A story by Paul Voosen -- "Glacial ghosts set sea-level trap for East Coast," which was published in GreenWire describes a wide variety of interwoven factors that affect sea-level rise on the East Coast of the United States. Award judges felt that this story tackled a difficult scientific topic and examined several important geophysical concepts that had not been widely reported.
The selection panel particularly liked Voosen's use of picturesque language to engage the reader and his use of metaphors to explain difficult-to-understand concepts. One committee member commented that, "The story gets the reader interested from the start. The opening sentence, 'The United States has a debt, etched in stone, to pay back to the sea,' promises a lot, and the article delivers." Another committee member said, "I really liked the amount of science in there ... the way Voosen described challenging topics like isostatic rebound. Also, the effect of Greenland 'losing its gravity.' That's not usually reported."
Although the article did not focus on "superstorm" Sandy, it was published not long after the storm's landfall on the U.S. East Coast, and thus provided useful and timely context for understanding the devastating coastal flooding from combined effects of the storm and sea-level rise. As a committee member said, "Overall, it was a very engrossing story that gave me a much more complete picture of sea-level rise than one normally gets."
The Sullivan and Perlman awards each consist of a plaque and a $5,000 stipend. AGU is presenting these journalism awards today at the Honors Tribute of the organization's annual Fall Meeting, which is currently taking place in San Francisco.
|Contact: Peter Weiss|
American Geophysical Union