"Let the River Run" - 10 Jan. 2015
Alexandra Witze introduced her readers to the seismologists who work around the clock to pinpoint major earthquakes around the globe; to a brother and sister who have spent their lives studying Pluto; and to scientists and engineers involved in the removal of two dams on the Elwha River in Washington's Olympic Penninsula and the restoration of the environment behind the dams. The judges praised Witze's command of diverse topics, each story illuminated through on-the-scene reporting. Dan Vergano of BuzzFeed called her work "sterling reporting that opens windows on the people behind the science of our world and worlds beyond." Robert Lee Hotz, science reporter for The Wall Street Journal, said Witze's work "demonstrates her breadth as a beat reporter." Witze noted that one of her stories "allowed me to explore the rich history of Pluto exploration in advance of the historic New Horizons mission flyby — with the added twist of a brother/sister pair of researchers, each of whom played leading roles in uncovering the secrets of Pluto."