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WSHU wins award from National Academy of Sciences for the climate podcast Higher Ground

Sara Ruberg
Higher Ground host J.D. Allen and producer Sabrina Garone go to Montauk, New York, to discuss how this popular tourist spot in the Hamptons could possibly retreat from the coast with Alison Branco, coastal director at The Nature Conservancy, and Kevin McAllister, founder of Defend H2O.

WSHU Public Radio is thrilled to announce that Season 1 of the Higher Ground podcast has been recognized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. J.D. Allen, the podcast host and WSHU managing director, and Sabrina Garone, podcast producer, have been awarded an inaugural Eric and Wendy Schmidt Award for Excellence in Science Communication.

higher ground logo.PNG
Josh Joseph

These prestigious awards recognize science journalists and research scientists who have developed creative, original work that addresses issues and advances in science, engineering, and/or medicine for the general public. Winners receive a $20,000 prize and will be honored during a recognition event and workshop on Nov. 11 and 12 in Washington, D.C.

Season 1 of Higher Ground explores Long Island’s vulnerabilities to climate change, and the innovative adaptations that residents have developed which may serve as solutions for other communities. "The comprehensive podcast is packed with interviews and anecdotes that are dedicated to spotlighting a variety of problems in the local community," judges wrote.

“This award is a tremendous honor,” Allen said. “At WSHU Public Radio, we all live and work in a coastal community that is challenged by climate change. As journalists our goal is to foster constructive dialogue and solutions-focused reporting around science that inspires and empowers our listeners."

"This award is recognition that conversations about mitigation, resiliency, adaptation and other systematic strategies are worth exploring with our local communities and beyond because these solutions might give us a chance at survival and help save the places millions of people call home.”

Higher Ground was produced by Sabrina Garone. Associate producers are Sara Ruberg and Kelly Hills-Muckey, and the editor is Harriet Jones. Support for Season 1 of Higher Ground came from the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University and the Kavli Foundation. Check out the Higher Ground podcast online or download it wherever podcasts are available.

WSHU News Director Terry Sheridan said, “We are incredibly proud of J.D. and Sabrina. Our goal is to provide thoughtful, well-researched coverage of issues that are important to our community—and to focus not just on the problems, but also on potential solutions. The Higher Ground podcast does exactly that.”

WSHU General Manager Rima Dael said, “We are thrilled by this prestigious recognition—and doubly honored that we have received this award in its inaugural year! WSHU’s mission is to serve our community with content that informs and educates…and that ultimately helps make this region an even better place to live. I am inspired every day by the work of our news team, and we are so gratified when their work receives well-deserved acknowledgment.”

Born and raised in the Boston area, Janice spent the early part of her career managing the marketing communications efforts of entrepreneurial, high-tech companies in Massachusetts. After moving to Connecticut, she discovered WSHU and quickly became an avid listener. These days, she’s much happier communicating about public radio than tech widgets. She extends a big thank you to every listener who contributes…even a little.