Delcourt takes readers on her personal journey to document the history of the forest from its elusive and nebulous presence at the peak of the last ice age through its development as a magnificent natural resource to its uncertainty in today's, and tomorrow's, greenhouse world. Along this journey, the reader is introduced to methods of studying vegetation, collecting and interpreting data, and applying the insights of forest ecology and history to project future needs of the forest in a world that is increasingly dominated by human activities. The philosophical, intellectual, and methodological perspectives contained in the book will appeal to readers interested in understanding how the natural history of North America has been studied and how that study can contribute to the protection and preservation of America's important biological resources.
Dr Hazel R Delcourt, Quaternary palaeoecologist and professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at The University of Tennessee, is one of America's leading authorities on the eastern deciduous forest. Dr. Delcourt grew up in Muskegon, Michigan, and holds degrees from Albion College (Biology), LSU (Botany), and The University of Minnesota (Quaternary Palaeoecology). She worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 1978 to 1981, and has been at The University of Tennessee since 1982.