Books on glaciers, biometrics win $10K Canadian science writing prizes

The 2017 Lane Anderson Awards honorees were Robert William Sandford for Our Vanishing Glaciers and Maria Birmingham and illustrator Ian Turner for Biometrics.
Our Vanishing Glaciers by Robert William Sandford (left) and Biometrics by Maria Birmingham and illustrator Ian Turner won the 2017 Lane Anderson Awards. (Submitted by Lane Anderson Awards)

Biometrics by Maria Birmingham and illustrator Ian Turner and Our Vanishing Glaciers by Robert William Sandford have been declared winners of the 2017 Lane Anderson Awards.

The science writing prize annually gives $10,000 each to the winners of the young reader and adult categories.

Birmingham's book Biometricswritten for readers aged 8 to 12, is about the science of using the body to identify a person, including methods like fingerprinting and retinal scanning. Judges praised the book for its "uniqueness."

"Overall, this book is packed with fascinating information delivered in an engaging, concise, easy to read format that will appeal to a broad range of children," said the judges in a press release.

Sandford, the EPCOR Chair for Water and Climate Security at United Nations University, writes and photographs the Columbia Icefield in his award-winning book Our Vanishing GlaciersHe estimates that as many as 300 glaciers may have disappeared in the Canadian Rocky Mountains since 1920.

"Though less dramatic than hurricanes and wildfires, the shrinking of the glaciers is another manifestation of the effects of global warming or climate change. And indeed probably more impactful in the longer run," said the jury in a press release.

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"Our Vanishing Glaciers provides the history and science of glacial formation and a chronicle of the recent accelerated retreat and melting process."

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony on Nov. 13, 2018 in Toronto.