Letters from the West

Boise State book on microbes wins prestigious publishing award

Euplotes protozoa scavenge ponds for bacteria. It is one of the microorganisms in Steve Stuebner's book Idaho Microbes.
Euplotes protozoa scavenge ponds for bacteria. It is one of the microorganisms in Steve Stuebner's book Idaho Microbes. Manfred Kage

A book about microbes written by a Boise author, published last fall by Boise State University, won a silver medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

“Idaho Microbes: How Tiny Single-Celled Organisms Can Harm, or Save, Our World” written by Steve Stuebner, beat out thousands of titles from small publishers worldwide. Boise State’s book came in second in the science class to “How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction,” by Beth Shapiro and published by Princeton University Press.

“Idaho Microbes,” was published by the Boise State School of Public Service and the Division of Research and Economic Development,and edited by Todd Shallat, director of the Center for Idaho History and Politics. Its graphic design was done 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.

The book, which shows the purpose and impact of microbes in our day-to-day lives, featured the work of Boise State faculty. It includes 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.

Judging for the award was based on content, originality, design, and production quality, “with emphasis on innovation and social relevance.”

“Idaho Microbes” is available at https://sps.boisestate.edu/publications, at Rediscovered Books, or at http://www.stevestuebner.com.

Rocky Barker: 208-377-6484, @RockyBarker

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