Award Winners

2013

Large Newspaper

"Deep Trouble" - 19 Aug., 22 Aug., 26 Aug. 2012

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Dan Egan, a science writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, won for a three-part series, "Deep Trouble," that examined why a seemingly radical solution — damming and reversing the flow of the Chicago River — may be necessary to protect the Great Lakes from the invasive Asian carp. The reporting was done as part of a master's thesis project at Columbia University, Egan said.

"I want to thank my editors for letting me go to New York to stretch my ability to write about these complicated topics, and for recognizing there was such a strange and interesting...Read more

Small Newspaper

"Warning: Quake in 60 Seconds" - 1 May 2013

East Bay Express

 

An early warning system could save thousands of lives when the next major earthquake hits the West Coast. Ghorayshi reported on the work of a group at the University of California at Berkeley that has been developing such a warning system, and she pointed out the wide gap between the United States and Japan in the deployment of such systems. Lee Hotz of The Wall Street Journal said Ghorayshi's piece was "sound on science and sage on the politics of earthquake early warning systems." Ghorayshi "made a great case for why California needs to follow Japan's lead in...Read more

Magazine

"Attack of the Mutant Pupfish" - December 2012

Wired

 

Hillary Rosner, the winner in the magazine category for a piece in Wired, considered some of the consequences of a rogue fish population. She described what happened when a few pupfish from a different species managed to infiltrate a refuge designed to preserve the endangered Devil's Hole pupfish in the Mojave Desert. The possible response to the invasion, she found, goes against conventional thinking on how to protect an endangered species.

Rosner thanked her editors for "seeing the promise in this story, which deals with some of the serious issues — both...Read more

Television: Spot News/Feature Reporting

"Adrien Treuille Profile" - 14 November 2012

NOVA scienceNow

 

Joshua Seftel won the television award for spot news/feature reporting for a NOVA scienceNOW segment on Adrien Treuille, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University. Treuille has harnessed the brainpower of thousands of people who play computer games as a way to help solve difficult problems such as protein folding. David Baron, health and science editor for Public Radio International's "The World" and a contest judge, said Seftel's segment "brought energy and artistry to a topic that could easily be dry. A great concept, brilliantly executed."

 Treuille...Read more

Television: In-Depth Reporting

"Killer in the Caves" - 13 Mar. 2013

Smithsonian Channel

 

Bats in North America are dying by the millions, victims of a mysterious fungus that causes white-nose syndrome and has produced one of the greatest wildlife disasters in U.S. history. "Killer in the Caves" follows bat expert DeeAnn Reeder of Bucknell University and wildlife manager Greg Turner of the Pennsylvania Game Commission in their fight against a disease that is driving little brown bats, one of the most common bat species in the northeastern United States, toward extinction. It also is causing mass mortalities among five other species. The program "paired fantastic...Read more

Radio

"As Mine Protections Fail, Black Lung Cases Surge" - 9 July 2012

"Black-Lung Rule Loopholes Leave Miners Vulnerable" - 10 July 2012

NPR and The Center for Public Integrity

 

In a joint investigation by Sandra Bartlett, Howard Berkes and Andrea de Leon of NPR and Chris Hamby of The Center for Public Integrity, Berkes looked at the resurgence of black lung disease among coal miners, particularly in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. He described how the disease is afflicting younger miners and advancing more quickly to the worst stage of the disease. The two-part series discussed how existing regulatory limits on coal dust are inadequate to protect miners from the increasing levels of silicon dioxide being released as more powerful...Read more

Certificate of Merit

“Coal in the Pacific Northwest” - 11 March, 12 March and 18 June 2013

KUOW Public Radio (Seattle)

 

The radio judging committee also recognized Ashley Ahearn of KUOW Public Radio in Seattle for a three-part series on coal in the Pacific Northwest (11 March, 12 March, and 18 June 2013). Energy companies have been assessing several sites for ship terminals in Washington and Oregon where coal could be transferred from trains arriving from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming. "The prospect of exporting millions of tons of coal through the Northwest is, and will continue to be, the most important story on my beat." Ahearn said. "My goal in this series...Read more

Online

"Uprising: Can a self-trained scientist solve one of the biggest problems in energy policy?" - 21 Feb. 2013

Matter

 

Bob Ackley spent his life working the streets for some of America's biggest gas companies. More recently, with the help of Boston University's Nathan Phillips, he has been tracking the gas that leaks from underground pipelines, all with full knowledge of the industry. He has concluded that the amount of natural gas leaking beneath city streets is far greater than previously realized. Some scientists now believe such leaks may be helping to accelerate climate change in a way that few had suspected — even as governments worldwide are backing natural gas as an alternative to...Read more

Children's Science News

"Kaltwasserkorallen: Ein Paradies am Meeresgrund" (Cold Water Corals: Paradise on the Seabed) - October 2012

GEOlino magazine (Germany)

 

Barbara Lich of GEOlino, a German science magazine for children, won the children's science news award, established in 2005. Until 2015, it was the only AAAS science journalism award open to writers for media outlets not based in the United States.

While corals have been well-studied in tropical reefs, Lich told her young readers about the lesser-known cold water corals living hundreds of meters below the ocean's surface, a realm only reachable by a crewed submersible. She accompanied a team of research biologists from the Helmholtz Center for Oceanic Research...Read more