Mardon, Austin Albert 1962-
MARDON, Austin Albert 1962-
PERSONAL: Born June 25, 1962, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; son of Ernest George (a professor of English and a writer) and May Gertrude (a teacher; maiden name, Knowler) Mardon; married Stephanie Ngar Ling Liu, August 24, 1996 (divorced, 2001). Ethnicity: "British." Education: University of Grenoble, certificate in French language, 1979; University of Lethbridge, B.A., 1985; attended University of Calgary and University of Alberta; South Dakota State University, M.Sc., 1988; Texas A&M University, M.Ed., 1990; attended University of North Dakota, 1990, and Newman College, 2001. Politics: Progressive Conservative. Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, walking, computer simulations.
CAREER: Antarctic Institute of Canada, president, 1985—, member of board of directors, 1991—, researcher, 1992—. Greenwich University, adjunct faculty member, 2000—. U.S. Antarctic Research Program, member of National Aeronautics and Space Administration/National Science Foundation meteorite recovery expedition in Antarctica, 1986-87; historical researcher on Alberta culture and multiculturalism, 1989-91; consultant to Stargate Research Laboratory and Consumer Network. Prosper Place Clubhouse of Edmonton, chair, 1993-99; Regional Mental Health Advisory Committee, member of board of directors, 1999—, chair of Capital region, 2000-01; Unsung Heroes Support Group for Schizophrenics, cochair. Edmonton Public Library Board, trustee, 2001—. Military service: Canadian Primary Army Reserves, Artillery, 1981, 1984-85; served in Antarctica; received Duke of Edinburgh Medal and U.S. Congressional Antarctic Service Medal.
MEMBER: American Polar Society (life member), Committee on Space Research, Russian Academy of Arts and Science, Schizophrenia Society of Alberta (member of board of directors of Edmonton chapter, 1999—, and provincial chapter, 2000—), Sigma Pi Sigma, Gamma Theta Upsilon, Explorers Club (international fellow).
AWARDS, HONORS: Canadian Governor-General's Caring Award, 1998; Canadian Mental Health Association, Nadine Stirling Award, 1999, President's Award, 2002; honorary Ph.D., Greenwich University, 2000; Flag of Hope Award, Schizophrenia Society of Canada, 2001; Golden Jubilee Medal, Queen Elizabeth II, 2002; Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Lethbridge, 2002.
A Conspectus of the Contribution of Herodotus to the Development of Geographical Thought, 1990.
(Translator, with father, Ernest G. Mardon) Donald Munro, A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland, RTAJ Fry Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1990.
(With Ernest G. Mardon) Alberta Ethnic Mormon Politicians, RTAJ Fry Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1990.
(With Ernest G. Mardon) The Alberta Judiciary Dictionary, RTAJ Fry Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1990.
International Law and Space Rescue Systems, 1991.
Kensington Stone and Other Essays, 1991.
A Transient in Whirl, 1991.
(Coauthor) Alberta Ethnic German Politicians, 1991.
(Coauthor) When Kitty Met the Ghost, 1991.
(With Ernest G. Mardon) Alberta Mormon Politicians, Fisher House Press, 1991.
(Coauthor) The Girl Who Could Walk through Walls, 1991.
(With Ernest G. Mardon) The Men of the Dawn: Alberta Politicians from the North West Territories of the District of Alberta and Candidates for the First Alberta General Election, 1882-1905, RTAJ Fry Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1991.
(With Ernest G. Mardon and John Williams) Down and Out and on the Run in Moscow, Shoe String Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1992.
(With Ernest G. Mardon) Alberta General Election Returns and Subsequent Byelections, 1882-1992, Documentary Heritage Society of Alberta, 1993.
(With Ernest G. Mardon) Edmonton Political Biographical Dictionary, 1882-1990: A Work in Progress, Shoe String Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1993.
(With Ernest G. Mardon) Biographical Dictionary of Alberta Politicians, Shoe String Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1993.
(Coauthor) Alberta Executive Council, 1905-1990, 1994.
(With Ernest G. Mardon) Community Names of Alberta, Shoe String Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1995, expanded 2nd edition, edited by Larry Erdos, Golden Meteorite Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1998.
(With M. F. Korn) Alone against the Revolution, Golden Meteorite Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1997.
(Coauthor) Many Christian Saints for Children, Golden Meteorite Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1997.
(Coauthor) Early Catholic Saints, Golden Meteorite Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1997.
(Coauthor) Later Christian Saints, Golden Meteorite Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1997.
(Editor) M. F. Korn, Stygian Relics of the Lachrymose, Golden Meteorite Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1998.
(Editor) M. F. Korn, The Spectral Carnival Show and Other Stories, Golden Meteorite Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1998.
(Coauthor) Childhood Memories and Legends of Christmas Past, Golden Meteorite Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1998.
(Photographer) Joanna Wong, Songs of My Heart: A Chinese Woman's Story, Golden Meteorite Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1999.
(Coauthor) United Farmers of Alberta, 1999.
(Editor) A Wake of Evil, 1999.
Political Networks in Alberta, 1905-1992, Golden Meteorite Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 2001.
(With Ernest G. Mardon) Alberta Anglican Politicians: Historical and Biographical Profiles, Anglican Parish of Christ Church (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 2001.
(With Ernest G. Mardon) The Liberals in Power in Alberta, 1905-1921, privately printed (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 2001.
(With Ernest G. Mardon) Alberta Catholic Politicians, Golden Meteorite Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 2001.
(With Ernest G. Mardon) What Is in a Name? The History of Alberta Federal Riding Names, privately printed (Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada), 2002.
Contributor of more than 100 articles to periodicals, including Science, Spaceflight, Explorers Club Journal, Polar Times, and Meteor News.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A book on the author's expedition to Antarctica; research for a political history of Alberta.
SIDELIGHTS: Austin Albert Mardon once told CA: "I am a seventh-generation North American on the paternal side. My ancestors arrived in the New England colonies as Ulster Scots in 1732. My great-grandfather Andrew Dickey (1829-1911), an iron manufacturer from Albany, New York, crossed the Great Plains and the mountains as a young man to work in the California gold fields in 1849.
"As a child, I did not have good health. For several winters I accompanied my mother and sister to Hawaii. I became a good swimmer and was for the first time with Americans who still fascinate me to this day. High school did not change me. I received only one award; that was at a science fair. I had proposed towing icebergs down from Greenland through the Hudson's Bay to James Bay, and then pumping the clean water over to the major cities of the Great Lakes to supply them with fresh water.
"When I was a late teenager, I returned to the glen in the north of Scotland to stay with my grandmother in the manor where my father was raised. I still recall looking across the stormy waters of the Pentland Firth to the Orkney island where my paternal grandmother's ancestor came from 400 years earlier. I was deeply moved. The pace of life was different. While being a proverbial geek and nerd in Canadian schools, I was accepted, even playing sports such as rugby, when I was in Scotland.
"When I was seventeen, my sister Mary and I were sent for the summer to attend the University of Grenoble. Years before, my paternal grandparents had first met, then fallen in love and married while they were students at Grenoble. That summer changed me from a boy to a man. I shared ideas with fellow international students and became fully aware of different ideas and ways of life.
"I then attended the University of Lethbridge. While on campus, I served in the Canadian Primary Reserves, taking my basic training at the Canadian Armed Forces Base at Dundurn, Saskatchewan. I graduated in 1985 with a major in cultural geography. I first had the idea of using aerial photography to directly detect surficial lying meteorites while in my last term at Lethbridge.
"I became a graduate student at the South Dakota State University in Brookings. I found the move from the Coulee country of southern Alberta was no great cultural shock. I was still on the Great Plains. My later move to Texas was not so successful, as it was a different physical and social environment.
"In 1986 I was invited to become a member of the 1986-1987 Antarctic meteorite expedition of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Science Foundation. I joined the six-man expedition in Christchurch, New Zealand. We flew to McMurdo Sound Base, then into the interior in the vicinity of Beardmore Glacier, with our equipment, supplies, snowmobiles, sledges, and tents. On three occasions, additional food was dropped by parachute. We were on the edge of the vast Antarctic polar plateau, 170 miles from the South Pole station, the locale in the Lewis Cliff ice tongue where hundreds of meteorites were found by the team. There were intense katabatic winds, which we called Chinook winds in southern Alberta, similar to the winds that exposed the ice-concentrated meteorite placer fields.
"In January, 1987, our team was picked up by a ski-equipped plane and taken, first to McMurdo, and then on to New Zealand. I suffered environmental exposure during my sojourn on the polar plateau and received the U.S. Congressional Antarctic Service Medal. On my return to Alberta, I gave a series of lectures on Antarctica at the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge. I was then interviewed to be a member of the Canadian/Soviet Arctic traverse from northern Siberia to Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic. I failed to get on that expedition.
"I was, however, a member of a failed meteorite recovery expedition in the Canadian Arctic near Resolute, Northwest Territories. I wrote a paper on my conversation with locals on what the Inuit thought of meteorites: a vast garden of rocks. In the eyes of the Inuit, a meteorite is a sacred religious object. Before the whites arrived, meteoritic iron and nickel were the only metals that the Inuit had. In the legends in the west, there is some reference to 'star' swords likely made out of meteorite iron and nickel.
"In the late 1980s I was accepted to join an Argentinian Antarctic expedition, but my membership was canceled at the last moment because of a fire at an Argentinian base in the Antarctic. I also unsuccessfully attended the Space Studies Program at the University of North Dakota. All the while I thought of one of the things that Bill Cassidy, the head of the U.S. Antarctic Meteorite Recovery Program, had told me in the middle of a blizzard on the edge of the Antarctic polar plateau: he was getting a doctorate in real life.
"In my articles, my most important contribution was a series on the Anglo Saxon Chronicle. This is a unique running commentary on all sorts of events in England, written during the medieval period. The surviving four manuscripts, a product of Benedictine monks, are a yearly diary that state the most important events of the year. Unique for the time, it was written in the vernacular. Entries include important religious, political, social, and astronomical events. With the assistance of my father, a medieval scholar, I found eleven cometary events in the Chronicle that were not referred to in any astronomical literature. These were the only European references for several hundred years, and were not found elsewhere in the literature. I also wrote about the two meteor showers recorded in the Chronicle.
"My darkest moment was a one-week trip to Moscow, where I was one of the 'last casualties' of the cold war. I went from beyond the edge of the world to the heart of darkness that was known as the end of the Soviet Empire. My articles and books came in spite of what happened before and after Moscow."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Edmonton Journal, January 5, 1992.