The Last Cold Place: A Field Season Studying Penguins in Antarctica

Scribner. Apr. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781982182755. $27.99. MEMOIR
Debut author de Gracia, a wildlife technician, details the life of a field biologist in Antarctica: the training and the educational track she took to spend a season in Antarctica studying penguins, seals, and other wildlife. She doesn’t glamorize the isolation, muck, penguin poo, weather, or lack of modern conveniences, such as the internet. The book also provides high-level coverage of the history of Antarctic exploration and discovery by different cultures, the formulation of the international treaties that currently govern the continent, and an overview of the current scientific studies. Along the way, the author also reveals the wonders of the natural world, the nature of science, and the nature of humans.
VERDICT This is a well-written memoir of a scientific field study season. De Gracia engages and pulls the reader into the Antarctic summer, its climate, and its creatures; the penguins are, of course, completely enchanting. Recommended for all types of libraries.
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