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Hurricane Katrina journalist to speak in Fairbanks

Submitted by Charles Mason
Phone: 907-474-6217


Photo caption below.
Photo courtesy of The New Orleans Times-Picayune
Mark Schleifstein.

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In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina ripped through America's Gulf Coast, leaving unimaginable destruction in its wake. More than 1,800 people died and thousands lost their homes. Mark Schleifstein was there.

As an environment reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Schleifstein was on the ground and in the thick of Katrina's aftermath. His reporting during and after the storm was among the newspaper's stories honored with a 2006 Pulitzer Prize. On Monday, March 24 at 7 p.m., he brings his stories of Katrina to the Noel Wien Library Auditorium in Fairbanks in a talk, "The Role of Mission Journalism in Disasters." The event is free and open to the public.

Schleifstein's experiences during and after Katrina inspired him to co-author a book, "Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms." It is a chronicle of Katrina and the $81 billion aftermath. But it goes further, assessing the geographic, technical and political contributions to the disaster.

Schleifstein has worked at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans since 1984. His work on hurricanes and coastal science issues has been honored by the American Geophysical Union, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the National Hurricane Conference. He also co-authored a 1996 series, "Oceans of Trouble: Are the World's Fisheries Doomed?" which won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. In his time in New Orleans, Schleifstein, 57, has covered the mayor and city hall, the 1988 presidential campaign, the 1987 Louisiana governor's campaign and the environment. His visit to Fairbanks is made possible by the UAF journalism department's Snedden Endowed Chair of Journalism, established by Helen Snedden in honor of her late husband, former Fairbanks Daily News-Miner publisher C.W. Snedden. Since its establishment, the chair has allowed the UAF journalism department to bring a series of nationally known journalists to Fairbanks to speak to students, local journalists and the public.

CONTACT: Charles Mason, UAF journalism department chairman, at 907-474-6217.

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