Drawn to the mysteries of tropical rain forests and fascinated by life in the treetops, Meg Lowman has pursued a life of scientific exploration while raising her two sons, Edward and James Burgess. This book recounts their family adventures in remote parts of the world (Samoa, West Africa, Peru, Panama, India, Biosphere 2, and others), from the perspectives of both kids and parent. Together they explore tropical rain forests, encounter anacondas and piranhas, eat crickets as hors d'oeuvres, discover new species, and nurture a family ethic for conservation.
The chapters of the book focus on field biology questions, the canopy access methods developed to answer the questions, and conservation or education components of each expedition. Lowman enumerates the challenges and joys of juggling parenthood and career, and the children reflect on how their mom's work has affected their lives. A rollicking, inspiring book, It's a Jungle Up There is an upbeat portrayal of how a parent's career can imprint children, and how children in turn can influence the success and trajectory of their parent's career.
Margaret D. Lowman is director of environmental initiatives and professor of biology and environmental studies at New College of Florida. Edward Burgess works for Environmental Defense in New York City. James Burgess is a member of the class of 2009 at Princeton University.