Reed Award Judges

SELC is grateful to the writers, journalists and environmental advocates who generously volunteer their time and talent to serve as judges for the Reed Environmental Writing Award. Judges for the 2023 contest are:  

Bruz Clark

President and treasurer of the Chattanooga-based Lyndhurst Foundation and director of its Conservation and Physical Health and Education programs; executive director and secretary of the Riverview Foundation and former trustee and secretary of the Pathfinder Foundation; member of the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity, Land Trust Alliance, Southeastern Council of Foundations, and Timber Framers Guild; and former recipient of the SELC Dockery Award and Land Trust for the Little Tennessee Conservationist of the Year award. 

Deborah Cramer

Author of The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, an Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey, winner of the 2016 Reed Environmental Writing Award, as well as the Best Book Award from the National Academies of Science and the Rachel Carson Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists. Also the author of Great Waters: An Atlantic Passage and Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water Our World and a visiting scholar at the Environmental Solutions Initiative at MIT 

Jim Detjen 

The Knight Chair, Emeritus, and founding president of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, Michigan State University; founding president of Society of Environmental Journalists; former award-winning reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer

Scott Gast

Writer and editor based in the Chicago area; former acquisitions editor for the University of Chicago Press and former features editor at Orion Magazine, where he was on the editorial staff for more than seven years. His work has been supported by the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting and the Fund for Environmental Journalism. 

Latria Graham

Writer, editor and cultural critic currently living in South Carolina; contributor to online publications that focus their attention on social justice and equality; her articles have been featured by Garden & Gun, Our State, Southern Living, Oxford American, Outside Magazine, Backpacker, and numerous other publications

David George Haskell

Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of the South, Sewanee; author of The Forest Unseen, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the 2013 Reed Environmental Writing Award, the National Academies’ 2013 Best Book Award, and the 2012 National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature; also author of The Songs of Trees, winner of the Iris Book Award and the John Burroughs Medal, and of the blog Ramble 

Jay Leutze

Author of Stand Up That Mountain, winner of the 2012 Reed Environmental Writing Award; trustee for the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy; 2013 recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest honor the governor can bestow on a North Carolina citizen

Bill McKibben

Author of such books as Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?,  Deep EconomyThe End of Nature, and Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet; frequent contributor to The New Yorker, Orion, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, and other publications; co-founder of, an international climate campaign; scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College  

Rick Montague

Civic leader, teacher, and writer; guiding inspiration behind creation of the Reed Environmental Writing Award; past chair and current member of SELC’s Board of Trustees

Janisse Ray

Poet, activist, teacher and award-winning author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood (Reed Award 2000) and four other books of literary non-fiction, including The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food, and a book of poems, A House of Branches; also winner of the Reed Award in journalism in 2017; founding board member of Altamaha Riverkeeper; inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame 

Charles Seabrook

Veteran environmental reporter formerly with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; author of Cumberland Island: Strong Women, Wild Horses from John F. Blair Publishers and The World of the Salt Marsh from the University of Georgia Press; winner of the 1998 Reed Environmental Writing Award 

Paul Sloan

Board Chair of the Cumberland River Compact; former Deputy Commissioner Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation; founder of Partners in Conservation; co-founder Little Planet Publishing; founding board member Cumberland Region Tomorrow