Author Archives: eamerscience

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.

UNEP Year Book 2013 released in Nairobi Feb. 18

Posted by Joan Eamer

Each year, the United Nations Environment Programme spotlights two emerging issues in its yearbook. In 2013, one of the feature issues is The View from the Top: Searching for responses to a rapidly changing Arctic.

Emerging issue features are written by author teams assembled by UNEP. For the Arctic feature, I was a team member, developing material for the sections on trends in sea ice, Arctic biota, fisheries and governance issues. The team, led by Dr. Robert Corell, and guided by the chapter’s science writer Fred Pearce, met in Norway in August to produce a first, rough draft. We built on this over the next couple of months and through two rounds of review. Condensing a huge subject and a range of viewpoints into 14 pages was definitely challenging.

The Year Book was released at the opening session of the 2013 UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum. The press release and the Arctic chapter are both available from UNEP.

Here is the summary at the top of the chapter:

“In the fragile Arctic region the extent of sea ice was at a record low in September 2012. Land ice is also retreating, while snow is disappearing and permafrost is thawing. Rapid environmental change in the Arctic, as a result of climate change, is providing new development opportunities including easier access to oil and gas, minerals and fisheries. It is also threatening ecosystems – with ice-associated animals especially at risk. Changes in the Arctic will have consequences far beyond this region, including a global rise in sea levels and probably more extreme weather across much of the northern hemisphere. These current and future consequences of climate change require urgent responses. Arctic and non-Arctic countries share responsibility for protecting this region, in particular by limiting their greenhouse gas emissions.”