Earthwatch, Maynard, MA, November 18, 2009—Earthwatch ran a team of volunteers comprised solely of media professionals for the first time in its 38-year history last month.
The Climate Change Workshop was an intense, five-day immersion experience held at Earthwatch’s sustainable forestry management project in Maryland for journalists from the Washington, DC area. The fellowships, supported by the HSBC Climate Partnership, were awarded to a diverse group of professionals in a competitive application process:
- Katie Arcieri, The Capital
- Ben Block, Worldwatch Institute
- Wilma Consul, Freelance
- Pere Estupinya, El Pais and Knight MIT Tracker
- Carolyn Gramling, Earth magazine
- David Hawxhurst, Freelance photographer and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
- Peter Mooreside, Ecological Society of America (Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment)
- Karen Yuan, NASA
“Reporters covering critical—and complex—issues like climate change are thirsty for hands-on research experiences in which they can interact directly with scientists in the field,” said Kristen Kusek, Public Relations Director for Earthwatch in Metro Boston, “and we were very excited with the success of this pilot program.” While Earthwatch routinely engages teams of teachers, students, corporate volunteers, families and other volunteers who want to participate in hands-on field research, the all-media team was a first.
The workshop was held from October 13-17, 2009 at Earthwatch’s North American Regional Climate Center, based in the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland. Plans are underway to roll the program out at Earthwatch climate centers in four other countries: UK, Brazil, India and China.
“Quality environmental coverage has plummeted in recent years,” Kusek said. “Yet the planet’s mounting environmental challenges demand an informed, science-literate society—especially as we’re building up to the climate change talks in Copenhagen. We’ve got to keep innovating effective ways to bridge the gap between science and the public and empowering journalists on research expeditions like this is one way to do that.”
Media contact: Kristen Kusek, firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-450-1281
Earthwatch, a leader in “citizen science” for the last 38 years, is an international environmental organization that engages people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Earthwatch currently supports 100 research projects in 38 countries, and has engaged more than 90,000 volunteers since its founding in 1971.
Formed in 2007, the HSBC Climate Partnership brings together HSBC, The Climate Group, Earthwatch Institute, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and WWF to tackle the urgent threat of climate change on people, water, forests and cities.