Author Archives: eamerscience

What’s happening in the seaweed business?

Eiders and seaweed Orkney_smaller

Eiders make themselves at home among the seaweed in Orkney, Scotland. Photo by Claire Eamer.

Eamer Science & Policy senior associate Claire Eamer spent some time around the northeastern shores of the North Atlantic this past summer. One of the results of her travels is a feature story in Hakai Magazine on the past and future of the northern seaweed industry.

“I didn’t know much about the seaweed business when I started the trip,” Eamer says. “I was astonished to learn how important it was to a lot of small communities in the past, and to see what people are hoping for the future.”

To read all about it, check out Breaking the Boom and Bust of North Atlantic Seaweed.

Kids’ guides to Arctic biodiversity now online

Three brand-new illustrated pocket guides to aspects of Arctic biodiversity are now online – along with instructors’ manuals. And we’re very proud of them!

Eamer Science & Policy created the guides for CAFF, a working group of Arctic Council. All are free, downloadable, printable in North American or international standard sizes, and feature the amazing artwork of Sherrie York.

The guides are designed to be used in classrooms, as a basis for field trips, or by community youth groups. And don’t worry if you don’t live in the Arctic. A lot of the information will be of interest to kids outside the Arctic too – and the projects and activities can be used in your own local field trips with kids.

The three guide sets, with direct links, are:

Please take a look, download them, and try them out. Any feedback or suggestions for improvement or for more guides are most welcome. You can send them to CAFF directly via the link on their main education site, or you can send them to us and we’ll pass them on. Enjoy!

Life Linked to Ice nears top of Arctic Council publications list

Released just over a year ago, Life Linked to Ice: A guide to sea-ice-associated biodiversity in this time of rapid change is nearing 5,000 hits on the Arctic Council’s Arctic Biodiversity Portal. That makes it the second-most-popular publication on the website, trailing only the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Plan, which was released two years earlier.

Eamer Science & Policy associates had a hand in both publications. Senior associate Joan Eamer was lead author for Life Linked to Ice. She was also the principal editor and contributed substantially to the development of graphics for the report. Senior associate Claire Eamer served as substantive editor for the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Plan.

Eamer Science & Policy’s lead writer wins award

Claire Eamer, lead science writer for Eamer Science & Policy, recently won a major Canadian science writing honour – the Lane Anderson AwardBefore cover. Only two awards are given each year – one for a book written for adults and one for a book aimed at young readers.

Claire won for her children’s science book Before the World Was Ready, Stories of Daring Genius in Science, published in 2013 by Annick Press. It tells the stories of scientists and innovators who struggled to have their new and challenging ideas recognized.

More information about the award and Claire’s book is available on the Canadian kids’ science writers blog, Sci/Why. The book itself is available through all major bookstores.

Canadian ecosystem status and trends assessment reports (ESTR) posted in our resources section

We have added a selection of reports from this major Canadian ecosystem and biodiversity assessment to our resources section. The purpose is to increase awareness of this assessment and improve availability of the status and trends reports that were produced through it.

The main ESTR report was published in late 2010, but some of the status and trends reports are still in the works. We will add new ones as they are published. The official website for this project is, but all reports are not currently available on that site. We encourage others to repost these reports so that they are more widely available.

(posted by Joan)

Report on Deep Sea Minerals now available online

For more than a year, an Eamer Science & Policy team (Claire Eamer and Patrick Daley) has been working on technical editing and reference management for an important multi-volume report on the science and economic potential of deep sea minerals in the Pacific. We’re delighted that the project is complete and the report – all four volumes, plus a summary – is now available online through GRID-Arendal Publications.

The first volume, Deep Sea Minerals: A physical, biological, environmental, and technical review, is divided into three sub-volumes that examine the geology and associated biology of the three principal deep sea mineral deposit types found in the Pacific Region. They also look at the environmental and technical aspects related to deep sea mineral extraction.

The report’s second volume examines the socio-economic, legal, and fiscal aspects of the emerging deep sea minerals industry. It provides a green economy context for examining how deep sea mining could be profitable, sustainable, and meet the needs of Pacific Island people without sacrificing cultural heritage, community values, or the health of ocean ecosystems.

Developing the Deep Sea Minerals report series involved some 60 of the world’s top experts in the field, It was funded by the European Union through the Deep Sea Minerals in the Pacific Islands Region: a Legal and Fiscal Framework for Sustainable Resource Management Project.

Life Linked to Ice: A guide to sea-ice-associated biodiversity in this time of rapid change

Posted by Joan Eamer

ImageThe report is now available through Arctic Council

  • Download the full report.
  •  Download the press release issued yesterday at the Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials meeting in Whitehorse, Yukon. 
  • All the graphics (produced by me) are downloadable, complete with captions and source references, from Arctic Council’s Arctic Biodiversity Data Service (download link).

Here is the report citation:

Eamer, J., Donaldson, G.M., Gaston, A.J., Kosobokova, K.N., Lárusson, K.F., Melnikov, I.A., Reist, J.D., Richardson, E., Staples, L., von Quillfeldt, C.H. 2013. Life Linked to Ice: A guide to sea-ice-associated biodiversity in this time of rapid change. CAFF Assessment Series No. 10. Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, Iceland. ISBN: 978-9935-431-25-7.



Life Linked to Ice release set for October 23

Posted by Joan Eamer

Arctic Council will release its report Life Linked to Ice: A guide to sea-ice-associated biodiversity in this time of rapid change at the Senior Arctic Officials’ meeting in Whitehorse, Yukon, at noon, October 23. I led the author team, as well as editing the report and designing the graphics. Megan was research and editorial assitant, and Claire was copy editor. A great project to work on.

Gold Medal Writing!

Posted by Claire Eamer

An unexpected package arrived in the mail recently — a heavy package. It was from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards organization, which hands out awards in a wide range of categories at BookExpo America, the largest annual book trade show in the United States.

I knew that my book, The World in Your Lunch Box, The Wacky History and Weird Science of Everyday Foods, had won in the Children/Youth Non-fiction category, but I didn’t realize what that meant.

A medal. A honkin’ big, heavy, gold medal! Also some good publicity, a letter of congratulations, and (soon) a modest cheque. But… a medal!


Now, it’s not real gold (I assume), but it’s very flashy and substantial and definitely impressive. I have, of course, put a picture of it up on my website and my Facebook page and Twitter, as all good little authors do these days.

And that’s when I discovered something interesting. My books have won awards before, but this award — or the medal, really — seems to have impressed people much more than mere news of an award. Several days later, the Likes and Comments and Retweets are still piling up.

I guess the Next Generation Indie Book Awards people know something the International Olympic Committee learned long ago – nothing beats a big gold medal!

So here you go! I’m sharing it with you, too.

Talking science with kids

Posted by Claire Eamer

When I’m not working with Eamer Science & Policy, I have another professional life as an author of children’s books. I spent most of May touring Ontario and taking care of my author-life business — mainly by talking about science with kids.

One of my kids’ science books, Lizards in the Sky: Animals Where You Least Expect Them, was nominated for an award in the Ontario Library Association’s annual Forest of Reading competition. It’s a children’s choice award, which means that kids all over Ontario read the books and vote for their favourites. Even if you don’t win (I didn’t!), you still win, because schools and libraries buy your books and kids read them.


And they read with enthusiasm!

I gave presentations at several schools on the Niagara Peninsula to audiences from kindergarten to Grade 8. In one case, the whole K-to-8 school was — rather alarmingly — in the audience. At a Toronto library, the mid-week afternoon audience ranged in age from two to roughly 70. To my amazement and pleasure, all the audiences were interested, attentive, courteous, full of questions, and enthusiastic about science.

The Forest of Reading wraps up with a two-day Festival of Reading at Harbourfront in Toronto. Thousands of kids and teachers attend, cheering on their favourite authors, swapping books, collecting autographs, taking photographs with authors, and generally talking books-books-books with anyone and everyone.

The whole experience was immensely encouraging to someone who cares about books and about science. Books are not dead. The kids love ’em, in whatever form they find them. And they love science. Both the kids and adults I talked to were full of smart, interesting questions about the science in Lizards in the Sky, and full of enthusiasm for the diversity of life that the book celebrates.

My take-away message from a month of touring? If we can talk about science in an accessible way, people are more than ready to listen.