Media On The Move: Books, Accolades, New Jobs And Wiki Winners

February 15, 2008

 

By JACKLEEN de LA HARPE

Bart Anderson, editor of Energy Bulletin, an online publication covering peak oil and sustainability, coauthored "Peak Phosphorus" (http://energybulletin.net/33164.htm l), an article raising the possibility that phosphorus production has peaked globally and suggesting that supplies will become scarcer and more expensive, with momentous consequences for agriculture since food production depends on phosphorus inputs. Energy Bulletin is a volunteer effort that publishes original articles and collections of related news items, with no connection to any political or business organization. Current readership is about 31,000 article-reads per weekday (14,000 visitors/weekday).

Outside magazine Contributing Editor Bruce Barcott's new book, "The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw: One Woman's Fight to Save the World's Most Beautiful Bird," will be published in February by Random House. The book follows the battle to stop a hydroelectric dam from drowning the nesting ground of the last wild macaws in the Central American nation of Belize. The cast includes a one-eyed ex-pat journalist, corrupt government ministers, Newfoundland dam raisers, and a woman who sings to wild jaguars. Extinction, dams, and money also play heavy roles.

Valerie Brown wrote several articles including "A Climate Change Solution? Beneath the Columbia River Basin" for High Country News, a real-life trial of the uncertain science of carbon sequestration (www.hcn.org/servlets/ hcn.Article?article_id188); a story in the November Environmental Health Perspectives called "Of Two Minds: Groups Square Off on Carbon Mitigation," (www.ehponline.org/ members/2007/115-11/EHP115pa546 PDF.PDF), describing carbon sequestration and environmental justice in California, a contentious topic; and a long article in the Summer 2007 Oregon Historical Quarterly called "Music on the Cusp: From Folk to Acid Rock in Portland Coffeehouses, 1967–1970," (www.historycooperative.org/journals /ohq/108.2/brown.html), a three-year project supported with a small arts grant and inspired by her first career as a musician in Portland.

Merritt Clifton led workshops about animal care and control trends, dog attacks, and risk assessment at the annual conference of the Ohio Dog Wardens Association in Columbus, Ohio, in December. Then he traveled to Cairo, Egypt, to do a multi-day ecological assessment of the Cairo street dog and feral cat populations for discussion at the Middle East Network for Animal Welfare conference, also in December.

The Public Radio Partnership in Louisville, Ky. has hired its first environmental reporter, Kristin Espeland. Espeland comes to the organization's NPR news station, WFPL, from Wyoming Public Radio, where she covered both environmental and general assignment stories. She'll also be responsible for developing a related website and forging relationships with regional reporters to acquire more environmental pieces.

Freelancer Peter Friederici wrote an extensive overview of water-recycling programs in the West and why they're going forward or being stopped by citizen opposition for the September 17 issue of High Country News. His story touched on the ubiquity of endocrinedisrupting chemicals in the water supply, psychological perspectives on how people view water, and the economics of wastewater reuse.

William Freudenburg is coauthor of the lead article for Sociological Inquiry (V. 78 #1, Jan. 2008), "Scientific Certainty Argumentation Methods (SCAMs): Science and the Politics of Doubt," that argues that science can provide only three kinds of answers – yes, no, and maybe – and that the majority of scientific findings fall into the "maybe" category. If organized industrial interests can stop action until answers are definitive, and if answers are almost never definitive, those interests can sometimes block regulatory or legislative actions, oftenfor many decades. The article explores this argument through examples such as the health risks of cigarette smoking, asbestos and lead, and the reality of global warming.

Minnesota Public Radio has appointed Stephanie Hemphill as full-time environmental reporter. She was previously a general assignment reporter based in Duluth where she reported on regional environmental issues.

MPR had shared the environment beat with health. Hemphill expects to cover energy extensively, as Minnesota has recently established ambitious renewable-energy and carbon-reduction goals.

Christine Heinrichs was selected as a fellow in environmental journalism at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Kauai (www.ntbg.org) May 2007. The week-long fellowship focused on invasive species, ethnobotany and other environmental issues. The group's report is posted online at www. f l i c k r.com/photos/ntbg. Heinrichs has relocated from Madison, Wisc., to Cambria, Calif.

Tom Henry of the Toledo Blade is writing a how-to chapter for journalists covering nuclear power issues for a publication called "A Handbook for Reporters on Nuclear Materials, Energy and Waste Management." The "handbook" is expected to be at least 250 to 300 pages long, similar to a textbook. It is a nonpartisan project funded by CRESP, the Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation, and includes faculty members from universities and medical schools.

Ayana Meade (Metcalf Fellow '05- '06) is an environmental reporter for The Alewife Newspaper and The Powderhouse, both in Massachusetts. She also writes for her own blog, Beanpodder.com, where she covers everything "green" in Massachusetts, including eco-friendly businesses and services and local environmental issues and events.

Mark Neuzil has a new part-time job as a journalist for Minnpost, a new news source in Minneapolis started by the former publisher of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Joel Kramer (www.minnpost.com). It will have both on-line and print versions and is organized as a nonprofit. Neuzil will cover environment and agriculture.

Cleo Paskal is a visiting professor in the Department of Geopolitics at Manipal University, India. Along with teaching, she will help formulate the environmental change and security component of a post-graduate course in International Relations and Public Policy.

Jodi Peterson was recently promoted to associate editor of High Country News (hcn.org), a nonprofit newsmagazine covering environmental, natural resources and community issues in the 11 Western states. Previously, she was the publication's news editor.

David Poulson accepted a national Knight-Batten award recognizing innovative journalism on behalf of Michigan State University students who built an environmental news and information service. Poulson, associate director of MSU's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, was a co-leader of the project that created the Great Lakes Wiki (www.greatlakeswiki.org).

Dick Russell, author of "Eye of the Whale" and "Striper Wars," has collaborated on a new memoir by Jesse Ventura, the wrestler turned independent Minnesota governor. Titled "Don't Start the Revolution Without Me," the book is written through the lens of a road trip to Baja, Mexico, taken by Ventura and his wife. It will be published next April by Skyhorse (New York).

Judith A. Stock writes about her recent stories that include "Designing Your Sustainable Dream Home: 10 Things Every Eco-Home Should Have" (www.naturalhomemagazine.com/arti cle/2007/07/10-things.html) in Natural Home magazine; "Ten Steps to a Greener Home" to be published in the Oregonian newspaper; and "Discovering Green Design," to be published by HGTV Ideas magazine in April or May 2008. She is also interviewing Ed Begley of "Living with Ed" for a Q&A with for Cooking Light that will run mid-year 2008.

Freelancer Jennifer Weeks wrote an online environmental science text, part of a multimedia course called "The Habitable Planet: A Systems Approach to Environmental Science," produced by the Annenberg Foundation. The 13-chapter text covers environmental science topics such as ocean and atmospheric circulation, ecosystems, population, and water resources. Each chapter includes a 30- minute video featuring prominent environmental scientists. The course also includes interactive simulations and a guide for high-school teachers (www.learner.org/channel/courses/e nvsci/index.html).

Snagged a new job or won an award? Contact Jackleen de La Harpe at jackdelaha@yahoo.com

** From SEJ's quarterly newsletter SEJournal, Winter 2008