Karen Lips is well-aware of the importance of strategic science communication in affecting environmental policy. In November 2014, she and her colleague Joseph Mendelson published an op-ed in the New York Times warning of a pathogenic fungus spreading among European salamanders that could decimate salamander populations in the United States. She and Mendelson urged prompt government action. Within a year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued an interim rule that shut down importation of 201 salamander species to the U.S. “Getting to the New York Times was key,” she says, in making this a higher policy priority.
When these salamanders were first discovered, locals thought they were baby dragons.
The Prizes celebrate outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults.
This post in the Spotlight on Science Writers series comes from Sandra Markle, author of The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs.