It’s a Jungle Up There: More Tales from the Treetops

jungle up there revised for book page (Custom)

It's a Jungle Up There : More Tales from the Treetops

By  Meg Lowman, Edward Burgess, James Burgess; foreword by Sir Ghillean R. Prance

Published May 20, 2008


A sequel to Life in the Treetops, Margaret Lowman’s first award-winning book, It’s a Jungle Up There continues the adventures of a pioneering scientist juggling family and career. Lowman weaves her messages about tropical rain forest exploration, conservation, and science education into the challenges of raising two sons. Now teenagers, Edward and James Burgess join her as co-authors, bringing their perspectives of growing up with a scientist-mom. Their explorations integrate science investigation with clear messages about family values.

In Life in the Treetops , Lowman chronicled her struggles about caring for her children as toddlers while climbing trees as a field biologist; now Edward and James are old enough to count bugs and make discoveries of their own. They comment about their unique upbringing in tropical jungles amidst piranhas, anacondas, tarantulas and katydids, and balancing their own worlds of school, skate-boarding, religion, and science. All three also explore familial issues like caring for aging parents, remarriage, and career paths as the boys become old enough to grasp issues ranging from global conservation to office politics. They discover new beetles in the Amazon, and share their enthusiasm for conservation and education projects ranging from Cameroon, Africa, to Biosphere 2. They advocate a message of “conservation not conversation”.

Candid, humorous, and adventurous, It’s a Jungle Up There will be attractive to naturalists, travel enthusiasts, armchair adventurers, or students seeking advice about science or balancing career and family. The book presents as a unique mix of the voices of a pioneering woman in science and her exceptional sons.


From the American Library Association (ALA) Booklist:
“Following up her very poplar Life in the Treetops (1999), rainforest biologist Lowman chronicles her life as a scientist who is also a single mom (her two sons, Edward and James Burgess, are listed as coauthors). It’s a family adventure that spans the globe, from Peru to India to Panama and beyond. While the book addresses some pertinent scientific issues, such as species extinction and the devastation of the rainforests, readers will also enjoy the more personal elements of the story: the difficulties of bringing up two boys in some of the world’s most isolated places. Lowman is a nimble writer, several cuts above many of her popular-science contemporaries; and her passion for her profession, and for her children, is both powerful and moving.”–David Pitt


Foreword by Sir Ghillean T. Prance

  • Chapter 1 Why Canopies are Exciting
  • Chapter 2 Canopies for Conservation: Climbing in Samoa
  • Chapter 3 Indoor Canopies: From Baseball to Biosphere 2
  • Chapter 4 Orchid Farming in Africa: Creating Sustainable Canopies
  • Chapter 5 An Emmy Award for the Treetops: Ballooning in French Guinea
  • Chapter 6 Canopy Walkways: Highways in the Florida Sky
  • Chapter 7 International Pow-Wows: The Indian Connection
  • Chapter 8 Of Tarantulas, Toucans, Teenagers, and Turkey Basters: Distance Learning from the Treetops of Peru
  • Chapter 9 Colorful Bodies: Home to the Black Waters of the Amazon
  • Chapter 10 Down from the Treetops: Life in the Padded Chair
  • Chapter 11 Billions of Needles: Calculating the Consumption of Conifers
  • Chapter 12 Downsizing 101: The Dynamics of a Family Ecosystem
  • Chapter 13 Coming Full Circle: Linking the Green and Brown Food Webs
  • Chapter 14 Global Citizens: An Environmental Ethic for Families. (Available in PDF format PDF)

Also includes a Glosssary, selected Bibliography, and Field Equipment Lis

Books by Meg