The first trip I made to the U.S. state of Texas was in order to attend the Rio Grande Valley Birding & Nature Festival. Since then, I have made many return trips to America’s most iconic state, and each time I do, I discover yet another unexpected aspect of its astonishing ecological diversity.

This bio-regional diversity is what makes it so appropriate that a complete state-wide overview of The Natural History of Texas should be the inaugural volume of the new Integrative Natural History Series from Texas A&M University Press. Written by Dr. Brian R. Chapman and Dr. Eric G. Bolen, both “veteran ecologists,” this forthcoming book guides its readers through the remarkably different bio-regions to be found in the state, “from prairie grasslands and hardwood forests to coastal lagoons and desert mountains.”

And as for the new Integrative Natural History Series, it’s sponsored by Texas Research Institute for Environmental Studies at Sam Houston State University. Thus far, The Natural History of Texas is the first volume announced in the new series, but be assured I’ll be keeping a keen eye on it for future developments additions.