Cold Latitudes is a memoir in essay form based on years of working in the Alaska Arctic and Antarctica. The author was privileged to see first-hand worlds that few will ever know, while participating in cutting-edge research at high latitudes. From solo voyages down the Yukon and part of the Northwest Passage, to working with humpback whales in the Southern Ocean, to chilling encounters with polar bears, Rosemary McGuire’s stories are told in spare, graceful prose. It is her friendships with local people, and with scientific researchers, that form the core of her experiences. Through these local contacts and traditional knowledge, she learns humility and a sense of wonder at the natural world, while at the same time coming to appreciate the gritty determination of the field researchers whose work she shares. Throughout, she examines human relationships with wilderness, and our growing effects on a fragile planet. And so, as she writes, “In the end, this is a love story for a threatened place.”
"Cold Latitudes depicts, in precise and spare portraits, the landscapes, cultures, and animals of the circumpolar regions. McGuire's writing reveals the Arctic and Antarctic regions as environments bustling with lives and ways of life that are coming increasingly under threat by climate change. These essays add a refreshingly intimate and human side to a conversation dominated by the often-inaccessible language and perspective of environmental science. Though the observations are the highlight of this collection, each essay has narrative momentum to match its setting"