Storyfest 2018

Announcing the Storyfest 2018 finalists!

Storyfest 2018 had an amazing response from students across the country! Winners will travel with us to Alaska in June. You must attend the 2018 Planet Forward Summit to find out the grand prize winners. Read more about Storyfest 2018 >>

Planet Forward is pleased to announce the Storyfest 2018 finalists. Please watch, listen, read — and like and share your favorites! 

Scroll down to see all the Storyfest 2018 entries.



Renewable Juneau: One phone call at a time by Megan Behnke, Florida State University

Tutors for a farming illiterate society by Shandra Furtado, The George Washington University

The fight for El Oro by Elizabeth Hasier, The George Washington University

Environmentalist breaks conventions with comedy by Peter Jurich, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Talking about climate change at ‘redneck’ fishing tournament by Austin Keating and Becca Fanning, Northwestern University

Bringing the topic of climate change to Arkansas by Samantha Tafoya, University of Arkansas



The life of a water bottle by Nancy Etro, Eckerd College

We've been 'shellfish' enough already: It's time to take care of the Chesapeake Bay by Ashley Gallagher and Jordan Mullaney, The George Washington University

New words to talk about the future: 'Loanwords to Live With' by Alaine Johnson, Yale-NUS College

Go Vegan by CJ Koepp, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Changing minds in the age of changing climate by Navya Pothamsetty, University of California-Berkeley

Solarpunk: Sustainability’s never looked better by Janet Rogers, SUNY-ESF



Counting calories? Count your carbon, too by Katherine Baker, Columbia University

'Catch the King' tide event saved tons of flood data by Courtney Brubaker, University of Virginia

Can Atlantic salmon be restored in New York State? by Matthew Dieffenbach, SUNY-ESF

Winds of power by Jacob Meltzer, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Corn ethanol is a renewable energy, but is it clean? by Laura Whaling, The George Washington University

The return of the 'Alalā by Wren Wilson, SUNY-ESF



Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is the future of farming by Ysabella Bhagroo, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Cleaning up the coast, one small group at a time by Harrison Gardiner, SUNY Oswego

Water crisis inspires innovative solutions in Bangladesh by Mahfuzul Haque, University of Mississippi

Period products and the environment by Jade Jasmine Hurley, The George Washington University

From waste to wetlands: A small town solution to water scarcity by Vanessa Moss, Sewanee: The University of the South

The buzz about elephants: Using bees to protect crops by Hailey Smalley, SUNY-ESF



New gadget helps find household leaks, save water & money by Emily Arnold, Georgetown University

Is there still hope for a renewable microgrid in Puerto Rico? by Conner Elliott-Knaggs, Elon University

Roots & Shoots: As told by the mountain by Terrius Harris, University of Mississippi

Beyond the Lion City: Singapore’s Ground-Up Initiative by Alaine Johnson, Yale-NUS

Sacred spaces to help rebuild reverence for our planet by Maizy Ludden, Syracuse University

Preventing extinction: The last doesn’t have to mean the end by Olivia Urbanski, Loyola University Chicago



What lessons can the women of Bangladesh teach us? by Maura Fallon

Barriers to experience: Understanding race in professional environmentalism by Matilda Kreider

Endangered hawksbill sea turtles rebound in Belize by Connor Muldowney

The tourist’s role in the Cape Town water crisis by Madeleine Pye

Where does it go? Composting at GWU by Alex Rubenstein

D.C.'s new waterfront: The neighbor the Potomac River needs by Laura Whaling


George Washington University
In the final piece of our Alaska series, watch this video and hear about the connections made with those in Alaska using different types of storytelling, and how we might find our own stories.
Inian Institute

The Inian Islands Institute, dubbed the “hobbit hole” by its residents, sits in a remote area near where the Inside Passage meets the Gulf of Alaska. This patch of land has been a hotbed of human activities for centuries; from Tlingit summer fishing camp to fox farm homestead. Now in the hands of scientists the land is used as an ecological research field camp. (Photos by Shandra Furtado/George Washington University)

George Washington University
In this photo essay, part of our Stories of Alaska series, learn about a climate and nature research center hidden among the temperate forests speckled along Alaska's southeastern coast: the Inian Islands Institute.
Mountains near Glacier Bay National Park

Mountains near Glacier Bay National Park in southern Alaska. (Photos by Katherine Baker/Columbia University)

Planet Forward Senior Correspondent | Cornell University
Next in our Alaska series: Climate change isn’t just seen – it’s felt. Weather and temperature fluctuations aside, many experience health impacts caused or exacerbated by climate change.
Whale breaching

“Killer whales are apex predators, the dominant animals in these waters," explains Christine West, a naturalist aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion. This means their health reflects that of the entire habitat, as pollutants at every trophic level will travel up the food web and into these organisms. By the time these impacts are visible, however, it may be too late for a simple, one-size-fits-all solution. (Mike Harris/Lindblad Expeditions)

UC Berkeley
In story three of our Stories of Alaska series, we hear from a Lindblad Expeditions naturalist, who talks about living and working in a place where people see the consequences of their actions in real time.

The sun sets on Day 1 in Alaska. (Planet Forward)

The George Washington University
Storyfest 2018 winners traveled to Alaska in June, exploring its ecosystems and finding the stories of sustainability. In story two of our series, watch a video documenting the resilience found in the 49th state, and read Alex's take on the trip.
Founding Director, Planet Forward
We just concluded our 2018 Planet Forward storytelling expedition to Alaska with Lindblad Expeditions aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion. Our Storyfest winners were dazzled by the ecosystems and the wildlife.
Planet Forward Correspondent | Georgetown University
The 2018 Summit closed with the highly anticipated Storyfest 2018 grand prize awards ceremony to see which six student storytellers will be traveling to Alaska this June.

From left: Alex Rubenstein, Navya Pothamsetty, Shandra Furtado, Ashley Gallagher, Katherine Baker, Sven Lindblad, Frank Sesno, Vanessa Moss, Emily Arnold and Dr. Imani M. Cheers.

Planet Forward
Winners will travel to Alaska, courtesy of Alaska Airlines, to travel with Lindblad Expeditions aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion this June.
Current political and social systems resist meaningful change. As a result, a punk subculture, committed to portraying and moving toward a sustainable future, has formed.
Lonely Lake
University of Wisconsin-Madison
The global warming is real. When you go to school near a lake that freezes during winter, the lake is your everyday's weather forecast and the best evidence of climate change.