Tim Folger Receives 2013 Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism—Features: Response

Freelance journalist Tim Folger received the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism–Features at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held on 11 December 2013 in San Francisco, Calif. Folger was honored for the article “The Calm Before the Wave,” published in February 2012 by National Geographic magazine. In this feature report, Folger recounts the story of tsunamis, especially the ones that struck Japan and Indonesia in the past decade, exploring the science of those hazards, their history, the destruction and terror they inflict, and efforts to improve survival odds for victims of future inundations. The article brings to life the personal terror, the scientific puzzles, and the enduring, seemingly insurmountable dangers to large populations around the world from these hazards. The Sullivan Award is for work published with a deadline pressure of more than 1 week.



Few publications have the resources to send journalists halfway around world in pursuit of a story. National Geographic gave me the opportunity to see firsthand the horrific aftermath of a tsunami and to meet with survivors. I'm very grateful to National Geographic for funding nearly a month of costly travel in four different countries. It's a privilege to write for such a remarkable magazine.