A book published last fall by Boise State University has garnered a silver medal in the “science” category from the Independent Publisher Book Awards, also known as an IPPY.
“Idaho Microbes: How Tiny Single-Celled Organisms Can Harm, or Save, Our World” casts a new light on the purpose and impact of microbes in our day-to-day lives. The stunningly illustrated book competed against thousands of titles from small publishers in many countries, including academic presses. Boise State’s book came in second to “How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction,” by Beth Shapiro and published by Princeton University Press.
The IPPYs mission is “To recognize the deserving but often unsung titles published by independent authors and publishers, and bring them to the attention of booksellers, buyers, librarians and book lovers around the world. Judging is based on content, originality, design, and production quality, with emphasis on innovation and social relevance.”
“Idaho Microbes,” published by the Boise State School of Public Service and the Division of Research and Economic Development, was written over the course of four years by local writer Steve Stuebner with Todd Shallat, director of the Center for Idaho History and Politics. Graphic design is by Adele Thomsen. Colleen Brennan was the copy editor, Brian Marinelli the education editor, and Greg Hampikian, professor of biology and criminal justice, served as science advisor.
In addition, the book includes the work of several Boise State faculty, including Merlin White, an expert in trichomycetes (known as “gut fungi”); Lee Hanna, who explains the inner workings of Giardia intestinalis, the bane of many a backpacker; Bill Bourland, a former vascular surgeon who is a modern-day microbe hunter; biologist Kevin Feris, who studied the microbes that are “eating” petroleum products in the soil and ground water below a Nampa service station.