Science Writing, Shorebirds and Seahorse Key

Every journalist knows a face-to-face conversation is always better than a telephone interview, that taking the time to see, touch and experience what we’re reporting nets a far better story than mining details on the internet. That truth is part of the reason for our field trip in UF’s Environmental Journalism courses. This semester, we headed

Lake O. and storms, past, present, future

By Cynthia Barnett The National Hurricane Center’s 5-Day forecast for Tropical Storm Erika draws a bead on Lake Okeechobee, the 730-square mile icon of so much of what’s gone wrong with water in Florida. A 1928 hurricane that hit there sent the lake bursting through and over its earthen dike, killing 2,500 people, most of

Longleafs and Climate Change, a modern tale of David and Goliath

By Carley Reynolds   With ecosystems and societies around the world anticipating—or already facing—the consequences of climate change, the US Southeast may find an unlikely hero in a disappearing native tree: the longleaf pine. These towering pine species once dominated the region as far north as Virginia and as far west as Texas.  Now, only

Lenses and love: The art of saving Florida’s springs

By Jennifer Adler   Green: the color of springtime leaves, the flowing saw grass of the Everglades. It’s synonymous with nature, outdoors, and perhaps recycling – and also the most recent addition to Margaret Ross Tolbert’s palette. Fanning Spring was Tolbert’s favorite place to paint. She would immerse herself in its crystal waters and spend

From Street View to Springs View

Google’s “street view” has moved into wild Florida. First came “ocean view,” next up: “spring view” – with manatees.    By Jennifer Adler   CRYSTAL RIVER: On a serene recent morning at Three Sisters Springs, a half-dozen motionless manatees seemed to sleep in as the late-rising sun cast an orange glow on the fog. “We have

Into the Devil’s Sink

By Stephenie Livingston   As the legend goes, the devil fell in love with a local Indian woman and opened up a hole in the earth to take her down with him to hell—giving birth to a sunken rain forest. Called the Devil’s Millhopper for its shape, like that of a mill’s hopper, the sinkhole in