NatGeo News Contributor Stefan Lovgren Wins Top Award


Stefan Lovgren (right) and Zeb Hogan in Mongolia, holding a taimen.

Photo courtesy Stefan Lovgren

National Geographic News contributor Stefan Lovgren is the winner of this year’s AAAS Science Journalism Award in the online media category.

Presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society, the award was given to Lovgren for a three-part series of articles about the Megafishes Project, an effort led by conservation biologist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Zeb Hogan to study and document the world’s largest freshwater fish.

Lovgren traveled with Hogan to Mongolia, China, Cambodia, and other locations to better understand the river titans that are critically endangered due to overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and global warming — and what can be done to protect these amazing creatures.


The Megafishes series has ranked among the most popular National Geographic News stories.

The three specific articles that won the award were:

In addition to the print stories entered for the award, the Megafish series included several video stories, such as the one below. Featuring amazing footage of some of the rarest creatures on Earth, these video stories were also written and produced entirely by Lovgren, who worked as a one-man crew in the field on a limited budget.

“Using all of the tools available, Lovgren paints a compelling portrait of these gargantuan fish that most people would never get to see, said Seth Borenstein of Associated Press, one of the judges.

“The images of the giant ray and the cannibalistic fish hook you, and the narrative reels you in,” said another judge, Warren Leary, a recently retired science writer for The New York Times. Leary called Lovgren’s work “a fine entry that introduces the public to an interesting topic in an innovative way. Good content and fine visuals of fish that must be seen to be believed.”

var config = new Array();

config[“adServerURL”] = “”;

config[“videoRef”] = “mongolia-taimen-vin”;

config[“playerTag”] = “VIN-embedded”;

config[“autoStart”] = false;

config[“preloadBackColor”] = “#FFFFFF”;

config[“width”] = 425;

config[“height”] = 360;

config[“playerId”] = 1155295675;

config[“autoStart”] = true;

createExperience(config, 8);

Fishing the world’s largest trout, Mongolia’s taimen, is encouraged — to help save it.

Video Producer/Videographer: Stefan Lovgren

I wish to add my own congratulations to Stefan Lovgren and Zeb Hogan. Lovgren has done much great work for National Geographic News over the years. Hogan’s work is inspirational. The two of them have made a terrific team. I would also like to salute National Geographic Mission Programs, which has funded so much of Hogan’s work, as well as both our online newsroom and Digital Studio that processed and packaged Lovgren’s text and video stories.

What impresses Lovgren about Hogan? “He’s enthusiastic, that’s what makes him such a great subject, he’s just so passionate about the big fish, he’s kind of like a shy guy, but you put him next to a big fish, and he’s on fire,” he told our newsroom yesterday.



Photo courtesy Zeb Hogan

The AAAS awards were established in 1945 to honor excellence in science reporting. The awards are given for print, radio, television and online categories. Independent panels of science journalists choose the winners of the awards, which are sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development.

“AAAS awards recognize outstanding science journalism at a time when resolving the pressing problems of our age will require a high degree of science literacy throughout society,” said Alan I. Leshner, chief executive officer of the AAAS and executive publisher of the journal Science.


The award winners will receive $3,000 and a plaque at the 2009 AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago in February.

The winners of the 2008 AAAS Science Journalism Awards:



Large Newspaper — Circulation of 100,000 or more

Terry McDermott

Los Angeles Times

“Chasing Memory” (series)

Small Newspaper — Circulation less than 100,000

Kara Platoni

East Bay Express

“In Search of Life” (series)

July 4, 2007 and July 11, 2007


John Carey


“Do Cholesterol Drugs Do Any Good?”

Jan. 28, 2008


Joseph McMaster, Gary Johnstone


“Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial”

Nov. 13, 2007


Daniel Grossman

WBUR Boston

“Meltdown: Inside Out”

Dec. 1, 2007


Stefan Lovgren

National Geographic News

Megafishes (three-part series)

    “Megafishes project to size up real ‘Loch Ness Monsters,'” July 24, 2007

    “World’s largest trout thrives in Mongolia — for now,” Nov. 7, 2007

    “Giant river stingrays found near Thai city,” April 29, 2008


Yoon Shin-Young

Children*s Science Donga

“Roadkill, Horror on Roads”

June 15, 2008

Changing Planet

Meet the Author
More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn