Know Your Local Media: The Chron's Eric Berger on Hurricanes, Climate Change and Evacuating Katy
Full disclosure: In 2000, I was working on a grassroots campaign supporting the arena referendum that passed and resulted in the building of Toyota Center. At the time, the Houston Chronicle's Eric Berger was covering the campaign, a less contentious follow-up to the loss suffered a year earlier that almost sent the Houston Rockets to Louisville.
Since that time, I've stayed in touch with Berger mainly because we both are nerds when it comes to weather, hurricanes in particular. Over the last five years, he has turned his SciGuy blog on Chron.com into one of the best science blogs on the Internet. He routinely deals with skeptics, science-bashers and people who think they should flee anytime there is a tropical storm in the Gulf (people in Katy during the mass evacuation of 2005 seemed particularly jumpy).
In many ways, Berger is the foremost authority on weather and science in our city and he's neither a weatherman nor a scientist. Here are his five, ultra-nerdy questions.
You started at the Chron doing general assignments, right? How did you get to the science desk?
I started as a GA reporter way back in 1998, and over time covered several beats including the business of sports, a hot topic with Enron Field and Reliant Stadium under construction, and the yet unbuilt Rockets arena still needing public approval. But I majored in astronomy and always wanted to cover science. So in late 2001, when the beat came open, I jumped at it. In a newsroom full of liberal arts majors, it wasn't exactly a hot competition.