HOUGHTON -- Freelance journalist Katie Alvord of Houghton recently accepted her $3000 Award for Excellence in Online Reporting for her series of articles on climate change in the Lake Superior basin, which appeared on Keweenaw Now last summer.
Katie Alvord accepts her Award for Excellence in Online Reporting at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts during the Annual Conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Alvord received the $3000 cash award from AAAS for a series of articles on climate change in the Lake Superior Basin, published on Keweenaw Now. Also pictured is Peter Spotts of the Christian Science Monitor, MC for the awards ceremony. (Photo © Michael J. Colella. Colellaphoto.com for AAAS.)
The awards were presented at this year's American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Journalism Awards ceremony held on Feb. 15, 2008, at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The Museum is a few blocks from the convention center where the AAAS Annual Conference was headquartered. Nine to ten thousand writers and scientists attended the conference.
"It's a real boost to get this kind of recognition," Alvord said. "I'm very grateful to AAAS and to the many researchers who generously shared their time and information as I was writing this series."
Against a backdrop of Renaissance art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Katie Alvord gives an acceptance speech to a crowd of writers and scientists at this year's American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Journalism Awards ceremony on Feb. 15, 2008. (Photo © Michael J. Colella. Colellaphoto.com for AAAS.)
The awards were first announced last November. As the Keweenaw Now blog reported at that time, the press release for the awards mentioned Keweenaw Now as the publisher of Alvord's three articles, stating, "In a solid example of localized science reporting for a community-based Web site, freelance writer Alvord described the potential local impacts of global warming on a local Michigan community."*
The three articles, illustrated by photos, can still be found on the archived Keweenaw Now site.
In the first article, "Lake Superior warming fast: Researchers surprised by strong trends," published on May 7, 2007, and updated on July 10 and July 15, 2007, Alvord quoted researchers from the University of Minnesota at Duluth on the rapid rise in Lake Superior's average summer surface temperature. Their data showed not only that the lake has become warmer, windier and less icy since 1980, but also that its surface waters have warmed twice as fast as the region’s air. The article also discusses the effects of the lake's declining ice on the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose study, the lower lake levels reported at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and studies of Lake Superior's CO2 emissions by scientists at Michigan Tech University.
In the second article, "Lake Superior Basin feeling heat: Part 2," published June 3, 2007, and Updated July 15, 2007, Alvord reports scientific findings concerning the effects of warming temperatures on the wolf and moose of Isle Royale, various small mammals found in the Upper Peninsula, migrating birds and even microscopic plankton.
Finally, in "Businesses feel the heat: Lake Superior warms up, part 3," published on June 30, 2007, and updated July 15, 2007, Alvord cites the effects of warmer winters on Keweenaw tourism and sports -- from snowmobiling to skiing to mountain biking. She interviewed some local bikers who, because of warm temperatures and lack of snow, chose mountain biking as an alternative to snowshoeing in Copper Harbor on New Year's Day, 2007. Alvord also mentions some efforts of local residents to invest in alternative energies such as wind, solar and fuel cells for home and business.
*Editor's Note: Click on the above links to read each of Katie Alvord's prize-winning articles on Keweenaw Now. See also our Nov. 15, 2007, article, "Local Writer wins journalism award."