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Chasing Science at Sea: Racing Hurricanes, Stalking Sharks, and Living Undersea with Ocean Experts
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Chasing Science at Sea: Racing Hurricanes, Stalking Sharks, and Living Undersea with Ocean Experts

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  36 ratings  ·  15 reviews
To the average office-dweller, marine scientists seem to have the good life: cruising at sea for weeks at a time, swimming in warm coastal waters, living in tropical paradises. But ocean scientists who go to sea will tell you that it is no vacation. Creature comforts are few and the obstacles seemingly insurmountable, yet an abundance of wonder and discovery still awaits t ...more
Hardcover, 178 pages
Published September 15th 2008 by University Of Chicago Press
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This is a little gem of a book, detailing what it is like to be an ocean scientist. It is filled with short anecdotes of experiences and adventures of working in the field, above and below the water. Ellen Prager describes plenty of her own experiences, as well as those of other scientists. Some of the anecdotes tell, quite openly, of the pitfalls of bad luck or poor planning. Many of these pitfalls seem unavoidable, and must be accompanied by a healthy dose of humor. Other anecdotes tell of won ...more
I thought it would be interesting, but found that it was pretty unexciting or engaging. I like science of all kinds and I like what people who do it think and write. I picked it up off the library shelf based solely on the cover & topic, but after the first few pages I just kept thinking, "Where's the Beef?"

Maybe I'm being unfair and the author just intended it to be a skimming of the topic and her (and other's) experiences during the past two decades. But if the goal was to present her fiel
Lis Carey
Prager has a noble purpose in this book: to convey the excitement and adventure of doing science, and specifically of doing ocean science fieldwork, through telling the stories of the experiences of ocean-going scientists. To a fair degree she succeeds, but not entirely. This feels more like a collection of anecdotes than a collection of stories--but some of them are, no question, great anecdotes! I'm reminded of Randy Olson's Don't Be Such a Scientist, in the sense that I would wonder if she ha ...more
My expectations for the book were a bit high particularly since I was a biology major with an interest in marine biology never to be pursued (Ironically, I went to undergrad school in the midwest).

With this book, I was hoping to read detailed and exciting stories about marine adventures. The books tagline is "Racing Hurricanes, Stalking Sharks and Living Undersea With Ocean Experts".

The stories were written like a scientific blog. I was hoping to experience and feel more about the tension, ange
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's basically a collection of interesting anecdotes from the experiences of marine scientists working in the field. It felt like I was having lunch with Ellen Prager and she was telling me about the adventures and experiences of herself and her friends. Don't expect to learn a whole bunch about marine science from this, and remember she is a scientist who writes rather than a writer who does science. With this in mind, the writing was of a higher caliber than I e ...more
Great book! It's a perfect source for the ones who are curious about oceans and marine sciences.
Joe McDonald
My interest in this book was because I am a marine science educator in South Florida and I was hoping to use some of the information from this book in my classes; however, I was very disappointed while reading because the stories about science in the sea are too short and too giddy to actually use in my class. This book is great as a read for those starting to undertand science and the sea and would increase their knowledge of the ocean as well as how ocean science works, but sadly for my class ...more
Joe Hempel
This book had a TON of potential, and I was really hoping that there would be pretty exciting stories in here about life as an oceanographer and researcher.

It just didn't pan out. The stories were dry, even the one about racing a hurricane...that SHOULD have been exciting...but it was more like reading a lecture than about an exciting piece of Oceanic Exploration.

Even the bit about the Hammerhead was just kind of like "We discovered this.." next story.

Claire Scott
I feel a little guilty rating this so poorly, because I'm certain that the author is not only a stellar scientist but has a thousand thrilling stories to tell. But gosh, she is a clunky writer. I don't even understand how it's possible to make such a fascinating topic dull, unless it's the complete lack of narrative or cohesive storytelling.

If she came out with a ghostwritten memoir, though, I'd read it in a heartbeat!
Could have been fascinating, but somehow wasn't. Felt as though I was being talked down to all the time and got very tired of reading the phrase 'in the field' (which seems particularly inappropriate for oceanographic research). The author is obviously very proud of being a scientist, but doesn't convey her enthusiasm well to a non-specialist.

I gave up on it in the end.
I really had high hopes for this, but it was blah. I thought that it was going to be fluid and interesting, and while it was well written, I found that it didn't interest me as much as I had wanted. The overall experiences the author had would be better if I had more interested in plankton etc.
This book had some great stories, but the prose was never terribly engaging. That's the hard part of good nonfiction--hard because it's intangible. I can't put my finger on what was missing, but it was.
May 03, 2011 Sprizee marked it as to-read
This month's free book from University of Chicago Press, Chasing Science At Sea, sounds fascinating. And also, did I mention? FREE! P.S. It's free this month. Free. Free. Free
A collection of reminiscences of Prager. Not engaging reading, but sometimes interesting.
Free from University of Chicago Press in 2011.
A facinating read.
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