Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 18 Issue 03

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Volume 18, No. 3
Pages 85 - 86


Glaciers, Second Edition

W.T. Pfeffer
First Paragraph

Glaciers have, with dinosaurs, woolly mammoths, Egyptian mummies, and pyramids, a kind of intrinsic allure that causes people to become fascinated by them not as a particular representative of a broader interest, but simply for their own sake. Consequently, glaciologists are frequently drawn into their subject based on a life-long attraction to glaciers and the world of snow and ice rather than as geologists or physicists simply seeking an application of their skills. The authors of Glaciers, like so many of us, evidently fall into this category, and their book is written for an undergraduate audience already attracted to glaciers and seeking an introduction to them as a field of study. The book is qualitative in nature—not the only approach to the subject, but reasonable for this audience—and filled with inspirational photographs on nearly every page. Taken on its own terms, the book might work for an undergraduate geography or geology class. However, I am troubled by a number of aspects. A student using this as a primary text would require some rather devoted guidance on the part of the instructor to wend a path through the world of glaciers as it is presented here—the instructor being a sort of a Virgil to Hambrey and Alean’s Dante.


Pfeffer, W.T. 2005. Review of Glaciers, Second Edition, by M. Hambrey and J. Alean. Oceanography 18(3):85–86, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2005.35.

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