WORLD OCEAN CENSUS
by Darlene Trew Crist, Gail Scowcroft, James M. Harding Jr., and Sylvia Earle
World Ocean Census may be sort of a clumsy title for a book, but this volume on the findings of the ongoing Census of Marine Life is just wonderful. Clearly and skillfully written, the text conveys both the science and the wonder of undersea exploration. Sections on everything from ancient fisheries to how new species are named (and how many new ones we are finding) flesh out the basic narrative.
Then we get to the photos. I simply run out of superlatives in trying to describe the photographs in this book. It's not too strong to say the book reminded me, in this age of video and CGI, how evocative still photographs could be. New and weird species, photographed with astonishing clarity, pop out from almost every page. It's hard to imagine how this book could have been better. It's also hard to imagine a better book for introducing people to the facination, diversity, and fragility of the ocean world.