Our Team

Our Team

ReportingRIS4E in New Mexico: Kevin Lizarazo, Nicola Shannon, Elizabeth Bass, Katherine Wright, Kayla McKiski, Briana Lionetti. (Bios below)

 

About the Journalism

When Stony Brook University geoscientist Timothy Glotch was putting together the pieces for his RIS4E grant proposal to NASA in 2013, he and his colleagues at Goddard Space Flight Center thought it was important to communicate the research they were undertaking—to make the science and its relevance to the future of space exploration understandable to the public.

That initiative led to an unusual partnership between the RIS4E project and the Stony Brook University School of Journalism, which included the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. “Communicating science is a necessary part of the scientific enterprise,” they wrote in the grant proposal. “On one end are those who are trained in communication, but perhaps have had minimal exposure to scientific research. On the other hand, trained scientists often lack the tools and skills necessary to effectively communicate their science to a general audience.” The partnership between RIS4E and the Alda Center “will bridge the gap.”

Among the ideas that emerged was a new “special topics” course for students in the School of Journalism who were interested in science reporting. Students would get access to a high-level scientific research endeavor by visiting scientists in their labs, interviewing them and writing articles and producing multimedia reports on their work. In addition, a small number of the student journalists would accompany a field team on its 10-day research mission to Hawaii’s Mount Kilauea volcano in June 2015, and a trip to the Potrillo Volcanic Field in southern New Mexico in June 2017.

In New Mexico, the students and their faculty supervisors went on the team’s research treks, observing, videotaping and photographing as the geoscientists tested instruments for possible use by astronauts and mapped volcanic features that might shed light on the terrain of the moon and Mars.   The journalism team worked cooperatively with the scientists, without restriction on its reporting or prior review. The team’s travel and lodging expenses were covered by the RIS4E grant from NASA. However, editorial control remained with the School of Journalism.

This website is the result of the reporting during this memorable partnership in 2017.

Students

 

Briana Lionetti

Ever since she was young, she wanted to be an ER physician – but that all changed in her sophomore year at Stony Brook University when she took an intro to journalism course. She became a double major in biology and journalism, graduating in May 2015. Her journalism degree has given her the opportunity to travel to China, Cuba and now New Mexico. In 2015, she was awarded the Dean of Students Excellence Award for Photojournalism for a story about a pit bull who was rescued from a dogfighting ring. In 2014, she became a paramedic. She currently works at Setauket Fire Department and Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps. It is her hope to one day bridge medicine and journalism together in a simple and effective way for a general audience.

Kayla McKiski

Kayla McKiski was a sophomore double major in journalism and biology at Stony Brook. She has volunteered at a Costa Rican wildlife reserve and assisted/documented surgeons in Haiti prior to the trip. At Stony Brook, she was a member of the equestrian team and arts and entertainment editor at The Statesman. The adventurous nature of RIS4E was thrilling, she says, and interested her in studying planetary geology. While her fascinations vary, she plans to continue her education, whether that means being a Doctor of Philosophy or a Doctor of Medicine.

Nicola Shannon

Nicola Shannon was a senior journalism major and Japanese studies minor at Stony Brook University when she was part of the Reporting RIS4E team. She has written for the Stony Brook Independent and the Stony Brook Press, and will be interning at WSHU radio station after New Mexico. She spent her junior year as an exchange student in Tokyo but has not seen much of the United States aside from New York, so she was fascinated by the southwestern desert landscape in New Mexico.

Katherine Wright

Katherine Wright is an associate editor of Physical Review Letters and a contributing editor to Physics, journals published by the American Physical Society.  She participated in the RIS4E courses while pursuing a master’s degree in science journalism at Stony Brook University.  Katherine received a PhD in polymer physics at the University of Cambridge, UK, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, Germany. As a postdoc, she wrote posts for Soft Matter, a blog of the Royal Society of Chemistry. She joined the staff of Physical Review Letters in 2013.

Andrew Goldstein

Andrew Goldstein participated in the RIS4E reporting course as a junior studying journalism and pre-health, and the assistant opinions editor of The Stony Brook Statesman. He has written about water conservation and toilets, the importance of sleep and the benefits of talking to strangers. His article about failing an organic chemistry test was published in the college section of USA Today online. His passion is to communicate science in ways 6-year-olds could understand and teenagers scrolling through their feeds would pause for.

Taylor Ha

Taylor Ha was part of the Reporting RIS4E team when she was a junior at Stony Brook University pursuing a B.A. in journalism and minors in writing and Korean studies. She has documented the stories of two Hiroshima bomb survivors, the father of one of the 304 South Koreans who perished in the 2014 sinking of the Sewol Ferry and a homeless veteran. Her work, which specializes in long-form narrative feature writing, has been published in The Statesman, The Stony Brook Press, Stony Brook Young Investigators Review, the SBU Institute for Advanced Computational Science, and aired at WUSB 90.1 FM Stony Brook. Find out more about her at https://tayloryuseungha.wordpress.com.

Danielle Hall

Danielle Hall was a graduate student in the Stony Brook University master’s program in science, health, technology and environment journalism, graduating in May, 2017. She originally pursued a career in marine science, working on research projects in Vancouver, the Chesapeake Bay, and Antarctica, but decided to switch career paths and help explain the science she loves to the general public as a science communicator. She will combine her love for the ocean, and writing as a digital editor for the Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal, an online ocean education website.

 

FACULTY

 

Elizabeth Bass

Elizabeth Bass, a longtime journalist and Visiting Associate Professor in the Stony Brook University School of Journalism, led the student reporting trip to New Mexico and taught the preparatory course in science reporting in spring, 2017. Liz was the founding director of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, creating programs to help scientists and medical professionals learn to communicate better with people outside their field.  Earlier, she worked as an editor for two decades at Newsday, the Long Island, NY, daily newspaper, serving as science and health editor and deputy foreign editor, among other roles.  She is the co-author of three health-related books, most recently, “Ebola: Clinical Patterns, Public Health Concerns.”

Richard Firstman

Richard Firstman, a faculty member of the Stony Brook University School of Journalism, led the first ReportingRIS4E team to Hawaii in 2015 and directed the creation of the website for the 2017 New Mexico project. Rick teaches both undergraduates and students in Stony Brook’s graduate program in science journalism, and is a faculty member of the university’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Rick is an award-winning journalist, author, editor and a former reporter-at-large and editor at Newsday. He’s the author or co-author of eight books, including “The Death of Innocents,” which was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Kevin Lizarazo

Kevin Lizarazo, a design technologist at the Council on Foreign Relations, coordinated and guided the students’ multimedia storytelling efforts in New Mexico and produced the project’s website. At the Council, Kevin produces weekly podcasts on U.S. foreign policy, award-winning interactive websites, and other multimedia. He graduated from Stony Brook in 2014, earning a BA in journalism and political science.

Stony Brook University School of Journalism

Contact us: Journalism@StonyBrook.edu

About us

Dispatches from the Desert

In blog posts from New Mexico, our student journalists tell tales of their reporting trip (like hanging out with an Apollo astronaut)

Read more

Hawaii 2015

Visit the ReportingRIS4E coverage of the 2015 field expedition to the world’s most active volcano.

Read more

ReportingRIS4E in New Mexico: Kevin Lizarazo, Nicola Shannon, Elizabeth Bass, Katherine Wright, Kayla McKiski, Briana Lionetti. (Bios below)

 

About the Journalism

When Stony Brook University geoscientist Timothy Glotch was putting together the pieces for his RIS4E grant proposal to NASA in 2013, he and his colleagues at Goddard Space Flight Center thought it was important to communicate the research they were undertaking—to make the science and its relevance to the future of space exploration understandable to the public.

That initiative led to an unusual partnership between the RIS4E project and the Stony Brook University School of Journalism, which included the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. “Communicating science is a necessary part of the scientific enterprise,” they wrote in the grant proposal. “On one end are those who are trained in communication, but perhaps have had minimal exposure to scientific research. On the other hand, trained scientists often lack the tools and skills necessary to effectively communicate their science to a general audience.” The partnership between RIS4E and the Alda Center “will bridge the gap.”

Among the ideas that emerged was a new “special topics” course for students in the School of Journalism who were interested in science reporting. Students would get access to a high-level scientific research endeavor by visiting scientists in their labs, interviewing them and writing articles and producing multimedia reports on their work. In addition, a small number of the student journalists would accompany a field team on its 10-day research mission to Hawaii’s Mount Kilauea volcano in June 2015, and a trip to the Potrillo Volcanic Field in southern New Mexico in June 2017.

In New Mexico, the students and their faculty supervisors went on the team’s research treks, observing, videotaping and photographing as the geoscientists tested instruments for possible use by astronauts and mapped volcanic features that might shed light on the terrain of the moon and Mars.   The journalism team worked cooperatively with the scientists, without restriction on their reporting or prior review. Editorial control remained with the School of Journalism.

This website is the result of the reporting during this memorable partnership in 2017.

Students

 

Briana Lionetti

Ever since she was young, she wanted to be an ER physician – but that all changed in her sophomore year at Stony Brook University when she took an intro to journalism course. She became a double major in biology and journalism, graduating in May 2015. Her journalism degree has given her the opportunity to travel to China, Cuba and now New Mexico. In 2015, she was awarded the Dean of Students Excellence Award for Photojournalism for a story about a pit bull who was rescued from a dogfighting ring. In 2014, she became a paramedic. She currently works at Setauket Fire Department and Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps. It is her hope to one day bridge medicine and journalism together in a simple and effective way for a general audience.

Kayla McKiski

Kayla McKiski was a sophomore double major in journalism and biology at Stony Brook. She has volunteered at a Costa Rican wildlife reserve and assisted/documented surgeons in Haiti prior to the trip. At Stony Brook, she was a member of the equestrian team and arts and entertainment editor at The Statesman. The adventurous nature of RIS4E was thrilling, she says, and interested her in studying planetary geology. While her fascinations vary, she plans to continue her education, whether that means being a Doctor of Philosophy or a Doctor of Medicine.

Nicola Shannon

Nicola Shannon was a senior journalism major and Japanese studies minor at Stony Brook University when she was part of the Reporting RIS4E team. She has written for the Stony Brook Independent and the Stony Brook Press, and will be interning at WSHU radio station after New Mexico. She spent her junior year as an exchange student in Tokyo but has not seen much of the United States aside from New York, so she was fascinated by the southwestern desert landscape in New Mexico.

Katherine Wright

Katherine Wright is an associate editor of Physical Review Letters and a contributing editor to Physics, journals published by the American Physical Society.  She participated in the RIS4E courses while pursuing a master’s degree in science journalism at Stony Brook University.  Katherine received a PhD in polymer physics at the University of Cambridge, UK, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, Germany. As a postdoc, she wrote posts for Soft Matter, a blog of the Royal Society of Chemistry. She joined the staff of Physical Review Letters in 2013.

Andrew Goldstein

Andrew Goldstein participated in the RIS4E reporting course as a junior studying journalism and pre-health, and the assistant opinions editor of The Stony Brook Statesman. He has written about water conservation and toilets, the importance of sleep and the benefits of talking to strangers. His article about failing an organic chemistry test was published in the college section of USA Today online. His passion is to communicate science in ways 6-year-olds could understand and teenagers scrolling through their feeds would pause for.

Taylor Ha

Taylor Ha was part of the Reporting RIS4E team when she was a junior at Stony Brook University pursuing a B.A. in journalism and minors in writing and Korean studies. She has documented the stories of two Hiroshima bomb survivors, the father of one of the 304 South Koreans who perished in the 2014 sinking of the Sewol Ferry and a homeless veteran. Her work, which specializes in long-form narrative feature writing, has been published in The Statesman, The Stony Brook Press, Stony Brook Young Investigators Review, the SBU Institute for Advanced Computational Science, and aired at WUSB 90.1 FM Stony Brook. Find out more about her at https://tayloryuseungha.wordpress.com.

Danielle Hall

Danielle Hall was a graduate student in the Stony Brook University master’s program in science, health, technology and environment journalism, graduating in May, 2017. She originally pursued a career in marine science, working on research projects in Vancouver, the Chesapeake Bay, and Antarctica, but decided to switch career paths and help explain the science she loves to the general public as a science communicator. She will combine her love for the ocean, and writing as a digital editor for the Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal, an online ocean education website.

 

FACULTY

 

Elizabeth Bass

Elizabeth Bass, a longtime journalist and Visiting Associate Professor in the Stony Brook University School of Journalism, led the student reporting trip to New Mexico and taught the preparatory course in science reporting in spring, 2017. Liz was the founding director of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, creating programs to help scientists and medical professionals learn to communicate better with people outside their field.  Earlier, she worked as an editor for two decades at Newsday, the Long Island, NY, daily newspaper, serving as science and health editor and deputy foreign editor, among other roles.  She is the co-author of three health-related books, most recently, “Ebola: Clinical Patterns, Public Health Concerns.”

Richard Firstman

Richard Firstman, a faculty member of the Stony Brook University School of Journalism, led the first ReportingRIS4E team to Hawaii in 2015 and directed the creation of the website for the 2017 New Mexico project. Rick teaches both undergraduates and students in Stony Brook’s graduate program in science journalism, and is a faculty member of the university’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Rick is an award-winning journalist, author, editor and a former reporter-at-large and editor at Newsday. He’s the author or co-author of eight books, including “The Death of Innocents,” which was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Kevin Lizarazo

Kevin Lizarazo, a design technologist at the Council on Foreign Relations, coordinated and guided the students’ multimedia storytelling efforts in New Mexico and produced the project’s website. At the Council, Kevin produces weekly podcasts on U.S. foreign policy, award-winning interactive websites, and other multimedia. He graduated from Stony Brook in 2014, earning a BA in journalism and political science.

Stony Brook University School of Journalism

Contact us: Journalism@StonyBrook.edu

About us

Dispatches from the Desert

In blog posts from New Mexico, our student journalists tell tales of their reporting trip (like hanging out with an Apollo astronaut)

Read more

Hawaii 2015

Visit the ReportingRIS4E coverage of the 2015 field expedition to the world’s most active volcano.

Read more