Islands in a Far Sea: The Fate of Nature in Hawaii, Revised Edition
432pp. December 2005
Islands in a Far Sea: The Fate of Nature in Hawaii, Revised Edition
Author: Culliney, John L.;
First published in 1988, Islands in a Far Sea offers a comprehensive environmental history of Hawai‘i. This thoroughly revised edition begins with an up-to-date account of the geological formation and shaping of the Islands, their colonization by plants and animals, and the patterns of ecology and evolution that unfolded in nurturing seas and on breath-taking landscapes.

This book tells the story of human interaction with Hawai‘i's native landscapes and rich biological heritage. The author’s accessible language allows readers to grasp basic geological and biological principles and to understand the perhaps surprising vulnerability of Hawaiian ecosystems--which have coevolved with volcanoes--to human impact. Islands in a Far Sea includes many well-documented historical examples of such impacts, featuring growth and greed, fears and foibles as humans confronted endemic nature in Hawai‘i. Citing a large array of sources, the author makes it possible for interested readers to probe more deeply the changes in natural systems that have ensued on all of the Hawaiian Islands. To date the result has been the tragic reduction of a unique and benign biota. However, the book holds out hope that current efforts to protect what is left of Hawai‘i's flora and fauna in their remaining wild settings may yet succeed.

76 illus., 9 maps
A Latitude 20 Book

"Beautifully written and logically organized, [this book] makes Culliney's plea for humanity to live 'within our ecological means' an extremely powerful one." --Honolulu Weekly
Author: Culliney, John L.;
John L. Culliney is a graduate of Yale and Duke universities and holds a doctorate in zoology. He has taught biology and marine science in Hawai‘i since 1978 and has authored four books on subjects ranging from the North American continental shelf to the horticulture of native Hawaiian plants. He lives on the island of O‘ahu.
Read the preface (PDF).
Preface to the Revised Edition


English-Metric Conversions

part one

Island Evolution:
A Hawaiian Primer
.. Out of the Earth
2. From the Forces of Life
3. Arrival and Adaptation

part two

The Surrounding Sea
4. Blue Abyss and Twilight Slopes
5. A Place for Whales
6. The Coral Rim
7. Decline of a Lagoon
8. The Seal and the Turtle
9. Seabirds High and Low

part three

Shores of Many Moods
10. Lonely Rocks and Atolls
11. Coasts of Change

part four

Green Crags and Canyons
12. Rain Forests in Transition
13. Freshwaters
14. Dying Songs: Hawai‘i’s Forest Birds
15. Insects and Snails: Evolutionary Tales

part five

Volcanoes in the Sky
16. Cloudlands and Drylands
17. Alpine Fire and Ice

part six

The Fate of the Living Land
18. Primeval Hawai‘i
19. ‘Aina and Ahupua‘a
20. The Remaking of Eden
21. Waves of the Future