Big Movies, New Books and Accolades for SEJ Members

April 15, 2010


Environmental journalists have had lots to brag about lately.

Take, for instance, Christine Heinrichs, who was already years ahead of the poultry-raising craze that's gripping the nation. Besides her popular books on the subject and serving part-time as contributing editor at Diversity/Careers in Engineering and Information Technology, she's doing more radio.

Heinrichs does a monthly with the Chicken Whisperer, talking about traditional poultry breeds.

And fellow SEJer Laurel Neme interviewed Heinrichs about being an Elephant Seal docent for her weekly radio program, The WildLife.

"The WildLife probes mysteries of the animal world through interviews with scientists and other wildlife investigators," says Neme, whose show is available through the web site of WOMM-LP in Burlington, Vt., as well as on iTunes, through her website and via "I'd urge SEJ members with wildlife stories to contact me if they're interested in being on The WildLife."

Meanwhile, Debra Atlas has a new online series called "Green Gadget Spotlight" at Conducive Chronicle in addition to her blog. Atlas adds that a twice-weekly radio spot is in the works — the front-runner for names is The Green Gadget Spot — at a local radio station.

Also blogging is Emily Gertz. She became a correspondent with OnEarth magazine in November 2009 just in time to cover the Copenhagen climate talks. Gertz filed on the negotiations for, and as an independent reporter for Oxfam America's blog, covering the humanitarian impacts of global warming.

Gertz's cover feature "On the Edge of the Future: What are some of the world's poorest cities getting right, and what can they teach us?" won the Gold award for Best Feature Article of 2009 from the Minnesota Magazine & Publications Association. The piece was published in Momentum, the magazine of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment, spring/summer 2009 issue.

Deborah Fryer, who joined SEJ while she was a Ted Scripps Fellow at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has just won a CINE Golden Eagle Award for her documentary short, SHAKEN: Journey into the Mind of a Parkinson's Patient. Fryer also is finishing a 16-minute video for High Country News, which celebrates four decades of publication this year. Her video will be posted here.

While on a year-long project with journalists in Zambia and Malawi, Dale Willman is conducting environmental journalism workshops and setting up a resource center that provides weekly background feeds on news topics to journalists in those African nations. He is also a contributing author to Climate Change Science and Policy, a book edited by Stephen Schneider and others. Willman's chapter examines the role of the media in public education on the topic of climate science.

Elizabeth Grossman's book, Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health, and the Promise of Green Chemistry, was published last fall by Island Press and selected by Booklist as one of the Top 10 Science & Technology Books of 2009. The book is in its second printing.

Tucson-based freelancer Gisela Telis edited the new book, Champions for Change: Athletes Making a World of Difference, which describes athletes and explorers working to fight global warming and other environmental issues. Thanks to a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, she's now working on her first novel.

John Daley's essay, "Zephyr to Zion — Responses to Climate-Change Disruption in the Rockies," is part of the book How the West Was Warmed, which can be previewed here. A reporter for Salt Lake City's NBC affiliate, KSL 5 News, Daley also published a thought-provoking piece called "When a Tree Falls: Why the Decline and Rebirth of Environmental Journalism Matters" in The Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media. He wrote it last fall while at Stanford's Bill Lane Center for the American West on a Western Enterprise Reporting Fellowship.

Also looking at trends in environmental journalism was Miranda Spencer's article in the February issue of Extra!, the journal of the media watchdog FAIR.

David Biello provided an update on his experience in Copenhagen in December with SEJ board member Doug Fischer. The two were among the winners of the inaugural Earth Journalism Awards for the world's best climate change coverage. Biello won the North America, EC, Australia & New Zealand Regional Award with his article about carbon capture and storage and Fischer nabbed the Climate Change & Diplomacy Award with his an alysis of how both rich and poor nations might cut emissions.

Longtime Orange County, Calif.-based freelancer Carolyn Lee has returned to her Hawaiian roots by moving to Honolulu in February. A former member of the SEJ Audit Committee, Lee hopes her SEJ colleagues will look her up when they are in town. If anyone needs freelance work from a Hawaii-based contributor, she asks for you to keep her in mind. Lee has worked for the Associated Press, UPI, The Wall Street Journal, the Orange County Register, The New York Times' regional newspapers, Los Angeles Times special sections and KoreaAm Journal.  She can be reached at

Judy Fahys is an environment reporter at The Salt Lake Tribune.  Send an email about your latest accomplishment or career shift to

** From the quarterly newsletter SEJournal, Spring 2010 issue.

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