By Pamela Peeters | May 11, 2023 | EEAC Newsblog
As a Certified National Geographic Educator, EEAC member, environmental economist and sustainability strategist, I bring you the story behind my “Eco Hero” graphic novel and an introduction to my “50 Shades of Blue” photo exhibit (link 1, link 2), celebrating the majesty of Greenland.
ECO HERO, A NEW GRAPHIC NOVEL WITH A POSITIVE HERO!
There are more and more books out there that touch upon the theme of Planet Earth and how to take care of her. But there are none — except one — that bring you the “Eco Hero” personality, Dr. Narwhal and Mother Earth in a transformative Arctic adventure that blends science and traditional knowledge.
Meet “Transformed by a Tusk,” a graphic novel (link 1, link 2) co-authored with Dr. Martin Nweeia, the world’s most renowned expert on the Narwhal tooth who unraveled its mystery during the course of some 18 expeditions to the Canadian and Greenlandic Arctic.
WHERE DID THE IDEA FOR THIS BOOK COME FROM?
While on a research expedition in the Arctic under Explorers Club Flag nr. 179, the same one that joined the American Mount Everest Expedition in 1963, Dr. Neweeia and I decided to merge our research in narwhals and earth science education through the development of a graphic novel. We both had already published our own respective research results, and the blend of our backgrounds resulted in a new form of environmental education.
WHY THIS BOOK? INCREASING AWARENESS, GUIDANCE AND ENGAGEMENT TO BENEFIT MOTHER EARTH.
This graphic novel is a vehicle for transforming a person’s relationship with our planet. The messenger is none other than Eco Hero, a Warrior for Truth who protects the vast natural resources of Mother Earth. She is gifted with special powers and uses them to assist those who call for help. Her mission? To preserve and restore the balance of life!
In this first adventure, Eco Hero is called by the narwhals to come to their help and will meet Dr. Narwhal in Pond Inlet. Together, they will learn about the legend of the narwhal, solve an imbalance and inspire the young Inuit girl, Suka, to become a guardian for our planet too.
Eco Hero has an important message for the readers: “when you listen to the language of Mother Earth and come to her help, good things happen.” Together with her loyal hedgehog assistant Erisson she hopes to inspire a new generation of planet protectors to take care of the environment, our communities and themselves. In addition, a debriefing section with questions and assignments makes this graphic novel a great fit for classroom and after-school instruction.
SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM AND MORE
The graphic novel is the companion book of the Smithsonian Museum for Natural History’s “Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend” exhibit that has recently started traveling again throughout the USA. It was first introduced to the Young Cubs of the Explorers Club and was extremely well received by kids and parents alike. At present, the graphic novel is available in English and was also launched in its second language — Dutch — thanks to the support from the Delegation of Flanders to the USA. A French edition is in preparation and could therefore also be a great tool for teaching kids a second language. An audiobook exists for people with visual impairments.
50 SHADES OF BLUE: CELEBRATING GREENLAND
“While in Ilulissat, Greenland on an ‘Ice Safari,’ in June of 2021, I enjoyed an eight-hour boat trip with two Inuit locals and was transformed by the beauty of hundreds of floating icebergs that surrounded us. I took about 800 photographs and had the difficult task to narrow that number down to 50 for a solo art exhibit. The variety of lightscapes that showed up for this already grandiose spectacle added an unexpected veil for balancing out the blue/white theme the clouds had embraced as well. With this exhibit, I want to showcase both the strength and vulnerability of our planet’s ecosystems.”
The “50 Shades of Blue” exhibit was on display at the Town Hall in Sharon (CT) for a period of 10 months and will travel to other locations for educational purposes. School presentations inclusive of the Eco Hero art challenge are available.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pamela Peeters is an environmental economist specialized in sustainable development. She is also a former Research Fellow in Economics from Columbia University, a current Fellow of the Explorers Club and a Certified National Geographic Educator. At 12, she launched her first environmental magazine called “Grab the Green” with the purpose of informing people about the opportunities of the green economy and how to create a more caring relationship with our planet. “Eco Hero” is a character invented in 1999 and brought to life through a workshop, a learning center, a pop-up sanctuary and now a first graphic novel.