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Contact: Sunshine Menezes
(401) 874-6499


Leading Climate Scientist, IPCC Contributor, Dr. Ben Santer
to Address 2007 Grantham Prize Journalists

NARRAGANSETT, RI., September 18, 2007 Leading climate scientist Dr. Benjamin D. Santer will be the keynote speaker at this year's Grantham Prize Seminar on Environmental Journalism, "Reporting on Climate Change: Science, Policy and the News," Monday, September 24, 2007, at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography's Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting.

The event will honor the 2007 winners of the Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment, the largest journalism cash prize in the world. Kenneth R. Weiss and Usha Lee McFarling of the Los Angeles Times are this year's recipients of the $75,000 grand prize for their five-part series "Altered Oceans," a powerful examination of a profound disturbance in the ecology of the world's oceans. The event will also honor the three winners of the $5,000 Award of Special Merit: Eugene Linden's The Winds of Change; the NOVA team's "Dimming the Sun"; and the East Oregonian Publishing Company team's series, "Our Climate is Changing ... Ready or Not."

Keynote speaker Dr. Benjamin D. Santer is a physicist and atmospheric scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. Santer, who has been active as a contributor and a Convening Lead Author with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), earned the U.S. Department of Energy's Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award for environmental science and technology and an Outstanding Scientific Paper Award from NOAA in 2002, and was included in The New York Times "Science Times" profiles of groundbreaking scientists in 2000. Santer uses statistical analyses of climate data sets to detect climate change and validate climate models.

All of the award winners will present their work and give seminar attendees a first-hand account of their experiences during a "how I did the story" presentation. A question-and-answer segment will round out the event, which will take place from 9 a.m. to noon (EST).

The morning program will be webcast live from the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography Coastal Institute Auditorium. The webcast will be available from both the Grantham Prize and the Metcalf Institute websites. Access to the webcast or DVD recording is available by contacting the Metcalf Institute at (401) 874-6211.

Santer's keynote address will occur at 1:45 p.m. in the URI Graduate School of Oceanography's Corless Auditorium.

"We are thrilled to have Dr. Santer participate in the 2007 Grantham Prize Seminar," said Sunshine Menezes, Program Administrator for the Grantham Prize and Executive Director of Metcalf Institute. "Dr. Santer's world-renowned expertise in climate science and his dedication to the accurate communication of science to the public make him the perfect keynote speaker for this event."

The Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment was created in 2005 through a joint effort between the University of Rhode Island's Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting and the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment. The prestigious award honors the work of one journalist or a team of journalists for exemplary reporting on the environment. The annual prize is open to journalists, writers and producers in the U.S. and Canada, and recognizes nonfiction world published or broadcast in the previous year. The deadline for the 2008 award is January 14, 2008, for books, and February 4, 2008, for all other entries.

The Grantham Prize is funded by Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham through The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment. The foundation supports natural resource conservation programs both in the United States and internationally. Jeremy Grantham is a Boston-based investment strategist and Hannelore Grantham is the Director of The Grantham Foundation.

The Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting was established in 1997 with funding from three media foundations the Belo Corporation, the Providence Journal Charitable Foundation and the Philip L. Graham Fund - and the Telaka Foundation. It is named for the late Michael P. Metcalf, a visionary in journalism and publisher of The Providence Journal Bulletin from 1979-1987. The Metcalf Institute provides science training for reporters and editors to help improve the accuracy and clarity of marine and environmental reporting and offers journalism fellowships in support of diversity and reporting on science and the environment.


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September 18, 2007