NOBA Medallion

Winners of the 2003
 National Outdoor Book Awards











 Outdoor Literature Category

Beckoning SilenceWinner. 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. 

 History/Biography Category  

Southern ExposureWinner. 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.

Women on HighHonorable 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 storie

Design & Artistic Merit  

First LightWinner. First Light: Acadia National Park and Maine's Mount Desert Island.  Photography by Tom Blagden, Jr.  Text by Charles R. Tyson, Jr.  Published by Friends of Acadia in combination with Westcliffe Publishers. 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

Ice IslandWinner. 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.


 Children's Category 

Dot & JabberWinner. Dot and Jabber and the Big Bug Mystery.  By Ellen Stoll Walsh.  Published by Hartcourt,  ISBN 0152165185

Dot and Jabber are micemighty dapper looking mice, we might addand 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. 

Jam & JellyWinner. 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 Guidebook Category

Mammal Tracks & SignWinner. 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. 

RockfishesHonorable 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.  

 Outdoor Adventure Guidebook Category

YosemiteWinner. 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. 
 Inland Northwest
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. 

Trekking WashingtonHonorable 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. 

Nature Guidebook Category

Naturally CuriousWinner.  Naturally Curious: A Photographic Field Guide through the Fields, Woods and Marshes of New England.  By Mary Holland.  Trafalger Square Books, North Pomfret, VT.  ISBN 9781570764257

Naturally Curious is a marvelous new nature guide.  And quite naturally, it’s by Mary Holland, one of the East’s most seasoned naturalists.  She’s also something of a Renaissance woman: educator, advocate, columnist, and photographer.  In fact, all 900 color photographs in Naturally Curious are Holland’s.  What makes this guide stand out is the way it’s organized.  Starting in March, with the first signs of spring, it covers the changes in the natural world, on a month to month basis.  You can’t go wrong with this guidebook.  It’s one that you’ll use over and over—naturally.

 Instructional Category

Basic CanoeingWinner. 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. 


 Classic Category  

AloneWinner. 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. 


 Work of Significance  

White Mountain GuideAMC 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. 

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: 2003 National Outdoor Book Awards



Natalie Bartley, Boise, ID 
Idaho Outdoors columnist for the Idaho Statesman, adjunct faculty at Boise State University, certified Nordic ski instructor, and active member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America.  Doctorate in Recreation and Leisure Services from University of Utah.

Mary Kay Cunningham, Portland, OR
Environmental interpretation consultant and writer in Portland, OR.  Served as Manager of Interpretive Programs of Chicago's new Nature Museum, and coordinated visitor education programs at three other Chicago-area institutions: the Chicago Botanic Garden, Morton Arboretum, and Garfield Park Conservatory. 

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.

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.

Jerry Dixon, Seward, AK
Biologist, former smokejumper, guide, author (South Fork of the Salmon: Wild and Free), teacher of gifted children, and Alaska's Christa McAuliffe Fellow.

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.

Rachel  Duchak, Dayton, OH
Developer of educational materials for the National Park Service through the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands. Currently working on a Ph.D. dissertation analyzing mountain symbolism in 19th century British literature. 

Laura Erickson, Duluth, MN. 
Ornithologist (1,000 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.

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.

Dale Harrington, Boone, NC
Biology instructor at Caldwell Community College.  Trip leader and naturalist for Appalachian State University.  Avid mountaineer and hiker.

Paul Kallmes, Thousand Oaks, CA
Editor of  Summit: The Photographs of Vittorio Sella, 1879-1909. Organized a subsequent  photographic exhibition of Sella's mountain photography.  Leader of the 1998 Siniolchu Himalayan Expedition.  For 9 years has been the "art guy" at the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival.

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.

John Miles, Bellingham, WA
Director of the Center for Geography and Environmental Social Sciences, Huxley College, Western Washington State.  Executive Editor of the Journal of Environmental Education.  Author/Editor (North Cascades, Guardians of the Parks and Adventure Education, etc.).

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.

Tammie L. Stenger, Cape Girardeau, MO
Assistant Professor of Leisure Studies at Southeast Missouri State University.  Teaches outdoor leadership and outdoor education courses.  Board member of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education.

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

Ann Weiler Walka, Flagstaff, AZ
Poet and a naturalist guide on the Colorado Plateau. Leads backcountry trips for the Museum of Northern Arizona and teaches art and writing workshops for the Museum, Northern Arizona University and outdoor education centers.  Author of several works including Waterlines: Journeys on a Desert River.

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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