Bettina Boxall

Bettina Boxall (born 1952) is an American journalist who covers water issues and the environment for the Los Angeles Times. She is a recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.

Bettina Boxall
Years active1985–present
AwardsPulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting

Early years and education

When she was growing up, Boxall did not have a deep desire to become a reporter. But in high school she became editor of The Maine Campus which was why she chose journalism as her major in university. At that point, she developed an interest in photojournalism. She also enjoyed her Geology class with Professor Stephen Norton. It was some of that early study that laid the groundwork for her Pulitzer Prize. She explained, “on both the exams and field trips, he demanded that his students think rather than regurgitate information. The facts were just the foundation for critical thinking. That was a valuable lesson to learn as a journalist.”[1]

Boxall graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Maine.[2]


Boxall began her journalistic career as a photographer at the San Marcos Daily Record – a small daily paper in Texas. She also did reports for newspapers in Vermont and New Jersey.[3] Her main area of journalistic expertise is in environmentalism. For four years after that she worked as a staff writer and photographer at the Bennington Banner in New England. Following on from that she worked on the court beat and started to cover regional environmental issues at The Record in New Jersey. She started working at The Los Angeles Times in 1987 at the Southeast/Long Beach bureau. In 2002 she covered water issues and the environment.

In the 1990s, Boxall started getting a name for herself as she was covering gay rights and AIDS in California, at the time “gay marriage and other issues were bubbling to the surface, signaling profound social shifts.”[4]


Boxall received the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2009 with her colleague Julie Cart. Together, they composed a five-part series exploring the causes and effects of escalating wildfire in the West, entitled "Big Burn".[5] For this, they requested cartons of US Forest Service records, in line with the Freedom of Information Act. They also traveled to Australia, investigating the country’s different firefighting activities. The Pulitzer board said that the series was a “fresh and painstaking exploration into the cost and effectiveness of attempts to combat the growing menace of wildfires.”[6]


  1. ^ "Bettina BoxallPulitzer Prize Winner for Explanatory Reporting in 2009". Find the Data. Find the Data. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Bettina Boxall '74: A hard-hitting reporter tackles some of the most pressing climate issues of our time". Alumni Association. University of Maine Alumni Association. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Bettina Boxall: Writer". LA Times. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Bettina Boxall '74: A hard-hitting reporter tackles some of the most pressing climate issues of our time". Maine Alumni Association. University of Maine Alumni Association. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Environmental news from California and beyond". LA Times Blogs. LA Times. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Series of articles on wildfires wins Pulitzer Prize". Wildfire Today. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
2009 Pulitzer Prize

The 2009 Pulitzer Prizes were announced on April 20, 2009, the 93rd annual awards.The New York Times won five awards this year, with the Tampa Bay Times (Formally the St. Petersburg Times) being the only other multi-prize winner with two. Three organizations were awarded prizes for the first time: Las Vegas Sun, East Valley Tribune and The Post-Star.

3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines

3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, abbreviated as (3/3), is an infantry battalion of the United States Marine Corps, based out of Kāne'ohe, Hawai'i. Known as either "Trinity" or "America's Battalion", the unit falls under the command of the 3rd Marine Regiment of the 3rd Marine Division. The unit consists of approximately 1124 U.S. Marines and United States Navy sailors.


California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

California's $2.9 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state, larger than those of Texas and Florida combined, and the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world (larger than the United Kingdom, France, or India), and the 36th most populous as of 2017. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies ($1.253 trillion and $907 billion respectively as of 2017), after the New York metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2017 (~$94,000) among large PSAs, and is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people.California is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, innovation, environmentalism and politics. It is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, fast food, the Internet, and the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are widely seen as global centers of the technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California has a very diverse economy: 58% of the state's economy is centered on finance, government, real estate services, technology, and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.S. state.California is bordered by Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east, and the Mexican state of Baja California to the south (with the coast being on the west). The state's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, and from the redwood–Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time, drought and wildfires have become more pervasive features.What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries. The Spanish Empire then claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War. The western portion of Alta California then was organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom.

EAGLES Academy

EAGLES Academy Central High School (also known as EAGLES Academy Hollywood and EAGLES Center) was a public high school located in Hollywood, Los Angeles, with the target group of but not limited to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender young people, as well as those questioning their sexuality and educational dropouts. It was founded and opened in 1992 along with the "Educational Options" program by the LAUSD and closed down in 2004. It was the first public high school designed for LGBT youth from grade 7 onwards in the United States.

Hyperion sewage treatment plant

The Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant is a sewage treatment plant in southwest Los Angeles, California, next to Dockweiler State Beach on Santa Monica Bay. The plant is the largest sewage treatment facility in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area and one of the largest plants in the world. Hyperion is operated by the City of Los Angeles, Department of Public Works, and the Bureau of Sanitation. Hyperion is the largest sewage plant by volume west of the Mississippi River.

LA City Sanitation operates the largest wastewater collection system in the US, serving a population of four million within a 600 square mile service area. LA's more than 6,700 miles of public sewers convey 400 million gallons per day of flow from customers to LASAN's four plants.


The primary responsibility of LA Sanitation (LASAN) is to collect, clean and recycle solid and liquid waste generated by residential, commercial and industrial users in the City of Los Angeles and surrounding communities.

Serving over four million residents with approximately 2,800 dedicated professional, technical, administrative, craft, clerical and service personnel, LASAN protects the public health and environment and enhances the quality of life in the City of Los Angeles' neighborhoods.

Julie Cart

Julie Cart is an American journalist. She won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.

Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times (sometimes abbreviated as LA Times or L.A. Times) is a daily newspaper which has been published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It has the fourth-largest circulation among United States newspapers, and is the largest U.S. newspaper not headquartered on the East Coast. The paper is known for its coverage of issues particularly salient to the U.S. West Coast, such as immigration trends and natural disasters. It has won more than 40 Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage of these and other issues. As of June 18, 2018, ownership of the paper is controlled by Patrick Soon-Shiong, and the executive editor is Norman Pearlstine.In the nineteenth century, the paper was known for its civic boosterism and opposition to unions, the latter of which led to the bombing of its headquarters in 1910. The paper's profile grew substantially in the 1960s under publisher Otis Chandler, who adopted a more national focus. In recent decades, the paper's readership has declined and it has been beset by a series of ownership changes, staff reductions, and other controversies. In January 2018, the paper's staff voted to unionize, and in July 2018 the paper moved out of its historic downtown headquarters to a facility near Los Angeles International Airport.

Martin Litton (environmentalist)

Clyde Martin Litton (February 13, 1917 – November 30, 2014) was a Grand Canyon river runner and a longtime conservationist, best known as a staunch opponent of the construction of Glen Canyon Dam and other dams on the Colorado River.

Litton grew up in Gardena, California. Although not a well-known environmental activist until the 1950s, as early as October 1935 he wrote a letter to the Los Angeles Times at the age of 18, which read in part: "The people of the entire state should rise up against the destruction of Mono Lake. Mono Lake is a gem-among California's greatest scenic attractions."

Litton and his wife Esther first floated the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in 1955 with Plez Talmadge "Pat" Reilly, at the time joining the first 200 to 300 people known to have made the trip down the river from Lee's Ferry to the Grand Wash Cliffs, first pioneered by John Wesley Powell. He ran the river again in 1956, rowing one of Pat's fiberglass Cataract boats, and again in 1962, rowing a modified Mckenzie River dory. Litton continued to run the Colorado for decades afterward, founding Grand Canyon Dories in 1971 and running commercial river trips through the 1970s and 1980s. Litton showed a contrarian preference for using small wooden boats, known as dories, at a time when other river runners had mostly switched to inflatable rubber rafts. These boats were originally used in Oregon; and it was Litton who adapted their use to the Colorado River commercial river trips. He sold the business in 1988.Litton was a close friend of David Brower, Edward Abbey, and other major figures in the conservation movement. Brower first recruited him in 1952 for a campaign to oppose the construction of two dams in Dinosaur National Monument. Congress voted down approval for the dams in 1956. This began a longtime association with the Sierra Club and a lifelong opposition to dam-building on the Colorado. He was active in the fight to stop dams from being constructed within Grand Canyon National Park. A 1964 river trip led by Martin Litton, which included David Brower, Philip Hyde and author Francois Leydet, led to the publication of the 1964 book authored by Leydet, Time and the River Flowing, with photographs by Ansel Adams, Philip Hyde and others, which helped galvanize opposition to the proposed dams within the Grand Canyon.

Between 1954 and 1968 he was the travel editor for Sunset magazine. In 1960, Sunset ran a cover story entitled "The Redwood Country," which is credited with launching a campaign which eventually led to the establishment of Redwood National Park.

Litton was the author of the 1968 book The Life and Death of Lake Mead. He has been featured in documentary films including Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America and River Runners of the Grand Canyon.

Litton served on the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club from 1964 to 1973. In 1990 he convinced Harriet Burgess to found the American Land Conservancy and served on the executive committee for ten years. Litton founded the organization Sequoia ForestKeeper® in 2001 and served as president until his death. He served on the Advisory Committee of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and on the Honorary Board of Directors of the Glen Canyon Institute. On November 30, 2014, he died at his home in Portola Valley, California, aged 97.

Meteorological history of Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy was the fourth-costliest Atlantic hurricane on record. It lasted for over a week in late October-early November 2012. Classified as the eighteenth named storm, tenth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the annual hurricane season, Sandy originated from a tropical wave on October 22. Performing a small loop over the central Caribbean Sea, the system intensified into a tropical storm a day later and became the final hurricane of the season before briefly coming ashore the coast of Jamaica on October 24. After emerging between Jamaica and Cuba, Sandy began a period of rapid intensification into a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 km/h). It made landfall at this intensity near Santiago de Cuba on October 25.

An approaching trough over the central United States induced high wind shear over Sandy as it traversed the Bahamas, causing the hurricane to weaken to a tropical storm while turning more northeastward. The southern part of the trough detached, causing the shear to decrease late on October 28 and allowing Sandy to regain strength. It attained a secondary peak of Category 2 strength the following day, and later turned toward the west. During this change in direction, Sandy began to transition into an extratropical cyclone, a process it completed before making landfall near Brigantine, New Jersey, late on October 29. The extratropical remnants weakened gradually overland, and the center of circulation was declared indistinguishable over western Pennsylvania two days later. In addition to becoming the second-largest Atlantic hurricane, Sandy broke records for the lowest pressures ever observed in many cities across the Northeastern United States.

Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting

The Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting has been presented since 1998, for a distinguished example of explanatory reporting that illuminates a significant and complex subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, lucid writing and clear presentation. From 1985 to 1997, it was known as the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism.

The Pulitzer Prize Board announced the new category in November 1984, citing a series of explanatory articles that seven months earlier had won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. The series, "Making It Fly" by Peter Rinearson of The Seattle Times, was a 29,000-word account of the development of the Boeing 757 jetliner. It had been entered in the National Reporting category, but judges moved it to Feature Writing to award it a prize. In the aftermath, the Pulitzer Prize Board said it was creating the new category in part because of the ambiguity about where explanatory accounts such as "Making It Fly" should be recognized. The Pulitzer Committee issues an official citation explaining the reasons for the award.

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