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While Glaciers Slept [Large Print]
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About the Author

Dr. M Jackson is a geographer, glaciologist, environmental educator, 2018 TED Global Fellow, and an Explorer for the National Geographic Society who researches and writes about glaciers and climate change worldwide. M earned a doctorate from the Geography Department at the University of Oregon, where she examined how climate change transformed people and ice communities in Iceland. A veteran three-time U.S. Fulbright Scholar in both Turkey and Iceland, M currently serves as a U.S. Fulbright Ambassador. M works as an Arctic Expert for the National Geographic Society, holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Montana, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia. She's worked for over a decade in the Arctic chronicling climate change and communities, guiding backcountry trips and exploring glacial systems. Her 2015 book While Glaciers Slept: Being Human in a Time of Climate Change weaves together the parallel stories of what happens when Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist. His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages. He is founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement. The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities; Foreign Policy named him to their inaugural list of the world's 100 most important global thinkers, and the Boston Globe said he was "probably America's most important environmentalist." A former staff writer for the New Yorker, he writes frequently a wide variety of publications around the world, including the New York Review of Books, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone. He lives in the mountains above Lake Champlain with his wif

Reviews

M Jackson does an intriguing job of weaving together observations about human health and frailty with global biospheric health and frailty. Her narrative brings climate change down from an abstract global scale to a very personal human scale. Particularly engaging for the non-scientist reader. -- Dr. Steve Running, Nobel Prize winner and America's foremost expert on climate change
Climate change is many things, including an upheaval - sudden and violent - in the life of our planet. As such, it unleashes feelings and forces like those in a family when someone dies. This is a profound way of thinking about where we are right now, and what we better do about it. -- Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and author of 'Eaarth' and 'The End of Nature'
If you've known hard grief and loss, you will understand this book. If you have hope or the wish for it, this book will shore you up. While Glaciers Slept tells a story of devotion and survival as it examines the ongoing global crisis of climate change. M Jackson is a naturalist, a teacher, and a daughter who mourns her mother's death as she discovers and explores the best choice, the only true choice ahead - a path of hope and action for ourselves and the living planet that birthed us all. -- Phil Condon, author of Montana Surround, Clay Center, and Nine Ten Again
The literary fabric of M Jackson's While Glaciers Slept comprises two strands intricately and intimately braided together. One is her engagement in a family journey through accident and disease that inflict pain and ultimately death on her parents. The second strand is also one of inflicted pain, but at a planetary scale - the degradation of Earth itself by its human inhabitants. M moves almost effortlessly from loss of limb to loss of ice, from prosthetics to a planetary parasol. The intertwining of the two strands creates a powerful narrative of humanity, singly and in the multitudes. -- Henry Pollack, author of A World Without Ice and a winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change
As the poet Tony Hoagland has pointed out, most of us 'walk like zombies through our burning dying world'. Not so M Jackson, who moves through the world very much aware of both the little and individually important things, such as family, while simultaneously perceiving and understanding the catastrophe that is happening all around us. In While Glaciers Slept, she links the one to the other in a flawless and brilliant way. This is superb. -- Carlos Martinez, author of The Cold Music of the Ocean and The Raw Silk of the Dark
Jackson, a National Geographic Expert and prominent scientist passionate about researching glacial systems, explores in this emotional memoir her experience of losing her parents, one after the other, to cancer. Literally and metaphorically, the author compares the hopelessness she felt in the aftermath of their deaths with the depression people sometimes encounter witnessing the destruction of the environment. While at times on the verge of giving up in the face of such personal upheaval, Jackson persevered in learning a new way of living, as humanity will have to do with the advent of climate change. She offers parallel glimpses of optimism, both for herself and for the future of the planet, sharing her journey of growth and discovery while at the same time highlighting imaginative, radical projects proposed by innovative thinkers designed to avert what most scientists believe to be inevitable: a changed earth. VERDICT Reminiscent of Bill McKibben's "Eaarth", this title will interest readers of environmental issues, particularly climate change and a warming Arctic region, and fans of personal narratives. -- Venessa Hughes, Buffalo, NY Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
"I cannot untangle in my mind the scientific study of climate change and the death of my parents." M Jackson is a scientist, National Geographic Expert and glacier specialist, but her memoir While Glaciers Slept: Being Human in a Time of Climate Change rarely takes a scientific perspective and never claims objectivity. Rather, Jackson tells the story of losing both her parents when she was a young woman just embarking on life, and the trauma and extended grieving process that resulted. Following a brief, lovely foreword by Bill McKibben, Jackson poetically conflates her loss with the slow and still mysterious effects of anthropogenic climate change. Her scientific background and explorations of fascinating placesaDenali and Chena Hot Springs in Alaska, Zambia with the Peace Corpsainform her writing and yield striking images, as she runs on spongy Alaskan tundra or contemplates cryoconite holes atop glaciers. But it is the personal side of her narrative that allows Jackson to address society's psychological difficulties with climate change. Each chapter of While Glaciers Slept is a finely braided essay, considering an aspect of her parents' lives or deaths alongside a facet of climate change's challenges. Jackson mourns her mother with the help of Joan Didion's writing; windmills offer possible "undulating answers" and comfort her on her drive home upon learning that her father is dying. She employs a disordered chronology that slightly disorients her reader, just as Jackson was disoriented. The effect is an evocative, lyrical work of musing and allegory rather than a scientific treatise. aJulia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia - - Shelf Awareness

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