Fund for Environmental Journalism Announces Summer 2012 Grantees

September 13, 2012 — Thanks to generous funding from the Cornelius King Foundation and the Heinz Endowments, plus numerous small gifts from members and friends of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ), we awarded a total of $12,105 to five journalism projects selected in SEJ’s Fund for Environmental Journalism (FEJ) Summer 2012 grant cycle. In addition to the grant, SEJ will also provide mentoring support to any grantees requesting it.

The Society of Environmental Journalists launched the Fund for Environmental Journalism in 2010, to support reporting projects and entrepreneurial journalism ventures related to the environment. For the first time in its history SEJ began awarding small grants to both staff and freelance journalists, to cover costs of travel, lab testing, graphics development, website costs, and other budget items without which journalists might have been unable to produce and distribute specific timely stories about important environmental issues.

Congratulations to the grantees in the Summer 2012 round:


Jane Braxton Little (pictured at left) and Winifred Bird(right)
Greenville, CA, USA and Nagano, Japan
$3,500 for travel to the Ukraine and Fukushima to produce an article on approaches to managing forest contamination in the aftermath of nuclear disaster

The reporting partners' FEJ-funded work resulted in several articles with more promised:

Ms. Bird wrote additional articles:

More about Jane Braxton Little:

More about Winifred Bird:


Tara Lohan
San Francisco, CA
$730 for travel expenses to support a feature story and photographic essay showing the impact on rural communities of fresh water diversion to Las Vegas

Ms. Lohan's FEJ-funded story, along with an accompanying slideshow, was published as the top story on on Jan 25, 2013: "Las Vegas Accused of Engineering Massive Water Grab: Is This the Future of the West?"

Tara Lohan is a senior editor at AlterNet and editor of two books on the global water crisis, including "Water Matters: Why We Need to Act Now to Save Our Most Critical Resource." Her work has also appeared on Salon, The Nation, Yes! Magazine, Huffington Post, Terrain, Guernica and other publications.


Barbara Moran
Brookline, MA
$1,325 for travel and media-production expenses for articles examining the impact on environmental pollution and public health of industrial laundries in New England

Ms. Moran's FEJ-funded print investigative story was picked up by several newspapers in CT. It also ran on WTIC Fox News CT on Nov 20, 2012, and on NPR on Nov 21, 2012.

"EPA Investigating Toxic Laundry Emissions in New England" Connecticut Health I-Team (C-HIT), Nov 19, 2012 and The Hartford Courant, Nov 20, 2012.

Barbara's website features her work for many publications and television documentaries.


Erica Peterson
Louisville, KY
$3,500 for air-testing expenses to support reporting for a radio series about industrial pollution in Louisville, Kentucky

In the fall of 2013, WFPL News, an NPR affiliate, aired and published online Ms. Peterson's series on the FEJ-funded topic:

"Which Louisville Neighborhoods Are Affected by Traffic Exhaust? All of Them." Oct 30, 2013.

"What Walks Through Louisville Reveal About Black Carbon Exposure," Oct 31, 2013.

"In Black Carbon, Scientists Find a Major Source Behind Climate Change," Nov 1, 2013.


Meera Subramanian
West Barnstable, MA
$3,050 for travel expenses to produce articles, and chapters for a book, about sustainable growth and development in India

FEJ and a Fulbright-Nehru fellowship assisted work on her forthcoming book "Elemental India," five interwoven nonfiction stories about the environment in India, based on the five elements (PublicAffairs, 2015). Below is a long-form feature for the Virginia Quarterly Review based on the reporting she did in Bihar. She has also shared links to other shorter articles that were produced as a result of the grant, including a piece for India Ink, the New York Times blog about India:

"India's Golden Chance," Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR), Winter 2014

"Bihar School Deaths Highlight India's Struggle With Pesticides," The New York Times Global Edition India, July 30, 2013.

"Sweeping Air," Revealer, November 21, 2012.

"Rewriting Indian Legends," Revealer, December 31, 2012.

"Must India Ravage to Rise?" Caravan, October 1, 2012.

Ms. Subramanian writes for national and international publications including Nature, The New York Times, Virginia Quarterly Review and Orion. Visit her website:


To learn more about the FEJ grants program, including applicant eligibility and submission guidelines, or to see information and links about past awards, please go to the Fund for Environmental Journalism web page. We are currently fundraising for the next FEJ round of grants. Please consider making your own donation today, to help SEJ build the Fund for Environmental Journalism and support new work! Many in this field are adapting to disruptions in their employment and new methods in media; yet they remain steadfast in their goal of providing our communities every day with vitally important information on environment-related issues.  If you would like to help experienced environmental journalists to continue producing rich, rigorously investigated and unbiased content, please make a gift on SEJ's secure website.

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