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New store hours: 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM Daily. Masks encouraged.

Josie Iselin, The Curious World of Seaweed

Monday, August 5, 2019 - 7:00pm

Online ordering has ended for this event. If you cannot attend the event, but would like a copy of The Curious World of Seaweed signed for you by Josie Iselin, please stop by Bookshop Santa Cruz or call 831-423-0900 by 7 pm to purchase your copy of the book. Copies of the book will be available for sale to attendees before, during, and after Josie Iselin's talk. Thank you!

Bookshop welcomes Josie Iselin for a discussion and signing of her beautiful new book, The Curious World of Seaweed—a deep dive and exploration into a somewhat neglected corner of our coastal natural history. Iselin brings together the contemporary and the historical into a fabulous volume that tells the tale of sixteen iconic seaweed and kelp.

The Curious World of Seaweed is a delightful exploration of the natural and cultural history of Pacific Coast marine algae, from the collection and study of seaweed by Russian explorers inching their way down through the Pacific Northwest to the work of intrepid biologists, many of them women, dedicated to understanding this unappreciated but key element of marine ecosystems. This book builds upon Iselin's previous book on seaweed to bring together  historical as well as contemporary imagery and seaweed specimen pressings. Addressing the particular life and form of such kelps as bull kelp and giant kelp to the particulars of coralline algae and sea grasses, this book tells the tales of our near shore bounty from the algal point of view. Throughout the writings are historical botanical illustrations and Iselin's signature, Marimekko-like portraits of each specimen that reveal their vibrant colors--whether rosy, "olivaceous," or grass-green--and whimsical shapes. Iselin posits that we can learn not only about the seaweeds but also from them: their resilience, their resourcefulness, their poetry and magic.

Josie Iselin is the photographer, author and designer of ten books, with new projects in development in her San Francisco studio, Loving Blind Productions. Her books focus on those forms in nature we find at hand and in particular, at the beach. Her newest book is titled The Curious World of Seaweed: Stories from the Pacific Coast and features sixteen visually rich narratives of our iconic West Coast seaweeds and kelps. Josie’s mission is to produce enticing, original and well-designed books that combine art and science, leaving the reader with new information about, and an appreciation for, the world around them. Josie continues her research into the ecology of the seaweed and sea otter native to our Western oceans. Josie holds a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard and an MFA from San Francisco State University.


This free event will take place at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Chairs for open seating are usually set up about an hour before the event begins. If you have any ADA accommodation requests, please e-mail us at by August 3rd, 2019.