User:Joel Russ

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I'm in western Canada.


Career life: I've been a journalist, photographer, freelance general researcher, teacher of journalism, administrator, garlic farmer, ghostwriter, non-fiction author... not in that order.

Have written for Canadian and American national magazines, as well as for regional magazines and newspapers, and for academic and business journals.


Projects: Recently, was part of a small team that, over a week's time, volunteered to install a custom-designed solar water-heating system at the Casa Hogar Hijos de la Luna children's home in Oaxaca, southern Mexico.

In 2011 & '12, wrote a regional column on rural living and food gardening. Previously, had worked as an administrator of an agricultural association.

Prior to that, co-founded The Wood Co-op, a province-wide marketing cooperative for designed wood products; served for ten years (1999-2009) on its board of directors and acted as a co-op developer.


My degree is jointly in Psychology and Social Science. I took further education in Magazine Journalism, Ecology (science), and Experimental Design.


Interests include: Positive community interfaces with natural environments (especially forests, rivers, lakes). Hiking. X-C skiing. Building. (This is a covered, timber-frame bridge I worked on as a volunteer.) Gardening – veggies, fruit-bearing and ornamental shrubs, trees. Bench-Carpentry & Mechanics (designing and building useful things of wood, metal, and other materials). Movies, including vintage and classic films.

I'm interested in technology, but don't feel that technology is the sole (or even the foremost) answer to the problems of humankind. “Tacking another billion transistors onto a CPU is not going to solve most of the world’s problems.” – Simon Clark, tech mentor, Guelph, Ontario.

Have traveled around North America (U.S. some, lots in Canada), the British Isles, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and in Latin America.


Frequent reading: Biographies. Aspects of history. Various topics in botany, general biology, arboriculture, and gardening. Sustainability strategies. Renewable-energy technologies. Successful projects for the public good (esp. at the community level).


Miscellaneous: Organized the first "third-party" forest-certification seminar, for lumber-industry professionals, in BC's Columbia region. Was awarded the "British Columbia Forests Excellence Award" 1999/2000. As an aspect of my interest in forests, have edited two forest-history volumes for our regional museum. Was chief editor of two trade journals: Kootenay WoodVine Quarterly ; and Crosscut. Initiated the Sustaining Our Envronment website.

Also, have done copy editing for English translations from Far Eastern languages as well as editing of material to be presented in learning institutions in the Far East.

I believe in the importance of NGOs.

Have driven a dogsled.


My longer writings:

The Chosen Spot - 2010 - Archive, Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa, California.

Paper - 1992 - Canadian National Exhibition Centre (Castlegar) ISBN 0-9696576-0-9 A brief international history of paper from ancient times to present; also, a guide to small-batch production of paper for teachers, students, craftspeople, and others.

Planet Earth Pages (writer/editor) - 1992 - Banyen Books (Vancouver)

Contemporary Stained Glass - 1985 - Doubleday ISBN 0-385-23338-8 A compendium of Canadian architectural glass and independent panels. Full-colour plates. Seventeen artist/deigners from six provinces.

A Bibliography for a New Library - 1979 - New Seeds Information, New Denver, B.C., Canada.

[Edited: two volumes in the series A Life in the Woods, oral histories concerning forestry and lumber milling in the Kootenay/Columbia region, British Columbia; for the Nelson Museum. On-line: http://touchstonesnelson.ca/exhibitions/forest/ ]