scientist

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy proposed the nation spend twenty billion dollars to land a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.

Based on eyewitness accounts and newly discovered archival material, "Chasing the Moon" by Robert Stone and Alan Andres, reveals for the first time the unknown stories of the fascinating individuals whose imaginative work across several decades culminated in America’s momentous achievement.

More than a story of engineers and astronauts, the moon landing, now celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, grew out of the dreams of science fiction writers, filmmakers, military geniuses, and rule-breaking scientists.

During graduate school, as she conducted experiments on the peculiarly misshapen beaks of chickadees, ornithologist Caroline Van Hemert began to feel stifled in the isolated, sterile environment of the lab. Worried that she was losing her passion for the scientific research she once loved, she was compelled to experience wildness again, to be guided by the sounds of birds and to follow the trails of animals.

In March of 2012 she and her husband set off on a 4,000-mile wilderness journey from the Pacific rainforest to the Alaskan Arctic, traveling by rowboat, ski, foot, raft, and canoe. She tells the story in her new book, "The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey Into The Alaskan Wilds."