Life on Surtsey: Iceland's Upstart Island

Life on Surtsey: Iceland's Upstart Island

by Loree Griffin Burns

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On November 14, 1963, a volcano fifteen miles off the shore of Iceland exploded under the sea, resulting in a brand-new island. Scientists immediately recognized Surtsey for what it was: an opportunity to observe the way life takes hold.  

Loree Griffin Burns follows entomologist Erling Ólafsson on a five-day trip to Surtsey, where since 1970 he has studied the arrival and survival of insects and other species. Readers see how demanding conditions on Surtsey can be, what it’s like to eat and work while making the smallest impact possible, and the passion driving these remarkable scientists in one of the world’s most unique fields ever! 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781328828835
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 11/14/2017
Series: Scientists in the Field Series
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 80
File size: 151 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 10 - 12 Years

About the Author

Loree Griffin Burns,Ph.D., did her doctoral at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Ms. Burns lives in Massachusetts with her husband and children. She is the author of Beetle Busters, Tracking Trash, and The Hive Detectives.

LOREE GRIFFIN BURNS, Ph.D., did her doctoral at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The author of Beetle Busters, Tracking Trash, and The Hive Detectives, she is an award-winning writer whose books for young people have won many accolades, including ALA Notable designations, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book Award, an IRA Children’s Book Award, a Green Earth Book Award and two Science Books & Films (SB&F) Prizes.

Loree holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and her books draw heavily on both her passion for science and nature and her experiences as a working scientist. She lives with her husband and their three kids in a farmhouse in central New England, where she gardens, keeps chickens, and writes about science and scientists. She likes to think that one day she’ll fill the big old barn on their property with horses.

Learn more about Loree at and follow her on Twitter @loreegburns.

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Life on Surtsey: Iceland's Upstart Island 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First, I must admit two things. 1) Though I love the natural world, I am not very interested in science. So, 2) if I had not known the author, I doubt I’d have chosen to read this book. Imagine my surprise when I not only loved the book, but bought it as a present for both kids and adults. Loree Griffen Burns writes in an engaging, inviting style that makes science an adventure, and scientists, brave explorers. Erling Ólafsson’s life’s work has been spent studying Surtsey, an “upstart” volcanic island that appeared off of Iceland in 1963 and has provided an unprecedented opportunity to study how life on such an island evolves. Kids will love the details of how science is done in such an environment, and how carefully scientists have tread on this relatively new land. Any adult who loves science, volcanoes and Iceland will enjoy words and photos that bring this story (and it is written in a relatable, narrative style) to life.