About Austin

Austin Mardon, PhD, CM, FRSC, graduated with a major in geography from the University of Lethbridge in 1985. The following year, at age 24, he was investigating meteorite impacts 170 km from the South Pole as a junior field member on an Antarctic meteorite recovery expedition sponsored by NASA and the National Science Federation. He received the U.S. Antarctic Service Medal for his work. However, the extreme hardships of the expedition affected him mentally and physically. While he went on to earn master’s degrees in science (South Dakota State University) and education (Texas A&M University) and published a number of articles and books, his health issues persisted. At the age of 30 he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Although some of his abilities are compromised by the disease, Austin earned a PhD in geography from Greenwich University, Australia; continued his remarkable publication record, including articles in both Science and Nature; was elected an International Fellow and Corresponding Fellow of the Explorers Club of New York; and was inducted into the International Academy of Astronautics. In 2014 he was elected into the Royal Society of Canada, the pre-eminent academic society of Canada.

Equally impressive has been his work on behalf of the mentally ill. In addition to giving countless interviews to the media on the topic of mental illness, Austin has published articles about faith and schizophrenia, homelessness, medication, and income support. He has provided leadership as a member of the board of directors of both the Edmonton and Alberta chapters of the Schizophrenia Society, and for a number of years he was coordinator of the Alberta Mental Health Self-Help Network. “I hope to soon see the day when schizophrenia is treated like any other disease and is finally detached from the stigma that makes a difficult burden to bear even worse,” added Austin.

Austin has received a number of awards, including the Order of Canada (2007). Others include: the Flag of Hope Award (2001) and the Bill Jefferies Family Award (2007) of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada; the Distinguished Alumni Award of the University of Lethbridge (2002); the Presidents Award of the Alberta chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association (2002); the C.M. Hincks Award from the national division of the Canadian Mental Health Association (2007); and the Medal of Honour of the Alberta Medical Association (2010).

A popular member of the Speakers’ Bureau of Alberta, Austin has publicly assisted the medical profession by supporting development of policy positions that have helped medical providers treat those with mental illness.

Austin is currently Assistant Adjunct Professor with the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre, and was recently appointed as an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the University of Alberta Department of Psychiatry – the first time someone with schizophrenia has been appointed to such a position.

Mardon, Austin, C.M., M.Sc., M.Ed., Ph.D.,LL.D. Austin’s CV; geographer, writer, researcher; b. Edmonton, Alta.; s. Ernest and May Mardon; e. Univ. of Grenoble Dipl. in French 1979; Univ. of Lethbridge B.A. 1985; Univ. of Alberta & Univ. of Calgary; South Dakota State Univ. M.Sc. 1988; Texas A&M Univ. M.Ed. 1990; Univ. of North Dakota grad. work 1990; Greenwich Univ. Ph.D. 2000; Univ. of Alberta LL.D. (Hon.) 2011; Newman Theological College Graduate work 2001, 2003, 2005; post grad. studies, Kharkov Nat. Univ. 2002-04; Univ. of S. Africa doctoral work 2007-PRESENT; m. Catherine d. late Bernard newman and Dorothy A.; PRES. (1985-PRESENT) and DIR., ANTARCTIC INST. OD CANADA 1991-PRESENT; Primary Army Reserves (Artillery) 1981, 1984-85; Rsch. Scientist, NASA/NSF Antarctica 1986-87; mem., USARP Meteorite Recovery Expedition, Antarctica 1986-87; Historical Researcher, Alta. Culture & Multiculturalism 1989-90; Freelance Writer 1991-PRESENT; Editor, RTAJ Fry Press 1990-97; Shoestring Press 1990-97; Golden Meteorite Press 1997-PRESENT; Geophysical Consultant, Stargate Rsch. Lab. (Calif.) 1999-2003, (Idaho) 2003-04, (Calif.) 2004-07; Asst. Prog. Mgr., Alta. Mental Health Self Help Network 1999-2005; Adjunct Faculty Mem., Greenwich Univ., Australia 2000-03; Adjunct Faculty Mem., Greenwich Univ., Hawaii 2003-04; Sr. Rsch. Fellow, Internat. Noble Acad. 2003; Hon. Prof., Penza State Pedagogical Univ. Russia 2003; Adjunct Faculty, Akamai Univ., Hawaii 2004-PRESENT; Adjunct Instr., AMU-APUS, West Va. 2005-06; recipient, Antarctic Service Medal, US Navy 1987; Duke of Edinburgh Award 1987; 1988 Texas State Proclamation No. 51; personal audience with Pope in Rome 1996; Gov. General’s Caring Cdn. Award 1998; Nadine Stirling Award, Cdn. Mental Health Assn. 1999; Flag of Hope Award, Schizaphrenia Soc. of Canada 2001; President’s Award, CMHA-Alberta Div. 2002; Queen’s Golden jubilee Medal 2002; Distinguished Alumni Award, Univ. of Lethbridge 2002; Alumni Honour Soc., Univ. of Lethbridge 2003; Hon. Life Mem., Schizophrenia Soc. of Alta. 2004; Ron Lajeunesse Leadership Award, Cdn. Mental Health Assn. – Edmonton Region 2005; Alberta Centennial Medal 2005; Mem., Order of Canada 2006; Bill Jefferies Family Award, Schizophrenia Soc. of Canada 2007; C.M. Hincks Award, Cdn. Mental Health Assn. 2007; presented to Senate of Canada, the Alberta Legis. and the Texas Legis.; author of num. books incl. A Conspectus of the Contribution of herodotus to the Development of Geographical Thought1990; International Law and Space Rescue Systems 1991; Kensington Stone and Other Essays1991; A Transient in Whirl 1991; Political Networks in Alberta 1905-1992 2002; 7 days in Moscow2005; The Contribution of Geography to the Recovery of Antarctic Meteorites 2005; co-author of num. books incl. Alberta Judicial Biographical Dictionary 1990; Alberta Ethnic Morman Politicians1991; Alberta Ethnic German Politicians 1991; When Kitty Met the Ghost 1991; Down & Out & On the Run in Moscow 1991; The Girl Who Could Walk Through Walls 1991; Alberta Mormon Politicians 1992; Alberta General Election Returns & Subsequent Byelections 1882 – 1992 1993;Edmonton Political Biography 1994; Alberta Political Biography 1994; Alberta Political Biographical Dictionary 1994; Alberta Executive Council 1905-1990 1994; Alone Against the Revolution 1996;Early Saints 1997; Later Christian Saints for Children 1997; Christmas Past 1998; Community Names of Alberta 1999; Men of Dawn 1999; United Farmers of Alberta 1999; The Genealogy of the Mardon Family 2000; Alberta Catholic Politicians 2000; Alberta Anglican Politicians 2001;Liberal Politicians in Alberta 1905-1921 2002; What’s in a Name? 2002; Edmonton Members of the Legislature 2004; Senators and Members of the House of Commons from Edmonton 2004;Edmonton Municipal Politicians 2005; Alberta Francophone Politicians 2007; Scandinavian Politicians in Alberta 2008; Lethbridge Politicians 2008; Alberta Politicians 1993-2004 2004;Alberta Politicians 2004 2008; English Medieval Comets 2008; forthcoming books incl. Alberta Election Statistics; Who’s Who in Federal Politics in Alberta; editor of num. books incl. Stygian Relics of the Lachrymose 1998; The Spectral Carnival Show 1998; A Wake of Evil 1999; Lady Juanita 2002; The Avengers Trilogy 2003; Samson’s Return 2004; A Novella of Short Stories2004; Journals of a Chronic Schizophrenic 2004; Spirit in Poetry 2004; Little Lady 2004; A Full Glass of Reality 2004; Room for Change 2007; translator A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland (1549) 1990; 169 scholarly communications areas of publ. articles incl. space sci., meteorite sci., astronomy, Alberta history, space exploration tech., polar sci., medieval English history & geography incl. publ. in Nature and Science; Columnist Schizophrenia Digest 2002-04; Chair/Co-chair, Clubhouse Soc. of Edmonton & Area – Prosper Place 1993-1999; mem., Unsung Heroes, Edmonton Chap., Schizophrenia Soc. of Alta. 1993-2006 (Chair/Co-chair 1995-2005); Provincial Ctte. Mem., Provincial Clubhouse Demonstration Project Ctte. 1996-97; Bd. Mem. 1999-2005); Trustee, Edmonton Public Library Bd. 2001-06; Adv. Council Mem., Internat. Biographical Ctr. 1999-2007; mem., Russian Acad. of Arts & Sci. 1999-2004; Bd. Mem., Alta. Disabilities Forum 2004-08 (Vice-Chair, Steering Ctte. 2005-07); Chair, Communications Ctte., Alta. Disabilities Forum 2006-07; Comm. of Space Rsch. COSPAR (ICSU); mem., Low Income Working Group, Alta. Disabilities Forum 2004-07 (Chair 2005-06); mem., Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disibilities 2005-PRESENT; Nat. Bd. Mem., The Champion Centre 2006-PRESENT; Volunteer, Special Projects, Cdn. Mental Health Assn., Alta. Div. 2005-06; Corresponding Mem., Internat. Acad. of Astronautics 2004-08, Full Mem. 2008-PRESENT; Life Mem., Am. Polar Soc.; Corresponding Mem., Explorer’s Club 2007-PRESENT (Internat. Fellow 1986-2007); mem., World Fellowship for Schizophrenia & Allied Disorders 2006-PRESENT; Sigma PI Sigma Physics Hon. Soc.; Gamma Theta Upsilon Geography Hon. Soc.; R. Catholic; languages spoken and written: English, French; recreations: computer simulations, walking, reading; club: Explorers Club (Corresponding Mem.); Office: P.O. Box 1223, Stn. Main, Edmonton, Alta. T5J 2M4.

MY FATHER

MARDON, Ernest, B.Ed., M.A., Ph.D.; writer, retired professor; b. Harris County, Texas 1928; s. late Heber ‘Austin’ and late Marie Therese Mardon; e. Gordonstoun School, Moray, Scotland 1945-46; The Cistercian Coll. Roscrea, Tipperary Co., Ireland 1946-48; Trinity Coll., Dublin Univ., Ireland 1948-50; Univ. of Perugia, Cert. of Italian 1950; Univ. of London, Sch. of Oriental Studies 1954; Univ. of Alberta B.Ed. 1961; Univ. of Ottawa M.A. 1966, Ph.D. 1967; m. May Gertrude d. late Albert Edward and Annie Loretta 1 July 1957; children: Austin Albert, Mary Teresa, Teresa May; WRITER 1990-PRESENT; served with British Army, Gordon Highlanders, U.K. 1951; Suez Canal Zone, Cyprus, Libya 1952-54; MELF 1952-54; Hon. discharge with rank of Lietenant 1958; emigrated to Canada 1954; Staff Correspondent, British United Press Wire Service, Edmonton 1956-58 and Staff Correspondent, British United Press Wire Service, Edmonton 1956-58 and Staff Correspondent, Vancouver 8; Thibault H.S. Teacher, Morinville, Alta. 1961-63; Substitute Teacher, Ottawa 1963-67; mem. Founding Faculty, Univ. of Lethbridge 1967; Asst. Prof., Dept. of English 1967-72, Assoc. Prof., Univ. of Calgary (7 times), Nipissing Univ. (twice), Laurentian Univ., Univ. of Sask., Walden Univ., Red Deer Coll. 1990-91; Alta. Provincial Returning Offr., Lethbridge West 1975; Army champion three mile runner; Centennial Indoor Hundred Mile Runner YMCA Ottawa 1967; extensive travel in Europe, Africa, N. Am. & Asia; recipient, Skarin Award, Univ. of Alta. Senate 1988; Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal 2002; author of num. books incl. Narrative Unity of the Cursor Mundi 1967; The Founding Faculty of the University of Lethbridge 1968; Place Names of Southern Alberta 1970; The Conflict Between the Individual & Society in the Plays of James Bridie 1971; Who’s Who in Federal Politics from Alberta Ridings1972; English Studies at Canadian Universities 1972; Community Names of Alberta 1975; co-author of num. books incl. Alberta Judicial Biographical Dictionary 1990; Alberta Ethnic Mormon Politicians 1991; When Kitty Met the Ghost 1991; Men of the Dawn 1991; Down & Out & On the Run in Moscow 1991; The Girl Who Could Walk Through Walls 1991; United Farmers of Alberta1991; Alberta Mormon Politicians 1992; Alberta General Election Returns & Subsequent Byelections 1882-1992 1993; Edmonton Political Biography 1994; Alberta Political Biographical Dictionary 1994; Alberta Executive Council 1905 – 1990 1994; Early Saints 1997; Later Christian Saints for Children 1997; Many Christian Saints for Children 1997; Childhood Memories & Legends of Christmas Past 1998; Community Names of Alberta 1999; Men of Dawn 1999; United Farmers of Alberta 1999; The Geneology of the Mardon Family 2000; Alberta Catholic Politicians 2000;Alberta Anglican Politicians 2001; Liberal Politicians in Alberta 1905-1921 2002; What’s in a Name? 2002; Edmonton Members of the Legislature 2004; Senators and Members of the House of Commons from Edmonton 2004; Edmonton Municipal Politicians 2005; Alberta Francophone Politicians 2007; forthcoming books incl. English Medieval Comets; Alberta Election Statistics; Who’s Who in Federal Politics in Alberta; Alberta Scandinavian Politicians; translator A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland (1549) 1990; Columnist & Book Reviewer Lethbridge Herald1970s; mem. Dept. of Edn., Prov. of Alta. Govt. Rewriting of the School Act 1969-72; mem., Cdn. Onamastic Inst. 1969-75 (Treas. 1970-72); Bd. Mem. & Vice-Pres., Antarctic Inst. of Canada 1985-PRESENT; R. Catholic; Progressive Conservative Party 1954-93 (campaigned for candidates in federal & provincial elections in Alta.); recreations: reading, walking, gardening; club: Faculty Club (Univ. of Calgary); Home: 1007 – 7th Ave. S., Lethbridge, Alta. T1J 1K3