ESF Students Win StoryFest Competition
Top prize is trip to Brazilian Rainforest for storytelling expedition
Posted April 2017
Two ESF students were among the winners of Planet Forward's annual storytelling competition winning a trip to the Brazilian rainforest with biodiversity pioneer Tom Lovejoy and journalist Frank Sesno.
Tomasz Falkowski and Carrick Palmer were honored for their entries in StoryFest which encourages students to share their stories about food, water, energy, mobility, built environment and/or biodiversity.
Falkowski, graduate student in environmental and forest biology/ecology, was the winner of the Right Brain category for the story that most creatively tells an environmental story, either through media format or storytelling technique. Falkowski wrote about how ecological agriculture and traditional ecological knowledge are conserving biodiversity.
"I see science as storytelling," he said his entry submission. "For me, science writing is a creative expression of this body of knowledge and allows me to share my passion for and fascination with nature."
"I believe the only way we can restore health to the land is to first restore our relationship to it," he said. "We must become a part of nature rather than apart from it."
Planet Forward described his work: "He used masterful descriptive narration and beautiful photography to take readers into the depths of the Lacandon Maya 'forest garden' of Lacanja Chansayab in Chiapas, Mexico. The beautifully told stories also describe the principles behind these ancient models of farming that sustain the ecological biodiversity of the region."
On winning the award, Falkowski said, "It is not just an award for myself, but hopefully for everyone I will be able to teach and influence in the future. Just as this experience is a gift for the work I put into my writing, it is also a responsibility to pass on what I will learn. I believe that this trip will help me develop the inspiration, means, and opportunities to do so."
Palmer, a sophomore environmental studies/ environmental policy and law major, was the Left Brain Award winner with his entry "Bring back bald eagles." The Left Brain Award recognizes the best use of science or data in environmental storytelling. This prize exemplifies explanatory storytelling, telling the story behind an innovation or using data to convey a story.
"I utilized data and facts in my story because to me being able to have something quantitatively concrete makes the story less abstract than something that's more vague," Palmer wrote in his entry materials. "Personally I find numbers can help to conceptualize something further than adjectives could alone and provide more emphasis as well."
The judges also noted Palmer's exemplary use of photography in his entry. "One of the judges congratulated me and said to make sure I bring my camera on the trip." His work was described this way: "His piece shares the disastrous effects of modern industrialization and pollution on bald eagles in upstate New York. He tells the story of the fight to save and protect the species and the data being used to track the population and help it flourish."
Palmer is a student in Dr. Benette Whitmore's Public Communication of Science and Technology. "Each of my 23 students submitted projects and two (Palmer and junior environmental studies major Zack Smith) were finalists." The class does a number of digital writing projects such as videos, podcasts and blogs along with nature writing/field notes, she said.
Palmer is still trying to adjust to the idea of winning. "I really didn't expect to win. … I can't believe it. It doesn't seem real."
The trip is set for June. Lovejoy is a noted environmental scientist known as the "Godfather of Biodiversity." Sesno is the director of the School of Media and public Affairs at the George Washington University and former CNN Washington bureau chief.
"We are absolutely thrilled by the caliber of submissions to our Storyfest contest this year," said Sesno, who is the chief executive and f ounder of Planet Forward. "These top winners delivered exemplary contributions of stories that are moving our planet forward." To compete, students submitted up to three stories focused on food, water, energy, mobility, urban centers, or biodiversity told through any combination of media. Winners were selected for their quality of information and production, creativity in presentation, impact of storytelling, and scalability of the innovation shared.
ESF Students Make their Mark
- ESF Student Among Delegation Attending Committee on World Food SecurityLindsay Eberhart to travel to Rome for World Food Day ceremony
- ESF Student Designed Bridge Judged Most InnovativeStudents competed in the 2019 bridge design competition
- 2019 Commencement: 'You Are My Family,' Student Speaker SaysESF celebrates 118th class of spring graduates
- ESF Student Studies Sargasso Sea EcosystemAndrew Meashaw participates in SEA Semester
- ESF Announces Graduation Weekend ScheduleReceptions, honor recognition ceremonies mark achievements
- ESF Student Completes First Year of Leadership Training in BioeconomyDaniel De Souza Pegoretti recognized as CABLE graduate
- ESF-SU Team Scores Win in DOE Solar DecathlonStudents prevail in mixed-use/multifamily division
- Student Organizations, Leaders RecognizedSOLAR award recipients announced
- Student Honored with Chancellor’s AwardMarissa Lathrop to receive prestigious honor
- ESF Students Earn Spot in ‘Storyfest’ FinalsFive projects featured in annual environmental storytelling competition
- Fulbright Scholar Picks ESF for Study of Genetic Engineering TechniquePh.D. student researches threat to valuable European chestnut tree
- ESF Students Return to PR to Help with Continuing Relief EffortsRelief and education projects keep students busy
- ESF Student Participates in SEA Semester ProgramAquatic and fisheries science major sets sail in Lesser Antilles
- ESF to Celebrate December CommencementThree alumni to be honored as graduates of distinction
- ESF Students Ride to Ribbons in Horse ShowSU Western Equestrian Team puts ESF riders through their paces
- 38 ESF Students to Attend Zero Waste ConferenceGCI, ESSO support participation at meeting in Philadelphia
- Waste not, want notGrant Received for 3D printer filament recycling, production pilot plant
- Landscape Architecture Students Celebrate PARK(ing) DayTransformation of parking spaces calls attention to need for urban greenspace
- ESF, Ichor Therapeutics Team Up to Combat Age-related Illness ESF graduate students to assist with research
- Society of American Foresters Plays Key Role in Student’s ESF ExperienceRecent grad Alexa Denhoff encourages students to join professional society
- ESF Student Wins at COINS Grand ChallengeAward recognizes innovation in construction management
- ESF Students Return from Puerto Rico Students joined with SUNY, NYS, non-profits organizations to help rebuild Puerto Rico
- Mortarboards Fly and Students Become AlumniClass of 2018 celebrates achievements
- Chemistry Student Wins AwardJordan Pitt recognized by the American Chemical Society
- 14 ESF Students Set for Volunteer Work in Puerto RicoCollege joins SUNY, NY effort to support recovery efforts
- ESF Announces Commencement Weekend ActivitiesNumerous events celebrate students’ achievements
- Chemistry Graduate Student Wins AwardYuting Zhu honored by American Chemical Society
- Hello, Mr. President — About the Environment…ESF students pen Earth Day ‘elevator speeches’ for Donald Trump
- Two ESF Students Honored with Chancellor's AwardJet Lewis and Ben Taylor receive prestigious awards
- 3 ESF Students among Winners at SU RvD iPrize CompetitionFarm to Flame, Food for Community move on to state competition
- Smile! You’re On Canid CameraESF researcher seeks citizen scientists to help ID photos from trail cameras
- Acorns to Action Strives to Help Victims of Natural DisastersESF students focus on providing resources, knowledge to rebuild sustainably
- ESF Student Part of First-Place Team in Hult Prize CompetitionSayje Lasenberry is member of Farm to Flame Energy team
- Zachary Smith's Commencement SpeechEnvironmental studies major was chosen as student speaker
- Senior Accomplishes Goal: ‘Publish in a Journal’Environmental health major co-authors paper about discovery linked to fighting cancer
- ESF Students Participate in SEA Semester ProgramEFB majors set sail in the Atlantic Ocean
- Class of '17 Joins ESF Alumni RanksDegrees and ESF flags in hand, graduates celebrate accomplishments
- Chemistry Student Wins AwardGraduating senior Curtis Wilhelmsen recognized by environmental division of the American Chemical Society
- ESF Announces Commencement Weekend ActivitiesNumerous events celebrate students’ achievements
- ERE Major Builds Lengthy Resume at ESFTight-knit community, real-world experience made college stand out
- ESF Students Win StoryFest CompetitionTop prize is trip to Brazilian Rainforest for storytelling expedition
- Student from Nepal Finds Her Niche at ESFJyotika ‘Nicci’ Shah plans career in water quality
- ESF Education a Family Affair for Schiavone BrothersThree siblings share a major and a graduation date
- ESF Nordic Skier Competes in World University GamesConducts study on perfluorocarbons between races
- Academics, Athletics, Affordability Lure Soccer Captain to ESFHeather Carl makes her mark on campus
- Daily Adventures Mark Trip to South AmericaRosen Fellowship funds experience of a lifetime
- Student from Italy Finds Motivation at ESF"Here I am constantly pushed to do more"
- Walk on the Wild SideFellowship Funds Trip to South Africa
- USA President Focuses on Building RelationshipsBen Taylor leads 'growth year' for student government
- ESF Junior Honored as 'Unsung Hero'Shewa Shwani to receive award at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
- ‘Jet’ Lewis Builds Busy Life as ESF SophomoreCalifornia resident says diverse ideologies made ESF stand out
- Dedication to Environment Brings Student to ESF from Mexico'There is no other place like ESF,' freshman says
- Beer Eases Final Moments for Euthanized InvertebratesGraduate student seeks humane method for ending lives of research subjects
- ERE Major Tackles Wastewater Plan in IcelandFink Fellowship Supports Summer Abroad
- 44 ESF Students Spend Summer as DEC Interns‘Phenomenal’ range of work can help launch careers
- Paper Engineering Boosts Student through Semester AbroadGraduate-level classes and travel highlight trip to Germany
- ESF Alumnus Begins Peace Corps Service Caleb Rudge to spend two years in Paraguay
- Dream Becomes Reality for ESF SeniorRosen Fellowship supports summer internship in Stockholm
- Summer on the FarmFink Fellowship sends ESF junior to work on Thousand Islands farm
- SRC Fellowship Supports Student in Battle against Mosquitoes Chemical compound could help stop spread of disease
- ESF Landscape Architecture Students Receive ASLA HonorsHonor and merit certificates presented
- ESF Student Finalist for Olmsted Scholar AwardKathryn Chesebrough recognized for academic excellence
- ESF Graduate Joins Teach for America Peter LeDuc finds passion for teaching at ESF
- Advice for Graduates: Stay United, 'Enjoy Your Wisdom'Class of 2016 celebrates at Commencement
- Two ESF Students Earn SUNY Chancellor’s AwardFoley, Zubair honored for excellence
- Closed-Loop Art: Woodburner Uses Material at HandSenior donates artwork to Student Showcase Symposium
- Honors Student Works with 'Best Thing Ever': ElephantsTravel takes Yvonne Lim to Elephant Nature Park in Thailand
- ESF Ph.D. Student Selected as Junior Fellow in Korea
- The Cheer Fun of ItESF student leads SU cheer team
- Ph.D. Student Appointed to Federal Advisory PanelYang joins National Coal Council
- ‘Great Experience’ Takes Grad Student to BulgariaMLA student spends summer monitoring primitive horse population
- ESF Senior Wins Fulbright Research AwardGabriel Smith heads to Sweden to study fungi
- ESF Grad Student Awarded Rare Book School ScholarshipProgram delves into history of hand papermaking
- ESF Senior Honored at National STEM ConferenceCSTEP student Danielle Berry wins second place for poster
- Meghan JohnstoneTraveler in Australia, Nature Conservancy Intern
- Michael AmadoriAquaponics Research
- Ryan HenrySU's biggest sports fan.
- Lauren AlteioHarvard Forest Program
- Brookhaven National Laboratory InternsCourtney Buckley, Daniel Larkin, Michael Norman and Beverly Agtuca
- Brendan-Michael Galloway Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship
- Lynne BeattyMarine resources workshop participant
- Kristen AnthonyLandscape Architecture student, and SU competitive skier
- Craig LazzarEssay Contest nets ESF Senior $10,000
- Zachary KingBiotechnology Researcher
- Daniele BakerSUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence Recipient
- Greg BoydESF Senior, biodiesel expert
- Khristopher DodsonPublisher of Envi magazine
- Cara StaffordInvasive Plant Technician, Catalina Island
- Irony SadeBiotechnology Major
- April Karen BaptistePh.D. Candidate, Fulbright scholar, ESF
- Leah Dudziak & Lisa RuggeroTwo ESF Students on SU Dance Team