Artwork for Raven Magazine, Issue No. 1, Winter 2020Welcome to the inaugural issue of Raven magazine, a new showcase for the important and impactful work of Carleton faculty, students, staff, alumni and the university’s external partners. Read about members of the Carleton community who are working to improve energy efficiency, share Indigenous stories, support refugees, advocate for health and wellness, safeguard our water and wildlife, alleviate the opioid crisis and much, much more.

In many of these articles, students, professors and alumni are speaking directly to you in either first-person or as-told-to format. We wanted their voices to be front and centre in the first issue of Raven. They make our university great, and this is their magazine. Click on the magazine cover to see Raven in PDF format or scroll down to read stories via the links below.

From Away: Carleton and the Promise of Canada

Like the rest of the country, Carleton is home to a diverse population of students and professors, many of whom have moved to Canada from abroad and made this university a key stop on their journeys. They enrich our public service, business practices and international relations, bring vitality to our arts — and, as master’s student and refugee researcher Zahraa Al-Ahmad shows, strive to give back in profound ways. In this package, read about the journeys of Al-Ahmad, Carleton Chancellor Yaprak Baltacioğlu, security scholar Stephen Saideman, Sprott School of Business Dean Dana Brown, master’s student and novelist Kagiso Lesego Molope and professional photographer turned PhD student Akintunde Akinleye.

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Big Blue: Ten Ways to Look at Water

It covers 70 per cent of the planet’s surface and comprises 60 per cent of the average adult’s body weight. In utero, we float in a fluid that’s mostly water, and after we are born we must drink water or we will die. Without it, plants would not grow or produce oxygen. It regulates the Earth’s climate and, like looking at fire, is mesmerizing to behold. And it cradles the Carleton campus, forking into the Rideau river and canal and flowing past the land upon which we work and play. The ways that members of the university community engage with water vary tremendously, from pollution research and urban planning to marine mammal conservation. Explore our deep and diverse connections to an often overlooked yet vital and unifying resource.

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Birds and a Plane: A Unique Approach to Wildlife Conservation

The Morris Island Conservation Area is only about an hour’s drive west of Ottawa, but on a brilliant autumn morning, the city feels a world away. The 47-hectare mix of forested woodlands and wetlands is bursting with crimson and gold, with reflections of towering maples and a cloudless sky shimmering in the glassy back bays of the Ottawa River. And even though it doesn’t look the part, Morris Island is a stand-in today for distant James Bay, which stretches south from Hudson Bay about 1,000 kilometres north of the National Capital Region. At the conservation area, master’s student Brendan Ooi is tiptoeing along the water’s edge, planting hyper-realistic 3D-printed models of shorebirds including red knots and greater yellowlegs among the rocks. Overhead, a small drone is hovering…

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Eye of the Needle: A Conversation About Chemistry, Opioids and Perception

Charlotte Smith is a sociology master’s student at Carleton. Her research is exploring the experiences of homeless youth, many of whom struggle with substance abuse — two major threads in her own life. Jeff Smith (no relation) is a chemistry professor and director of the Carleton Mass Spectrometry Centre. One of his projects is using mass spec — an analysis technique that can determine the molecular structure of a substance — to find out what’s in the drugs that people bring to the supervised injection site at Ottawa’s Sandy Hill Community Health Centre. They never met before. These are their intersecting stories.

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Forevermore: Four Members of the Carleton Community on the Magazine’s Namesake Bird

“In 1997, my husband and I were sitting on a bench in Banff and this huge raven — the biggest I’ve ever seen — walked towards us,” says Barbara Dumont-Hill, a knowledge keeper at Carleton’s Ojigkwanong Centre and a grandmother from Quebec’s Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation. “He had a limp and I could imagine that he was using a cane. He stood right in front of me, looked me in the eye and started to speak. He moved around and circled sometimes, but he went on and on for about 10 minutes. When birds give me a message, I tell them, ‘There was a time when our people understood the language of the birds, but I don’t understand you.’ But he kept talking…”

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