For a yearlong look at workforce diversity in the National Park Service, an essay on identity, and profiles of rangers Charles Beall and Shelton Johnson, and José González and Latino Outdoors, Glenn Nelson has earned a national award from the Society of Environmental Journalists.
The founder of The Trail Posse, Nelson was awarded second place in Outstanding Beat Reporting for small-market media outlets in the organization’s 2016-17 Awards for Reporting on the Environment. Nelson defined his beat as “Race, Inclusion and Environmental Justice.”
Naveena Sadasivam of Texas Observer won first place in the category. Craig Welch of National Geographic, like Nelson a former reporter at The Seattle Times, won first place in the large-market category.
The judges said Nelson’s work “work deftly tackles issues of race and diversity in the outdoors, repeatedly exploring the experiences that can make us fall in love with nature, and the social and economic circumstances, and cultural differences that can keep a person of color from finding and deepening those connections. His pieces grapple with the homogeneity that is exacerbating a decline in the national park system and limiting the breadth of the environmental movement. Mr. Nelson’s writing also resonates with personal insight, lending an emotional depth to his stories.”
Nelson’s stories appeared in several media outlets, including High Country News, Crosscut.com and The Seattle Times. SEJ’s journalism contest is the world’s largest and most comprehensive awards for journalism on environmental topics, according to the society, and attracted almost 400 entries.
The stories included in Nelson’s entry: