From Environmental Fiction to Top Investigative Awards

July 15, 2006



Katherine Beer writes that her environmental fiction novel, "What Love Can't Do," will be published in June (Plain View Press, Austin, Texas). The novel explores family relationships against a background of environmental collapse in the 2040s. She writes that she believes it's the first novel to portray the social consequences of global warming. Her screenplay, Home, placed in the 2004 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards contest, and is a story about a world 250 years into the future when all life has to be contained in a giant glass dome.

Sarah Bennett has changed jobs and is now a full-time investigative reporter at KOKI FOX 23 in Tulsa, Okla. She was formerly a reporter/anchor for KFSM in Fort Smith, Ark.

Jim Detjen won one of eleven annual international awards from Michigan State University. Detjen received the Ralph H. Smuckler Award for Advancing International Studies and Programs at MSU. Detjen is the director of MSU's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and co-founder and first president of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Robert Frye's first book, "Deer Wars: Science, Tradition and the Battle Over Managing Whitetails in Pennsylvania," will be published this summer (Penn State University Press, August 2006). The book uses historical information, ongoing scientific research and interviews with more than 200 people to look at the decades-long controversy over managing white-tailed deer. This book looks at all aspects of the deer debate: the question of how many deer is enough, the relationships between deer and forestry, farming and suburbia, the future of hunting and the question of who should pay for wildlife management in North America. The book features photos by award-winning photographer Gregory D.Sofranko.    

Sharon Guynup's first book, "State of the Wild 2006: A Global Portrait of Wildlife, Wildlands, and Oceans," produced for the Wildlife Conservation Society, was recently released by Island Press. It is an edited volume of original essays; Guynup managed the format, content and editing. She writes that it includes essays on some of the world's most pressing conservation issues with writings by Bill McKibben, Rick Bass, George Schaller, Sylvia Earle, Carl Safina and others.

Gregory Harman placed in the Houston Press Club's annual Lone Star Awards in the government reporting category for the Houston Press. Meanwhile, he moved from the Houston Press to freelance work and launched an environmental website dedicated to "Energy City and the South Coast" (

Kristin Johnson, designer and graduate student at MSU, Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, writes that EJ Magazine won a top regional SPJ award. EJ Magazine focuses on environmental journalism and is produced by students.

Alex Nussbaum, staff reporter for The (Hackensack, N.J.) Record, was a co-writer of the series "Toxic Legacy" (www.toxiclegacy. com) that won numerous major prizes including the IRE 2005 Medal, the top prize among about 600 entries; the Responsible Journalism/Public Service award from the New Jersey Press Association; and the 2006 SPJ top investigative reporting award (100,000 circulation). "Toxic Legacy" described the waste that continues to pollute a vast area populated largely by low-income residents more than 25 years after the Ford Motor Co. closed its plant in Mahwah, N.J.

New York Times reporter Andy Revkin has written his third book, his first for younger readers: "The North Pole Was Here: Puzzles & Perils at the Top of the World" (Kingfisher, April 2006). The illustrated book follows Revkin's trip to the shifting, melting sea ice at 90 degrees north with a climate-research team in 2003 and chronicles the evolving, and troubled, relationship between people and the Arctic. Revkin says his goal with the book is to tell the story of climate change and Arctic warming in a scare-free, spin-free way that lets the science speak for itself. It is intended for the whole family and is the first in a new line of books co-published by The Times and Houghton Mifflin.

Jennifer Smith, Newsday, has landed the environmental beat at the Long Island paper.

Ken Ward Jr., staff writer, Charleston (WV) Gazette, won an Alicia Patterson Fellowship to work on his research titled, "The Curse of Coal." The fellowship began April 1 and finishes Sept. 30.

David Wiwchar has returned to "mainstream" reporting after eight years working in Aboriginal media. As managing editor and senior reporter for Ha-Shilth-Sa (Canada's oldest First Nations newspaper), Wiwchar won numerous fellowships and awards. Now, he has taken his skills to A-Channel TV News. Wiwchar will continue to cover environmental issues and events along the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island.

If you've taken a new job, won a big award or are about to publish a new book, contact Jackleen de La Harpe at

** From SEJ's quarterly newsletter  SEJournal Summer, 2006 issue

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