Freda Kreier awarded mentored science journalism project fellowship

Freda Kreier was a Taylor/Blakeslee graduate fellow for the 2020-21 school year.

Freelance journalist and science writer Freda Kreier has been awarded a Taylor/Blakeslee Mentored Science Journalism Project Fellowship, which includes a small grant for an independent reporting project and comes with the support of a senior journalist as mentor. She is working on a story about earthquakes in the central United States, to be published this summer.

Kreir (@FKreier) is based in Washington, D.C. Her work focuses on how science, society, and the natural world coexist—along with the occasional cool animal story. She has written for Nature, The New York Times, Undark, and more. She received a 2020 Taylor/Blakeslee Graduate Fellowship to attend the science communication master’s program at the University of California Santa Cruz.

A headshot of journalist Priyanka Runwal
Priyanka Runwal

Kreier’s mentor for the project is Priyanka Runwal (@priyanka_runwal), a science, health, and environment journalist from India based in New York City. Runwal is currently a reporter at Chemical & Engineering News covering communities impacted by toxic pollutants. Previously she covered the COVID-19 pandemic as National Geographic’s resident reporter. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Scientific American, Science News, STAT, Audubon, and Hakai Magazine, among other publications. She’s an ecologist by training and a graduate of the UC Santa Cruz Science Communication Program.

The project fellowship, which is awarded competitively to a current or recent Taylor/Blakeslee Graduate Fellow, is designed to help early-career science journalists gain important experience by organizing and executing freelance projects at a time when publishers are rarely able to cover the full cost of field reporting of science stories. Mentoring is provided to help ensure the success of the project.

Project grants are funded by the Chicago-based Brinson Foundation, which provides underwriting for the Taylor/Blakeslee Graduate Fellowships.