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 Gray Reef Sharks, Palau; GV photo  


Published works by Glenn Vanstrum:


"A Meditation on Two Works by Ed Abbey", in Abbey in America: A Philosopher's Legacy in a New Century, edited by John A. Murray, New Mexico University Press, 2015.

"Due West" Bellevue Literary Review, Fall, 2014. (Our Fragile Environment issue).

"Piano Trio" THEMA, October, 2010 (

"Cretaceous Photo Primer" LITnIMAGE, January, 2010 (

"The Hangover" Bellevue Literary Review, 2005 (chapter from the novel, Let Fall Thy Blade).

The Saltwater Wilderness, Oxford University Press, New York: 2003 (304 pp., 25 half-tones). Winner, San Diego Book Awards, 2003, Science, Nature, Technology (for reviews, see below).

"Above the Chukchi Sea" in American Nature Writing, 2002, John Murray, editor, Fulcrum Publishing, 2002.

"Where Wind and Currents Meet: Channel Islands Underwater," California Wild, Summer, 2001.

"Oceans Mexico" in American Nature Writing, 2001, John Murray, editor,
Oregon State University Press, 2001.

"Beyond City Limits" in American Nature Writing, 1999, John Murray, editor, Oregon State University Press, 1999.

"Just Beneath the Surface" Sierra, 1998.

"Gorilla Diving In New Guinea" Ocean Realm, 1997.

Anesthesia in Emergency Medicine, Glenn S. Vanstrum, editor, Little Brown and Co., Boston: 1989 (445 pp).

"Some Plane Thinking From Americans in the Heart of Moscow"
Los Angeles Times, 1988.

"Postoperative Effects of Intrathecal Morphine in Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery," Vanstrum, GS, Bjornson, KM, Ilko, R, Anesthesia and Analgesia 1988; 67:261-267.


Review of "Due West"

"...Glenn Vanstrum's main character in "Due West," Dr. LeMonde (which cleverly translates from French to "the world"), decides to do something about the broken industry he works in. A doctor, LeMonde is fed up with "resurrecting people ready to die," concerned about overpopulation, and angry with a government that cut budgets for programs like education and defunds birth control-issues that impact the youth, not the elderly...It is dark subject matter-quite possibly the darkest story in the whole collection, which is overall mildly apocalyptic. Yet "Due West" is not so much about what LeMonde does to others, as it is what he's about to do to himself. Now seventy-three years old, he paddles his surfboard far out into the Pacific, with the intention of ending his life...Vanstrum juxtaposes death with nature. As LeMonde takes stock of his life, he basks in the beauty of the sunset over the Pacific, the blue whales and dolphins that swim beside him.

At the risk of sounding perverse, let me say that this tragic issue of Bellevue Literary Review is a joy to read. "Our Fragile Environment" does not shy away from the big questions, staged behind gripping prose and rich characters. The challenging subject of the environment's demise is tempered by stories that are all-consuming, like the ocean that surrounds Dr. LeMonde.

-E.V. de Cleyre

Review of Bellevue Literary Review, Fall 2014
The Review Review


Reviews of The Saltwater Wilderness:

"The Saltwater Wilderness is a beautiful and educational chronicle of one man's lifelong
bond with the sea."

Howard Hall, IMAX filmmaker and co-author of Secrets of the Ocean Realm (with Michele Hall)


"San Diegan Glenn Vanstrum's The Saltwater Wilderness looked, upon first skimming, as if it might be indispensable to lovers of the sea. A second, closer examination confirmed my suspicion. It's decidedly idiosyncratic, yet always - and there has to be a better word - grounded."

Arthur Salm, San Diego Union-Tribune


"The Saltwater Wilderness is part travelogue, part science, part memoir, and 100 percent heartfelt passion."

-Carl Safina, author of Eye of the Albatross and Song for the Blue Ocean


"Writing from the perspective of landlubber turned ocean lover, Vanstrum entertains with tales of his first encounters with surfing and dolphins, while stories of human impact carry more sobering lessons.

"We air-breathing humans must retain respect for the ocean," he writes. "The sea can be explored but never conquered."

- Cathy Asato, Nature Conservancy Magazine


"The Saltwater Wilderness is 'must reading' for all that are interested in or involved with the sea. The author, Glenn Vanstrum, is a physician, naturalist, world-class surfer, accomplished diver, and personal acquaintance of many prominent marine scientists. With vibrant personal accounts of his own experiences he examines in depth the natural forces that impact on our marine environment. The research is prodigious. The conclusions are philosophically cogent. For the author the sea has been and continues to be soul food. For this veteran diver the author's fine book enhanced enormously my understanding of the sea that I joined over sixty years ago. "

-Stan Waterman, Five-time Emmy Award-winning underwater cinematographer and Ocean Realm Magazine essayist


"Glenn Vanstrum writes with passion, eloquence and authority about the sea. His wonderful book, like those of Rachel Carson, is destined to become a classic."

-John A. Murray, author or editor of over forty books, including The Sea Coast Reader and The Islands and the Sea.

"Vanstrum is not only an anesthesiologist and nature photographer but a talented writer besides. This collection of fascinating essays, illustrated with elegant and unobtrusive black-and-white photographs, tells the story of his ongoing love affair with the ocean...Recommended for high school, college, and public libraries--wherever there is, or should be, an interest in preserving the oceans."

- Margaret Rioux, Librarian, Woods Hole Center, Massachusetts, Library Journal


"This engaging body of the most eloquent dissertation by a surfer-turned-naturalist since
Daniel Duane's "Caught Inside: a Year in the Life of A California Surfer."

- Terry Rodgers, San Diego Union-Tribune


"Vanstrum's physical daring, scientific curiosity, and refined aesthetics are all evident in his spirited prose and elegant photographs as he chronicles his remarkable adventures in the waters off Hawaii, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, various Caribbean islands, and Alaska...Whether he's riding the waves or diving below them, Vanstrum is a well-informed and engagingly informative marine explorer and advocate, anchoring his illuminating observations to thought-provoking ecological musings."

- Donna Seaman, Booklist


"California photographer Glenn Vanstrum has traveled the world documenting marine life, and he tells many delightful tales about sea lions, sharks, humpback whales, and other ocean beasts getting in his face. He knows enough marine science to be enlightening, and he gets in enough trouble underwater to keep the narrative moving swiftly."

Anthony Brandt, National Geographic Adventure


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