Published: April 22, 2020

Happy Earth Day!

As environmental Buffs may know, this year’s celebration is extra special, as it’s the 50th anniversary of the annual event, which was first celebrated in 1970. Head to the CU Boulder Environmental Center’s website to see how our campus is celebrating virtually. 

CMCI has long been a hub of environmentally-focused research, reporting, outreach and creative work. This work takes place through several of our centers and initiatives, including the Center for Environmental Journalism, which has facilitated in-depth environmental reporting since its establishment in 1992; The Water Desk, which provides increased coverage of Western water issues; the Grand Challenge-funded Nature, Environment, Science and Technology Studio for the Arts (NEST), which combines aesthetic practices and scientific research; and the Center for Communication and Democratic Engagement, which includes focuses on climate justice and community engagement, and more. Throughout the college, we’re proud of our multimedia storytellers, reporters, researchers and activists working to create awareness, engagement and positive change. 

Here’s our top 10 Earth Day reads––in order of publication date––featuring CMCI students, faculty, fellows and staff. 

  • Earlier this month, Department of Communication Associate Professor Phaedra Pezzullo co-hosted the webinar "Power Dialog: Climate Solutions for Colorado," which featured remarks from Gov. Jared Polis. You can still watch a recorded version of the webinar, or read the top five takeaways, written by alumnus and CU science writer Kelsey Simpkins (MJour’18). You can also read about Pezzullo’s work with CU’s Just Transition Collaborative in our CMCI Now story, “#PoweredByThePeople.” (March 30, 2020)

  • In this piece for the Colorado Sun, CEJ Scripps Fellow Sharon Udasin examined the relationship between the city of Denver and San Luis, Mexico, in their efforts to both restore the Colorado River’s flow and create greenspaces to connect the two cities. (Feb. 24, 2020)

  • As actors like Joaquin Phoenix, Jane Fonda and Leonardo DiCaprio continue to speak out about a range of climate issues, Department of Media Studies Scholar-in-Residence Hunter Vaughan says their own industry takes a massive toll on the environment. Check out this CU Boulder Today article by Lisa Marshall––CU’s senior science writer and a master’s student in the Department of Journalism––to learn why Vaughan says that pollution may be “Hollywood’s Dirtiest Secret.” (Jan 27, 2020)

  • This year, former CEJ Scripps Fellow David Mayfield’s project, Catch the King, set an official Guinness World Record as the world’s largest environmental survey. Read about it in this CEJ article by Julia Barnes, a master’s student in the Department of Journalism. (Feb. 14, 2020)

  • While reporting for KGNU, Department of Journalism master’s student Alejandra Wilcox spent time along the Yampa River, where she spoke with Water Commissioner Scott Hummer, who is responsible for overseeing water usage amid increasingly tight regulations. (Dec. 18, 2019)

  • In this longform piece for National Geographic, former Scripps Fellow Stephen Miller examined the tension between Arizona’s growing aridity and the economic forces its farmers are enduring because of it. (Nov. 12, 2019)

  • In her piece for Rolling Stone, Scripps Fellow Antonia Juhasz shined a spotlight on the activism and racial inequalities in “Cancer Alley,” a toxic 85-mile stretch in Louisiana lined with petrochemical facilities. (Oct. 23, 2019)

  • Writing for The Atlantic, former Scripps Fellow Peter Brannen argued forcefully against calling the age in which we live “the anthropocene”––a term coined by scientists to describe the geological time humans have inhabited, and re-shaped, the earth. (Aug. 13, 2019)

  • Here in Boulder, alumna Moe Clark (MJour’19), now a reporter at the Colorado Sun, looked at how a small garden at the National Center for Atmospheric Research is one of many in a nationwide network scientists are using to measure the effects of ground-level ozone. (Aug. 12, 2019)

  • While reporting for Mongabay, former Scripps Fellow and current CMCI Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team member Chris Lett explored how “In Ethiopia, women and faith drive effort to restore biodiversity.” In addition to writing and reporting this longform piece, Lett contributed photos of Ethiopian women carrying huge bundles of fuelwood on their backs. (March 20, 2019)

 Bonus! Last year, Department of Communication PhD student Joanne Marras Tate and fellow graduate students Robert Buehler and Mathew Sharples collaborated with NEST to create a Campus Field Guide. Today, they’ve shared the field guide in hopes that people can use it to explore their own backyards. (April 22, 2020)