National Geographic magazine has announced a new editorial team focused on developing in-depth environmental and energy stories. Overseen by Editor in Chief Chris Johns, the team is headed by Dennis Dimick, executive editor for the environment, who has been key to shaping the magazine’s award-winning reporting since 2003. Dimick will be assisted by Robert Kunzig, who joins the magazine as environment editor Jan. 30. Kunzig will work closely with Dimick and Tim Appenzeller, executive editor for text.
In addition to articles in the magazine, Dimick, Appenzeller and Kunzig will plan special issues and external projects that showcase National Geographic magazine’s wide-ranging coverage of energy, the environment and natural resources, such as the magazine’s annual collaboration with the Aspen Institute to develop the Aspen Environment Forum. This year’s forum, themed “Powering the Planet: Energy for the Long Run,” will convene leading minds in science, business, policy and journalism for a powerful, three-day exchange of ideas and solutions around the world’s energy challenges and opportunities .
The editors will also look to extend opportunities for consumer engagement with the magazine through Web offerings and build-outs with National Geographic’s Speakers Bureau and education groups.
“National Geographic has led the charge on environmental reporting for much of its history, which gives us a unique depth and perspective in covering the stories of energy use and environmental challenges that have become vitally relevant to everyone,” said Johns. “I am delighted to be able to marshal the talents of Dennis, Tim and Rob in the pursuit of strategic, long-term editorial planning in this area.”
The magazine has been recognized with multiple awards for its environmental coverage, including first place for Explanatory Reporting from the Society of Environmental Journalists in 2008 for stories on climate change and biofuels. Dimick and Appenzeller were key members of the editorial teams for both stories.
Under Dimick’s guidance, National Geographic has published stories on soil degradation, world oil supplies, biofuels, global ice melt, coal, climate change, Earth’s carbon cycle, alternative energy and sustainable agriculture. Projects on climate change that Dimick has edited have been recognized by the Overseas Press Club and the Society of Environmental Journalists.
Dimick has also produced stories on conservation, public lands, wilderness, the Great Plains and wetlands. He has edited an encyclopedia of world geography, and books on the world’s deserts, wildlife refuges and the Endangered Species Act. He regularly lectures on the collision between energy and climate.
In addition to his own reporting, Appenzeller oversees all writers and text editors for the magazine. Before starting at National Geographic in 2004, he spent more than 20 years as an editor and writer for such publications as Time-Life Books, Scientific American, The Sciences, Science and U.S. News & World Report. His National Geographic article “The Case of the Missing Carbon” won the Walter Sullivan award for excellence in science journalism in 2005, and Affinity Research found his award-winning June 2007 cover story on global warming, “The Big Thaw,” the most read article among all measured magazines in 2007.
Kunzig has been a science journalist for the past 28 years, specializing in earth science and the environment. A freelance writer for the past six years, his work has appeared in Time, Scientific American, Discover, U.S. News & World Report and other magazines. His first article for National Geographic, “The Drying of the West,” was published in the February 2008 issue. He has written two books, “Fixing Climate” (2008) and “Mapping the Deep” (2000), which was awarded the Aventis Prize for Science Books in 2001 by the Royal Society, London, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Ocean Science Journalism Award in 2003.
National Geographic magazine has a long tradition of combining on-the-ground reporting with award-winning photojournalism to inform people about life on our planet. In 2008 it won three National Magazine Awards, for General Excellence, Photojournalism and Reporting. In 2007 it won two National Magazine Awards, for General Excellence and Photography.