Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Faculty Member Lisa Drew wins national writing award

Great news! Lisa Drew, our new faculty member in Journalism, has just been awarded National Wildlife magazine's annual Farrand Strohm Writing Award. The prize acknowledges the best work published each year in National Wildlife magazine, one of the country's premiere environmental publications; her winning piece, "Alaska Meltdown" appeared in the magazine's August issue.

Here's the intro to the article (nice promo for IC!):

The Case of the Disappearing Lakes

In her article “Alaska Meltdown,” writer Lisa W. Drew points out that more than half of the state’s immense surface area, including its water, sits on permafrost, the perennially frozen soil or ice that holds entire ecosystems together. “And there’s the rub,” she writes. As global warming fueled by greenhouse gas emissions heats up the planet, the permafrost is thawing. And that, in turn, is causing many lakes and wetlands in Alaska to drain into the ground below. Increasingly, scientists are discovering, water bodies are simply vanishing and the ramifications for wildlife in the state, such as this arctic tern and chick, may be significant.

While reporting on the disappearing lakes, Drew got a glimpse of the effects of this meltdown while tagging along with an international group of permafrost experts studying the area around the city of Fairbanks. Among other things, they encountered dips in roads where permafrost was thawing and sinkholes where massive ice wedges had melted.

“I was living in Fairbanks at the time and after those experiences, I looked at the place in a whole new way,” says Drew, who now teaches journalism at Ithaca College in New York. “It’s hard to take a cityscape for granted when you know some of its underpinnings could melt away.”

Congratulations, Lisa!


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