Environmental Winners

Last week, I had the great opportunity to attend the 18th annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ), hosted by Virginia Tech in lovely Roanoke, Virginia (talk about fall foliage). It was truly a privilege being in the company of some of the country's finest environmental reporters, and I thought I'd take some time out to recognize a few who won awards from SEJ for outstanding journalism--and whose names have also graced the pages of Audubon.

Outstanding Beat/In-Depth Reporting, Radio
3rd Place: Daniel Grossman, WBUR, for "Meltdown: Inside Out"
In this one-hour special, Grossman treks from pole to pole to for insight on research being done on ice, how climate change is affecting it, and the implications its melting will have.

Grossman's most recent contributions to Audubon were a video and a slideshow of his voyage upon an ice breaker clearing the way toward an Antarctic research base.

Outstanding Explanatory Reporting
1st Place: Among a cast of others, James Balog and Paul Nicklen, for their contributions to National Geographic's series "Changing Planet: Where Energy and Climate Collide." Specifically, Balog's photos appeared in June 2007's "The Big Thaw," and Nicklen's in the same issue's "Vanishing Sea Ice: Life at the Edge."

The series, which is comprised of seven articles, explores climate change's causes, effects (such as rapid ice melting and its effects on wildlife), and solutions.

Balog's photographs frequently appear in Audubon, although you might remember him for his image of a gray wolf, which made the cover of our May-June 2007 issue (left).

A few of Nicklen's photographs recently appeared in Audubon's "Polar Distress" (May-June 2008), about drilling in the Arctic, and "S.O.S." (November-December 2007), about the collapse of the Arctic food chain.

Outstanding Small Market Reporting, Print
1st Place: Peter Friederici, High Country News, for "Facing the Yuck Factor"

In this piece, Friederici discusses water conservation, highlighting what some might consider a repulsive concept: treating wastewater for potable use.

Friederici last wrote for Audubon about the amazing (micro) world of seeds (see "Blowing in the Wind," May-June 2007), and he's got a few more stories in the works.

Outstanding Student Reporting
2nd Place: Kristin Phillips, Scienceline, for "Tained Lavender: Apathy and Dreams Along the Gowanus Canal"

Phillips gets up close and personal with Brooklyn, New York's Gowanus Canal, one of the most polluted waterways in the city that's now showing signs of revival.

Phillips was a recent intern here at Audubon, contributing extensively both to the print and online editions. In two Audubon-exclusive videos (produced by Emily Driscoll), Phillips describes an eco resort on the Caribbean island of St. John and its recycling project that turns trash into collectibles.

And last, but most certainly not least:
SEJ's Rachel Carson Environment Book Award
-1st Place: Callum Roberts, Island Press, for The Unnatural History of the Sea

Andrea Anderson reviewed this book, which chronicles the toll humans have taken on marine life, in Audubon's September-October 2007 issue.

-Honorable Mention: Alan Weisman, Thomas Dunne Books, for The World Without Us.

In his book, Weisman envisions a world where humans cease to exist while other life presses on. Audubon ran an excerpt from the book in its July-August 2007 issue.

-Honorable Mention: Peter Heller, Free Press, for The Whale Warriors

In Audubon's January-February 2008 issue, Shawn Query reviewed Heller's book, which tracks a motley ship crew determined to stop a Japanese vessel from capturing endangered whales for "research."

A hearty congratulations to all the winners, and a big thanks for the work they've done for us, the field of journalism, and, most importantly, the environment.

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