Deaths in the SEJ Family

Frome, Michael | Weinhold, Bob | Schwartz, Debra | Braasch, Gary | Henriksen, Clem | Durbin, Kathie | Box, Brenda | Lord, Peter | Stolberg, David | Freudenburg, Bill | Schneider, Stephen | more



Michael Frome, d. September 4, 2016


SEJ members were saddened by the Sept. 4, 2016 death of Michael Frome, at age 96, in Port Washington, Wisc. A gifted advocate for national parks and wilderness areas, Frome’s writing spanned both the post-WWII conservation movement and the environmental movement of the latter 20th century. He authored a dozen books, such as "Rediscovering National Parks in the Spirit of John Muir" (2015) and "Strangers in High Places: The Story of the Great Smoky Mountains" (1994). He also received numerous conservation writing awards. Read more.



Bob Weinhold, d. June 6, 2016


Bob Weinhold, an SEJ member from 1999 - 2015 and TipSheet reporter, died on June 6, 2016, after a 25-year battle with environmental illnesses. Read more.



Debra Schwartz, d. May 6, 2016


SEJ mourns the death of Debra Schwartz, SEJ member since 1995, and previously a mentor in SEJ's Mentor Program. Debra was found dead on Sunday, May 8, 2016, after an apparent fall into a canyon. Read more here.




Gary Braasch, d. March 7, 2016


The community that comprises the Society of Environmental Journalists and environmental journalism were enhanced beyond measure by Gary Braasch. We celebrate his life, and mourn his unexpected death March 7, 2016, while documenting climate change along the Great Barrier Reef. SEJ’ers have many cherished memories of working with Gary. He was greatly loved, and will be greatly missed. We'll be considering the best way to honor Gary's memory, his work and his generosity of spirit. Read more here.


Clem Henriksen, d. August 21, 2015


SEJ honors the memory of Clem Henriksen, who passed away on August 21, 2015. Clem enriched SEJ not only with his good humor and ready smile, but also with serious expertise on Geographic Information Systems. His work over many years helped journalists develop skills for mapping as a storytelling platform. He was also the supportive husband of Carolyn Whetzel, long-serving SEJ board member and conference chair. Read more, and post your remembrances here.



Peter Desbarats, d. February 11, 2014


SEJ and journalism lost an icon on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 with the passing of Canadian print and broadcast journalist Peter Desbarats at the age of 80. Peter was a member of SEJ's advisory board, served two years as an SEJ Awards for Reporting on the Environment judge, and moderated a panel on energy, "Tales From the Oilpatch: From Canada to the Midwest," in October 2009 at SEJ's 19th Annual Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. Read more here.



Kathie Durbin, d. March 15, 2013


SEJ members and staff mourn the loss of award-winning environmental journalist Kathie Durbin, an SEJ member since 1996. A dedicated reporter and author, determined to make her final deadline, Kathie completed her last book before passing on March 15, 2013; The Columbia River Gorge: Bridging a Great Divide is scheduled to be published by OSU Press. Read Cascadia Times colleague Paul Koberstein's tribute to Kathie, as well as other coverage, and post your remembrances here. © Image: Courtesy Elizabeth Feryl.


Brenda M. Box, d. March 7, 2013


Some voices can never be silenced, even when they're rarely heard. National Public Radio (NPR) associate newscast editor Brenda Box was one of those essential behind-the-scenes voices, whose editorial work shaped daily newscasts, and whose personal wisdom and wicked wit made for long-lasting, far-flung friendships. Box died of pancreatic cancer March 7, 2013. © Photo courtesy Kathy Rushlow. Read more and add your remembrances.



Peter B. Lord, d. April 4, 2012


The SEJ community was devastated this week by the death of Peter B. Lord on Wednesday, April 4th. Peter was one of the most focused, most inspired and most inspiring environmental journalists in the membership. Our sympathies go out to his family, his colleagues and the readers who will be missing his expertise and unique reports. Photo credit: © Curt Milton. Read more.



David Stolberg, d. May 24, 2011


SEJ is saddened to share news from Mike Phillips, executive director of the Scripps Howard Foundation: SEJ founder David Stolberg died May 24, 2011. He was 84. Members will recall that "The Stolberg Award" is SEJ's highest organizational recognition for meritorious volunteer service. We'll be honoring him in various ways this year, and very proud to give out The Stolberg as long as member-volunteers continue to power this group the way that they (you) surely do. Read more.



Bill Freudenburg, d. December 28, 2010


William R. Freudenburg, author, educator, science communicator and beloved member of the SEJ community, died at his home in Santa Barbara, CA, on Dec 28, 2010. He was 59. As a professor of environmental studies at UC Santa Barbara, Bill wrote and spoke thoughtfully and often about the need for scientists to engage the public. He worked consistently in various settings to improve communication between scientists and journalists. He also wanted journalists to understand the professional risks scientists take in this process, a topic he explored last year for SEJournal. Bill was still sharing his wry humor and best advice with us through the fall, when SEJ board and staff were finalizing plans for a board meeting, roundtable with UCSB faculty and public program on environmental journalism that will take place at UC Santa Barbara later this month, truly in his memory. Read more. UCSB video website in Bill's honor.


Stephen Schneider, d. July 19, 2010 


"Stephen H. Schneider, a Stanford biology professor and a leading researcher in climate change, has died. Schneider was flying from a science meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, to London on July 19, when he apparently suffered a heart attack. He was 65....He had been at Stanford University since 1992 and was a lead author among scientists on the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore....Schneider was influential in the public debate over climate change and wrote a book, Science as a Contact Sport: Inside the Battle to Save Earth's Climate, about his experiences. He also wrote a book about his battle with leukemia, Patient from Hell." Read more.