For the manatees, a scientist writes with heart

By Cynthia Barnett

One of my favorite parts of teaching Environmental Journalism and Nature and Adventure Journalism at the University of Florida is the blend of students drawn to these courses — an equal mix of science and journalism students, and graduate students and undergrads. The semester begins with the science and journalism students at arm’s length, but they grow closer as they discover what they have in common — namely, a search for truth. The science students push themselves to write accessibly to draw the public to their work, while the journalism students learn the importance of solid science reporting to credibility. With her final piece for fall 2015 Environmental Journalism class published in The Tampa Bay Times, UF biologist Anmari Alvarez Aleman, a PhD student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment, reveals the power of a scientist able to write with heart about her research subject, manatees.