Journalist and author Revkin headlines Colloquium on the Environment

April 19, 2011

University Park, Pa. — Andrew Revkin will speak Tuesday (April 19) at Penn State's University Park campus as part of the seventh annual Colloquium on the Environment speaker series. His talk "9 Billion People + 1 Planet = ?" will take place at 5 p.m. in the Auditorium of the HUB-Robeson Center. A book signing will immediately follow his lecture. The event will be free and open to the public.

A prize-winning journalist, online communicator and author, Andrew Revkin has spent a quarter of a century covering subjects ranging from the assault on the Amazon to the Asian tsunami, from the troubled relationship of science and politics to climate change at the North Pole. From 1995 through 2009, he covered the environment for The New York Times.

In 2010, Revkin became the senior fellow for environmental understanding at Pace University's Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies. He continues to write his “Dot Earth” blog for The New York Times.

While the media largely ignored the climate story until the last several years, Revkin spent more than 20 years immersed in this subject, producing more than 500 magazine and newspaper stories, two books, a prize-winning Discovery-Times documentary, Arctic Rush, and hundreds of posts on his blog. His reporting on the political struggles over climate policy consistently led all competitors. In 2005 and 2006, he exclusively exposed efforts by political operatives to rewrite government climate reports in the White House and prevent NASA scientists from conveying their views on warming. His stories were quickly followed by the resignations of two presidential appointees.

Revkin has been a pioneer in multimedia journalism, blogging, podcasting and shooting still and video imagery for stories from far-flung places. One of his pictures, of a scientist trudging in darkness and a blizzard on the North Slope, won an Award of Excellence in the Pictures of the Year International competition in 2005. In October 2007, he created “Dot Earth,” a Times blog on climate, development, and the environment. He tweets @revkin.

Revkin’s most recent book is "The North Pole Was Here: Puzzles and Perils at the Top of the World" (Kingfisher, 2006), the first account of global and Arctic climate change written for the whole family. The Washington Post concluded simply: “Bundle up and read.” The book was named both an outstanding science book and social studies book by the Children’s Book Council.

Revkin has written two other books. "The Burning Season" (1990; 2004 updated edition, Island Press) chronicles the life of Chico Mendes, the slain leader of the movement to save the Amazon rain forest. The prize-winning book was published in 10 languages, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was the basis for the prize-winning HBO film of the same name, starring Raul Julia and directed by John Frankenheimer. He also wrote "Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast" (1992), which accompanied the first museum exhibition on climate change, created by the American Museum of Natural History. The Los Angeles Times said the book “takes a devastatingly quiet tone that proves far more effective than the bludgeon-the-reader-with-guilt brand of environmental journalism.” He was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship to help shape his next book, an exploration of ways to smooth the path toward more or less 9 billion people.

In 2008, Revkin became the first science writer to receive one of journalism’s top honors, the John Chancellor Award of Columbia University, for more than two decades of pioneering coverage of the science and politics of global warming. His work has won most of the top honors in science journalism, including the National Academy of Sciences Communication Award and two awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His first magazine feature, on the worldwide death toll from misuse of the herbicide Paraquat, won a 1984 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award. He has been honored in academia for his sustained focus on climate and energy, receiving an honorary doctorate from Pace University, a Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award from Tufts, and the 2007 Sol Feinstone Environmental Award from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Before joining The New York Times, Revkin was a senior editor of Discover, a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, and a senior writer at Science Digest. He has contributed freelance articles to the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, AARP’s magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, and many other publications. He has a biology degree from Brown, a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia, has taught at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and the graduate center for environmental policy at Bard College. He has written two book chapters on journalism and the environment.

Revkin lives in the Hudson River Valley with his wife and one of his two sons. One of his passions is music. A 1997 Times article on a heavy-metal band’s quest to replace its lead singer was the basis for Rock Star, a 2001 feature film starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston. In spare moments, he is a performing songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who occasionally accompanies Pete Seeger at regional shows and plays in a folk-blues band, Uncle Wade.

The event is sponsored by University's Finance and Business Environmental Stewardship Strategy and the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment. This year's event is co-sponsored by the Center for Sustainability.

For more information please visit online.

  • Andrew Revkin

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated May 21, 2015