If you've ever tried to identify a grass, you know it can be a challenging and sometimes frustrating experience! But what if I told you that with my Field Guide to Grasses of the Mid-Atlantic and a little effort, you could master this perplexing family? If you're looking to demystify the process of keying grasses, my guide is for you!
This project has been a labor of love for the past 10 years. The idea to write my own grass field guide grew out of teaching workshops on grass, sedge and rush identification. As I prepped for each workshop, I quickly realized that although there were existing guides that focused on grass identification they were either too difficult to grasp for the casual plant aficionado or too simplified and incomplete for the more seasoned botanist.
I set out to create a guide that would interpret grass morphology, elucidate terms, and allow users to key species in a framework that is accessible and fun, yet also rigorous and comprehensive. The result is my Field Guide to Grasses of the Mid-Atlantic!
“This is the first guide that has allowed me to accurately identify both native and non-native grasses in our state. With its unique visual cues, it aids (and greatly speeds up) the learning of the botanical language required to master this large cryptic family. ”
--Loree Speedy, Freelance Botanist, Pennsylvania
Field Guide to Grasses of the Mid-Atlantic is packed with over 500 high-quality line drawings that illustrate the characters needed to identify each species, from the Kentucky bluegrass found in your front lawn to the variety of grasses found in fields, forests, and wetlands of the region. This compact and portable guide also features an illustrated introduction to grass morphology, a glossary of technical terms, wetland indicator status, and over 300 distribution maps, as well as numerous tips gleaned from 10 years of extensive study of grasses that will help you avoid the many pitfalls associated with identifying this challenging group of plants. It's a must-have for the plant enthusiast, from the curious amateur to the professional botanist.
“Wide species coverage makes this a most useful guide on a topic rarely covered. It is appropriate for amateur plant enthusiasts; professionals will also find it appealing. The numerous excellent illustrations and icons for key couplets are very helpful.”
-- Donna Ford-Werntz, Curator West Virginia University Herbarium
If you're ready to master grasses - this guide is for you!
Risks and challenges
Field Guide to Grasses of the Mid-Atlantic is slated to be published by Penn State University Press in spring 2018. The manuscript is complete, copyedited, and is now in the design phase. At present, I am on the second of three rounds of edits to the page proofs which means we should be going to press soon!
Penn State University Press, who will be publishing the book in its Keystone imprint, is a not-for-profit university press with a strong track record in publishing books for regional, national, and international communities. I've been working closely with the Press on my guide since its inception to ensure its accuracy and accessibility.
The most significant cost involved in publishing this book will be the cost of production. Penn State University Press has devoted substantial financial resources to the publication, but requires assistance in covering the full cost of production. The book is heavily illustrated, incorporates color for contrast, hand drawn icons, and a complex design, contributing it’s ease of use and value for the community while, at the same time, incurring higher production costs. Funding received through this Kickstarter campaign will allow Penn State University Press to produce a high quality product at an affordable price!
- (35 days)