MEDIA ADVISORY: Environmental Experts Become Wilson Center Scholars

CNN's Peter Dykstra and Finland's Tapani Vaahtoranta Now in Residence

Jan 08, 2009

WASHINGTON—Two environmental experts have joined the Wilson Center as public policy scholars to work with the Center's Environmental Change and Security Program. Peter Dykstra, former executive producer of CNN's Science, Technology, and Weather Unit, has arrived for a two-month residency, and Tapani Vaahtoranta, director of the Environment and Natural Resources Program at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, and editor-in-chief of the Finnish Journal of Foreign Affairs, will spend four months at the Center.

Dykstra's project, "The News Media's Impact on Environmental and Global Security," will focus on how environmental reporting is adapting to the rapidly changing media landscape and responding to the increased interest in environmental issues. Dykstra, who supervised staff responsible for coverage of the traditional sciences, technology, the environment, space, and weather for CNN's television, internet, and radio platforms, was the executive producer of two recent investigative documentaries for CNN: "The Truth About Global Warming" and "Broken Government: Scorched Earth." His work has won many awards, including a 1993 Emmy Award, a 2004 Dupont-Columbia Award, and a 2005 Peabody Award.

While at the Center, Vaahtoranta will investigate the international politics of climate change, energy, and security. He served as director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs from 2001-2007 and has taught at the University of Turku and at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. His extensive publications center on European foreign policy, international security, and interest-based environmental decision-making.

Lee H. Hamilton, president and director of the Woodrow Wilson Center, welcomed both scholars to the Center. "We are delighted to have such impressive environmental experts at the Center," he said. "Their investigative and forward-thinking work is so important to the future of climate change and environmental security."

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the living, national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds, engaged in the study of national and world affairs.

Since 1994, the Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program has explored the connections among environmental challenges and their links to conflict and security.

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