northwest. 

Susanne Dubrouillet, State College, PA
Program Director of Penn State University Shaver's Creek Environmental Center.  Oversees wilderness orientation programs, teaches adventure leadership and directs teambuilding program.  Past program director with Clemson University's Clemson Expeditions.  Masters of Education in Outdoor Education.

Laura Erickson, Duluth, MN. 
Ornithologist (1000 birds on her life list), contributing writer for Minneapolis Star-Tribune and The Country Today.  Winner of the 1997 National Outdoor Book Award for her work Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids—and Dave Barry's bird and tapeworm advisor.

Jim Fullerton, Pocatello, ID 
Former Outdoor Program Director at University of Nebraska.  Past President of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education.  Current Leadership Program Director at Idaho State University.

Rachel Galloway, Bloomington, IN
Teaches adventure literature at Indiana University.  Currently working on a Ph.D. dissertation analyzing the evolution of mountain symbology in 19th century British literature.  Instructor for Voyageur Outward Bound School.

Steve Guthrie, Unity ME
Assistant Professor in Outdoor Recreation at Unity College in Maine.  Board member of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education.  Journal Advisory Board for Journal of Experiential Education.  Former outdoor program coordinator, University of Nebraska at Omaha. Former cross-country ski coach.  PhD from University of Oregon.

Joan Hamilton, Berkeley, CA
Editor-in-chief of Sierra magazine; former managing editor of Climbing magazine and chief editor of High Country News.  Joan's freelance work has appeared in Audubon, Defenders, and National Wildlife.

Rodney Ley, Fort Collins, CO
Coordinator of the Outdoor Adventure Program at Colorado State University.  Columnist for local Gannett newspaper (1995-2001), ten years of retail outdoor experience and founder of a backcountry ski yurt system.

Tim Moore, Boston, MA
General Manager, Zesiger Sports & Fitness Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Formally Director of the Outdoor Pursuit Center, Miami University and Assistant Director of the Outdoor Program at Illinois State University.  Founding President of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education. 

James Moss, Lakewood, CO
Outdoor Industry Attorney, author (Lawyer's Adviser), organizes outdoor liability workshops for such groups as the Western River Guides, Professional Paddlesports Association, Boy Scouts of America, Wilderness Education Association and federal land agencies. 

Tom Mullin, Unity ME
Interpretive Naturalist Consultant for a series of twenty Time-Life Books.  Board of Directors, National Association for Interpretation. Assistant Professor of Park Management, Unity College. Thru-hiker of the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail.

Jim Paruk, Quincy, CA. 
Professor of Biology at Feather River College and Adjunct Professor of Biology at Chico State University.  Doctoral dissertation on the behavioral ecology of the Common Loon. Author of Sierra Nevada: Tree Identifier and is currently working on a collection of nature writings.

Kalee Thompson, New York City, NY
Associate Editor, National Geographic Adventure.  Assisted in the preparation of Adventure's list of the 100 best outdoor books.

Ron Watters, Pocatello, ID 
Chairman, National Outdoor Book Awards.  Author of eight outdoor books (Never Turn Back, Ski Camping, The Whitewater Book, etc.)  Formerly, Director of the Idaho State University Outdoor Program (25 years).

Melanie Wulf, Geneva, IL 
Full-time mom. Former director of the Outdoor Program at Texas Tech University in Lubbock (5 years).  Presently working in outdoor retail at REI-Oakbrook.  Masters in Outdoor Education (Northern Illinois University).



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