Jamie Bastedo has been involved in many projects that bridge the realms of science

As a professional ecologist, outdoor educator, nature tour guide, radio broadcaster, video script writer, actor and children’s entertainer, Jamie Bastedo has been involved in many projects that bridge the realms of science, art and culture. His ability to weave these realms together in creative, street-friendly formats was recognized recently when he received the national Michael Smith Award for Science Promotion (one of only five given each year) and the Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee Medal.

As for Jamie’s knowledge of bears, he has published numerous popular articles, book chapters and one major novel about bears and  has first-hand experience working with bear biologists in various arctic habitats. The inspiration for this project arose while doing research and creative writing for a Canadian Museum of Nature exhibit on Arctic climate change aimed at adolescent and teenage audiences.

Though all the adventures in this novel are fictitious, they are based on well documented events that have occurred in the Arctic. A freak blizzard that lasts almost a week. A catastrophic flood that destroys half a coastal town. An explosive ice sheet that moves as fast as a man can run. A polar bear half starved by bizarre weather and sea ice patterns. Whole hillsides torn open by melting permafrost. A huge frozen catacomb carved deep underground. A shaman who strides easily in and out of dreams. All these threads are woven into the novel from the real-life stories and experiences of Arctic people.

“From Iqaluit to Vancouver, major environmental issues, particularly involving large, charismatic animals like polar bears, are important to young people. Most share a deep fascination with Canada’s huge and mysterious wilderness areas, the arctic being the biggest and wildest of them all. This story is intended to feed young people’s hunger for outdoor adventure while helping them come to terms with environmental uncertainties that touch their lives,” tells Bastedo.

On Thin Ice is the story of a gifted northern youth struggling to find her true home in a fast-changing Arctic where culture, climate and environment seem to be crumbling all around her.