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Fixing Flint

Marc Edwards (Virginia Tech)

The professor who helped uncover the water crises in Flint, Michigan and has now been charged with fixing it.

4 mins

Toms River

Dan Fagin (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

Toms River was just like any other small town in America—except that children were dying at very high rates. For Earth Day, With Good Reason speaks with Pulitzer Prize winning writer Dan Fagin, whose 2013 book, Tom’s River: A Story of Science and Salvation tells the story of how that small town fought against the pollution—and the polluters—killing their children. Fagin also discusses his current project, a book that follows the plight of the monarch butterfly as it tries to survive the very real changes that humans have brought to this planet.

24 mins

The Disappearing Snot Otter

Wally Smith (UVA-Wise)

The distinctive appearance of the largest salamander in North America has inspired some colorful nicknames: hellbenders, big log of snot, ol’ lasagna sides, and snot otter. Biologist Wally Smith is trying to better understand where these creatures live and why they’re disappearing.

12 mins

A Link to Thyroid Disorders

Maddison Couch (UVA-Wise)

Growing up in Appalachia, Maddison Couch noticed an unusual number of thyroid disorders in her community. As a college student, she discovered new information suggesting that these disorders weren’t inherited—they’re caused by coal.

12 mins


This program is funded in part by the Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires Initiative, which seeks to focus on journalism and the humanities, to imagine their future and to inspire new generations to consider the values represented by Pulitzer Prize-winning work. For their generous support for the Campfires Initiative, we thank the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Pulitzer Prize Board, and Columbia University.

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