It Takes a Village: Writing a Book

It Takes a Village: Writing a Book In the past few weeks I’ve been working on my book proposal. That’s right, I’m writing a non-fiction book about my field research adventures as a woman in science. It’s designed for readers interested in outdoor adventure, science, and women in science, and focuses on my work on snow and ice and climate change in the Arctic, Rockies, north Coast Mountain, and in the Interior of British Columbia.…

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Coal and Water in Alberta

The Alberta government has decided to open up new mountaintop removal mining coal leases on the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains, rescinding Coal Policy protections that have been in place since the 1970s, in a bid to inject funds into an economy that’s struggling from low oil prices and the pandemic. The latest proposal is the Grassy Mountain project, designed to extract coal for making steel (not generating power). It is located in the…

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5 Favourite Books of 2020

This New Year I’ve decided to share the best five books I read in 2020 – not the best books ever, but books that changed the way I see things or introduced me to a time and place I would never have thought of reading about. Books that transformed my perception of both history and other cultures. These are the good books, the books that change you for the better. The books that live on…

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The Antilibrary

Have you heard the term “tsundoku?” It’s a Japanese term “describing the habit of acquiring books but letting them pile up without reading them.” This can also be called an “antilibrary,” as Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes in The Black Swan about Umberto Eco and his books: “A private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what…

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On Building Community

Last week I wrote about the community support my mom has to help her after the passing of my dad. Some people thought it was a sad post, as I noted that my husband and I don’t have the same bonds with our community. I actually meant it to be a reflective post, to understand the importance of ties to people other than family. So how does one build community? My dad used to canvas…

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Leaving Science Borealis

In December of 2012 I posted a comment on a blog post by Maryse de la Giroday (Frogheart). She had just summarized all the science blogs in Canada and had included my brand new blog. She had also wondered out loud whether anyone would be interested in developing a science blog network. I posted in the comments thanking her for including my blog and expressing interest in a blog network. I wasn’t the only one…

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The Former Scientist

This past weekend I read Lynn Martel’s new book, Stories of Ice, and really enjoyed the focus on glaciers of western Canada and the adventure, commerce, and creativity they inspired. There was one section on people who study glaciers, and many of my former colleagues were featured. They are studying glacier change, glacier runoff, microbes on glaciers, and more – all things I used to study and read about when I was still an academic.…

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