It’s time again! March Mammal Madness! #2017MMM

Yes! It’s that time of year when you get to ignore sportsball and watch mammals battle mammals! And maybe even learn some sciency mammal things along the way. If you’ve never played before, scroll to the bottom of this post for instructions. All you need is this year’s bracket and the hashtag #2017MMM to follow the games live on Twitter. Remember, this is science outreach disguised as the most exciting game on the internet! There will be organizations, scientists, teachers,…

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Published! “And So She Dances” in Earthlines

Today is International Polar Bear Day! So before we get started on my latest piece, there are a few things you should know about polar bears. There are 22,000-31,000 polar bears living in the wild, in 18 sub-populations; 60-80% live in Canada, the rest are in Greenland/Denmark, Norway, Russia and the US. They are classified as a vulnerable species across their range, with variations among sub-species. Due to climate change and significant loss of sea ice, global…

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On trust, truth and a path forward

Well here we are. We have arrived in, what some have been calling the post-truth era.  And I certainly see the temptation to call it that. But no. I reject it.     When I left you last I spoke about focusing on solutions — making sure that we take positive action, even if it only affects a small corner of the universe. I have been thinking a lot about solutions, truth, and this blog — hence…

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Last week, tears. Today, the sun.

Image: NASA The sun. The earth revolves around it.  It is the source of life on this planet. Everything that exists on earth is here because of the sun. It is literally the most important thing in our universe. Last week we elected a president who believes he is the sun. And we apparently agreed with him. Whether we cheered him, mocked him, vilified him, or taunted him on Twitter, we made him the center of…

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Published! Illusuak makes Labrador Life

It’s not often a magazine publisher comes to a writer to request a piece, but in this case that’s exactly what happened. I received an email from Bert Pomeroy, publisher of Labrador Life, wondering if I would write a piece on Illusuak. Apparently Dave Lough, Deputy Minister Culture, Recreation and Tourism for the Nunatsiavut Government had sent Bert a copy of my blog post on Illusuak and suggested he contact me to write an article. Labrador…

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Sweetfern Fieldnotes: Slippery, scaly summer creatures

As promised last time, here’s the second half of my summer field notes.  Today I’d like to introduce you to the rest of the reptiles and amphibians we’ve met here at Sweetfern. We’ll start with the smallest. I found these little amphibians under rocks and logs while we were clearing paths at the beginning of summer. This first one is called, unsurprisingly, a yellow-spotted salamander or just a spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum).     These little…

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Sweetfern Fieldnotes: The Summer of the Snapper

It seems fall is really here. The mornings have been clear and crisp. I’ve run the fireplace twice now. The geese and grackles are flocking. And the red squirrels are furiously stashing food for winter. My plan had been to write a post about all of the amphibians and reptiles that came to visit this summer, but that’s going to have to be a later post. As it turns out, one creature really stole the spotlight.…

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Published! “When History Washes Ashore” in Hakai Magazine

Image: Pixabay CC0 We’re all familiar with modern shipping container spills washing up on beaches around the world – Rubber duckies, fly swatters, plastic chairs, Doritos, Legos, and of course Nike sneakers – they’ve all been “listicled” to death. But surprisingly, flotsam from the cargo holds of “pre-container” ships – from Spanish galleons to early 20th Century war vessels – also washes ashore regularly. To this day beachcombers around the world continue to find such treasures…

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Published! “The Imagined Bear” in Zoomorphic Magazine

Photo: Jim Sinclair, USFW Midwest (CC by 2.0)   I am excited to announce that my piece, “The Imagined Bear” has been published in Zoomorphic Magazine. For most of us, the wild black bear is like an image on Plato’s cave wall – a shadow cast by an animal we will never see. For some, the imagined bear takes a simple friendly form resembling a large sociable dog. For others, the bear’s shadowy image takes on…

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Illusuak: Where work and meaning converge

When you do freelance work like I do, you take your gigs where you can get them. You might find yourself one week writing web copy for a drone company, another exploring the ins and outs of electricity for a science centre exhibit panel. Some of the work is fun and interesting. Other times it’s educational or even eye-opening. Many gigs are routine and a few are downright boring. Only rarely…very rarely…is the work meaningful in the largest…

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