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New Haveners Win Outdoor Book Award

by David Brensilver | Dec 3, 2012 4:01 pm

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Patrick Lynch, a longtime member of the Yale University administrative staff, and retired Southern Connecticut State University biology professor Noble Proctor have won a National Outdoor Book Award for A Field Guide to the Southeast Coast & Gulf of Mexico: Coastal Habitats, Seabirds, Marine Mammals, Fish, & Other Wildlife.

Published in 2011 by the Yale University Press, the book follows-up on Lynch and Proctor’s 2005 A Field Guide to North Atlantic Wildlife Marine Mammals, Seabirds, Fish, and Other Sea Life.

Lynch and Proctor’s A Field Guide to the Southeast Coast & Gulf of Mexico, which features Lynch’s illustrations, won in the “Nature Guidebooks” category of the National Outdoor Book Awards.

Reached by telephone on Monday, Lynch said the books he and Proctor have co-authored were inspired by the realization that “there was no one guide you could take with you” on whale- and bird-watching excursions.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a field guide to offshore species?” Lynch said he and Proctor asked themselves.

Lynch earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern Connecticut State University, where he studied biology with Proctor. Lynch has worked at Yale since 1972, now in the university’s communications department.

Whereas A Field Guide to North Atlantic Wildlife focused on species from Labrador to Cape Hatteras, the subsequently published A Field Guide to the Southeast Coast & Gulf of Mexico expanded Lynch and Proctor’s work to include wildlife from Cape Hatteras to the Florida Keys and Gulf Coast.

Ron Watters, who chairs the National Outdoor Book Awards, said the prize “is the outdoor equivalent of the National Book Awards.”

A description on the National Outdoor Book Awards website of Lynch and Proctor’s A Field Guide to the Southeast Coast & Gulf of Mexico reads, in part: “This comprehensive work by Noble Proctor and Patrick Lynch includes over 600 species of flora and fauna of the Southeastern coastal regions and Gulf of Mexico. All of this is in one compact and easy-to-navigate guide, perfect for beach goers, hikers, boaters, birders, fishers, snorkelers — and anyone who wants to leave the library at home.”

Valerie Cunningham, a longtime National Outdoor Book Awards judge, said Lynch and Proctor’s second publication is “really quite an achievement because it covers so much ground” and provides a “great overview of the region ... from sea grasses to whales and everything in between.”

Of particular note, Cunningham said, is that Lynch and Proctor identified species that are under threat. 

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posted by: HenryCT on December 3, 2012  5:56pm

Pat Lynch’s Hypercard version of Bird Anatomy 20 or so years ago was not only artistically outstanding it set the state of the art technically and was an excellent educational tool. Congratulations to Lynch and Proctor. Amazing talents.

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