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Earth’s Storytellers

The Earth is wondrous, complicated, precious, damaged. How can we do its story justice, from the awe to the peril? Graduate students studying Nature & Adventure Journalism in the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications asked some of our most captivating environmental storytellers. WUFT News published their responses in a multi-week series of interviews and stories that celebrate science, environmental communication and the natural marvels that inspire it all.

Nature Photographer John Moran Forever In Search Of Florida’s Eternal Beauty

Formerly a “bliss and beauty nature photographer,” Moran is answering a higher calling — to save Florida’s endangered waters.

Moran spent most of his career shooting gorgeous photos of springs such as the Ichetucknee. But now he also documents the springs' degredation in an effort to inspire public and political action to save them. Here, tubers on the Ich are joined by some unpleasant algae. (Courtesy John Moran)
Moran spent most of his career shooting gorgeous photos of springs such as the Ichetucknee. But now he also documents the springs’ degredation in an effort to inspire public and political action to save them. Here, tubers on the Ich are joined by some unpleasant algae. (Courtesy John Moran)

Jack Davis: ‘Sometimes Breaking The Rules Is A Good Thing’

Jack E. Davis is the author of several books including An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century and his new book The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, due out in March from W.W. Norton’s Liveright. A professor of environmental history at the University of Florida, Davis grew up along the Gulf coast, and divides his time between Gainesville and New Hampshire.

Jack Davis
Jack Davis

New York Professor Speaks About Her Research On ‘Invisible’ Cables Connecting The Continents

Nicole Starosielski is assistant professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University and author of The Undersea Network, which follows the undersea cables that allow for global communication from the ocean depths to the landings on South Pacific islands.

Nicole Starosielski is assistant professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University and author of The Undersea Network
Nicole Starosielski is assistant professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University and author of The Undersea Network

Award-Winning Environmental Journalist Vows To Come Together And Save Water Resources

Cynthia Barnett is an environmental journalist and the author of three books on water, including Rain: A Natural and Cultural Historylonglisted for the National Book Award and named among the best nonfiction books of 2015 by NPR’s Science Friday, the Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Times, Boston GlobeKirkus Reviews and others.

Rain, by author Cynthia Barnett
Rain, by author Cynthia Barnett

Photographer Scott Stebner Works to Empower The Agricultural Community

Agricultural photographer Scott Stebner of Manhattan, Kansas, describes himself as “a husband, father, teacher and creative agricultural communicator with a passion for creating environmental portraits that empower the agricultural community.”

Photographer Scott Stebner
Photographer Scott Stebner

Author Padgett Powell Talks Trebuchets And Snake Sandwiches

Padgett Powell is the author of six novels, including Edisto, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and two collections of stories. His writing has appeared in the New YorkerHarper’s, and the Paris Review, as well as in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Sports Writing. He has received a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Rome Fellowship in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. He lives in Gainesville, where he co-directs and teaches at MFA@FLA, the University of Florida’s creative writing program.

Padgett Powell is the author of The Interrogative Mood.
Padgett Powell is the author of The Interrogative Mood.

Earth Advocate Susan Cerulean Speaks Out On Climate Change In ‘Coming to Pass’

Susan Cerulean of Tallahassee is a writer, naturalist and “earth advocate” who spends much of her time observing, recording, and sharing Florida’s natural beauty and its changes at the hands of time and humans. She has been called one of the finest nature writers in America.

Susan Cerulean
Susan Cerulean

Q & A With Science Journalist And Author Hugh Aldersey-Williams

Author and journalist Hugh Aldersey-Williams is a London native with a long-term internal struggle between creative endeavors and his interest in hard sciences. In his new book The Tide: The science and stories behind the greatest force on Earth, he explores the constant movement of water, an element that covers three-quarters of our planet, via a mixture of stories from history, literature and folklore and research based firmly in science.

hughaldersey-wlliams

Q & A With Gabby Salazar, Conservation Photographer

Gabby Salazar of London first picked up a camera when she was 11, and has gone on to become a well-known professional in nature and conservation photography. She served as the youngest director of the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) and has received numerous accolades, including being named BBC Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2004. In 2010-2011, she documented the creation of the Manu-Tambopata Conservation Corridor in Peru as part of a project funded by Fulbright and a National Geographic Young Explorers Grant. More recently, she worked on a conservation photography project in Mauritius, which culminated in an art show with the U.S. Embassy. Salazar has led photo workshops for kids, including a trip to Ireland last summer to teach high school students about photography as part of National Geographic Student Expeditions.

Photo by Jennifer Adler: Gabby Salazar shoots from the plane en route to an expedition through Alaska's Denali National Park.
Gabby Salazar shoots from the plane en route to an expedition through Alaska’s Denali National Park. (Photo by Jennifer Adler)

Q & A With Film And Television Director Tianyi Qin

Tianyi Qin works for the China Central Television (CCTV), the predominant state television broadcaster in China. She graduated from Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California, and decided to return to China to pursue nature documentary filming. She works for “Central Ten,” a scientific and geographic channel, on a program called Geography of China. She has produced more than 200 episodes.

Film and television director Tianyi Qin
Film and television director Tianyi Qin