National Geographic quotes refuge ecologist

Posted: Monday, September 13, 2004

Ed Berg has been quoted in numerous scientific journals, magazine articles and newspaper stories while serving as the ecologist for the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge for the last decade, and this month he adds one more to the list: National Geographic.

The magazine of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institution in the world featured a quote of Berg's in this month's (September 2004) issue. It is his first time being quoted by the award-winning magazine, but Berg is humble about the experience.

"I get interviewed all the time by different media organizations. It's part of my job. This is only one line so it's kind of a nonevent," Berg said.

His quote about beetle-killed spruce trees was part of "EcoSigns," written by Fen Montaigne, and the second of a larger three-story feature on global warming called "The Heat Is On."

"It all started with an article in Alaska Magazine on bark beetles in Alaska," Berg said. "That article interviewed me fairly extensively. Then the New York Times picked it up and interviewed me more. Then reporters that read it in the Times started calling, and that seems to be the pattern."

"You know how it is, once people see your name in more than one place your suddenly an expert," Berg said.

Although Berg was modest as to his contribution to the piece, he said working with the magazine gave him insight into just how much behind the scenes work is involved in its production each month.

"I learned a lot goes into National Geographic that you never see. I went around with the photographer (Peter Essick) for a few days. He shot 15 rolls of film at least, and only one of those photos was used in the article," he said.

Berg was pleased with how the article turned out, though.

"I thought they did a very good job of summarizing a very complex story," he said.

Berg also said it was nice to be able to share a subject he is so passionate about with such a large audience.

"An important part of my job is informing the public about what's going on with the land and the forest. So, I think the article is a good thing," he said.

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