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Michael Adams

Michael Adams

Michael Adams teaches and researches at the University of Wollongong, and before that worked for environment NGOs, the national parks service, and Aboriginal organisations. His focus is on human–nature relationships, especially with Indigenous and local communities, and he likes full-immersion methodologies. He was born in India and spends much time outdoors in Australia, India, the United States, and arctic Scandinavia; in the ocean freediving and spearfishing; and in the bush. He writes in a wide variety of forms, including narrative non-fiction, online essays, and peer-reviewed academic articles. He is the winner of ABR's 2017 Calibre Essay Prize.

Michael Adams reviews 'Waters of the World: The story of the scientists who unraveled the mysteries of our oceans, atmosphere, and ice sheets and made the planet whole' by Sarah Dry

April 2020, no. 420 20 March 2020
The publication of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring (1962) is widely regarded as one of the key moments in the development of the global environment movement. In the wake of Silent Spring, science fiction writer Frank Herbert published the first of the Dune series in 1965. Herbert presented complex descriptions of alternate planetary ecologies, with influential characters known as ‘planetolo ... (read more)

Michael Adams reviews 'Tidalectics: Imagining an oceanic worldview through art and science' edited by Stefanie Hessler

October 2018, no. 405 25 September 2018
Humans live on the Blue Planet: seventy per cent of ‘Earth’ is covered by oceans. We increasingly hear these descriptions: that oceans are the largest habitat, that eighty per cent of all species live there, that they determine weather and climate. All of which, and much more, is true. But the meaning of this still fails to find purchase with most people. The edited volume Tidalectics – subt ... (read more)

2017 Calibre Essay Prize (winner): 'Salt Blood'

June-July 2017, no. 392 25 May 2017
Listen to this essay read by the author. ‘There are no words that fit tragedy. Nothing we can say. We do not want to be told everything is all right. It is not.’ Patrick Holland, ‘Silent Plains’ (2014) ‘Its constituents are – everything.’ Victor Hugo, Toilers of the Sea (1866) It is quiet and cool and dark blue. At this depth the pressure on my body is double what it is at the ... (read more)