Thanks to the judges of the SEJ Awards for Reporting on the Environment for honoring The New Flight of the Ibis with third place in the Outstanding Feature Story category. This is what they said about the story:
At a time when so much reporting on the environment is discouraging, if not downright depressing, along comes a feature story that lifts the reader off the ground with hope. Writer Chelsea Wald introduces a determined scientist who teaches himself to fly so that he can train a flock of northern bald ibises, nearly extinct, to migrate again. And while Wald's story covers many years and much frustration, she does it with a light touch. The story of this unusual conservation project is not without tragedy, but the overall takeaway is refreshingly sweet.
I don't think the third prize winner gets to make an acceptance speech at the awards ceremony, so I'll use this opportunity to say that this story exists because of the vision and thoughtful editing of Nautilus editor Kevin Berger. And of course because of the Johannes Fritz, the Waldrappteam, and the northern bald ibises, who generously let me hang around and answered questions for hours.
I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and making new at the SEJ conference in New Orleans. If you are reading this and will be there, too, please let me know so that we can meet.