Mason Center Names Bud Ward Climate Change Communicator of the Year

Posted: January 13, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication (4C) named environmental journalist Bud Ward the 2009 Climate Change Communicator of the Year.

This is the first year that 4C has given the award, which honors an individual or organization that has made great strides in helping society understand and respond to climate change.

Mason’s center was founded in 2007 to identify ways to effectively engage policy makers and the public in becoming part of the solution to climate change.

Ed Maibach, director of 4C, will present the award to Ward on Feb. 13 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Chicago.

Ward is an independent environmental journalist, journalism educator and a founding member of the Society of Environmental Journalists. He is also editor of the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media.

“Bud’s important contributions over decades of work in environmental journalism, combined with his work in environmental journalism continuing education, have reached an admirable apex in 2008,” said Stephen H. Schneider, Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at Stanford University in a nomination letter.

“I applaud Bud’s long-time innovative environmental journalism and education work in the climate change field. As a scientist who has been communicating with the media for 40 years, I can tell you without reservation that Bud Ward has made tremendous contributions to this field.”

Ward recently published “Communicating on Climate Change: An Essential Resource for Journalists, Scientists and Educators.” The book draws on a series of pioneering workshops he organized with leading climate scientists, journalists and editors.

With Robert Henson of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Ward wrote a set of 15 information sheets specifically designed to meet the needs of the broadcast meteorology and weathercaster community for scientifically credible and timely information on climate science.

Other finalists for the award included Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas L. Friedman; environmental author, advocate and organizer Bill McKibben; climate change legislation author Sen. John Warner; and Chevron’s “Will You Join Us?” campaign. The winner was chosen in December by an open public vote through 4C’s web site.

“We congratulate Bud and all of the stellar nominees for their important contributions in helping society understand and respond to climate change,” said Maibach.

“Despite the enormity of the threat that it poses to the health and well-being of people and other species around the world, climate change continues to be a vexing and difficult communication challenge.

“Bud Ward, and countless other communication professionals who are focusing their attention on climate change, are unsung heroes who are helping to explain both the complex nature of the threat and our options for dealing with it.”

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