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Osha Gray Davidson davidson at
Thu Jun 13 00:17:25 EDT 1996

Dear fellow list-servers: 
       I'm a free-lancer at the beginning stages of writing a literary 
natural history book about coral reefs--for lay-people such as myself. (It 
will be published by Wiley Press in 1998.) While I'm still working out the 
details, here's a general view of the project: 
       I'm interested in presenting the history of how humans have come to 
understand the reef and its ecosystem. Also, in what the threats are to this 
diverse ecosystem, and in what is being done about them. And, of course, 
about what is THERE: the flora and fauna of the reef ecosystem (including 
seagrass beds, mangroves and hardwood hammocks). I plan on visiting a 
several reefs around the world: in the Caribbean, the Great Barrier Reef, 
the Red Sea, ??? I want to spent some time in each place with people who are 
doing research and management work. 
       I come to the subject with admittedly little knowledge, but with a 
great love for coral reefs--at least for the ones I've known in the Florida 
Keys. I was a "beach-bum" in Key West in the mid-1970s and spent most of my 
time snorkeling. 
       I will be attending the Panama symposium (and writing a magazine 
piece on it) to begin getting an idea of the issues and people involved. 
(I've also signed up for a summer college course on coral reef ecology so as 
not to remain a completely ignorant journalist. I have written for the usual 
suspects: the New York Times, the Nation, the New Republic, and have written 
a few books--but all of them on political/social issues.) 
        Please feel free to approach me at the symposium if you'd like to 
talk about some issue you feel is relevant to this project--or if you'd just 
like to chat. I'm not sure of my hotel assignment yet, but I imagine there 
will be a communications board up at the symposium site and I will check it 
regularly. And until then (and afterwards) there is always the blessed e-mail. 
        Looking forward to meeting at least some of you in Panama, 

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