UP Notable Book Club presents a virtual Q&A with U.P. author James H. McCommons, author of Camera 📷 Hunter: George Shiras III and the Birth of Wildlife Photography

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Official Seal of the U.P. Notable BooksUP Notable Book Club:  the Crystal Falls Community District Library in partnership with the U.P. Publishers & Authors Association (UPPAA) has scheduled author events with winners of the UP Notable Book List. The fourth event is with U.P. author and NMU professor James H. McCommons featuring Camera Hunter, the first significant biography of Marquette’s famous naturalist George Shiras III in decades!  The events are open to all U.P. residents free of charge. U.P. Book Review published this review of McCommon’s book.

When: Thursday, April 8th, 2021 at 7pm Eastern / 6pm Central
Where:  on the Zoom platform — please contact Evelyn Gathu in advance by email: egathu@uproc.lib.mi.us, or by phone (906) 875-3344.  We recommend you borrow a copy of these books from your local library or purchase from your local bookseller in advance to get the most out of these events.

JAMES H. MCCOMMONS joined the Northern Michigan University faculty English dept. in 2001. He is a veteran journalist, specializing in ecology, environmental, and travel topics. He has written hundreds of general interest magazine articles. In the past few years, McCommons has contributed to the History Channel, Next American City, Wildlife Conservation, Organic Gardening, Backpacker, The Oregonian, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minneapolis Star and Tribune, the Saturday Evening Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Discover, and Michigan History.

He attended the Art Institute of Boston majoring in photography and later earned a B.A. in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.  After several years of newspaper work and a stint in corporate communications, he moved to upstate New York where he was a freelance journalist from 1990 to 1997. During this period, he earned an M.A. in magazine journalism from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and an M.S. in environmental science from College of Environmental Science and Forestry-SUNY.  McCommons is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

In 1906 George Shiras III (1859-1942) published a series of remarkable nighttime photographs in National Geographic. Taken with crude equipment, the black-and-white photographs featured leaping whitetail deer, a beaver gnawing on a tree, and a snowy owl perched along the shore of a lake in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The pictures, stunning in detail and composition, celebrated American wildlife at a time when many species were going extinct because of habitat loss and unrestrained hunting. As a congressman and lawyer, Shiras joined forces with his friend Theodore Roosevelt and scientists in Washington, DC, who shaped the conservation movement during the Progressive Era. His legal and legislative efforts culminated with the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Camera Hunter recounts Shiras’s life and craft as he traveled to wild country in North America, refined his trail-camera techniques, and advocated for the protection of wildlife. This biography serves as an important record of Shiras’s accomplishments as a visual artist, wildlife conservationist, adventurer, and legislator.

More information about the U.P. Notable Book list, U.P. Book Review, and UPPAA can be found on www.UPNotable.com

About the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association (UPPAA)

Established in 1998 to support authors and publishers who live in or write about Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, UPPAA is a Michigan nonprofit association with more than 100 members, many of whose books are featured on the organization’s website at www.uppaa.org. UPPAA welcomes membership and participation from anyone with a UP connection who is interested in writing and publishing books.

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