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Covering the Environment as the Media Transforms Around You - Annual Hill Lecture

Mark Schleifstein, winner of three Pulitzer Prizes and more than a dozen other national awards for his reporting on hurricanes and the environment, will present UT’s 26th annual Alfred and Julia Hill Lecture, “Covering the Environment as the Media Transforms Around You,” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 10. 

The event will be held in the College of Nursing Auditorium and is free and open to the public. 

“In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, journalism’s most valuable role is to represent the public by asking hard questions of public officials, scientists, and businessmen in a dedicated search for answers,” Schleifstein said. “That role is made more difficult as reporters and editors struggle to learn how to use new tools to present the news and as the media industry repeatedly downsizes newsrooms as it tries to figure out how to pay for modern journalism.”

Schleifstein has been an environment reporter for the New Orleans Times Picayune for 34 years and is the leader of its Louisiana coastal reporting team. He and coauthor John McQuaid received their first Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for the series Oceans of Trouble: Are the World’s Fisheries Doomed? In 2002, he and McQuaid wrote the series Washing Away, in which they warned that the levees in New Orleans were dangerously inadequate—three years before Hurricane Katrina. In 2006, soon after Katrina, Schleifstein and his colleagues at the Times Picayune received two Pulitzer Prizes for breaking news and their coverage of the hurricane.

Schleifstein and McQuaid are also the authors of the book Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms.

The Hill Lecture brings distinguished science journalists to campus to share their thoughts on science, society, and the mass media. The lecture series is made possible by an endowment created by Tom Hill and Mary Frances Hill Holton in honor of their parents, Alfred and Julia Hill, founders of the Oak Ridger. The Hill family's endowment of the lecture series was a gift to the UT School of Journalism and Electronic Media in the College of Communication and Information.

The College of Nursing Auditorium, site of this year’s Hill Lecture, is accessible without stairs from Volunteer Boulevard. Free parking is available in nearby lots. Refreshments will be served before and after the lecture.

Download a photo of Mark Schleifstein from UT's digital asset library.


Mark Littmann, (865-974-8156,

Donna Silvey, (865-974-6727,

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 8:00pm to 9:30pm

College of Nursing, Auditorium
1200 Volunteer Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37996

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations


Science, Communication & Information


Current Students, Faculty & Staff, General Public


School of Journalism and Electronic Media

Contact Name

Mark Littmann

Contact Email

Contact Phone


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