For the Love of Rivers (Paperback)

A Scientist's Journey

By Kurt D. Fausch

Oregon State University Press, 9780870717703, 288pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2015



Rivers and streams supply our water and capture our imaginations. We seek the more pristine ones to fish or paddle, to hike along or simply sit and watch. But what is it we are seeing? What is essential about streams and rivers for us as humans?

In For the Love of Rivers, stream ecologist Kurt Fausch draws readers across the reflective surface of streams to view and ponder what is beneath, and how they work. While celebrating their beauty and mystery, he uses his many years of experience as a field biologist to explain the underlying science connecting these aquatic ecosystems to their streamside forests and the organisms found there--including humans.

For the Love of Rivers introduces readers to the life and work of Shigeru Nakano, a pioneering river ecologist who inspired other scientists around the world with his innovative research on stream-forest connections. Fausch takes readers along as he journeys to Japan, where he awakens to an unfamiliar culture, to Nakano, and his research.

Nakano's life was abruptly ended in a tragic field accident, and his death was deeply mourned. Fausch joins Japanese and American colleagues to continue Nakano's research legacy, learn everything they can about the effects that humans have on rivers, fish, and their intricate links with riparian zones, and share this knowledge with others.

More than a book about stream ecology, For the Love of Rivers is a celebration of the interconnectedness of life. It is an authoritative and accessible look at the science of rivers and streams, but it also ponders the larger questions of why rivers are important to humans, why it is in our nature to want to be near them, and what we can do now to ensure the future of these essential ecosystems.

About the Author

KURT D. FAUSCH is a professor in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University, where he has taught for 33 years. His collaborative research has taken him throughout Colorado, the West, and worldwide, including to Hokkaido in northern Japan. His experiences in Japan were chronicled in the PBS documentary film "RiverWebs." He has received numerous awards from the American Fisheries Society and the World Council of Fisheries Societies, and served as the acting Director of the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at CSU.