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Our award-winning feature from Fall 2013. 

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Photo: Tobin Stokes
Writer Jude Isabella out in the field.


When Jude Isabella found out she'd won a prestigious national science award for her story "The secret lives of bears," she was working on British Columbia's Central Coast, hanging out on Calvert Island with a group of scientists at the Hakai Beach Institute. Isabella had just returned from a trip on the water to observe sea otters. She was, as she puts it, freezing and eager to hit the showers, so she ran straight there from the dock. Actually, she admits, she wanted to beat the archaeologists to the warm water.

Someone was yelling at her while she was in the camp showers, and she assumed they wanted her to get out. "I was actually in the men's showers, because somebody was in the women's," she recalls. When Isabella emerged, towel around her head, she discovered that the scientists wanted to inform her that she had just won the prestigious Canadian Science Writers' Association Science Journalism Award for her feature article on B.C. bears, which ran in our Fall 2013 issue. 

Isabella's husband, Victoria-based composer Tobin Stokes, had called the camp and asked a member of the team to tell Isabella at the dock, but she'd rushed to the showers too quickly. In any case, Isabella was delighted to hear the news. The Science in Society awards are given annually to honour outstanding science journalism. They come with a $1,000 prize, which Isabella plans to use to purchase a new touring bike, to replace a stolen one. 

Congratulations, Jude! View her two amazing videos about B.C. bears : "Where the bears are" and "In the field with bear biologists."
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