Art of Environmental Science Writing Workshop

Have you ever wondered how to impress upon your friends the urgency of our climate change crisis? Have you struggled to explain the pressing and complex environmental issues of our day to lay audiences?

Join award-winning science writer Mark Schapiro of Berkeley’s Journalism School  to learn the “Art of Environmental Science Writing.” In this workshop, you gain the skills to write powerfully and persuasively about the science of our natural world, and the challenges our world faces today.

This Art of Writing five-week workshop introduces a group of 10-12 undergraduates to the basic building blocks for composing creative nonfiction essays about the nature that surrounds us — the air above our heads, the ground beneath our feet, the organisms and ecological systems that weave through them. Participants who successfully complete the workshop will be “Art of Environmental Science Writing Fellows.”

The workshop involves writing exercises that evoke nature and place at the center of a story. We consider the inherent drama that resides within ecological systems and the process of scientific discovery as the kernels for compelling narratives.

In addition to writing exercises, we read other science writers with an eye toward identifying their narrative strategies. We also share our writings with one another, and practice offering constructive critiques — a key step in developing the skills necessary to edit one’s own work.

At the end of the workshop, you will have the tools to communicate the stories — and the backstories — that lie within our natural world.

This is the first event of Art of Writing’s new initiative, Writing Emergencies. Prospective fellows should submit their applications by Feb 25, 2023.

About Mark Schapiro: Mark Schapiro is an award-winning investigative journalist and author specializing in the environment. His most recent book, Seeds of Resistance: The Fight to Save Our Food Supply, investigates the epic struggle underway to control the seeds of food crops capable of resilience to climate change.

Previous books include The End of Stationarity: Searching for the New Normal in the Age of Carbon Shock, revealing the hidden costs and consequences of climate change; and EXPOSED: the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power, investigating the impacts on Americans’ health of the U.S. retreat from toxic chemical protections. His work is published in Harpers, Mother Jones, Yale 360, The Nation, The Atlantic, the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times and other publications; and aired on PBS FRONTLINE/World and on KQED.

He was formerly senior correspondent at the Center for Investigative Reporting (2003-2012), where he conducted major investigations into environmental abuses and crimes. He has been a lecturer at Berkeley Journalism since 2012, teaching environment and climate reporting, with an eye on compelling story-telling.


UC Berkeley undergraduate students who are able to attend all five sessions of the workshop.

Grant Provision

This 5-session workshop meets in person on selected Fridays in March and April 2023 (March 3, March 10, March 17, March 24, April 7) from 1:30 to 4:00 pm (with break).

To see a schedule of the workshop, please view the Art of Environmental Science Writing Schedule (.pdf).


February 25, 2023, 11:59 pm

Application Materials

Complete your “Art of Environmental Science Writing workshop” application on the Submittable website.

Please note that you need to create a Submittable account to access the application. For technical assistance, please visit

For inquiries about the workshop, please contact Art of Writing at