New Jobs, New Awards and New Ventures Await SEJ Members

October 15, 2011

Media on the Move


SEJ members never seem to be at a loss for exciting new projects, promotions and awards, and recent months did not disappoint. Here’s what members had to tell:

Tom Henry, who created The (Toledo) Blade’s environment beat upon joining that Ohio newspaper in 1993, was promoted to The Blade’s editorial board. He is one of two editorial writers reporting to the newspaper’s top editor, Dave Kushma. The environment is among several topics Tom is editorializing on. His environmental column that has appeared since 2007 in The Blade’s Sunday news analysis section is to be replaced by one that will appear more frequently in the op-ed pages and include a broader range of topics.

Henry, who was elected to a three-year term on SEJ’s board of directors last fall, also was named SEJournal’s book editor in April and also was named to the magazine's editorial board that month. He continues to write an environmental column for Great Lakes Echo, an online publication produced by Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism.

Sara Peach won an appointment to be a lecturer at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina. In the fall, she will teach a course on environmental journalism for graduate and undergraduate students.

Soll Sussman’s article, “Green Beyond the Menu,” appeared in the summer issue of Edible Austin magazine.

Cynthia Barnett, longtime senior writer at Florida Trend magazine, is out with her second water book this fall. Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis is the first book to call for a national water ethic. Barnett is also the author of Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. Catch her in Miami on either the Lake O tour or the Sunday morning book authors’ panel.

Judith Robinson received a grant from the Highlights Foundation in July to attend the Children’s Writers Workshop at Chautauqua that included seminars on science writing for young adults.

Dawn Stover is now a contributing editor at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, along with her other freelance work. She focuses on nuclear energy and climate change for the Bulletin.

Bill Kovarik has published a media history textbook, Revolutions in Communication, with several sections on environmental reporting. One section concerns the Science News Service and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography; it can be read in the features section of the author’s website. Kovarik is a professor at Radford University and former SEJ board representative for academic members. Kovarik’s next book will be a history of sustainable energy.

Elizabeth Grossman was a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in June. She also received a grant from The Nation Institute Investigative Fund. In addition, her book Chasing Molecules: Poison Products, Human Health, and the Promise of Green Chemistry will be published in paperback by Island Press this fall.

Dana Dugan has joined the full-time staff of Environmental Health News and as assistant editor. Dugan will help oversee the research staff and coordinate social media for and She was previously a senior researcher at EHN.

Miranda C. Spencer has a new gig as a part-time morning researcher for the sister news websites, Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate, published by Environmental Health Sciences.

Jim Detjen, director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University, was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to teach environmental journalism at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China from February to July 2012. He and his wife, Connie, expect to travel throughout China and parts of Southeast Asia during this scholarship.

This is the second Fulbright scholarship Jim has received. In 2002 he taught at Nankai University in Tinjian, China as part of his first Fulbright. At that time he taught what is believed to be the first class on environmental journalism ever offered in mainland China. His wife and their two sons accompanied him on that trip in 2002.

Peter Thomson, environment editor for the PRI/BBC program “The World” and an SEJ board member, is an Eleanor Bateman Alumni Scholar this fall at his alma mater, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The UMass Alumni Association says the program “provides students with role models that exemplify achievement of the university's mission through professional accomplishments and/or public service.”

Thomson is grateful for the honor and says he hopes to enjoy the experience despite fears that it may feel like one of those recurring nightmares when you're back in school as an adult because you realized you missed a crucial credit and so never actually graduated.

Portland, OR-based freelancer Bill Lascher completed a Knight Digital Media Center Multimedia and Convergence Journalism fellowship at U.C. Berkeley. He also published a report on newly discovered seismic hazards surrounding the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear plant. The three-part piece ran on

Death Before Dawn, Christine Heinrichs’ account of the 2008 elephant seal shootings at Piedras Blancas, Calif. and the ensuing investigation by NOAA, was awarded third place in the Reported Narrative category at the 2011 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. “A nice trophy and $1,000!” she noted.

Terri Hansen was honored with two Native American Journalists Association’s 2011 Excellence in Journalism awards: Best Environmental News Story in a daily (Indian Country Today Media Network), and Best Feature in a monthly (High Country News).

Canadian SEJ member Silver Donald Cameron is host and executive producer of the subscription web site The site recently posted a Special Presentation on Bhutan, a package of text, documentary video and interviews about the tiny Himalayan nation that has chosen to maximize Gross National Happiness rather than Gross National Product.

The site’s most recent interview is with Kartikeya Sarabhai, one of the world’s leading environmental educators, who heads the Centre for Environment Education in Ahmedabad, India. Upcoming interviews include primatologist Jane Goodall and Ronald Wright, author of A Short History of Progress.

Judy Fahys is environment reporter at The Salt Lake Tribune.

From the quarterly newsletter SEJournal, Fall 2011 issue.

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