congratulations to our 2023 storyfest winners!

congratulations to our 2023 storyfest winners!

alexandra daley-clark/lindblad expeditions

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storyfest 2023

at the 2023 planet forward summit on april 20th, we were thrilled to announce the winners of our annual storyfest competition – the very best stories from university students on sustainability, the environment, and climate change.

winners will travel to iceland for a five-day voyage with lindblad expeditions aboard the newest polar vessel, national geographic resolution. together with a dedicated team of naturalists, photo instructors, an undersea specialist, and a wellness instructor, the winners will explore iceland’s remote fjords and volcanic isles, while learning how iceland is addressing conservation and natural resource protection topics in the face of climate change.

five winners in best scalable innovation, best science narrative, best use of science or data, most compelling character, and most creative story were selected by our panel of ten independent judges. thank you to judging chair phil frank, plus alison milligan, francesca edralin, tik root, don holzworth, larry evans, gina murphy-darling, dena seidel, jake meyers, and gina mccrackin!

there was one story submitted this year that seemed to defy our storyfest categories. this story received the inaugural planet forward staff award for its excellent use of science and data, variety of interviews, and incorporation of original artwork.

explore the best in student-produced written journalism, environmental video, and science communication podcasting below!

best scalable innovation

in colorado, the soil beneath solar panels is ripe for growing crops

by gabe allen & tyler hickman | the university of colorado, boulder

the judges say,

“gabe and tyler’s essay on agrivoltaics stood out for highlighting an innovative energy-saving technology that allows farmers to preserve a tradition.” 

best science narrative

solutions on the half-shell: healing florida’s waters with clams

by katie delk | university of florida

the judges say,

“katie’s story allows us to sensitively enter a threatened coastal ecosystem through the community directly impacted – the very people who take real action to protect the natural world they depend upon.”

best use of science or data

perennial grains are the future of sustainable agriculture

by cassidy hough | michigan state university

the judges say,

“cassidy’s delivery style was unique, fun, and compelling. by guiding us through historical practices, and introducing us to practical possibilities for the future she left us inspired and wanting to learn more.”

most compelling character

nebraska sandhills hint changing tides in agriculture

by vidya muthupillai | george washington university

the judges say,

“this story introduces a rancher at the forefront of efforts to change the way grazing animals are raised. it is focused on the harm to soil caused by current ranching practices and offers an alternative that repairs the soils and improves the health of the animals.”

most creative story

reconciliación en mi río

by halley hughes | university of arizona

the judges say,

“not only did halley communicate the importance of cleaning up plastic pollution in her local watershed through a video, she also built a symbolic sculpture to tell the story of how human-caused changes to the environment have had a noticeable and lasting impact on the biodiversity of the santa cruz river.”

planet forward staff award

reinventing a sustainable crab fishery

by sachi kitajima mulkey | university of california, berkeley

the judges say,

“by asking insightful questions and skillfully capturing the voices and experiences of crab fishers, sachi was able to weave together a powerful story that inspires an emotional connection with her audience. the addition of her own unique illustrations added an extra layer of depth and meaning to the story, creating a more immersive and engaging experience for readers.”

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