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Ann Chen, a multimedia artist and researcher from New York City, is one of five grantees selected from among 864 applicants for a Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, which is the first of its kind. She will focus on mapping the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline in Canada through collective storytelling and citizen science.

Part 1: On the Front Lines in Wet’suwet’en Territory

After a whirlwind trip to New York and Washington D.C. last month to meet the 2015-16 Fulbright-National Geographic Fellows (an impressive group) and publicly present our projects at National Geographic headquarters, I am back in Canada for two more months of production. Since my last post (so long ago!), I’ve been traveling back and forth…

Signs of spring in the Kispiox Valley

SMITHERS, BC —  It’s springtime here in the Kispiox Valley. That means steelhead trout coming up to spawn and smolt (juvenile salmon) swimming downstream and out to the ocean. It also means the arrival of the sandhill cranes as they journey further north to Alaska. They are easy to spot and hear as they fly above…

Balloon mapping False Creek

False Creek, a narrow inlet bordering downtown Vancouver, is a site of multiple histories and fluctuating shorelines. Today, the banks of the creek are lined with public art, residential neighborhoods, a science museum, re-zoned sites for real estate development and a network of parks lined with walkways and bike paths. Less than a century ago,…

First Stop: Bruderheim

Standing on the outskirts of Edmonton and looking northeast, a cluster of twinkling lights amid tall silvery smokestacks puffing out steam and smoke rises up out of the horizon. Driving northeast towards those lights, following along the North Saskatchewan River, you will pass through the industrial city of Fort Saskatchewan, where petrochemical processing plants and…

Following the Oil Trail: From Alberta to British Columbia

VANCOUVER, BC – It’s nearing the end of January, and I am close to four months into my storytelling project, documenting the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline that will carry oil from the Athabasca oil sands in northern Alberta to the British Columbia coast. From the oil boom town of Fort McMurray, where the oil is…

Report from Fort McMurray, the Heart of Canada’s Oil Sands Development

EDMONTON – It is 7 a.m. and I am on bus with a group of sleepy students from the University of Alberta on our way up to Fort McMurray, the heart of oil sands extraction in Alberta, a western province of Canada. Soft conversations drift across the bus. It is still dark outside and many of the students…

Ann Chen: Identifying the Zeitgeist of Canada’s Proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline

Alberta, Canada — 731. This is the length in miles of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline that will carry bitumen oil products extracted from the oil sands of northern Alberta to the coast of British Columbia. From there the oil will be exported by oil tankers to a demanding global market. For the next…