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AGU honors outstanding journalists
Date:12/11/2013

er Sullivan Award honors outstanding reporting on the Earth and space sciences under a deadline of more than one week. Freelance writer Tim Folger is receiving the award for his article "The Calm Before the Wave," published in the National Geographic magazine, February 2012.

In his article, Folger recounts the story of tsunamis, especially the ones that struck Japan and Indonesia in the past decade, exploring the science of those hazards, their history, the destruction and terror they inflict, and efforts to improve survival odds for victims of future inundations. In interviews with a Japanese mayor who lost his town to the 2011 tsunami, geoscientists who study past and present tsunamis, and safety trainers who go to Indonesian schools trying to prepare for tsunamis-to-come, Folger brings to life the personal terror, the scientific puzzles and the enduring, seemingly insurmountable dangers to large populations around the world from these hazards.

The panel of award judges found Folger's article to be "a beautifully detailed piece which provides a compelling story about the nexus of science, society and policy." The article "has real staying power," they added, "with many evocative portrayals of those who survived, and of the communities struggling with managing risk from the catastrophic forces of nature."

"This is a wonderful example of science journalism by narrative," the selection committee declared in its letter recommending the article for the Sullivan award. "Folger does an excellent job of incorporating the latest in earthquake and tsunami science and linking it with the clear benefits to society in an engaging and pressing way. He has documented the errors and weaknesses in science, technology and communication that have contributed to past tsunami disasters, and describes how new discoveries are unearthing even more hazards lurking in unexpected places. In what, at first glance, can be seen as a fatalistic view of the inevitab
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Contact: Peter Weiss
PWeiss@agu.org
202-777-7507
American Geophysical Union
Source:Eurekalert

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