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Pulitzer Center Update September 28, 2017

University of Iowa Visit Focuses on Climate Change, Public Health

Media: Authors:
Wei Zheng, aged 31, and his Spiny Tailed Lizard (Uromastyx princeps), in a park in central Beijing. Endemic to the horn of Africa, this species of lizard is normally found in the rocky ecosystems of Somalia. Many species of this type of lizard are now vulnerable or threatened in the region. Image by Sean Gallagher. China, 2017.

It is estimated that up to one million people own exotic pets in China. Trade in these animals is...

Image by Sean Gallagher. China, 2017.
Image by Sean Gallagher. China, 2017.

The Daily Iowan published an article about Pulitzer Center grantee Sean Gallagher's two-day visit to the University of Iowa on September 20 and 21, 2017. During the trip, the inaugural visit for this Campus Consortium partnership, Gallagher spoke with students and faculty about his reporting on climate change, public health and the environment.

Gallagher also spoke about the power of visual storytelling and about his career, which has taken him across the world to China and led to publication in outlets like Newsweek Magazine, TIME, CNN, The New York Times, National Geographic, The Atlantic, and BBC News.

The Daily Iowan wrote: "After more than 12 years, Gallagher said he has evolved as a journalist alongside the technology, looking at his growth from just photography to photography, short film, blog posts, and essays. He sees the future of journalism in the Internet and social media. "It's a golden age of new opportunity," he said."

Gallagher, a seven-time Pulitzer Center grantee, discussed the evolution and importance of multimedia journalism, especially in telling stories about climate change. UI journalism assistant professor Kylah Hedding agrees: "The picture is worth a thousand words is a saying for a reason.… Especially when we're talking about environmental issues. It can be a lot more impactful than the written word."

Gallagher also ran a visual storytelling workshop and exhibited his photography. The visit was the first collaboration between the Pulitzer Center and the University of Iowa, one of the newest members of the Campus Consortium, a network of over 30 universities and colleges across the country.

The partnership will bring education and fellowship opportunities to Iowa students and give them the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the Pulitzer Center. In the past year, the Pulitzer Center supported 38 Campus Consortium student projects around the world. In addition to one-on-one mentorships, student fellowships culminate in a two-day workshop in Washington, D.C.

Gallagher's recent visit to Iowa was the centerpiece of a Pulitzer Center education tour to six colleges and two high schools in Chicago, Iowa City and New York City. He spoke with more than 700 students and faculty during his tour.

Gallagher's current Pulitzer Center project for National Geographic and The Guardian examines China's exotic pet trade, a practice that contributes to species loss in threatened ecosystems. Soon to launch: "Everyday Extinction," an Instagram project documenting changing habitats and effects on wildlife.


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Image by Sean Gallagher. India, 2013.

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A yellow elephant


Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change