Ashley Braun

Ashley Braun is Grist's News Producer and (unofficially) its Official Puntificator. She's also a science nerd, a lazy runner, an organic container gardener, and an accidental "expert" on topics like cross-country relationships and social media.

Would you like frogs with that?

Frogs in the forest: the new canaries in the coal mine

Dr. Kerry Kriger cracks a smile during his visit to Grist’s Seattle HQ.Russ Walker / GristOn Tuesday, the staff at Grist devoured frogs for lunch.  Well, not exactly. We sat down with conservation biologist Dr. Kerry Kriger of the newly minted nonprofit Save the Frogs! — one of several stops he’s making in Seattle during a country-wide speaking tour. As one of the lone voices raising the alarm for amphibians, Kriger dished about the worst disease ever to hit wildlife, why it’s such a big deal that one-third of amphibians are threatened with extinction, and just how many people actually …

Socially changed

Facebook app translates online efforts into real-world environmental change

Climate change may take place in the offline world, but that doesn’t mean the online world is relegated to mere words and worry about it. A clear example is the dedicated crew of young eco-activists at Hot Dish, a climate news-‘n’-action application on Facebook. Hot Dish aims to move people from online engagement with climate news to offline action in the world where climate change is taking place. In a rush of impressive real-world environmental achievements, Hot Dish’s Action Team contest concluded last week. Battling for the crown of most climate conscious, Hot Dishers earned points for green efforts of …

Social mediators

10 ways to change the world through social media

Citizen journalism, open government, status updates, community building, information sharing, crowdsourcing, and the election of a President. Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Max Gladwell, a blog specializing in social media and green living. Our children will inherit a world profoundly changed by the combination of technology and humanity that is social media. They’ll take for granted that their voices can be heard and that a social movement can be launched from their laptop. They’ll take for granted that they are connected and interconnected with hundreds of millions of people at any given moment. And they’ll take for …

Prince Wales on Deforestation

Princes, frogs partner to save rainforests

HRH Prince of Wales (that’s His Royal Highness to you peasants) has launched an international online campaign to save the rainforests, appropriately monikered the Prince’s Rainforests Project. Prince Charles is joined by his sons William and Harry, along with a few non-royal celebs like Daniel Craig, the Dalai Lama, and an animated frog, in connecting tropical deforestation with the battle against climate change. Quoth The Royal One: If we lose the battle against tropical deforestation, we lose the battle against climate change. The Prince specifically aims this online grassroots crusade at the international climate talks in Copenhagen this December, hoping …

Playing frogger with the climate

Happy Save the Frogs Day

Hoppy Save the Frogs Day!As I’ve mentioned before, frogs and other amphibians are doing about as well as the global financial system. The good news is that even though the Year of the Frog (2008) is over, we still have the first annual Save the Frogs Day to get hopped up about the plight of amphibians. Happy Save the Frogs Day! Besides frogs being indicators of ecosystem health, keeping Egyptian Pharaohs in check, and helping create breakthroughs in medicine, I’ve found another handy reason to support amphibian conservation: saving frogs fights climate change! Let’s examine a list of top threats …

For a limited time only

Send in your green questions for Grist for Earth Day answers

Got a burning green question Grist hasn't answered yet? (Hard to believe, I know.) Think quick because you have until 3 PM Pacific today to send 'em in because our big brains -- along with a few other online eco-friends' -- will be answering them in a video montage for Earth Day.

Computer power corrupts absolutely

Power Down for the Planet video contest issues challenge for greener computing

As an online-only publication using tree-free pencils (also known as “computers”), Grist is familiar with the energy-sucking pitfalls of internet technology. Which is why we think it’s so swell that the Climate Savers Computing Initiative (CSCI) is ganging up with the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program for some new-fashioned video contest fun a la Power Down for the Planet. This challenge is mostly aimed at getting universities and their peeps to cut their own IT power consumption and a little bit aimed at communicating about turning off your computer in a creative way. However, you don’t have to be a student …

Hot news + hot earth = Hot Dish

Join new climate-action Facebook application, win rewards

If you haven't already heard, Grist is tickled to be the editorial sponsor of Hot Dish, a climate change news-'n'-activism Facebook app that has all the cool kids talking. It's the brainchild of online social media and news aggregator NewsCloud, made possible by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. (Yours truly even had a hand in it.) Hot Dish is where online news meets real-world action to fight climate change. Grist helps drive the conversation around the day's top climate change news, and Hot Dish enables users to share it with each other within the comfy confines of Facebook. But wait -- there's more! Users can join the Action Team to complete challenges and earn points by, say, writing to a congressperson, setting up composting, or volunteering with an environmental group.

Eating their words

On the importance of getting personal with your food

William Emery, author of Edges of Bounty. Real food doesn't often compete with the delicious paper-and-ink smell of bookstores, but last Saturday, chefs, farmers, photographers, and writers filled Seattle's Elliott Bay Book Company with their wares: two appetizing reads. The back-to-back book events featured the authors of Chefs on the Farm and Edges of Bounty. One lesson I walked away with that day was that food is only as good as the relationships on which it's based. These relationships can be between soil and seed, eater and herb, farmer and goat, or even you and your neighbors. Both books' authors reinforced this idea and went on to suggest that diverse, well-tended, and personal relationships produce the best meals and the best stories.

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