Mary Jo Nickum is a retired librarian and project manager, who is now an editor and freelance writer. Her primary focus is on science for the public, especially topics related to natural history. She has chosen to extend her science for the public outreach to children.
Mary earned a B.A. degree in English education at Northland College, Ashland, WI, a Masters in Librarianship (M. Lib.) at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, and a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) from Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.
She worked as a science librarian at the US Environmental Protection Agency, National Water Quality Laboratory in Duluth, MN, as Oceanography/Zoology librarian at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, as Project Manager of the Fish and Wildlife Reference Service in Rockville, MD, and as a Division Manager for the Maxima Corporation, a Washington, DC firm that specialized in information services for Federal and County governments. She is a former editor of The Progressive Fish-Culturist, Editor-in-Chief of the Intermountain Journal of Science, and currently edits the World Aquaculture magazine.
Mary’s articles on aquaculture topics are published in: Hatchery International, Aquaculture Magazine, Northern Aquaculture and Fish Farming News. She is currently working on several nonfiction books and articles for children. Her website for children is http://www.asktheanimallady.com.
Mary has been writing science for the public since 1995.
Member of: OWAA, SCBWI, PTP, PWC, SSWW
- OWAA Excellence in Craft Award 2009 (Technical Contest, Magazine category)
- OWAA Outstanding Board Member, 2010
- OWAA Excellence in Craft Award – 2017 for Looking at the Cat, an Eye on Evolution
Mom’s Story; A Child Learns About MS tells the story of a young girl who sees her mother with some frightening health problems and learns she has MS but she will not die from it. This book is a compassionate, accessible and easy to understand account of symptoms, search for help, diagnosis and adaptation to this heart-wrenching disease. Amy fears the worst, which is common when one is confronted by the unknown. Her best friend, Kayla, doesn’t quite understand why Amy is so worried. Amy’s older sister, Kelly is concerned and does her best to help, while older brother, Tony, tries to deny the whole situation. Information is the key to allaying much of her fear along with understanding from parents, adult friends and her older sister.
Ten percent of the net proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
A Girl Named Mary tells the story of Mary, the Mother of Jesus as a young girl. Though she has a much older sister, she’s raised as an only child. Her cousin, Rebekka, is her closet friend and confidant. Together they grow and learn how to maneuver in a culture that is steeped in tradition. One that looks backward instead of forward for solutions to problems. Mary cares about others, helps the sick and disadvantaged and is a voice, albeit a young voice, for women.
At twelve, Mary was betrothed to an older man who had sons her age. She resisted this arrangement strongly. She argued with her parents against the betrothal with every bit of logic and strength she had but found this tradition beyond her ability to fight. The marriage took place and she was rewarded by the birth of a beautiful baby boy, Jesus.
Book Excellence Award Finalist
“The history of the domestic cat may stretch back even further, as 8,000-year-old bones of humans and cats were found buried together on the island of Cyprus.”
The history of the cat goes back much further than the Egyptians, as the reader will find out when reading “Looking at the Cat, An Eye on Evolution”. This book is an overview of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution as it relates to the cat. The student not only is exposed to the concepts of evolution but, at the same time, is shown examples of how evolution has progressed and the timeframe during which these changes have taken place. The book contains 44 pictures, photos and graphs along with 10 sidebars to further supplement the text. OWAA Excellence in Craft Award – 2017 for Looking at the Cat, an Eye on Evolution
The primitive-looking coelacanth (pronounced SEEL-uh-kanth) was thought to have gone extinct with the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But its discovery in 1938 by a South African museum curator on a local fishing trawler fascinated the world and ignited a debate about how this bizarre lobe-finned fish fits into the evolution of land animals. There are only two known species of coelacanths: one that lives near the Comoros Islands off the east coast of Africa, and one found in the waters of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Many scientists believe that the unique characteristics of the coelacanth represent an early step in the evolution of fish to terrestrial four-legged animals like amphibians.
Although jaguars are native to Arizona, little is known about the population segment that resides in Mexico and uses southern Arizona and New Mexico as the northern extent of its range. It was thought the species had been extirpated from the state until 1996 when the first jaguar documented since 1986 was photographed by a southern Arizona rancher/mountain lion hunter. After capture, collar and release, a web of intrigue surrounded death of the only jaguar in Arizona, Macho B.
Find out how some fires in the forest can help trees. Given additional light, new trees can sprout from seeds and grow to be saplings. Believe it or not, some cones need fire to open and spill their seeds. Conifers are different from other trees, though. Would you like to work in the forest, among the trees? This book will tell you how you could be a forester.
The Path to Publication
A Literary Magazine
A literary magazine produced semi-annually by The Path to Publication Group, Inc. It is a themed literary magazine available in paper and ezine formats featuring essays, short stories, poetry, humor, interviews and book reviews. The theme of this issue is ‘Wish upon a Star.