Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Joseph Hooker: Botanical Trailblazer

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Joseph Hooker: Botanical Trailblazer

Article excerpt

Joseph Hooker: Botanical Trailblazer

By Pat Griggs

$17. 64 pp. University Of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. 2012.

ISBN: 9781842464694

This is the story of a trailblazer, British botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker. The book takes us on a delightful journey with Hooker during the Victorian era as he realized a lifelong dream of traveling the world and studying plants. Readers will discover how Hooker developed a passion for botany early in life, and then collected, sketched, and classified plants while on expeditions to such farflung places as India, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Antarctica, the Himalayas of Nepal and Tibet, and the United States.

The author opens with a timeline of Hooker's life events and travels and an introduction by Jim Endersby (lecturer and science publisher). Hooker overcame trials and tribulations as he completed his education and obtained positions on expeditions around the world. During this era, expeditions provided an avenue to a scientific career. Although he served as crew doctor, he found time to explore, sketch, classify, prepare herbaria, collect seeds, and write detailed descriptions of plants and terrain. In many instances, local plant collectors assisted him.

Ultimately, Hooker's curiosity propelled him to the forefront in geographical botany. …

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