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From the best-selling author of The California Field Atlas comes a trilogy that guides readers through the Golden State’s eco-regions, and presents a profoundly original vision of nature in the twenty-first century. Each book features an abundance of Obi Kaufmann’s signature watercolor maps and trail paintings, weaving them into an expansive and accessible exploration of the biodiversity that defines California in the global imagination.
Featuring more than 300 maps and illustrations, The Forests of California is the first volume in Kaufmann's trilogy of field atlases, with The Coasts of California and The Deserts of California following, and Kaufmann seeks to create nothing less than a new understanding of the more-than-human world. In The Forests of California, Kaufmann tells an epic story that spans millions of years, nearly one hundred species of trees, and an astonishing richness of ecosystems.
Bursting with color, The Coasts of California continues Kaufmann’s signature style, fusing science with art and pure poetic reverie. Coasts is a full immersion into the astonishingly varied natural worlds that hug California’s shoreline. With hundreds of gorgeous watercolor maps and illustrations, Kaufmann explores the rhythms of the tides, the lives of sea creatures, the shifting of rocks and sand, and the special habitats found on California’s islands. At the book’s core is an expansive, detailed walk down the California Coastal Trail, including maps of parks along the way—a wealth of knowledge for any coast-lover.
In the third and final atlas, The Deserts of California, Kaufmann journeys through the Great Basin, Mojave, Colorado, and Sonoran Deserts, paying special attention to national and state parks and monuments, and to the dozens of wilderness areas that reveal the underappreciated natural abundance of California’s arid lands. The Deserts of California is a canonical entry into the literature of the American deserts, uniquely colorful and celebratory, and abounding in hope and wonder.
About the Author
Growing up in the East Bay as the son of an astrophysicist and a psychologist, Obi Kaufmann spent most of high school practicing calculus and breaking away on weekends to scramble around Mount Diablo and map its creeks, oak forests, and sage mazes. Into adulthood, he would regularly journey into the mountains, spending more summer nights without a roof than with one. He is the author of The California Field Atlas (2017, #1 San Francisco Chronicle Best Seller), The State of Water: Understanding California’s Most Precious Natural Resource (2019), The Forests of California: A California Field Atlas(2020), The Coasts of California: A California Field Atlas (2022), and The Deserts of California: A California Field Atlas (2023).