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News Release

November 18, 2008

Contact:

Jim Bettinger, director, Knight Fellowships Program: (650) 725-1189, jimb@stanford.edu


Tammy Frisby, executive director, Bill Lane Center for the West: (650) 387-8465, frisby@stanford.edu


Symposium on local impacts of global warming to be held Dec. 3 at Stanford

A panel of journalists and researchers will gather at Stanford early next month to discuss the localized impacts of climate change.

The symposium, "Climate Change Hits Home," will be presented in conjunction with the 2008 James V. Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism. Anton Caputo of the San Antonio Express-News won the 2008 prize for his series of the same name, describing how global warming is affecting the Gulf Coast and South Texas. He will participate in the symposium and be joined by Terry Root, senior fellow at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment, and Will Travis, executive director of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. Philippe Cohen, administrative director of Stanford's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, will be the moderator.

The symposium is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, in the Oksenberg Room in Encina Hall. It is open to the public and will be followed by a reception.

The prize is named in honor of the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and director emeritus of the John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists. It is sponsored by the Knight Fellowships program and the Bill Lane Center for the West at Stanford.

Caputo's series documented the current and looming effects of climate change in a local context—lost wetlands and vanishing beaches, decreasing cropland and wildlife habitat, and wildly unpredictable water supplies. One judge said Caputo's reporting "resulted in a razor-sharp portrayal of the critical scientific underpinnings of climate change. … The series coupled this outstanding scientific reporting with real-world impacts on real (and local) people and institutions."

Caputo has covered environmental issues for the San Antonio Express-News since August 2004, when he joined the newspaper. Before moving to Texas, Caputo worked for the Pensacola (Florida) News Journal, the Northwest Florida Daily News and the Columbia Basin Herald in Washington. His environmental coverage has been honored by the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Investigative Reporters and Editors.

The Risser Prize was established in 2005 and is open to print, broadcast and online journalists writing about environmental issues in western Canada, Mexico and the United States. The prize was established in recognition of Risser's journalism career and his leadership of the Knight Fellowships program from 1985 until his retirement in 2000.

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