Juneau Nature

Natural & cultural history of Juneau & Southeast Alaska

Juneau Nature - Natural & cultural history of Juneau & Southeast Alaska

Books & booklets

This page lists books and booklets by Discovery staff and friends–due to their size perhaps better suited to reading at home (or camp!) than on the trail. For shorter ID-laminates and guides you can fit in your pocket, try here. In addition to these ‘in-house’ publications, see our page for Bob Armstrong’s great productions.

Reading Southeast Alaska’s Landscape

How bedrock foundations, glaciers, rivers & sea shape the land

Thanks to the inspiration, patience and financial support of Michael Blackwell, Discovery presents this 28-page, 8.5×11-inch booklet on I (RC) think of as abiotic tracking. Cathy Connor, my coauthor, is UAS Professor of Geology and former president of the Discovery board. Seven (yes, 7!) years in the making, this publication is the brainchild of Blackwell and Connor, old geo-buddies.


Back in 2007, Cathy’s concept for the landforms guide was something along the lines of our laminated 3- and 4-fold brochures. While those laminates are well-suited to lots of tiny illustrations with 2 or 3 lines of ID text, I was unable to cram geology into them. The large format of this booklet allows for detailed maps and elaborate graphics.

The booklet has 3 parts:

1) Bedrock geology: ways in which underlying rock types, alignments, fracture patterns, and variable resistance to erosion explain the shape of the land and the distribution of natural communities.

2) Surficial geology:  describing loose, unconsolidated material overlying the bedrock foundation, deposited, rearranged and eroded by glaciers, fluctuating sea level, streams, landslides, and bulldozers.

3) A tour of Southeast Alaska, moving from south to north through a dozen geologically distinctive subregions.

Look for  Reading Southeast Alaska’s Landscape in local bookstores. You can also contact our office, 463-1500, or order copies through Katrina Pearson at Taku Graphics, 907-780-6310.


Natural history of Juneau trails: A watershed approach

Seven years in the making, this 72-page, full-color book by Discovery Southeast naturalist Richard Carstensen reviews highlights of the CBJ Natural History Project, background to Discovery’s 3-panel interpretive signs at 10 Juneau trailheads.


The new trails guide can be purchased for $24.00 from the publications page of our website:


Thanks to Michael Blackwell for funding of the trails guide and many other Discovery products! Proceeds from sales will go toward future publications.

Mary Catherine Martin article, Juneau Empire, 20131115

The Nature of Southeast Alaska

In March 2013, bookstores received the hugely enhanced 3rd edition of The Nature of Southeast Alaska, by Discovery Southeast naturalists Richard Carstensen and Bob Armstrong, in consultation with original 1992 coauthor Rita O’Clair.  Our publisher is Graphic Arts Books (formerly Alaska Northwest Books), in collaboration with Alaska Geographic.


Copies of The Nature of Southeast Alaska are available in most local bookstores. Our sweeping revision retains the scope and structure of earlier editions. We deleted color plates of earlier editions, but more than doubled the amount of Carstensen line art—much of it previously unpublished—and integrated graphics more fully with the text.

In the 22 years since we first wrote The Nature of Southeast Alaska, so much has been learned about old-growth forests, amphibians, geology, and mammal biogeography that we’ve greatly expand these sections. But every chapter is updated and improved. Scattered through the book, you’ll find first-person accounts in more than 50 new sidebars, signed by either Bob or Richard.

The staff and board at Discovery Southeast have been steady supporters throughout the long evolution of Edition 3. This book is in many ways a reflection of our membership in Discovery’s multigenerational network of Alaskan naturalists. Thank you, Discovery!