Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

Covering the Environment Beat

Taking on the environment beat is like marrying into a big, colorful family. Environmental reporters need to keep abreast of news in many different niches, including climate change, ecology, ecosystem management, public policy, international relations, business, health, transportation, public lands, water and energy. How can an environmental journalist keep tabs on all these facets of […]

Michelle Nijhuis’s Nat Geo Adventure Began with a Word

In her first assignment from National Geographic, award-winning freelance science journalist Michelle Nijhuis started with a one-word assignment: coal. Based on that single word, Nijhuis traveled from West Virginia, a top coal state, to China, the world’s largest coal user. No spoilers here, so we’ll just say that a long lag between assignment and publication […]

Amanda R. Martinez Explores Island Conservation’s Ethical Quandries

On dozens of islands throughout the world, a little-known group of conservationists is waging a high-stakes war against invasive species in an effort to restore frayed and altered ecosystems to their once-upon-a-time states. But this idyllic outcome has a controversial cost: the outright killing of hundreds and sometimes thousands of animals to spare endangered and […]

Helen Pearson Profiles an Activist Turned Scientist

A good profile of a scientist goes beyond the science itself—and that’s why Helen Pearson’s ears perked up when she learned the personal story of Joe Thornton, a University of Oregon evolutionary biologist whose first career was as a Greenpeace activist, fighting the release of toxic industrial chemicals. Pearson wanted to know what makes Thornton […]

Seeking to Awe: An “Oops!” Story

When hundreds of snow geese landed in and subsequently died from Berkeley Pit’s toxic water, some of the microbes the geese carried found a home in the Butte, Montana lake and started soaking up the lake’s toxins. Bioremediation, however, isn’t the subject of Radiolab senior producer Soren Wheeler’s story, “Even the worst laid plans?” Instead, […]

Erik Vance Scrutinizes a Battle over Dolphin Rights

Reporting from the trenches in the war over dolphin rights, freelance science writer Erik Vance relates the story of Lori Marino and Diana Reiss, dolphin researchers who have spent most of their careers as close colleagues and friends, but whose agendas diverged after Marino moved away from research on captive dolphins and immersed herself in a […]

John McPhee on Characters, Structure, Titles, and Facing the ‘Low Dread’ of Writing

Is there a science writer alive who has not been schooled by John McPhee? Both of us began our writing careers with a collection of McPhee’s books and articles on our shelves, and over the years, we’ve both returned to his works many times, for pleasure and for sustenance. Writing at the excellent blog The Last […]

Michelle Nijhuis Searches for Hopeful Signs amid a Bat Plague

You never know when a story idea will land on your doorstep—or in your mailbox. When award-winning journalist Michelle Nijhuis learned about caver and microbiologist Hazel Barton from a friend, she had no idea Barton would be her ticket into a science story she had been itching to tell, about a fungus that is ravaging […]

Douglas Fox Recounts an Antarctic Adventure

In 2007, freelance science journalist Douglas Fox traveled to Antarctica with a team of glaciologists studying rivers and lakes buried under thousands of feet of ice. He and the researchers spent four weeks tent-camping on the ice. They spent up to 10 hours a day on snowmobiles, installing monitoring equipment at key sites on the […]

Hillary Rosner Makes Readers Care about Saving an Unassuming Endangered Fish

Freelancer Hillary Rosner traveled to a Colorado River reservoir to meet scientists bent on rescuing an unassuming fish, the razorback sucker. The resulting story, which won the 2010 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award in the Small Newspaper category, raised tough questions about the rationale for saving endangered species. [One Tough Sucker appeared in High Country […]

Dan Ferber Relates One Couple’s Struggle against the Farm Next Door

Concentrated fumes from a neighboring farm made Eric and Lisa Stickdorn so ill they had to leave their home and take up residence in a church basement. In a story that won the 2009-10 award for best environmental coverage from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Dan Ferber tells the Stickdorns’ story, […]

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