2006 Recipient: Small Newspaper

AAAS Science Journalism Awards

2006 Recipient: Small Newspaper

Michelle Nijhuis
High Country News
The Ghosts of Yosemite” 17 October 2005
Save Our Snow” 6 March 2006
Dust and Snow” 29 May 2006

In stories on climate change in the West, Nijhuis described the work of contemporary scientists who are using pioneering field work in Yosemite by biologist Joseph Grinnell nearly a century ago to better understand the changes now occurring in animal populations of the Sierra range; the efforts by Aspen, Colorado and other western towns to grapple with changing climate; and the impact of airborne dust, from drought-stricken grazing lands and other sources, on snow pack in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Peter Spotts of The Christian Science Monitor called her series “a nice blend of current research and historical context” that is “accessible to a lay readership.” Gugliotta praised the “solid reporting, demonstrating how history informs modern science.” Nijhuis said that “by describing the visible effects of global warming on familiar places—Yosemite National Park, the Rocky Mountains—I tried to bring the issue home without sacrificing the nuances of the science.”