The Knight-Risser Prize
for Western Environmental Journalism
2011	winner
Craig Welch and Steve Ringman (Craig Welch photo by Meryl Schenker)

2014 Winner of the Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism

“Sea Change: The Pacific’s Perilous Turn”
Craig Welch and Steve Ringman
The Seattle Times

 

The reporter Craig Welch and photographer Steve Ringman of the Seattle Times have been named winners of the 2014 Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism. Their series, “Sea Change: The Pacific’s Perilous Turn,” examines and illuminates ocean acidification, the lesser-known twin of global warming.

Welch and Ringman spent a year on this local yet global story: Scientists are concerned that a faster-than-expected rise in ocean acidification could have a catastrophic impact on industries and coastal communities dependent on the sea ¬– and at some point the very sustainability of sea life and the planet’s food supplies.

Their reporting and imagery takes you to places where upwelling waters carry the atmospheric carbon dioxide that settles on the ocean floor more quickly into coastal ecosystems. To explain the process and show the damage, they traveled to the frigid Northwest, where oysters and some plankton species are changing, and to the tropical waters of Papua New Guinea, where volcanic gases are providing researchers an early view of the ocean’s future.

Special Recognition
“Aquifer at Risk”
Ian James and Jay Calderon, The Desert Sun

 


WINNERS OF THE KNIGHT-RISSER PRIZE
2016
Pumped Dry
The Desert Sun and USA Today
2015
Big Oil, Bad Air
CPI, InsideClimate News, The Weather Channel
2014
Sea Change
The Seattle Times
2013
The Killing Agency
The Sacramento Bee
2012
Perilous Passages
High Country News
2011
Dry Times
5280 Magazine
2010
Chain Saw Scouting
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
2009
Logging and Landslides:
What Went Wrong?
The Seattle Times
2008
Climate Change Hits Home
San Antonio Express-News
2007
Blighted Homeland
The Los Angeles Times
2006
Squeezing Water from a Stone
High Country News