Writing Science in Fiction, and in Fact with Nany Lord

Sorry to miss posting this earlier, but I was in New York at a family event that I'll write about at a later date, or you can read more about the street renaming in Brooklyn in honor of my uncle, slain NYPD officer David Guttenberg, on my Facebook page on October 22 , or follow this link to the story in the New York Daily News.

Back in Alaska, I'd urge everyone to check out this short workshop with award winning writer Nancy Lord on Science Writing for General Audiences:

Here's a brief description of the workshop, from the 49 Writers class catalog:

The gap between the public’s interest in science (large) and its understanding of it (smaller) has many causes, but writers can help by bringing science-based stories to life through effective storytelling. In this three-hour workshop, for Alaska Writer Laureate Nancy Lord will examine some examples of narrative science writing (in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry) and will use them as models for writing exercises emphasizing characterization, scene-building, and metaphors and analogies. This class invites writers of any level, with or without science backgrounds.

For more information on the workshop, follow this link from the class catalog. The workshop is this Saturday, October 28 at the Bear Gallery in Pioneer Park, 1 to 3 pm.

If you can't make the workshop, check out Nancy Lord's new novel, pH, available from Alaska Northwest Books. And click on this link to watch the trailer for the book.

And while we're talking about science, I have to say a few words about the walk I took with my husband Luke and friend Steve Kakaruk after only one day home from New York.  We'll be taking the same walk again today, and tomorrow as well and it's all about science. And a beaver that's taken up residence on Moose Creek behind our house. And the weather -- nearly 40 degrees Fahrenheit which is fabulous but kinda strange for late October in Fairbank -- and the dam we cautiously shuffled across and the den we found, and the trees the beaver ate, the holes it's keeping open in the ice which is nearly, but not yet safely, strong enough to walk on and the mud bank, and the tracks the beaver left in the snow for us to follow. I've posted a few photographs below. It's science and it's everywhere, and it's fun.

Here's a link to information on beavers from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, but even better, take a look at this page from the Alaska Native Knowledge Network and their unit for elementary age students on beavers in Interior Alaska where I live. A few things in the curriculum might surprise you-- for instance the students will learn about trapping beavers and preparing pelts for sale,  and they'll learn them in ways that are scientifically accurate AND culturally appropriate. And that's something I care deeply about.

Here's a snippet from the page:

Skills and Knowledge to be acquired by the student:

1 Students will know how to treat beaver according to local custom.

2 Students will know the traditional importance of beaver in the local economy.

3 Students will know the importance of beaver in the local bioregion.

4 Students will be able to indicate on a map of the local area the places where beaver are traditionally found.