The latest book by UC Santa Cruz marine biologist Terrie Williams, The Odyssey of KP2, has received a AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books from Science Books and Films (SB&F), an online publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Williams, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UCSC, tells the story of her work with an orphaned Hawaiian monk seal in The Odyssey of KP2, published by Penguin Press in 2012. The book was recognized in the Young Adult Science Book category. SB&F praised the book as "a well-told story [that] illustrates how scientific research increases knowledge while helping draw attention to the fate of a declining species," adding that "the narrative conveys not only Williams' work, but also how she developed into a scientist, and her passion for her work--all good things for young people to see."
"Kauai Pup 2" (KP2) was abandoned on a beach by his mother as a 2-day-old pup, and eventually transferred by federal officials to Williams's lab at UCSC's Long Marine Laboratory. During KP2's stay in Santa Cruz, Williams was able to learn valuable information about monk seal physiology. KP2 is now living at Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu, while Williams continues her work to learn more about monk seals and promote monk seal conservation.