Best Selling Books by Steve Olson

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Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens

release date: Mar 07, 2016
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Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens
A riveting history of the Mount St. Helens eruption that will "long stand as a classic of descriptive narrative" (Simon Winchester). For months in early 1980, scientists, journalists, and nearby residents listened anxiously to rumblings from Mount St. Helens in southwestern Washington State. Still, no one was prepared when a cataclysmic eruption blew the top off of the mountain, laying waste to hundreds of square miles of land and killing fifty-seven people. Steve Olson interweaves vivid personal stories with the history, science, and economic forces that influenced the fates and futures of those around the volcano. Eruption delivers a spellbinding narrative of an event that changed the course of volcanic science, and an epic tale of our fraught relationship with the natural world.

Mapping Human History

release date: Jan 01, 2002
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Mapping Human History
A history of human existence seeks to unveil some of the mysteries surrounding human origin, migration, and language development and discusses human differences and what those variations mean in today's world.

The Apocalypse Factory: Plutonium and the Making of the Atomic Age

release date: Jul 28, 2020
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The Apocalypse Factory: Plutonium and the Making of the Atomic Age
A thrilling narrative of scientific triumph, decades of secrecy, and the unimaginable destruction wrought by the creation of the atomic bomb. It began with plutonium, the first element ever manufactured in quantity by humans. Fearing that the Germans would be the first to weaponize the atom, the United States marshaled brilliant minds and seemingly inexhaustible bodies to find a way to create a nuclear chain reaction of inconceivable explosive power. In a matter of months, the Hanford nuclear facility was built to produce and weaponize the enigmatic and deadly new material that would fuel atomic bombs. In the desert of eastern Washington State, far from prying eyes, scientists Glenn Seaborg, Enrico Fermi, and many thousands of others—the physicists, engineers, laborers, and support staff at the facility—manufactured plutonium for the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, and for the bombs in the current American nuclear arsenal, enabling the construction of weapons with the potential to end human civilization. With his characteristic blend of scientific clarity and storytelling, Steve Olson asks why Hanford has been largely overlooked in histories of the Manhattan Project and the Cold War. Olson, who grew up just twenty miles from Hanford’s B Reactor, recounts how a small Washington town played host to some of the most influential scientists and engineers in American history as they sought to create the substance at the core of the most destructive weapons ever created. The Apocalypse Factory offers a new generation this dramatic story of human achievement and, ultimately, of lethal hubris.

Alcohol in America

Alcohol in America
Alcohol is a killer--1 of every 13 deaths in the United States is alcohol-related. In addition, 5 percent of the population consumes 50 percent of the alcohol. The authors take a close look at the problem in a "classy little study," as The Washington Post called this book. The Library Journal states, ". . . [T]his is one book that addresses solutions. . . . And it's enjoyably readable. . . . This is an excellent review for anyone in the alcoholism prevention business, and good background reading for the interested layperson." The Washington Post agrees: the book ". . . likely will wind up on the bookshelves of counselors, politicians, judges, medical professionals, and law enforcement officials throughout the country."

The National Academies Summit on America's Energy Future

The National Academies Summit on America's Energy Future
There is a growing sense of national urgency about the role of energy in long-term U.S. economic vitality, national security, and climate change. This urgency is the consequence of many factors, including the rising global demand for energy; the need for long-term security of energy supplies, especially oil; growing global concerns about carbon dioxide emissions; and many other factors affected to a great degree by government policies both here and abroad. On March 13, 2008, the National Academies brought together many of the most knowledgeable and influential people working on energy issues today to discuss how we can meet the need for energy without irreparably damaging Earth's environment or compromising U.S. economic and national security-a complex problem that will require technological and social changes that have few parallels in human history. The National Academies Summit on America's Energy Future: Summary of a Meeting chronicles that 2-day summit and serves as a current and far-reaching foundation for examining energy policy. The summit is part of the ongoing project 'America's Energy Future: Technology Opportunities, Risks, and Tradeoffs,' which will produce a series of reports providing authoritative estimates and analysis of the current and future supply of and demand for energy; new and existing technologies to meet those demands; their associated impacts; and their projected costs. The National Academies Summit on America's Energy Future: Summary of a Meeting is an essential base for anyone with an interest in strategic, tactical, and policy issues. Federal and state policy makers will find this book invaluable, as will industry leaders, investors, and others willing to convert concern into action to solve the energy problem.

Hunger and Obesity

release date: Jun 26, 2011
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Hunger and Obesity
At some point during 2009, more than 17 million households in the United States had difficulty providing enough food for all their members because of a lack of resources. In more than one-third of these households, the food intake of some household members was reduced and normal eating patterns were disrupted due to limited resources. The Workshop on Understanding the Relationship Between Food Insecurity and Obesity was held to explore the biological, economic, psychosocial, and other factors that may influence the relationship between food insecurity, overweight, and obesity in the United States. Hunger and Obesity examines current concepts and research findings in the field. The report identifies information gaps, proposes alternative approaches to analyzing data, recommends new data that should be collected, and addresses the limitations of the available research.

Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters

release date: Oct 26, 2011
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Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters
Natural disasters are having an increasing effect on the lives of people in the United States and throughout the world. Every decade, property damage caused by natural disasters and hazards doubles or triples in the United States. More than half of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of a coast, and all Americans are at risk from such hazards as fires, earthquakes, floods, and wind. The year 2010 saw 950 natural catastrophes around the world--the second highest annual total ever--with overall losses estimated at $130 billion. The increasing impact of natural disasters and hazards points to increasing importance of resilience, the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, or more successfully adapt to actual or potential adverse events, at the individual , local, state, national, and global levels. Assessing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters reviews the effects of Hurricane Katrina and other natural and human-induced disasters on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi and to learn more about the resilience of those areas to future disasters. Topics explored in the workshop range from insurance, building codes, and critical infrastructure to private-sector issues, public health, nongovernmental organizations and governance. This workshop summary provides a rich foundation of information to help increase the nation's resilience through actionable recommendations and guidance on the best approaches to reduce adverse impacts from hazards and disasters.

Evolution in Hawaii

release date: Mar 10, 2004
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Evolution in Hawaii
As both individuals and societies, we are making decisions today that will have profound consequences for future generations. From preserving Earth's plants and animals to altering our use of fossil fuels, none of these decisions can be made wisely without a thorough understanding of life's history on our planet through biological evolution. Companion to the best selling title Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science, Evolution in Hawaii examines evolution and the nature of science by looking at a specific part of the world. Tracing the evolutionary pathways in Hawaii, we are able to draw powerful conclusions about evolution's occurrence, mechanisms, and courses. This practical book has been specifically designed to give teachers and their students an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of evolution using exercises with real genetic data to explore and investigate speciation and the probable order in which speciation occurred based on the ages of the Hawaiian Islands. By focusing on one set of islands, this book illuminates the general principles of evolutionary biology and demonstrate how ongoing research will continue to expand our knowledge of the natural world.

Advancing Health Equity for Native American Youth

release date: Jul 22, 2016
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Advancing Health Equity for Native American Youth
More than 2 million Americans below age 24 self-identify as being of American Indian or Alaska Native descent. Many of the serious behavioral, emotional, and physical health concerns facing young people today are especially prevalent with Native youth (e.g., depression, violence, and substance abuse). Adolescent Native Americans have death rates two to five times the rate of whites in the same age group because of higher levels of suicide and a variety of risky behaviors (e.g., drug and alcohol use, inconsistent school attendance). Violence, including intentional injuries, homicide, and suicide, accounts for three-quarters of deaths for Native American youth ages 12 to 20. Suicide is the second leading cause of deathâ€"and 2.5 times the national rateâ€"for Native youth ages 15 to 24. Arrayed against these health problems are vital cultural strengths on which Native Americans can draw. At a workshop held in 2012, by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, presenters described many of these strengths, including community traditions and beliefs, social support networks, close-knit families, and individual resilience. In May 2014, the Academies held a follow-up workshop titled Advancing Health Equity for Native American Youth. Participants discussed issues related to (1) the visibility of racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care as a national problem, (2) the development of programs and strategies by and for Native and Indigenous communities to reduce disparities and build resilience, and (3) the emergence of supporting Native expertise and leadership. This report summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

Establishing Precompetitive Collaborations to Stimulate Genomics-Driven Product Development

Establishing Precompetitive Collaborations to Stimulate Genomics-Driven Product Development
Despite the many basic research discoveries in genetics, relatively few gene-based treatments, drugs, or preventative measures have been developed. One way to bridge this gap may be for industry, academia, and government to develop partnerships that share resources while distributing risk. However, intellectual property protections and other barriers can inhibit collaborative efforts. The Institute of Medicine held a workshop on July 22, 2010, to explore these issues and develop solutions.
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