3 minute read

Elin Kelsey Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

two Education: University of Guelph, B.A. (zoology; with honors), 1983; University of British Columbia, M.A. (science learning), 1995; King's College, London, Ph.D. (education and international environmental policy), 2001. Hobbies and other interests: Distance running, reading, camping, hiking, traveling.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, Maple Tree Press Inc., 51 Front St. East, Suite 200, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5E 1B3.


Curator, director, and author. Canadian Museum of Nature, former manager of chief of science education; Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, former director of exhibits and interpretation; Calgary Zoo, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, former manager of interpretive services; Elin Kelsey & Company (specializing in environmental education and community involvement), founder. Adjunct instructor at Monterey Institute of International Studies, CA, and Royal Roads University, British Columbia, Canada. Eco-tour leader throughout the world; regular contributor to CBC Radio.

Honors Awards

Red Cedar Award finalist, 2001, for Finding out about Whales, and 2002, for Finding out about Dinosaurs; Alberta Children's Choice Rocky Mountain Award shortlist, 2005, for Canadian Dinosaurs.


Saving Sea Otters: Stories of Survival, Monterey Bay Aquarium Press (Monterey, CA), 1999.

Finding out about Dinosaurs, Owl Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2000.

Canadian Dinosaurs, Maple Tree Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003, Firefly Books (Tonawanda, NY), 2004.

Strange New Species: Astonishing Discoveries of Life on Earth, Maple Tree Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

(With Doc White) The Sea of Cortez: An Ecological Odyssey, Ian Grant Publishers (Cornwall, England), 2006.

Contributing editor, Owl magazine.


Owls, Grolier Ltd., 1985.

Beavers, Grolier Ltd., 1985.

Bees, Grolier Ltd., 1986.

Elephants, Grolier Ltd., 1986.


An environmentalist and educator who has led eco-tours throughout India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the Arctic, Elin Kelsey works as a consultant on educational and community programs focusing on nature. Her published works for younger readers include include Canadian Dinosaurs, part of Maple Tree Press's "WOW Canada!" series, and Finding out about Dinosaurs.

Writing in School Library Journal, Patricia Manning described Canadian Dinosaurs as "a feast for dinophiles, with international flavor." In Kelsey's interactive and informational text, readers learn about the species of dinosaurs that once wandered the northern regions of North America, as well pick up factual information regarding recent dino-related discoveries. Kelsey also takes readers behind the scenes at a museum and explains what goes into the art of creating a successful dinosaur exhibit. Carolyn Phelan called the book "Upbeat as well as instructive," and added that Canadian Dinosaurs will serve as "a treasure trove for middle-grade dinosaur fans on both sides of the border."

Reviewing Kelsey's related volume, Finding out about Dinosaurs, Booklist reviewer Susan Dove Lempke commented "Most libraries carry lots of dinosaur books, but this one is well worth adding to the collection." In a well-organized fashion, Kelsey educates readers on the different species of dinosaurs known to have existed, providing information on how and where each creature lived and listing the means by which scientist have determined what they looked like and how they lived. "This book will become a must read for all … budding paleontologists," noted a Resource Links contributor, the reviewer adding that, through her work, Kelsey "opens up the world of scientific discovery and dinosaur research for children."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, December 1, 2000, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Finding out about Dinosaurs, p. 730; March 15, 2004, Carolyn Phelan, review of Canadian Dinosaurs, p. 1301.

Resource Links, February, 1999, Betty Missette Gale, review of Finding out about Whales, p. 14; June, 2000, review of Finding out about Dinosaurs, p. 12; December, 2003, Shirley Jean Sheppard, review of Canadian Dinosaurs, p. 28.

School Library Journal, July, 2004, Patricia Manning, review of Canadian Dinosaurs, p. 124.


Maple Tree Press Web site, http://www.mapletreepress.com/ (April 29, 2005), "Elin Kelsey."

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Dan Jacobson Biography - Dan Jacobson comments: to Barbara Knutson (1959–2005) Biography - Personal