Stranded: Finding Nature in Uncertain Times

Stranded: Finding Nature in Uncertain Times
Hardcover, 5 x 7, 224 pages.
ISBN: 9781597146043.

By Maddalena Bearzi

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.

Categories Forthcoming | Nature

About the Author

Maddalena Bearzi

Maddalena Bearzi

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: The Parallel Lives of Great Apes and Dolphins (Harvard University Press) and author of Dolphin Confidential: Confessions of a Field Biologist (University of Chicago Press). Her work and books have been covered by CNN, NPR, KPCC, Al Jazeera America, the Hallmark Channel, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, and American Scientist, among others. Bearzi has also been a writer for numerous media, including National Geographic. Born and raised in Italy, she now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and dog. Photo credit: Charlie Saylan.

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