February’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Beth Tyler to support the exploration of microscopic life at Ottawa’s Mud Lake, near Lincoln Fields.
“Mud Lake Microbes began as a personal exploration of the microscopic life in and around Mud Lake,” explains Beth. “The more I’ve learned about the tiny creatures that live all around us in the water, soil, and plants, the more curious I’ve become and the more I’ve wanted to share this incredible world with others.”
“For the past year, I’ve been learning to make videos and sharing photos of these incredible tiny creatures through Facebook and YouTube. People seem to be enjoying a different kind of look at our local natural environment as well as learning something new.”
“My plan this year,” Beth continues, “is to continue creating online content of the microscopic life in and around Mud Lake, and to also offer on-site opportunities for people to see it for themselves — I’m going to bring the microscopes to Mud Lake and help young and old alike see this incredible world first-hand.”
Beth plans to use the Awesome Ottawa award for a portable table and stools, for printing identification charts for the common microbes found in the lake, and for cleaning supplies and protective equipment to make it safer for people to use the microscopes.
Beth is a self-employed artist, engineer, and leatherworker.
“I never enjoyed school,” says Beth, “but I do enjoy teaching. I’m self-taught and like to follow my curiosity wherever it leads.”
Awesome Ottawa is part of a global movement of self-organizing chapters forwarding the interest of awesome in the universe, $1,000 at a time. At each chapter, 10 or so “trustees” each contribute $100 every month, and review short applications received online to decide on the recipient of the pooled funds — usually a local project, but occasionally a particularly awesome one far away from home. Globally, over $5 million has already been awarded — $148,000 of that by Awesome Ottawa. For more information, visit awesomeottawa.ca.