Manual of Environmental Microbiology: 3rd (Third) edition
Environmental microbiology is a fascinating field of science which captured my imagination when I first got out my trowel 32 years ago to collect soil from beneath a suburban tree. While following the trail which ensued, I have sampled the drainage from coal mines, dug infiltration basins in the desert, dredged sediments from bays and rivers, and chopped holes through surface ice. I even have learned that sometimes the sample bottle gets filled in unusual ways, such as when the surf washed over my head or when I slipped sideways into a river. The latter event was observed by three of my students, who were courteous enough not to laugh too loudly. The Manual of Environmental Microbiology is an effort to combine the results and my excitement from my own discoveries with those of many colleagues. I feel honored to be a part of this collaborative effort. It is an idea which began handwritten on the back of an envelope in January 1991, and I still cherish that envelope.
The process of organizing, writing, and finally publishing this manual has been a joint volunteer effort by many hundreds of people, each of whom has contributed generously of their own experiences and expertise. Together, as a group of 136 scientists, we saw our efforts come to initial fruition with publication of the first edition of the Manual in the fall of 1996. By bringing to you this third edition, we now present a complete update of our field. Jay Garland, David Lipson, and Aaron Mills have been added as new volume editors for this edition, replacing Michael McInerney and Guy Knudsen, who now have become emeritus editors. Four of the section editors from the second edition, Robert Christian, Steven Newell, David Stahl, and Linda Thomashow, likewise have become emeritus editors. It is with pride that I welcome in their stead Meredith Hullar, Jonathan Lloyd, Seán O’Connell, and Ming Tien, who have joined the editorial board as new section editors for this edition. Many of the contributing authors from the first two editions have been called in other directions, and those departing contributors now are our alumni, each of whom knows that his or her efforts were appreciated by our readers. Two hundred seven scientists have contributed to this third edition of the Manual, including more than 100 new authors, and I welcome each of them. I offer special appreciation for the fact that nearly all of the former editors have remained among our group as authors.
The most difficult part of compiling such a volume is deciding which topics will receive center stage and which must be given a reduced representation. It also is important to recognize that the research of any given field flows and sometimes changes its path over time. The authors and editors of this manual are dedicated to helping you, our readers, keep a balanced perspective. We always will be certain that the basic foundations of environmental microbial methodology are thoroughly covered and also try to keep you up to date with the front of that flow. To keep that objective and meet our responsibility to our readers, we have updated all of those chapters that were carried over from the second edition, and many of them have been completely rewritten. You also will find that this edition contains numerous chapters on new topics.
In addition to thanking the authors and editors, without whose selfless volunteer efforts the American Society for Microbiology could not bring forth this manual, I offer particular thanks to several specific individuals. Jeff Holtmeier, the director of ASM Press, has lent us his utmost support. Ken April of ASM Press served as our production editor. Ken, most of all, has coordinated the entire process and kept us on course. Although his job is not easy, Ken somehow manages to seem calm and cheerful while surviving it all. The editors also thank the following individuals who assisted us by serving as ad hoc reviewers for this edition of the Manual: Anne Bernhard, Haluk Beyenal, Rima Franklin, Jim Fredrickson, Robert Genter, Tim Griffin, Jo Handelsman, Heribert Insam, Scott Kelley, George Kling, Mike Lehman, John Lindquist, Henry Mainwaring, Andrew Martin, Andrzej Paszczynski, Gary Sayler, Kathleen T. Scott, Claus Sternberg, Ben Van Mooy, and Darla Wise.
CHRISTON J. HURST
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