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2008 Science Journalism Fellows at Toolik Lake Long-Term Ecological Research site in Alaska

In the News: NY Times, NPR and Other News Stories by MBL Science Journalists Highlight Arctic Science

Ecosystems Center scientists are featured in recent articles and radio interviews by science writers and editors who spent two weeks this summer at the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) project at Toolik Lake, Alaska. The 10 journalists were part of the MBL's Science Journalism Program's Polar Fellowship and conducted hands-on research with center scientists at the remote site, which is 140 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The goal of the LTER project is to predict the effects of environmental change by studying the ecology of Arctic tundra, streams and lakes.

The 2008 fellows in the Science Journalism Progam were selected for the MBL’s new Polar Fellowships, created in conjunction with the International Polar Year, to participate in a weeklong hands-on course focusing on key science questions in polar research. Following the course, the journalists teamed up with research scientists to work side-by-side with them in the field and laboratory. This winter, three Polar Fellows will spend an additional month with scientists studying the effects of climate change and ecosystem function at Palmer Station on the Antarctic Peninsula. The experience provides an unmatched opportunity to experience, compare, and contrast polar change and research conducted at both poles.

Arctic research by Anne Giblin, senior scientist at the Ecosystems Center, was featured in an article by Richard Morgan in the New York Times on September 2, 2008, "Beyond Carbon: Scientists Worry About Nitrogen’s Effects." Also featured in the article was James Galloway of University of Virginia, a visiting scientist at the Ecosystems Center this year.

Nancy Cohen of Connecticut Public Radio’s Environmental Reporting Initiative interviewed Ecosystems Center senior scientists and other Toolik LTER scientists for five radio spots:

Above the Arctic Circle” (Radio)
Nancy Cohen
Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network

On the Road to Toolik: Deadhorse, Alaska” (Radio)
Nancy Cohen
Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network

"Hiking Along the ANWR" (Radio)
Nancy Cohen
Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network

Arctic Fish a Sentinel of Climate Change” (Radio)
Nancy Cohen
Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network

150 miles north of the Arctic Circle, it's so isolated there’s no place to spend your money” (Radio)
Nancy Cohen
Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network


Stories from the Toolik station also appeared in the Kansas City Star, Raleigh News and Observer and Sacramento Bee.

“Scientists Worry as Once Frozen Tundra Thaws in Alaska”
Scott Canon
Kansas City Star

Arctic Lakes Show Warming: UNCG Researcher Studies Melting Permafrost”
Wade Rawlins
Raleigh News & Observer

Scientists at Arctic Research Station Take Pulse of the Warming Earth”
Carrie Peyton Dahlberg
Sacramento Bee


Other reporters posted their reports on arctic research to blogs.

Jim Metzner of NPR’s Pulse of the Planet Science Diary, who was part of a previous MBL Science Journalism group, interviewed Heidi Golden, research assistant for Linda Deegan, also a principal investigator on the Arctic LTER project. In interviews, Ms. Golden describes her team’s study of Arctic grayling in the Kuparuk River. These scientists hope that their studies of yearly fish population changes will help them understand effects of climate change.

Pulse of the Plant interviews are available on the web site (daily programs, June 2008)