Posts Tagged ‘Field Reporting’

Michelle Nijhuis’s National Geographic Adventure Began with a Single Word

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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 […]

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Weaving a seamless tale from threads of narrative and exposition

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Many moons ago now, more than I care to remember, I had come from India to study for my master’s in computer science at the University of Delaware in Newark. All foreign teaching assistants, and I was one, had to undergo training on the intricacies of teaching American students. And as part of that training […]

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Amanda R. Martinez explores Island Conservation’s ethical quandries

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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 […]

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George Johnson chases lightning

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Some people fret over the chances that lightning might strike the same place twice. After three summers trailing lightning-chaser Tim Samaras on a unique photographic quest, science writer George Johnson would perhaps have been content with it happening just once. On assignment for National Geographic, Johnson patiently waited and watched as Samaras tried to capture a […]

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David Quammen on turning research into story, part II

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Last week, we published the transcript of a discussion between David Dobbs and David Quammen that we sponsored at last year’s National Association of Science Writers meeting. Today, we present Part II of the conversation between the two Davids. Most of this interview took place by phone in early December. David Dobbs: Where do you […]

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David Quammen on turning research into story, part I

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David Quammen has been one of the world’s leading science writers for over a quarter century, with eight acclaimed nonfiction books, including the iconic The Song of the Dodo, as well as four novels. His new book, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, gave us the excuse to interview him for TON — […]

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Greg Miller examines mental health care in Indonesia

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For many people in the developing world who are mentally ill, psychiatric care is little more than a prison sentence. In one corner of Indonesia, that’s beginning to change, thanks in part to the 2004 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the region, providing a final impetus to develop a mental health system that had long […]

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Ask TON: Finding international stories

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  Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. (Click here to see previous installments.) Today’s question: I’d like to do more international travel as part of my work. I don’t really know how to begin finding stories in foreign countries, either in advance of travel or while I’m there. What are the best ways […]

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Taking good notes: Tricks and tools

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Whether you rely on a digital recorder or a laptop or a ragtag collection of mismatched notebooks, you need to take good notes. That doesn’t just mean that your handwriting needs to be legible — though that matters too. It means that your notes capture the essence of what you have observed, from the words […]

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Ask TON: Embedded with scientists

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  Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. (Click here to see previous installments.) Today’s question: I will be embedded with a scientist whom I will follow around for a few days. I like this person already and could be friends in a normal world. Are there strategies I could follow while reporting to remain a human […]

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Michelle Nijhuis searches for hopeful signs amid a bat plague

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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 […]

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Meredith Wadman probes the aftermath of a shooting

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On Friday, February 12, 2010, biologist Amy Bishop stood up in a conference room at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and shot six of her colleagues; three died. Nature correspondent Meredith Wadman visited the campus to recount the horror of those moments and efforts to rebuild a shattered department. [Life After Death appeared in […]

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