Stories from Peter Thomson
Peter Thomson has been covering the the environment for more than 20 years and signed on as The World’s environment editor in 2008.
Peter's a public radio "lifer" who first got hooked on radio journalism in high school, while listening to and then interning with Danny Schechter the News Dissector at Boston's legendary WBCN. After subsequently failing in careers as a housepainter, waiter, bike messenger, oyster shucker and DJ, he eventually found his way back to radio news at WFCR in Amherst, Mass., where he soon became a regular stringer for NPR. After stints at WBUR and Monitor Radio in Boston he really found his groove when he was hired on as the founding editor and producer of NPR’s groundbreaking new environmental news program Living on Earth, in 1991. In nearly 10 years at the program, Peter helped establish Living on Earth as the preeminent broadcast source for environmental news and helped the program earn numerous awards and honors. He also reported for the program on issues from oil and natives on Alaska’s North Slope to solar power development in rural Morocco.
In 2000 Peter left Living on Earth to travel around the world by surface with his brother via Siberia, from which he was lucky enough to escape with enough material to turn into his acclaimed 2007 book Sacred Sea: A Journey to Lake Baikal, about the world's largest and deepest lake. Sacred Sea was dubbed “superb” and “compelling” by the New York Times, but his favorite work to date is his radio documentary about a hot dog stand in Oakland, California, Original Kasper's: The Hot Dog Stand that Saved a Neighborhood.
Peter's work has received more than two dozen awards. He’s been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the Marine Biological Laboratory, the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources, and the International Reporting Project, with whom he traveled to China in 2010, and 2014 received a fellowship from the Heinrich Boell Foundation to report on advances in renewable energy storage technology in Germany. He served 15 years on the board of Directors of the Society of Environmental Journalists and currently sits on the advisory board of the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting.