Marooned in Los Angeles by the pandemic, a marine biologist rediscovers the delights and wonders of the natural world in her own backyard.
Conservationist and marine biologist Maddalena Bearzi made her career studying the wild creatures of the deep, but when COVID-19 made landfall on the California coast this seafaring scientist found herself shuttered up ashore, her wide blue world constricted by pandemic lockdown. Never good at sitting idle, she despaired at the confines of her Los Angeles flat--until she began to find wonder in the wilderness of her own backyard.
Stranded charts Bearzi's discovery of both rapture and resilience in the unsung wildlife of urban LA. With a green thumb and a canine sidekick named Genghis, she finds as much to marvel at in her garden's singing blackbirds, night-blooming cacti, and industrious wasps as in the whales, dolphins, and sea lions at the center of her maritime adventures. Discovering in the quotidian an antidote to the grief occasioned by captivity and climate chaos, Bearzi reveals how each of us can take heart, find courage, and discover inspiration in the thrumming systems of life that surround us. With a scientist's precision and a poet's instinct, she invites us to look at, listen to, and revel in the everyday grandeur of the natural world--and to embrace, with urgency, our responsibility to sustain it.
Maddalena Bearzi is president and cofounder of Ocean Conservation Society. She holds a PhD in biology and a postdoctorate from UCLA, and she has been involved in studying marine mammals, with a conservation bias, since 1990. Her research on dolphins and whales off California represents one of the longest investigations worldwide. She has published several scientific peer-reviewed papers, and she is coauthor of Beautiful Minds (Harvard University Press) and author of Dolphin Confidential (University of Chicago Press). Her work has been covered by CNN, NPR, Al Jazeera America, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, American Scientist, and National Geographic, among others. Born and raised in Italy, she now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and dog.Carl Safina is a recipient of a MacArthur "genius" grant; Pew, Guggenheim, and National Science Foundation fellowships; book awards from Lannan, Orion, and the National Academies; and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals. Safina is now the first Endowed Professor for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University and is founding president of the not-for-profit Safina Center. He hosted the PBS series Saving the Ocean, and his writing appears in The New York Times, TIME, The Guardian, Audubon, Yale e360, and National Geographic. Safina is the author of ten books including the classic Song for the Blue Ocean, as well as New York Times bestseller Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel. His most recent book is Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace. He lives on Long Island, New York, with his wife Patricia and their dogs and feathered friends.