2 minute read

Philip Johansson Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

Male. Education: University of Vermont, B.S. (wildlife and fisheries biology); University of California, Berkeley, M.A. (zoology).


Office—Earthwatch Institute, P.O. Box 75, Maynard, MA 01754-0075.


Biologist and nature writer. Earthwatch Institute, managing editor of EarthWatch Journal.


National Association of Science Writers.

Honors Awards

Science Books and Films Best Books for Children selection, 2004, for The Tropical Rain Forest and The Temperate Forest; National Science Teachers Association/Children's Book Council Outstanding Science Trade Book selection, 2005, for The Temperate Forest.



Heart Disease, Enslow Publishers (Springfield, NJ), 1998.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Other Repetitive Strain Injuries, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 1999.

Contributor to periodicals, including New Scientist, Sierra, AMC Outdoors, and Boston Globe; contributor to Science and Spirit Web site.


The Dry Desert, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2004.

The Forested Taiga, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2004.

The Frozen Tundra, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2004.

The Temperate Forest, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2004.

The Tropical Rain Forest, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2004.

The Wide Open Grasslands, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2004.


Science and nature writer Philip Johansson is the managing editor of the Earthwatch Journal, a publication of the globally focused Earthwatch Institute. A passionate environmental researcher and trained biologist, Johansson utilizes his expertise in covering the institute's trips and adventures into the great outdoors. He has also drawn on his scientific background to create the multi-volume "Web of Life" books for elementary-grade readers, as well as several other nonfiction titles.

The "Web of Life" series, which includes The Forested Taiga, The Frozen Tundra, and The Wide Open Grasslands, discusses the plants and animals found in each of several biomes—a unique ecological community—and how the delicate balance is maintained with regard to that biome's food and energy flow. Johansson uses an organized format, and grounds each chapter with information from a scientific specialist with a related area of expertise. Praising the author for creating an easy-to-understand text, Kathy Piehl wrote in School Library Journal that Johansson's "presentations are interesting enough [to] hold the attention of those exploring the topics out of personal interest."

In his award-winning volume The Temperate Forest Johansson brings to life one of the most diverse biomes on Earth, an environment familiar to the residents of much of North America. In The Frozen Tundra readers are given an in-depth look into what the author calls a "frozen desert": the arid plains located in the arctic and sub-arctic regions as well as above the tree-line in more southern lands. Johansson providers a detailed map of Earth's tundra regions, along with numerous full-color photos. Carolyn Phelan, writing in Booklist, noted that The Frozen Tundra provides "good, simple discussions of the flow of energy from the sun and soil to plants, then on to herbivores, carnivores and omnivores, decomposers, and back into the soil."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, April 1, 2004, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Frozen Tundra, p. 1374.

School Library Journal, August, 2004, Kathy Piehl, review of The Forested Taiga: A Web of Life, p. 110.


Philip Johansson Home Page, http://nasw.org/users/philipjo(March 19, 2005).*

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Dan Jacobson Biography - Dan Jacobson comments: to Barbara Knutson (1959–2005) Biography - Personal