An Introduction to Environmental Biophysics


The objectives of the first edition of "An Introduction to Environmental 
Biophysics" were "to describe the physical microenvironment in which 
living organisms reside" and "to present a simplified discussion of heat 
and mass transfer models and apply them to exchange processes between 
organisms and their surroundings." These remain the objectives of this 
edition. This book is used as a text in courses taught at Washington State 
University and University of Wisconsin and the new edition incorporates 
knowledge gained through teaching this subject over the past 20 years. 
Suggestions of colleagues and students have been incorporated, and all of 
the material has been revised to reflect changes and trends in the science. 
Those familiar with the first edition will note that the order of presentation is changed somewhat. We now start by describing the physical 
environment of living organisms (temperature, moisture, wind) and then 
consider the physics of heat and mass transport between organisms and 
their surroundings. Radiative transport is treated later in this edition, and 
is covered in two chapters, rather than one, as in the first edition. Since 
remote sensing is playing an increasingly important role in environmental biophysics, we have included material on this important topic as well. 
As with the first edition, the ha1 chapters are applications of previously 
described principles to animal and plant systems. 
Many of the students who take our courses come from the biological sciences where mathematical skills are often less developed than 
in physics and engineering. Our approach, which starts with more descriptive topics, and progresses to topics that are more mathematically 
demanding, appears to meet the needs of students with this type of background. Since we expect students to develop the mathematical skills 
necessary to solve problems in mass and energy exchange, we have added 
many example problems, and have also provided additional problems for 
students to work at the end of chapters.