Dr. Tudor Vlad and Ms. Catalina Arévalo standing at Grady College with Sanford Stadium in the background.

Spanish Environment Reporter Spends Five Days at the University of Georgia

Spanish journalist Catalina Arévalo spent five days at the University of Georgia in October learning about water preservation and other environment challenges in the state of Georgia and about U.S. media coverage of such issues.

Arévalo is a journalist and author who has been working for Agencia EFE, the fourth largest news agency in the world, since 2003.

Her program in Athens, organized by the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, was part of a three-month fellowship with Transatlantic Media Network, coordinated by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

The Cox International Center is a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The Cox Center partnered with CSIS for the visit.

"I consider education to be the basis for a prosperous green economy,” Dr. Fausto Sarmiento, director of Neotropical Montology Collaboratory in the Department of Geography, told the visitor.

“Only with renewed epistemological frameworks in the minds of young mountain dwellers, mountain communities can invigorate themselves into stronger nodes for sustainable living,” Dr. Sarmiento said.

Arévalo also met with Dr. Erin Lipp, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health Science, Susan Varlamoff, director of the Office of Environmental Sciences, Dr. Thomas Mote, professor and Geography Department head, and Dr. Patricia Yager, associate professor in the Department of Marine Sciences.

Many of the American broadcast journalists who have weather assignments are climate change skeptics, Dr. Marshall Shepherd, director for Program in Atmospheric Sciences, told the guest.

“I think there’s an explanation,” Dr. Shepherd said. “Most of these journalists have a bachelor’s degree in meteorology. At the undergraduate level, no classes on climate are taught, so they leave school with the idea that climate, like weather, cannot be predicted and tracked more than seven days.”

In the Grady College, Arévalo had meetings with Dr. Jeff Springston, associate dean, to talk about his risk communication course, and with Professor John Greenman of the Journalism Department, who has gathered materials for journalists on poverty.

She also had meetings with Dr. Lee Becker, director of the Cox Center, and with Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of the Cox Center.

Arévalo is a reporter in the environmental section and was one of the co founders of EFEverde, the new multimedia and Internet service on environmental news.

In her day-to-day work, she develops, researches and writes daily news, features and interviews related to environmental politics, biodiversity, water, climate change, energy and sustainable development both on a national and international level.

Arévalo also has covered home politics and social issues in Madrid, where she is based. Prior to working at EFE, she has worked as a communications assistant to the Spanish Minister of the Environment, and as a reporter for El Mundo newspaper and the COPE radio channel.

Arévalo is a frequent contributing writer and panelist for national and international environmental publications and conferences. She is part of the Forum on Atlantic Media and the Environment (FAME), the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) and the Spanish Asociación de Periodistas Ambientales (APIA).

Arévalo has a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Journalism from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and has done post graduate studies in Environmental Journalism at the Universities of Antwerp (Belgium) and California (US).

Prior to her visit to Georgia, Arévalo spent time in Washington, D.C. and South Carolina.

The next destinations of her fellowship in the United States were Texas, Colorado and California.