Daniela Jofré, IDEAL Center. What is the most abundant animal on the White Continent? Are trees or algae the greater source of oxygen on the planet? Will all the fish of the Southern Ocean adapt to an increase in temperatures resulting from global change? Was it the sailing restrictions that brought about the end of culture of the canoe peoples?

These are some of the questions answered by the popular science book “Sabías que…? (“Did you know” – in Spanish). With material from the Straits of Magellan to Antarctica, this book provides curious questions and surprising answers.

The book was produced by the Center for the Dynamic Investigation of Marine Ecosystems of High Latitudes (IDEAL) of the Austral University of Chile (UACh).

Oriented to elementary school students and featuring 20 illustrations, the text will surprise readers with its extraordinary and often little-known aspects of two areas of global relevance for scientific research: Patagonia and the White Continent.

The material was prepared by a multidisciplinary team of professionals. In its development, which took more than three years, scientists, journalists, and graphic designers participated.

As journalists, we must ensure that the dissemination of science is done from different viewpoints. With this in mind, we must take advantage of the possibility of exploring new formats. In this case, even though an illustrated book is designed for school children, it can captivate both children and adults,” explains the IDEAL Center press officer and one of the book’s editors, Andrea Navarro.

The texts were illustrated by graphic designers Pablo Ruiz and Iván Rubio, who used a mixed technique for their work, employing an India ink base on textured paper, which was to be printed digitally.

The book, with a first edition of 2000 copies, was published with the support of the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACh) and will be delivered to various educational establishments around Chile.

This great work is aimed at showing the wonders and curious nature of the organisms that inhabit the high latitude ecosystems. The text and illustrations have taken into account the younger generation, who may become future researchers and will certainly be those who will take care of the world’s ecosystems and ensure that they are treated responsibly,” concluded Dr. Humberto González, director of the IDEAL Center.

Successful book launch in Punta Arenas

This Thursday, the official launch of the book took place at the Villa Las Nieves School in Punta Arenas, Chile, where fifth and sixth grade students participated in an activity in which they could learn about the work carried out by researchers on the White Continent.

The event got underway with a talk by Vania Carrera, marine biologist and a Masters degree student in Oceanography at the University of Concepción (UdeC). Vania announced the tasks that researchers are expected to perform during the Antarctic Scientific Expeditions (ASE). Later, the students enjoyed the presentation of “Ciencio” — played by the actor Marco Quiroz– who supplied information about the boat captain Luis Pardo (of Shackleton rescue fame) and the extreme conditions of the White Continent. The students participated in this performance, which included the discovery of a mysterious treasure chest.

Marcia Velasquez, professor of the municipal establishment, expressed her appreciation that the launch of “Sabías que …?” will involve student participation. “They are very concerned about climate change, and they are investigating the issue. This project provides a valuable didactic experience, thanks to the presentation by the exhibitors. The book is very colorful, with illustrations that are attractive and interesting.”

The digital book can be downloaded for free from this website: www.centroideal.cl.

Educational establishments interested in obtaining a copy should send an e-mail to centro.ideal@uach.cl.

See Booktrailer here