Earth Heroes: Champions of the Ocean
Written by Fran Hodgkins
Illustrated by Chris Arbo
“Sometimes we forget to be curious” says author, Fran Hodgkins, in her introduction.
In this book, she traces the lives of eight pioneers of ocean research who did not let the routine of everyday life take them away from their quest for knowledge about the vast ocean and its denizens. Each of the “oceanauts” mentioned in the book started their research to satisfy the curiosity burning within.
Earth Heroes: Champions of the Ocean features all eight researchers in order by their birthdate, which enables the readers to “begin at the beginning”. Ocean study was not a very advanced field. More scientists studied the earth than paid attention to the vast blue waters surrounding. Even William Beebe, the first researcher mentioned, began with terrestrial studies, and later developed a fascination for the ocean.
Fifth grade readers will learn how new fields of study develop. Even as a geologist needs to go down the mine to study rocks, so an ocean researcher would benefit by immersing himself in the environment he wants to study. But there were not many tools available to the early researcher to actually enter the water. We can trace the progress of diving devices and vessels from the clunky diving helmet of Beebe’s time to the Jim Suit that Sylvia Earle donned to dive to a depth of 1250 feet, carrying her environment with her.
It is written for ease of comprehension and the author brings out how each scientist, despite having their own interest and focus, built on the discoveries of the predecessor. We “journey through their lives”, learn about the people, their discoveries, and the ocean they are so passionately devoted to. If even a few readers become stewards of the oceans and its inhabitants the book would have succeeded in its purpose.
About the Author: http://www.dawnpub.com/our-authorsillustrators/fran-hodgkins/
About the Illustrator: http://www.dawnpub.com/behind-the-scenes-with-cris-arbo/
Nasa Oceanography: http://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/oceanography/
Careers in Oceanography: http://www.palomar.edu/oceanography/links/careers.html