ualberta

Science Communication with Kenneth Tam

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Photo from: ETH Zürich

This week, Terra Informer Sonak Patel sits down with Kenneth Tam to discuss the ins and outs of science communication, and nuances of working in that field. Kenneth is the communications associate for Future Energy Systems (FES) at the University of Alberta. FES is one of the largest research initiatives at the university, with 127 researchers, and about 506 graduate students.

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Headlines

The Narwhal – Microplastics may affect how Arctic sea ice forms and melts
CBC – Want to cut down on plastic waste? Here’s what the experts recommend

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Wild Experiences & What Graphs Cannot Tell

Terra Informa Photo May 29 Taiga

This week’s episode is a double feature of archives from the past year or so that discuss two very different kinds of knowledge. In our fist story, we meet a Northwest Territories hunting guide and in the second a University of Alberta research scientist. Listen this week to get both your land- and data-based learning fixes.

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Wild Experiences
Kody Pritchard has been a hunting guide through the Mackenzie Mountains in the Northwest Territory for seven years. He’s had a number of unique experiences, Many of which so dangerous, they’d send most people racing back to the comfort and safety of civilization. Here Ashely Kocsis speaks with Pritchard about some of his most memorable experiences of life and survival in the depths of one of the few remaining wilderness landscapes in Canada.
What Graphs Cannot Tell
Many scientists are uncomfortable speaking about what their work means without sticking to the bounds of their data. But Rebecca Lawton is both a natural scientist and a creative writer. Chris Chang-Yen Phillips spoke to her in Edmonton, where she served as the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Humanities, Social Sciences, and Fine Arts at the University of Alberta.
Photo by: L.B. Brubaker

Dandelions: Aesthetic Crime or Unexplored Potential?

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This week’s episode includes a story on dandelions from guest contributors Jacques Gartner and Brendan Wyant and an ecobabble on weeds from Chris Chang-Yen Phillips.

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What if we could make use of something that people typically try to throw away? That was one of the questions we wanted to explore when Jacques Gartner and Brendan Wyant began their project on dandelions. Dandelions are a contentious issue; the topic comes up every spring as the little yellow petals begin to appear. People often resort to spraying herbicides on them purely for aesthetic reasons. Locally the city of Edmonton has typically regarded the dandelion as a weed and has resorted to spraying herbicides to eliminate them. Recently however the city of Edmonton has cut down drastically on its spraying practices resulting in numerous complaints.

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Photo by Greg Hume