Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

For anyone interested in learning more about DNA and genetics, I found a great little 5 chapter book online. The definitions are all in one place. The book has some great pictures (worth a thousand words). Best of all, it's free! Here's the website.


Understanding DNA reminds me so much of programming in Assembler Language (BAL) - the nitty gritty nuts and bolts that other programming languages are broken down into. That's a good thing. Of all the languages I used, BAL was the one I liked best.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The holidays are fast approaching like an out of control train ready to run me down. So last night at 4AM I was thinking about amino acids. What's wrong with this picture? (I'm working on a jellyfish article for a chemistry magazine if that explains anything).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Today I received copies of Spider magazine (Dec07). Inside was an amazing but true story I wrote about some beavers in Louisiana. Also, in the December issue of Highlights there is a game I came up with. Cards can be used instead of the insect dice. This game can be adapted to teach a number of things:

1. Tracking
- Instead of populating the board with insects, use rows of animal tracks. Change the insect dice to the names of the animals. For example: Call out "left hand raccoon."

2. Math
- Instead of insects, use rows of numbers 0-5. Use the other side of the sheet for number 6-10. Make cards with simple math equations with answers from 0-5 or from 6-10. For example: Call out "left hand 9 minus 4" or "right leg 24 divided by 8."


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

If your school, town or state is looking to cut programs for gifted/high-achieving kids, FIGHT BACK! Read the November 2007 issue of U.S. News and World Report. The article is called "Room to Improve" (pp 45-50) and is about No Child Left Behind. "Schools have little incentive to teach gifted students to meet their potential." Keep our standards high!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I received a letter today that a school testing company is interested in one of my articles. It would be very exciting if it was selected for a CT test.

I found a photograph of me standing next to my five foot DNA. Let's put it this way, the DNA looks fantastic. Unfortunately, I excel at making faces. Confirming my worst fears, a friend said "that is the worst picture of you that I have ever seen."

Monday, November 5, 2007

Last week, I received some paperwork from Manchester Community College. Looks like BH101: Bear Hair Basics will be offered on Saturday Feb 23, 2008. It's a 3 hour hands-on class for K-2 kids. We will actually recreate the scent lure that scientists in the field use to attract grizzlies. Last year, Kyle, a high school-aged kid. was really helpful getting cattle blood for me at the local meat market. I told him I needed it for a class for kids. His grin made me wonder whether he believed my story or he thought I was some kind of vampire.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The school visits brochures finally went out to schools in Tolland County CT. Now booking for 2008!

At the lab at the doctors office yesterday, the lady took a routine blood sample. She asked me what I was going to be for Halloween. Do I look like I'm 10 years old? As she pulled the needle out of my arm, I didn't confess that I was planning to hand out candy with grizzly bear claws and I might even be wearing a grizzly bear hat, instead I told her I was going as a pincushion.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Happy Blog Action Day!

As promised, the grizzly bear video is now up and running on this site. Hope you enjoy it! Since the theme is environment, I'll point out the four wildlife/science videos on this site.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The sea lion video is done and up on Youtube! If you don't have much time, you don't need much. It's very short.

Next week the grizzly bear video will get added. That one is a bit longer - about 4 minutes, but I think I like it best. I would have liked to have used Pat Benatar's "Hit me with your best shot," for the wrestling grizzly cubs, but I don't want to step on any toes.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I've been busy in the basement making a furry grizzly bear outfit for K-5th grade kids to wear. I think it will be an effective way to captivate their attention if they watch classmates reenact scientific research on wildlife. I believe it will be a lot of fun and they will be less likely to forget.

It's almost done! The claws on the furry mittens are the same size as actual grizzly bear claws. The fur fabric looks very much like the real grizzlies I saw while in Denali National Park - more blond then brown.

In the early stages, when I was working on how to make it fit kids in a wide size range, I had my niece try it on. She's almost seven. She jumped on the couch, looked in the mirror, then rolled on the floor laughing and laughing. It was rewarding to bring such joy.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I guess I'm turning into a nerd. On a recent trip to Alaska I had high hopes of casting a grizzly bear track. In my suitcase, I packed a 2 pound tub of casting compound and a garden trowel. The garden trowel got my suitcase searched.

Unfortunately, those grizzlies are smarter than you think. They hang out by the muddy river banks and leave perfect prints in May. But in May, the campground by the muddy river banks was closed. At the end of June, when I was there, they'd moved on to the tundra with their cubs. The spongy tundra has lots of grizzly food, but wasn't a great spot for finding the crisp clear tracks I was seeking. Anyhow, when I returned home and unpacked my suitcase, the tub of casting goop had gone on a nice trip, but that was about it. Thankfully, I was able to find an awesome replica of a real Montana grizzly track. It has long claws sticking out of it and is very impressive.

The videos on this website are really meant for kids. It's a place for them to see wildlife and science that they may not have the opportunity to see elsewhere. So, when I get a comment on the video like "that was incredibly stupid," I'm going to delete it. And when I get a comment on my blog pointing readers to a t-shirt website, I'm going to delete that. Very interesting that both comments came from someone named Rodrigo. Hmmmm.

Currently, I am working on 2 more videos. The first is about grizzly bears and has footage of cubs. The second will be a short clip about scientists studying wildlife in Alaska.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Coming soon....more Youtube wildlife videos. The Dall Sheep video is already up and running.

Not long ago, I found out my first article in Spider magazine will be appearing in December 2007!


Grizzly Bears

Sea Lions

Seals and Glaciers

Dall Sheep

Monday, May 28, 2007

Welcome to my new website! Hey, while I've got your attention, check out the December 2006 issue of Highlights. If that's not enough excitement, turn to the Sept 2007 issue for more!


• Ice is Speaking, Tassy Walden Winner, nonfiction, 2016
• Sliders and Gliders, Tassy Walden Finalist, nonfiction, 2016
Guardians of the Forest, Letter of Merit, SCBWI Magazine Merit Competition, Nonfiction, 2015
Guardians of the Forest, CNW/FFWA, Published Nonfiction, 2nd place, 2015 
• Searching for Monkeys, CNW/FFWA, Published Nonfiction, 3rd Honorable Mention, 2015 
• When Nature Calls the Three-Toed Sloth, Tassy Walden Finalist, 2015
• Tuxedo Penguins in Peril, CNW/FFWA, Children's Literature, 1st Honorable Mention, 2013 
• Ice King of the Mountain. CNW/FFWA, Children's Literature,6th Honorable Mention, 2013
• Winter in No Man's Land, CNW/FFWA, Children's Literature, 2nd place, 2011 
Ice birds in a Warming Land, CNW/FFWA, Children's Literature, 1st place, 2010
 • The Vinland Map: The Vikings' Best Kept Secret, CNW/FFWA, published nonfiction, 2nd place, 2010
• Ice birds in a Warming Land, PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children's Discovery Award for Nonfiction, 2010 
• Whale Crossing ,CNW/FFWA, Children's Literature, 1st Honorable Mention, 2009
Hiking a Massive Sheet of Ice, CNW/FFWA , Children’s Literature, 2nd Honorable Mention, 2008
The Beavers That Struck It Rich,Letter of Merit,SCBWI Magazine Merit Competition,Nonfict,2007
The Crooks in the Creek, Byline, Special Honorable Mention, Nonfiction, 2006
• A Night at the Light, CNW/FFWA , Children’s Literature, 3rd place, 2006
• A Honeybee’s Secret, Byline, Honorable Mention, Nonfiction, 2006
• Save Us! Endangered Species Research, Byline, Special Hon. Mention, Nonfiction, 2005
• Creatures of the Mist, Byline, Special Honorable Mention, Nonfiction, 2005
• Monkey Business, Byline, Special Honorable Mention, Nonfiction, 2005
• Giggles, Women in the Arts, Commendation, Fiction, 2005
• A Night at the Light, Byline, Special Honorable Mention, Creative Nonfiction, 2004
• Swallowing the Food Pyramid, Letter of Merit, SCBWI Work-In-Progress Grant, Nonfiction, 2003
• Giggles From the Past, Porter Collins Storytelling Contest, 1st place, 2003
• Never in my Wildest Dreams, May Day Prose Contest, Juv. Fiction, Commendation, 2002
• Cache In on the Fun, Byline, Creative Nonfiction, Honorable Mention, 2002


2015 CNW/FFWA Florida State Writing Competion published nonfiction - "Science and technology come together with good fiction techniques."
"An endangered species and an exotic setting generate interest in this nonfiction article."

2010 CNW/FFWA Florida State Writing Competition Children's Literature - "well-written, interesting, well-researched and appropriate to the age group"

2010 PEN New England Children's Book Discovery Award - "Gripping," "wonderfully creative," "whole committee reads and everyone liked it"

2008 CNW/FFWA Florida State Writing Competition
Children's Literature
2nd honorable mention - Hiking a Massive Sheet of Ice - "Interesting info, well-researched and well-told"

2006 CNW/FFWA Florida State Writing Competition CHILDREN'S LITERATURE
3rd PLACE - Linda Rose Zajac, Vernon, CT - "A Night at the Light" (nonfiction article, sidebar, references) – Sensory description, a first person viewpoint, and interesting information about a lighthouse engage readers yet avoid the typical trap of fiction techniques overshadowing the clear presentation of nonfiction information
The sensory detail and strong visuals are excellent attention-grabbers. Well-done.”





It took me a year to grow hair.  This is a rare, but treasured photo of me and my father. 
I grew up on a sliver of land surrounded by cornfields and cow pastures. With my sister and two brothers, I explored empty barns, skated frozen fields and watched setting suns. Inside, I hollowed out and painted eggs, molded paper-mache puppets and folded cardboard into intricate ornaments. I read Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes and old biographies of famous people like Daniel Boone and Molly Pitcher. It was the pages of my grandfather's yellowing encyclopedias that I was most captivated by.
I was the quiet one,
 always observing, but saying very little
In high school, I developed an interest in technology and pursued it in college. For roughly fifteen years, I worked as a computer programmer, systems designer and consultant, analyzing, coding and testing programs and systems that were often very complex. That experience taught me to ask questions, to be precise and to persevere, but creativity was missing.  After getting married and having three children, I started writing professionally.
The cows knew where to find food.   Sometimes, they'd escape and stand in the road blocking traffic.  Every now and then I'd get to see a newborn calf.
Kindergarten report card notes a "reflective personality" - click to expand
As a freelance science writer, I pursue projects involving state-of-the-art science, technology and biotechnology and their use to advance medicine, study wildlife and protect the environment. As a writer of literary nonfiction, I write science as a story, sprinkled with art.

I got to hold the snake's head.  Boy, did I hate that hairdo.
5th grade report card mentions science - click to expand
My work has been published in numerous national magazines for children. Over the years, I've contacted scientists all over the world to research and write about their work. In 2008, it was an honor and a pleasure to interview two great scientists that went on to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry! In 2010, I was honored to receive the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children's Discovery Award for Nonfiction.  In 2012, I was a Woods Hole Fellow.

I could have spent more time hiking Root Glacier in Wrangell- St. Elias National Park, Alaska (2008)
I'm a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, National Association of Science Writers and Appalachian Mountain Club.

You can read more about me in these interviews:
Ana Del C. Dye - 2/9/13
Brittney Breakey - 3/7/12



Writing POWER!
This is an English language arts program that is sprinkled with science
 When I put my hand up, I want you to... 
This engaging program will show your students how to improve their writing, revision, and research skills.  Science stories, PowerPoint slides and student participation enhance a presentation that empowers students.
40-50 minutes long   
* This program conforms to common core standards
What the 8th graders are saying

Science programs:

* Hands-on inquiry based program on climate science

* All programs conform to the Next Generation Science Standards
ESS2.D Weather and Climate
ESS3.D Global Climate Change

For further information, contact me at www.lindarosezajac.com

Linda Zajac is an award-winning science writer who writes about the environment, technology and climate change.  She is a 2012 Woods Hole Fellow and a recipient of the 2010 PEN New England Susan Bloom Discovery Award.  Her work appears in national magazines for children. 


* Reaching Like Roaches, nonfiction, March 2017, MUSE

*  Lobster's on the Edge, nonfiction, February 2017, MUSE

*  At a Snail's Pace, nonfiction, Schoolwide (online), August 2016

* These Toxic Tiger Moths Warn Bats With Sonar Clicks, AAAS Science online, May 6, 2016

* Monkey Talk, nonfiction, May 2016, Highlights for Children

* A Lick Does the Trick, nonfiction, April 2016, MUSE

* Breathtaking Crystals, nonfiction, January 2016, MUSE

* Ice Climbing, nonfiction and photographs, June/July 2015, Hopscotch

* The Dolphins From Down Under, nonfiction and photographs, June/July 2015, Boys' Quest

* Making Mako Skin, nonfiction, Odyssey (online only), February 2015

* Veterinary Pain Killer Threatens Europe's Vultures, nonfiction, Chemistry World, January 14, 2015

* Searching for Monkeys, nonfiction, Highlights, December 2014.

* Essay in Wind Energy: a Reference Handbook, David E. Newton, ABC-CLIO, Dec 2014.

* Guardians of the Forest, nonfiction, Odyssey, September 2014

* Flippin' Out Over School, nonfiction, Fun for Kidz, September 2014

* Diagnosing Climate Insanity, The Hartford Courant, May 27, 2014, in print

* Climate Insanity Characterized by Denial, editorial, The Hartford Courant, May 23, 2014, online

* Public View of Global Warming at Odds with Scientists', editorial, The Hartford Courant, July 23, 2013, online

* Climate Change in a Nutshell, editorial, The Hartford Courant Nov 11, 2012.  The Journal Inquirer, Dec 1-2, 2012
* Kilimanjaro: Peering Through Disappearing Ice, nonfiction, ChemMatters, February 2011

* From Copper Town to Ghost Town, nonfiction, Viatouch, February 2011

* A Honeybee's Secret, nonfiction, Viatouch, April 2010, ProQuest Database 2011
* Hiking a Massive Sheet of Ice, nonfiction and photographs, January 2010, Fun For Kidz
* What an Ice Surprise!, nonfiction, January 2010, January/February 2017, Fun For Kidz

* The Vinland Map: The Vikings' Best Kept Secret, nonfiction, December 2009, ChemMatters

* Glowing Proteins with Promising Biological and Medical Applications, nonfiction, December 2008, ChemMatters

* What Good is the Big Bad Wolf? nonfiction, July 2008, Highlights
* The Beavers that Struck it Rich, nonfiction, December 2007, Spider
* Scrambled Legs, game, December 2007, Highlights

*The Dolphins Down Under, nonfiction and photographs, August 2007, Hopscotch

* Tiger Cubs on the Move, nonfiction, September 2007, Highlights

* Flippin' Out Over School, nonfiction and photographs, August 2007, Boys' Quest

* How Do You Count Grizzly Bears? nonfiction, December 2006, Highlights

* The Mountain Goats Gruff, nonfiction, April 2006, Hopscotch

* Building Art, nonfiction, December/January 2006, Boys' Quest

* The Battle of the Big Bighorns, nonfiction and activity, January 2006, Story Friends

* Tuhu, nonfiction and illustration, Fall 2004, Confetti

* Little Houses on the Prairie, nonfiction and photographs, October 2004, Boys' Quest

* Turtle Trouble, nonfiction and illustration, Summer 2004, Confetti

* The Battle of the Big Bighorns, nonfiction, March/April 2004, Three Leaping Frogs

* Finders Keepers Treasure Seekers, nonfiction, Spring 2004, Confetti

* Rainbow Roni's, craft and photograph, Fall 2003, Confetti

* Bus Buddies, craft, August 2002, Instructor Arts and Crafts supplement
Miscellaneous Writing

* Wrote passages incorporating common core standards for a higher education test.  Many were climate change related - Fall 2012
 * Wrote line items for a research study. on composing the most challenging types of line items (those that make the reader think) - February 2013 

Professional Affiliations

* Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
* National Association of Science Writers
* Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Climate Change Education Committee
* Appalachian Mountain Club