The Way of the Mountain
$4,685 of $9,900 goal
The vision behind the book
We are writing a book on the natural history and ecology of Mount Shasta. Our vision for this book is threefold. First, we are inspired because we have spent a lot of our lives carefully observing and asking questions about the natural world. We have learned through our mentors in Santa Cruz that the “real authority” is the organism. This is why we take science out of the laboratory and into the landscape. Together at UC Santa Cruz we spent the last two consecutive springs travelling across California, studying and writing about diverse ecosystems. This has given both of us a keenly honed specificity in taxonomic knowledge, and a deep appreciation for the complexities of the interactions found in an ecosystem. In this book, we will share this perspective and help translate the language of the mountain.
Second, we have seen the gap between science and the general public. We strongly believe that science needs to be made more accessible and we think that natural history bridges that gap. When someone can learn the name of a plant, animal or rock and understand both why is it is there and what purpose it serves, it deepens their appreciation and adds another level of connection between the observer and the observed.
Finally, we believe that natural history, field ecology and education are essential for the successful conservation and management of ecosystems. With the last (and only) comprehensive ecological study of Mount Shasta having been published over a century ago, the mountain needs a fresh voice. This book will bring our collective knowledge up to date and speak to the incredible beauty and ecological significance of Mount Shasta.
What is this book about?
Our aim is to allow everyone to become well versed in the ecology of the mountain and to make science accessible, digestible and interesting. This book will be written as the participant’s journey on the slopes of the mountain. We want people to pick up this book and interact and engage with the natural world. It will be a resource for residents of the Mount Shasta area as well as its many visitors, local outdoor schools and all those curious about the ecology of California's diverse landscapes.
· Contains 8 chapters: Human History (cultural history, resource extraction, local legends), Geology, Flora, Mycology, Fauna, Birds, Climate and Current Challenges (water, climate change etc.)
· 6x9 paperback book (also available in eBook format)
· Around 150-200 pages
· Full color front, spine and back cover
· Illustrations from nature illustrators along with photographs
· Detailed GIS maps of the mountain at the beginning of each chapter to reference important locations, along with geologic, vegetation and projection maps throughout
Our partnership with the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center
We are very excited to announce our partnership with the Ecology Center . The Ecology Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works to protect the biodiversity of the Mount Shasta region. Because they are acting as our fiscal sponser your donations will be processed through the Ecology Center (Andy Fusso, financial advisor) and then given to our project. This means that your donations to our project are tax deductible! The Ecology Center is providing us with connections to local experts, offering advice on the direction of the book, as well as helping us author our final chapter "Current Challenges." Once we are done with the book 50% of the profit we receive for the book sales will go directly to the Ecology Center to support their ongoing work in the region.
We considered taking our book to a publishing house in the bay area but we decided that we would rather have this book be a collaboration within the local community. We are writing this book as a resource for people to better understand and connect with the mountain. That is why we are partnering with the Ecology Center, doing this fundraising campaign, and keeping the copyright right here in Mount Shasta.
Any contribution you make will go straight into the project. We need $9,900 to complete the writing and production of our book.
The $9,900 we hope to earn will pay for:
· $1,500 - Editing
o We will have the book professionally edited
· $2,000 - Illustration and Design
o Our book will contain many beautiful illustrations and photographs. In order to make this happen we are hosting illustration workshops with artists in the natural history community to cover all of our organisms of interest.
· $1,000 - Research
· $3,000 - Printing & Production
o This will cover the cost of our initial print run with enough copies to sell at bookstores in Siskiyou County.
· $2,400 - Marketing
o This includes the crowdfunding fee, fiscal sponsorship, isbn #, copyright fee, flyers etc.
If we reach our goal, we will have The Way of the Mountain - The Natural History of Mount Shasta printed and ready to go by September 2016 before we leave for the Peace Corps Senegal.
Other ways you can help
1. Help us spread the word! Use this link to share on social media and email: gofundme/mountaintime
2. Come explore on the mountain with us, we could always use new and fresh eyes throughout our observation process.
3. Support the Ecology Center! Whether it is financially or through volunteering, they are working on amazing projects in the Mount Shasta area. They are looking for volunteers in environmental science, economics and sustainability, video and web design as well as fundraising and business sponsorship. Get involved!
4. Expert advice! We are very interested in making this a collaborative piece and would love to have local experts be apart of this process. Help us author a chapter or connect us with another expert.
Thank you so much for all of your support. We would not be able to complete this project without it!!!
All our Love,
Abby and Chad
$ 10 USD
Every contribution counts! Receive a hand drawn thank-you note. Thank you!
$ 25 USD
Receive an electronic copy of our book to enjoy on your eReader of choice along with a hand drawn thank-you note. Thank you!
$ 40 USD
Receive both a limited edition copy of the book and an electronic copy, plus a hand drawn thank-you note. Thank you!
$ 50 USD
Receive both a limited edition copy of the book and an electronic copy, plus a hand drawn thank-you note and a ceramic Mount Shasta heart (made by us). Thank you!
$ 75 USD
Receive everything from the Sprout level plus a one-of-a-kind Greenleaf Manzanita inspired ceramic mug made by Chad at Shasta Clayworks. We will contact you regarding personalization of your Mount Shasta mug. Thank you!
$ 100 USD
Receive everything from the Sprout level PLUS a one-of-a-kind Shasta Lily inspired ceramic mug made by Chad at Shasta Clayworks. We will contact you regarding personalization of your Mount Shasta mug. Thank you!
$ 200 USD
Receive everything from the Sprout level PLUS a Ponderosa Pine inspired ceramic mug made by Chad at Shasta Clayworks. We will also donate two copies of the book to a local Mount Shasta organization of your choosing (school, library etc.). We will contact you regarding personalization of your Mount Shasta mug. You rock!
$ 300 USD
Receive everything from the Sprout level PLUS one original illustration from the book and a one-of-a-kind Mountain Hemlock inspired ceramic mug. We will donate three copies to a local Mount Shasta organization of your choosing, and that’s not all! We will personally take you and up to three others on a guided natural history hike on the mountain. Finally, we will give you credit as a special contributor in the book itself! We will contact you regarding the personalization of your Mount Shasta mug and scheduling your guided tour. You’re amazing!
$ 500 USD
Shasta Red Fir
Receive 5 original illustrations from the book, a limited edition copy of the book and 2 one-of-a-kind Shasta Fir inspired ceramic mugs. We will donate five copies of the book to a local Mount Shasta organization of your choosing (school, library etc.). We will personally take you and anyone you want to bring on a guided natural history hike on the mountain. Finally, we will give you credit as a special contributor in the book itself! We will contact you regarding the personalization of your Mount Shasta mug as well as a scheduling of your guided tour and selection of illustrations from the book. You’re absolutely incredible!
$ 1,000 USD
Receive 10 original illustrations from the book, two limited edition copies of the book and a set of 6 one-of-a-kind mugs inspired by the mountain (Shasta Lily, Greenleaf Manzanita, Ponderosa Pine, Mountain Hemlock, Shasta Fir, Glacier). We will donate five copies of the book to a local Mount Shasta organization of your choosing (school, library etc.). We will personally take you and a group of your choosing on a guided natural history hike on the mountain. Finally, we will give you a credit as a special contributor in the book itself! We will contact you regarding the personalization of your Mount Shasta mug as well as a scheduling of your guided tour and selection of illustrations from the book. You literally move mountains!
(Sneak peak at our inside cover)
If you are reading this message, it is because you have been one of our generous and invaluable supporters over the past year of our book project, The Way of the Mountain - A Natural History of Mt. Shasta. We are endlessly grateful for each and every one of you for your support and encouragement, and we want you to know that we feel a deep responsibility to keep you informed about our progress and, for those that donated, maintain transparency.
We are writing to update you on the progress of the book and inform you of a shift in our timeline. As this past year has unfolded, we have found ourselves with less time to work on the book than anticipated. The bottom line is that we will not be able to finish the book before we leave for Peace Corps Senegal in September as we had originally planned. We have realized that in order to do it justice we need more time. We will continue to work on the book in our down time during our service and are so looking forward to continuing our work when we return.
We know that this timeline is different then what we promised during our funding campaign. All of the funds that you helped us raise are secure in a dedicated account to be used solely for the upfront publishing costs when that time comes. However, if your expectations feel unmet in light of this change, please let us know and we can arrange a reimbursement.
Since we began this project last year, we have been filled with so much inspiration and we find ourselves with more energy for the book than ever. As we have continued to write and research, the incredible potential that this book holds for our community and the broader natural history world has become ever clearer. Mount Shasta is a truly iconic landmark with such a deep history and so many stories to tell. We are eager to give it another voice.
Our deepest gratitude,
Chad and Abigail
Here's another quick update on our project. We have been busy in the new year writing away and scheduling interviews with amazing local experts on everything from geology to local legends.
Last week we sat down for an interview with Lauren from the Mt. Shasta Herald. She wrote an excellent article about our project that was published last week.
You can check it out here:
Thank you to everyone who has donated so far- it means everything to us. So far, we have raised almost half of our goal. We are hoping to finish our fundraising by March 1st, so if you haven't yet, please check out our page and share it widely.
Stay tuned for more updates soon!
Please scroll down to read about our project, share the page with your people, and make sure to check out the reward levels at the bottom! Cheers :)