Senator John Heinz

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The Heinz Awards

2010

Elizabeth Kolbert

A groundbreaking environmental journalist, Elizabeth Kolbert is devoted to educating the public about environmental issues and has gone far beyond traditional reporting - even raising a hive of bees in her backyard to better understand their habits and explain them to her readers for a story about their mysterious disappearance.

When Ms. Kolbert joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 1999, she began to fully explore the field of environmentalism in general and the topic of global change in particular. Her fascination with the climate began in early 2000, when she felt the topic, which was mostly the province of scientists and environmentalists, was not getting enough clear coverage in the mass media.

Ms. Kolbert's unique ability to communicate complex information generates intense public interest and grabs national attention. Her passion and creativity shine through her writing. Ms. Kolbert has an ability to describe complicated scientific processes in entertaining and educating ways, which she does in her book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe, while telling the critical story of our changing planet.

In a style that is both instructional and chatty, Ms. Kolbert walks readers who are largely not scientists or climate experts, through the multiple disciplines studying this issue. She is an award-winning journalist who brings her natural curiosity and intelligence to bear on the growing concerns raised by our warming planet. By dissecting and making accessible the vast and highly technical scientific information available on global climate change, she brings these crucial issues to a wider audience.

She has become a trusted resource to a growing network of concerned citizens who crave informed expertise on the environmental issues but who lack the access she has acquired to the many disciplines researching the topic.

Note: This profile is excerpted from the commemorative brochure published at the time of the awards' presentation.


UPDATES SINCE RECEIVING THE HEINZ AWARD

September 2011 - Elizabeth Kolbert, a former New York Times reporter who now writes for The New Yorker, is receiving the Sierra Club's David R. Brower Award, which recognizes outstanding environmental reporting. Kolbert's 2006 book Field Notes from a Catastrophe, which was based on an award-winning three-part series for The New Yorker, is one of the most powerful commentaries to date on global climate shift. - Sierra Club

Elizabeth Kolbert
Elizabeth Kolbert