John Mcphee 's Rising From The Plains

1472 Words6 Pages
As I recently drove on Interstate 80, from Colorado to Iowa, I could not help but think of John McPhee’s book Rising from the plains; and how from a different perspective a boring piece of land in the plains could reveal a rich history of geological cycles. McPhee is able to bring to life the study of geology in a way that is relatable by creating relationships between the landscape, people, and history through the use of transforming the same plot of land across eons of time. He uses several pages to discuss geology, followed by stories about the love family ranch as an overview of life on the very same plains four million years ago. This format for reading allows the author to build layers of science facts with story so that the humanistic element does not get distracted by the complex material. The reader develops a sense of the formation of the specific terms such as; the system, period, stage and age names, and thus overcomes the barrier of reading just geology facts. The passage for which all the specialized knowledge comes from is a man named David Love.
Rather than using his education and experience for the benefit of private industry, David Love serves as supervisor of the environmental branch of the United States Geological Survey in Laramie, Wyo. Mr. Love, who was born in the Wind River Basin in central Wyoming in 1913 and who grew up on an isolated ranch there, joins McPhee on a drive across the vast open stretches of Wyoming’s Interstate 80. Section after

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