UPDATE: This event has been postponed due to weather. A new date will be announced soon.
Lakewood, N.J., February 4, 2019— Rachel Nuwer , the science journalist whose forays into the shadowy world of global wildlife tracking shines a light on everything from illegal rhino hunting to multi-billion-dollar black markets, is coming to Georgian Court University.
She will discuss her work and her new book, Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking, at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 12, in GCU’s Little Theatre. The event, sponsored by the GCU Department of Biology and the Office of Student Life, is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.
As a science journalist, Ms. Nuwer focuses on the myriad challenges facing global wildlife and her byline appears in the New York Times, Smithsonian, and National Geographic, among other publications. Much of her work has been done in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, which is home to her multiyear reporting project, The World Without Wildlife.
Becoming a Science Journalist
Ms. Nuwer is an accomplished freelance writer with a lifelong passion for science and an appreciation for all living things (even as a child, she was known to have iguanas, finches, chickens, hissing cockroaches, doves, and African frogs). She holds degrees from Loyola University, the University of East Anglia (England), and New York University.
“Like many science journalists, I originally wanted to be a scientist,” she says, “but I was always better at writing than math, and the more I studied science, the more I realized I wasn’t cut out for that career path.
“Science journalism was the perfect compromise for me: I could learn about cool science and share it with others, but I didn’t have to do the science myself,” she says. “I also felt that by writing about things I care about, I could make a bigger positive difference.”
Telling Stories for Good
Ms. Nuwer’s sense of curiosity and intense desire to use her reporting skills for good have led to some of the most interesting articles—like the social behavior of octopuses, the African donkey trade, or the use of embedded microchips to replicate animal and human organs.
Her talent for finding and telling important stories—along with her training in biology and conservation ecology—most often shed light on the range of problems and products tied to illegal poaching, including jewelry, coats/clothing, trophies, jewelry, medicine, exotic meat, and more.
By some estimates, it’s a $7- to $23-billion industry, she writes, but when compared to drugs, weapons, or human trafficking, little attention is paid to the wildlife crisis, she says.
“Instead, it is left up to passionate individuals fighting on the ground to try to ensure many of the world’s most beloved species are still around for future generations,” Ms. Nuwer says.
Beyond Talk, Taking Action
As part of her talk at GCU, Ms. Nuwer will discuss the investigative reporting that took her to a dozen countries and the forces that drive demand for animals and their parts. She’ll also discuss how criminal actions take a toll on species and communities, and the possible solutions for curtailing the killing. In addition, she will share what individuals can do to make a difference.
Georgian Court graduate student Kyle Seiverd ’19, who is working with GCU biologist and Department of Biology Chair Louise Wootton, Ph.D, to organize the event, wants audiences to leave Ms. Nuwer’s talk with a better understanding of why animal conservation is important.
“I hope people walk away with the realization that every nation plays a role in the illegal wildlife trade,” says Mr. Seiverd, who teaches biology and environmental sciences at Toms River North High School. “Each of us can make a positive difference for these species by curbing it.”
This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are needed. Register here.
For more information, e-mail Dr. Louise Wootton or call the GCU Office of Conferences and Special Events at 732-987-2263.
Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court expands possibility for more than 2,400 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35 undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. In 2018, GCU was named a Best College for Your Money by Money Magazine. GCU has also been recognized by U.S. News & World Report and Colleges of Distinction and was one of about 100 colleges nationwide that made Phi Theta Kappa’s 2018 Transfer Honor Roll. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at Hazlet, GCU at Cumberland, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.