Montana State University

Yellowstone atlas wins major award

February 12, 2013 -- MSU News Service

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
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BOZEMAN - An atlas involving many Montana State University faculty members has won one of the five top awards given by the Association of American Publishers.

The "Atlas of Yellowstone" received the PROSE Award for Excellence in Physical Sciences and Mathematics during a Feb. 7 awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.  The Association of American Publishers has more than 300 members. For this year's competition, 71 publishers nominated 518 books, journals or e-products for awards in 45 categories. The atlas won the Earth Sciences category, then was grouped with other award winners from across the physical sciences and math. The atlas won best book in this broad division.

The 296-page book is the first comprehensive atlas of a U.S. national park. It contains more than 500 maps, photos and charts that cover a wide range of topics. Four themes run throughout the atlas. Three themes emphasize how Yellowstone is constantly changing, the ways that Yellowstone is connected to a broader environment, and the interactions between humans and natural processes. These themes in turn support the fourth theme - the importance of Yellowstone for research, interpretation and education, and inspiring conservation and preservation efforts.

The atlas was produced by the University of Oregon, Yellowstone National Park and their partners.

As one of those partners, MSU was a major sponsor of and contributor to the "Atlas of Yellowstone," said senior editor W. Andrew Marcus from the University of Oregon. Participating faculty came from MSU's Institute on Ecosystems, the Department of Earth Sciences, the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, the Thermal Biology Institute, and the Museum of the Rockies.

"Not only did MSU provide financial support, but its faculty deserve a tremendous amount of the credit for the content," Marcus said. "MSU faculty and affiliates guided the content and provided draft text for topics covering history of Yellowstone science, American Indians, land use, population trends, geology, seismicity, geothermal areas, geomorphology, glaciation, fire regimes, dinosaurs and thermophiles.

"The atlas - at least an atlas of this quality - literally would not exist without the strong presence of MSU within its pages." Marcus said.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or evelynb@montana.edu