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UMass Amherst’s Raymond Bradley Wins Textbook Award

AMHERST — Climate scientist and Distinguished Professor Raymond Bradley, director of the Climate System Research Center at UMass Amherst, has won a 2015 national Texty award for excellence for his book, Paleoclimatology: Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary, which provides an overview of methods for reconstructing ancient climatic and of historical climate changes during the past 3 million years.

The Text and Academic Authors Assoc. (TAA) announced seven 2015 Texty awards on Feb. 25. They will be presented to the authors during a lunch at the association’s 28th annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in Las Vegas in June.

Bradley’s 700-page text, published in its third edition by the academic press division of Elsevier this year, discusses such topics as natural climate variation, dating methods, ice cores, marine sediments, lake sediments, non-marine geologic evidence, pollen, corals, tree rings, and historical documents.

In the introduction, he explains that paleoclimatology is the study of climate in the period before the tiny fraction of the Earth’s history that can be told using instrument measurements. He points out that a longer view can be obtained by studying climate-dependent natural phenomena that provide a proxy record of climate in the past. Such records can be combined and built up to help scientists theorize and test hypotheses about causes and mechanisms of climate variation that may still be at work today.

Bradley, professor of Geosciences at UMass Amherst, said, “I was quite surprised to learn about this award, but I’m really pleased. I learned a lot writing the book, so it’s gratifying to know that others appreciate the result.”

The TAA is the only nonprofit membership association dedicated solely to assisting textbook and academic authors. Its mission is to support textbook and academic authors in creating top-quality educational and scholarly works that stimulate love of learning and foster the pursuit of knowledge.

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