Books & Essays
Bartram's Living Legacy: The Travels and the Nature of the South
Mercer University Press 2010
Whit Gibbons essay is entitled "My Travels with Bartram's Reptiles."
Bartram?s Living Legacy: the Travels and the Nature of the South reprints Bartram?s classic work alongside essays acknowledging the debt southern nature writers owe the man called the ?South?s Thoreau.? The book was nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award.
The anthology includes contributions from sixteen of the South?s finest nature writers: Bill Belleville, Kathryn Braund, Dixon Bynum, Christopher Camuto, Thomas Rain Crowe, Dorinda Dallmeyer, Doug Davis, Jan DeBlieu, Whit Gibbons, Thomas Hallock, John Lane, Drew Lanham, Roger Pinckney, Janisse Ray, Matt Smith, and Gerald Thurmond, strikingly illustrated with Bartram-inspired landscape paintings by Philip Juras.
Book Review #1:
"The ecosystems that once defined the southern landscape have disappeared, as though some cataclysmic geological event had simply obliterated them. We know of them chiefly through William Bartram's Travels published in 1791. It would be about two centuries before a group of southeastern writers/naturalists/activists began to survey the landscape that we are left with, and to think about the consequences of what has been lost, and the power, beauty, and richness of what remains. Dorinda Dallmeyer, the editor of this wonderfully conceived volume, has been at the center of that group. Her idea of combining the text of the Travels with reflections by contemporary southern writers is a brilliant one. Bartram remains an indispensable writer, whose work has been neglected for too long. Now at last he, his book, and the land he describes have their champions. Some of the essayists here focus on Bartram the man, some on Bartram the naturalist, some on Bartram the writer and artist. And some focus, as he himself had done, on the landscape and ecology of the South as it now is, and as it once was.
Some of the essayists in this book I have known and admired for years; some are entirely new to me. They do not speak with one voice, or on behalf of any preconceived agenda. But their contributions, taken all together, indicate that the South now has its own distinctive tradition of environmental literature. Bartram, not Emerson, Thoreau, Muir, or John Burroughs, is its progenitor, and this book, I believe, will come to be seen as its cornerstone."
Ecoviews: Snakes, Snails, and Environmental Tales
University of Alabama Press 1998
Book Review #1:
Musings on the environment, particularly that of the southeastern US, delivered with an easy fireside manner, from the Gibbonses (he's author of Their Blood Runs Cold, not reviewed; she's a freelance editor). It is unlikely there's anything in these pages that hasn't been said before, much of it frequently and in more impressive prose, but it is impossible to deny the Gibbonses' enthusiasm for their topic: the protection of biodiversity. They see as their mission the firing of young imaginations to create an attitude that considers the protection of biodiversity estimable and commonsensical. To this end they spin out the web-of-life theories and the value-of- species-diversity theories most readers will already know (though often with a decidely anthropocentric cast: ``Perhaps the most important reason we should care about the environment is that natural habitats and wildlife are an essential foundation for human culture''). But where the Gibbonses will likely make their impact is in deploying ecological curiosities and vagaries peculiar to the American Southeast (he teaches at the University of Georgia) to make their point, a niche that hasn't been overexplored in popular environmental literature. There is fascinating material here on cottonmouths abroad in winter; how it is that aquatic turtles unerringly locate the next-closest body of water (``Do they look up at the sky and somehow perceive light reflected from the surface of the water?''); why one should never pause when slinging a seven-foot whipsnake between one's legs (which, of course, begs the bigger question). These are enthralling regional tidbits, the kind of stuff that makes readers yearn for more, for the big picture. Kirkus Reviews
Book Review #2:
In the hope that familiarity will breed appreciation, the authors (Whit is a professor of ecology, Univ. of Georiga, and Anne a freelance editor) attempt "to engender esteem for the wealth of biodiversity on earth" by delighting the reader with stories of plant and animal ecology. While many interesting vignettes are included?e.g., the Patrick McManus-like tale of a live alligator loose in a speeding vehicle?the book suffers from a lack of organization and focus, touching on topics as diverse as scientific research on animal behavior, environmental education ideas for children, and environmental degradation. One especially disjointed chapter includes segments on nature poetry, dragons, political correctness and "Peter and the Wolf," and the vagaries of weather prediction. Though Ecoviews does include much useful information, a book such as Jerry Dennis's It's Raining Frogs and Fishes (HarperPerennial, 1992) accomplishes the same goal with a narrower focus and more clearly defined audience. Library Journal
Their Blood Runs Cold: Adventures With Reptiles and Amphibians
University of Alabama Press 1983
Gibbons, Whit, and Kimberly Andrews. 2005. Life (and death) in a nest box. South Carolina Wildlife Magazine. March-April 2005.
Gibbons, J. Whitfield. Wildlife Profile ? Eastern Coral Snake. Women in the Outdoors. Spring 2001 2(2): 70-71.
Gibbons, J.W. 2000. What is PARC and why should you care? Froglog. International Newsletter of the Declining Amphibian Population Task Force. February 2000(37). ISSN 1026-0269. 4-5.
Gibbons, J.W. 2000. What is PARC and why should you care? IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Specialist Group. Turtle and Tortoise Newsletter. January 2000 (1): 21-22.
Gibbons, J.W. 2000. PARC Update. IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Specialist Group. Turtle and Tortoise Newsletter. June 2000 (2): 14.
Gibbons, J.W. 2000. What is PARC and why should you care? Newsletter of the Herpetologists' League 7(1): 4-5.
Gibbons, J.W. 2000. Who's afraid of the deadly diamondback? The World & I Magazine. August 2000: 138-143.
Gibbons, W. 1999. The probability of snakebite. SEOPA News. July 1999: 4-5.
Gibbons, J. W. 1999. Turn rejection slips into assignments. Outdoors Unlimited. August 1999: 13.
Gibbons, Whit. 1999. Whither Our Air and Water? Natural Science Essay. The World & I, June 1999, p. 184-191.
Gibbons, J. Whitfield, and Michael E. Dorcas. 1998. Cowards, Bluffers, and Warriors. What does it take to make a cottonmouth strike? Natural History Magazine November 1998 pp. 56-57.
Gibbons, Whit. 1997. Natural History of the Okefenokee Swamp. Georgia Wildlife Magazine. June 1997 6(1):4-16. (Article was winner of 1996-97 Excellence in Craft Award of Southeastern Outdoor Press Association).
Gibbons, Whit. 1997. Snakes in Danger: Endangered Herpetofauna of Alabama. Nature South 6(4):9-11.
Gibbons, Whit. 1997. The Diamondback Terrapins of Kiawah Island. Kiawah Town Notes 3: 1-3.
Gibbons, Whit. 1996. The Spirit of Southeast Georgia. Invited essay for The New Georgia Guide. University of Georgia Press. Published by the Georgia Humanities Council for 1996 Olympics. p. 565-593.
Gibbons, Whit. 1996. Poisonous Wild Plants of Alabama. Nature South 6 (2): 3-4.
Gibbons, Whit. and P. J. West. 1995. The diversity of fishes in Alabama. Alabama Wildlife 1995:37-38.
Gibbons, Whit. 1995. Finding the Red Hills salamander. Nature South Magazine 5(2):10-12.
Gibbons, J. Whitfield. 1994. How to catch a gator. Natural History Magazine 3/94:4-6.
Gibbons, Whit and P. J. West. 1994. Fishes of Alabama. Nature South 4:3-4.
Gibbons, Whit and P. J. West. 1993. Rivers of Alabama. Nature South (Alabama Museum of Natural History) 3:3-6.
West, P. J. and Whit Gibbons. 1993. Aquatic plants of the CSRA. Aiken County Magazine.
Gibbons, Whit. 1992 (February issue). Life in the Slow Lane. Natural History Magazine .
Gibbons, Whit. 1981. Of turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. Delta Airline's Sky Magazine.
Gibbons, Whit and R. R. Sharitz. 1989. Environmental paradise and paradox. South Carolina Wildlife 36(2):44-59.
Gibbons, Whit. 1985. Wasps in your garden. The Weekend Gardener July/August 30-31.
Gibbons, Whit. 1980. Alligators: A different kind of southern tradition. Delta Airline's Sky Magazine.
Gibbons, Whit. 1979. SREL. The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Georgia Alumni Record, May-June issue.
Gibbons, Whit. 1979. Who's Watching the Snakes. South Carolina Wildlife Magazine, March-April issue.
Gibbons, Whit. 1979. Snakes of South Carolina. Living in South Carolina (magazine), April-May issue.
Gibbons, Whit. 1978. Where Do All The Creatures Go?...And Why? UGA Research Reporter (magazine), Vol. 11.
Feature writer of ecology column for Spectator (quarterly magazine), 1982-1986.
Contributing editor for Delta Airline's Sky Magazine (monthly publication), 1981-1985.
Feature writer for EnviroSouth (quarterly environmental magazine). Published . 2-4 popular ecology articles each year, 1978-1989
Newspaper columns (more than 1000 articles from 1972-2006) - "Ecology Beat", Du Pont Company's "Savannah River Plant News"; "Ecology Today," and "EcoViews", Aiken Standard (South Carolina), Athens Banner Herald (Georgia), Tuscaloosa News (Alabama), New York Times Regional Newspaper Group distribution.