September 30, 2009

Architect and Engineer

This book examines the relationships between architects and engineers throughout history. Beginning with the Renaissance, this book focuses on the relationships among builders in Western Europe. Looking at specific projects ranging from bridges to sky scrapers as well as well-known architects and engineers, Saint looks at what happens when these rivals collaborate and when they lock horns with one another. Among the issues raised are credit for design work, the role of art in construction, and the often conflicting emphasis on technology or efficiency. The book is beautifully illustrated with photographs, etchings, and architectural drawings.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Architect and Engineer: A Study in Sibling Rivalry
Andrew Saint
NA 2543 .E54 S25 2007

September 29, 2009

Beyond HR

Boudreau and Ramstad describe a new describe a new decision science, which they call talentship, which is intended to help organizations hire and retain talent rather than just planning and budgeting for new personnel. It asks questions about where existing talent is within the organization, how that talent is rewarded, and whether changing the strategic goals of the organization would require the addition of new talent. Using examples from major companies, the authors demonstrate how human resource managers can extend their influence by thinking strategically about hiring decisions. They bring these examples together with research on organizational strategy and economics to propose a new role for human resources departments in organizations as they look toward the future.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Beyond HR: The New Science of Human Capital
John W. Boudreau and Peter M. Ramstad
HD 53 .B646 2007

September 28, 2009

High Altitude Leadership

Warner and Schmincke describe leadership as a lonely job, an emotionally and intellectually draining roller coaster, and role that requires constantly pushing past what has already been done in order to succeed at new challenges. Seeing the parallel between this description and mountain climbing, they call leaders who are able to succeed in this environment "high altitude leaders." Schmincke, a scientist and engineer, approaches leadership from a biological background, asserting that many of the modern management theories fail due to biological factors. Warner is a climbing expedition leader, learning his skills on the mountainside through experience. The leadership traits discussed in this book were discovered in the field through numerous climbing expeditions leading groups and teams, some of which succeeded and others of which fell apart. The lessons presented here offer tips for success, regardless of whether you lead in an office or in another environment.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

High Altitude Leadership: What the World's Most Forbidding Peaks Teach Us About Success
Chris Warner and Don Schmincke
HD 57.7 .W3585 2009

September 25, 2009

The Black Swan

Taleb defines a black swan as an event that was unpredictable, has a high impact, and after the fact, is explained in a way that makes it appear less random. The events of 9/11 are a good example. Taleb asserts that our lives are made up of these black swan events and wonders why we do not acknowledge them. He says that instead of focusing on what we do not know, enabling us to evaluate opportunities and perhaps even predict black swans, we repeatedly focus on what we already know. In this book, Taleb discusses what we do. His writing is filled with humor and irrevrance, and will appeal to those who enjoy thinking about complex problems.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

The Black Swan: The Impack of the Highly Improbable
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Q 375 .T35 2007

September 24, 2009

Posters for the People

This book showcases posters that were produced for the Works Progress Administration by artists across the United States. During the 1930's, the government sponsored a program to employ thousands of artists who would have been otherwise out of work to produce posters about public works. This book reproduces a sampling of those posters, organizing them around numerous themes, including heath and safety, preservation and conservation, knowledge and information, travel, neighborhood places, sports, and the visual and performing arts. You will quickly see how the graphic arts concepts illustrated here are still informing is today.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Posters for the People: Art of the WPA
Ennis Carter
NC 1807 .U5 C37 2008

September 23, 2009

Owls of North America

This is a complete handbook of owls. It provides general information about the behavior, communication, habitats, and mating of owl species in North America. A large section of the book is also dedicated to profiles of specific species, including identification descriptions and photos, and details about their habitats, feeding, and other behaviors. This book is beautifully illustrated with color photographs of animals as well as maps that show the regions occupied and breeding locations of each owl.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Owls of North America
Frances Backhouse
QL 696 .S8 B33 2008

Limits to Growth

In 1972, four scientists at MIT used a computer model to look into the future of the planet, focusing particularly on people's effects on their environment. Using this same World3 computer model, the authors now have an additional 30 years of data to improve the model's predictability. This book shows the consequences of unchecked growth on our planet and its limited resources. The authors look specifically at humanity's devastating effects on climate change, water quality, fisheries, forests, and other natural resources.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update
Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and Dennis Meadows
HD 75.6 .M437 2004

September 22, 2009

Hot Topic

This is not just another book about global warming. It is the first concise guide to the problems that combine to cause global warming along with specific solutions that can slow or stop these problems. Both Walker and King are scientists, not politicians or activists, and they do not write this book intending it to be a wake-up-call. Instead, they propose very specific, often cutting-edge technological solutions, to fix a specific problem. Along the way, they discuss some of the national and international politics that are likely to affect efforts toward progress.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

The Hot Topic: What We Can Do About Global Warming
Gabrielle Walker and Sir David King
QC 981.8 .G56 W35 2008

Soft Spots

Marine Sergeant Clint Van Winkle was part of the first wave of soldiers to fight in Iraq in 2003. When he returned home, however, the images of war would not leave his mind. He often experienced fragmented memories of Iraqi men hiding behind old stone walls, blood splattered on his armored assault vehicle, and saw the bodies of casualties, both soldiers and civilians, lying in the streets. He tried to suppress these memories with alcohol, but could not. In a Veterans Administration hospital, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, given a cursory examination, and sent home with a few pills. Van Winkle continued to struggle, not only with the images of war, but also to find a place in American society that did not understand the war he had fought, the personal losses he had experienced, or the sense of duty that he felt. This personal story gives insight into the experiences of a soldier during and after the Iraq War.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Soft Spots: A Marine's Memoir of Combat and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Clint Van Winkle
DS 79.76 .V36 2009

September 10, 2009

The Canal Builders

The Panama Canal has long been heralded as an engineering wonder. What is less well publicized are the thousands of workers who traveled from around the world to complete the canal. This book describes the efforts that resulted in the Panama Canal as important to the establishment of the United States as an empire and later as a world power. Building on letters, memoirs, and government documents, Greene brings to life the experiences of the canal workers, the physical dangers and social conditions that they faced, and shows how they managed to resist pressures for efficiency at all costs.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

The Canal Builders: Making America's Empire at the Panama Canal
Julie Greene
F 1569 .C2 G66 2009

Terror on the Seas

To many people, pirates exist in historical stories and movies, but in reality, pirates still exist today. Sekulich describes the activities of modern day pirates, showing them often to be lucrative operations controlled by organized crime rings or local warlords. He shows how piracy threatens national and international security, often falling within the definitions of terrorism. He interviews both pirates and victims, showing how piracy is a high risk activity, not only because of the lives involved, but also because of the effects on the environment, the economies that are effected, and the ties to unstable religious or political movements around the world.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Terror on the Seas: True Tales of Modern-Day Pirates
Daniel Sekulich
G 535 .S434 2009

September 9, 2009

What We Leave Behind

Jensen and McBay assert that industrial civilization is destroying life on this planet. In this thought provoking and occasionally offensive book, they demonstrate all of the ways that modern industrialized societies create pollution in the form of garbage and chemicals. They also discuss rules, both official rules and those created by social norms, and the morality involved in what people use and what they throw away. Although this book may scare or offend some readers, it very strongly makes the authors's point that everything on this planet is connected and that many of the activities that modern society is currently involved with are actively harmful to our environment and our planet. They stress that significant changes must be made if we want our earth to continue to be habitable.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

What We Leave Behind
Derrick Jensen and Aric McBay
TD 175 .J445 2009