Announcing the NACCB 2016 Journalist Fellows

COMPASS is proud to support a phenomenal group of reporters, editors, and producers to attend the 2016 North American Congress for Conservation Biology this July. The meeting is expected to bring over 1,000 conservation scientists and practitioners to Madison, WI for workshops, field trips, and symposia around the theme of Communicating Science for Conservation Action.  The pool of applicants was incredibly talented, and we thank everyone who expressed interest in this opportunity.

The fellows will be introduced to the Congress at the opening session during the panel “From The Frontlines To The Bottom Line: Journalists Explain How to Make Your Science Resonate” moderated by Nancy Baron, and featuring

  • Ben Goldfarb, Independent Journalist/High Country News, Orion, Scientific American
  • David Malakoff, Science Magazine
  • Emma Gilchrist, DeSmog Canada
  • Jim Handman, Quirks and Quarks/CBC Radio
  • Manuel Quinones, E&E News
  • Michelle Nijhuis, Independent Journalist/The New Yorker, National Geographic, High Country News

COMPASS will facilitate and weave the journalist fellows into the conference in a variety of ways (more details to come). In the meantime, browse the fellows’ websites (names are linked) for dynamic science and environmental reporting, and connect with the fellows via our Twitter list and #NACCB2016!

NACCB 2016 COMPASS Journalist Fellows

Jes Burns

EarthFix, @radiojes

Jes Burns is the Southern Oregon reporter for EarthFix, an environmental journalism collaboration led by Oregon Public Broadcasting in partnership with six other public media stations in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. She previously worked for the NPR affiliate KLCC in Eugene as a reporter and the local All Things Considered host. Jes has also worked as an editor and producer for Free Speech Radio News and held freelance and staff positions at several public and commercial news outlets. Jes has a degree in English literature from Duke University and a master’s degree in literary nonfiction from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communications. 

Iván Carrillo

Los Observadores, @carillazo

Iván Carrillo is the anchor of the TV show Los Observadores, the only television program in Mexico dedicated to journalistic interviews of scientists. He is also a contributor for National Geographic en Español, Newsweek en Español, CCN en Español (TV), Discovery Channel, Radio Mexiquense, SPR News (TV), El Weso News, and others.  Through innovative science and technology journalism, he seeks to contribute to the formation of a society that sees knowledge as a source to make better decisions and face the challenges of the present and the future.

Colette Derworiz

Calgary Herald, @cderworiz

Colette Derworiz is a senior staff reporter for the Calgary Herald, writing stories about the environment in southern Alberta—everything from fish and grizzly bears to water and wildfires. She has worked as a journalist in Calgary for more than 17 years, covering a variety of topics: education, municipal politics, health and social issues. Derworiz won a National Newspaper Award for political reporting with a colleague in 2005 for a special investigation into a civic election scandal. She was also part of a team that won another for breaking news after its coverage of the Alberta floods in 2013.

Liz Devitt

Independent Journalist,  @elizdevitt

Elizabeth Devitt is a freelance science writer based in Santa Cruz, California. She draws on her first career in veterinary medicine to report stories about the health of animals, people, and the environment. Her work has appeared in National Geographic News, Nature Medicine, Mongabay, Science News for Students, and Ensia, as well as many regional media outlets. She also spent a year chasing mustang stories for a crowd funded project on Beacon Reader. Whenever she isn’t staring at her computer screen––with two cats closely supervising her efforts––you can find Elizabeth running among the redwood trees, swimming in the ocean, or planning her next outdoor adventure.

Lesley Evans Ogden

Independent Journalist, @ljevanso

Lesley is a freelance science writer-producer based in Vancouver, Canada. After scaling the ivory tower, turning a lifelong fascination with birds into a PhD and postdoctoral research in ecology, she parachuted into the wilds of science journalism. During that career transformation she was educated and inspired at the Banff Science Communications Program and the Santa Fe Science Writers Workshop, and spent a year working for the Science Media Centre of Canada. Now a regular contributor at BBC Earth, Natural History, New Scientist and BioScience, her work has also been featured by Nature, Mosaic, Science, CBC and many others.

Liza Gross

Independent Journalist, @lizabio

Liza Gross is an independent journalist and magazine editor at PLOS Biology who writes about science and society, specializing in conservation and environmental and public health. A regular contributor to the Food and Environment Reporting Network and KQED, her work has appeared in Discover, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other outlets. Her Discover story about a surgeon’s struggle to help veterans recover from disfiguring facial injuries won an SPJ NorCal Excellence in Journalism Award, honorable mention from ASJA for Reporting on a Significant Topic and was included in Notable Writing in the 2015 Best American Science and Nature Writing.

 Kat Long

Independent Journalist, @kat_long

Kat Long is a freelance journalist focused on science, history and the environment. She has covered science news for the Wall Street Journal, reporting on fields as diverse as astrophysics, animal behavior and the Neanderthal genome; and Scientific American, where her stories spanned microbiology, psychology and structural engineering. Her articles have appeared in print and online publications including the Washington Post, Smithsonian, Slate, Science, Hakai Magazine and Atlas Obscura. She earned her M.A. from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism with a concentration in health and science reporting. Kat lives in New York City.

Douglas Main

Newsweek, @douglas_main

Douglas Main is a staff writer with Newsweek magazine who currently lives in Brooklyn. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Popular Science,, Discover Magazine, Popular Mechanics and elsewhere. He loves to write about animals, biology, and many other Earthy topics. He is happy to return to the Midwest, where he grew up.

Brian Owens

Independent Journalist, @BL_Owens

Brian Owens is an experienced science journalist and editor who spent 8 years in London working as the online news editor for the leading science journal Nature and as a reporter and news editor for the influential policy magazines Research Fortnight and Research Europe. He now lives in Canada, working as a freelance writer and editor for Nature, New Scientist, Science, and Hakai Magazine, among others.

Kendra Pierre-Louis

Inside Climate News, @KendraWrites

Kendra Pierre-Louis is a Boston area journalist working this summer with Inside Climate News. Her writing, which includes the book Green Washed: Why We Can’t Buy Our Way to a Green Planet, focuses on the relationship between humans and our environment. Kendra has written for numerous publications including the Washington Post, Newsweek, In These Times, Motherboard, Modern Farmer, and Slate. Kendra holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Cornell University, a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development from the SIT Graduate Institute, and is completing a graduate degree in science writing from MIT. She can often be found on an airplane or achieving dramatic feats like living in France without eating butter.

John Platt

Independent Journalist, @johnrplatt

Freelance journalist John R. Platt covers endangered species, wildlife trafficking and related environmental topics for Scientific American, TakePart, Vice, Audubon, Slate and other publications. His work earned the Animal Action Award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare in 2012 and was recently a finalist for the L.A. Press Club Awards. John lives in Portland, Oregon.

Gabriel Popkin

Independent Journalist, @gabrielpopkin

Gabriel Popkin is a Washington, DC-area science writer who writes primarily about physics, ecology and environment (the “particles and plants” beat). His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Science and Nature magazines, and many others. He recently finished a stint as president of the DC Science Writers Association.

Hillary Rosner

Independent Journalist, @hillaryrosner

Hillary Rosner is an independent journalist and editor based in Colorado. She writes for National Geographic, Wired, Scientific American, High Country News, and many other publications, and she is a contributing editor at the startup publication bioGraphic.

Elizabeth Royte

Independent Journalist, @ElizabethRoyte

A Brooklyn-based freelancer, Elizabeth Royte is the author of the critically acclaimed Bottlemania: How Water Went On Sale and Why We Bought It; Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash; and The Tapir’s Morning Bath: Solving the Mysteries of the Tropical Rain Forest. Her writing on science and the environment has appeared in Harper’s, National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Outside, and other national publications. Royte is a contributing editor at Smithsonian Magazine, OnEarth, and the Food and Environment Reporting Network. She is a former Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow, an Overbrook Foundation grantee, and a recipient of Bard College’s John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service.

Malavika Vyawahare

Independent Journalist, @MalavikaVy

Malavika Vyawahare is a New York-based science journalist who started her career at The New York Times’ South Asia bureau. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School in 2015 with a masters in science and environment reporting, and has reported extensively on health issues in India and on climate change in the U.S. She is trying to bridge the gap between narratives about the environment in the developed and developing countries through the written word, data and multimedia.

Niki Wilson

Independent Journalist, @niki_wilson

Niki Wilson is a science writer with a past life as a biologist. She grew up dodging bears in Jasper National Park, Canada, and has studied everything from mammoths to mountain pine beetle. She’s now traded the field for a computer screen, and writes about nature and the environment for publications like BBC Earth, Canadian Wildlife Magazine, Natural History Magazine, and Canadian Geographic. When not writing, she looks for other creative ways to communicate science, whether it be producing and hosting science events, working on documentaries, or making guest appearances in a science rock and roll band.

We appreciate the generous support of the Wilburforce Foundation, the Darby Foundation, and the Sitka Foundation, and the partnership of Y2Y in facilitating the presence of Canadian journalists.

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