Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Field Guide to Seaweeds of Alaska

Alaska Sea Grant has published a new Field Guide to Seaweeds of Alaska.

About 100 of those species are described with full-color photos and descriptions in the new field guide just published by the Alaska Sea Grant Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The new book is available at most local bookstores or directly from Alaska Sea Grant at www.alaskaseagrant.org.

The guide is the first of its kind for Alaska seaweeds, and it took the authors nearly 15 years to compile it. Co-author Mandy Lindeberg said she began working on the book because scientists and friends needed it—there just wasn’t a decent reference book available.

“That was the big complaint—people would grab a specimen and try to identify it, and the books had drawings that didn’t help much,” Lindeberg said. “So I wanted to be sure to have photos of what they look like in their natural habitat; that was the big priority for me.”

Besides seaweeds, the nearly 200-page water-resistant guide features sections on seagrasses and marine lichens. Lindeberg said she took about 80 percent of the photos during the course of two decades of fieldwork. Getting decent photos that could be used in a scientific guide proved difficult, she said.

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