'Ecosystems of California' wins gold medal in California Book Awards

Coedited by UC Santa Cruz ecologist Erika Zavaleta, the book will be honored by the Commonwealth Club of California


Ecosystems of California, a comprehensive reference on California's remarkable ecological abundance, has won the Gold Medal for Contribution to Publishing in the 86th Annual California Book Awards, presented by the Commonwealth Club of California.

Coedited by Erika Zavaleta, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz, and Harold Mooney, professor of environmental biology at Stanford University, Ecosystems of California provides an integrated assessment of each major ecosystem type in California—its distribution, structure, function, and management.

The Commonwealth Club's California Book Awards are among the oldest literary awards in the country. Zavaleta and Mooney will receive the medal in a ceremony on Monday, June 12.

A comprehensive synthesis of our knowledge about this biologically diverse state, Ecosystems of California covers the state from oceans to mountaintops using multiple lenses: past and present, flora and fauna, aquatic and terrestrial, natural and managed. Contributors to the book include the leading experts on each ecosystem and on topics such as climate, fire, and land use.

Earlier this year, the book received the PROSE Award for Excellence in Physical Sciences & Mathematics, as well as the Environmental Sciences award, from the Association of American Publishers.

The California Book Awards have honored the exceptional literary merit of California writers and publishers since 1931. Among the winners this year is UCSC alumna Elizabeth McKenzie, who won the silver medal for fiction for her novel The Portable Veblen (Penguin Books).