Elizabeth Kolbert

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Elizabeth Kolbert
Born 1961 (age 53–54)
The Bronx, New York
Residence Williamstown, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Alma mater Yale University
Occupation journalist and author
Spouse(s) John Kleiner
Awards Heinz Award 2010

Elizabeth Kolbert (born 1961) is an American journalist and author. She is best known for her 2006 book Field Notes from a Catastrophe, and as an observer and commentator on environmentalism for The New Yorker magazine.[1]

Youth and education[edit]

Kolbert spent her early childhood in the Bronx, New York; her family then relocated to Larchmont, New York, where she remained until 1979.

After graduating from Mamaroneck High School, Kolbert spent four years studying literature at Yale University. In 1983, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Universität Hamburg, in Germany.


Elizabeth Kolbert started working for The New York Times as a stringer in Germany in 1983. In 1985, she went to work for the Metro desk. Kolbert served as the Times' Albany bureau chief from 1988 to 1991, and wrote the Metro Matters column from 1997 to 1998.

Since 1999, she has been a staff-writer for The New Yorker.[1]

She received a Lannan Literary Fellowship in 2006. She served as a judge for the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award in 2012.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Kolbert resides in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with her husband, John Kleiner, and three sons.[3] She appeared on on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on February 11, 2014, to discuss her book The Sixth Extinction.





  • 2005 American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award[8]
  • 2006 National Magazine Award for Public Interest[9]
  • 2006 Lannan Literary Fellowship[10]
  • 2006 National Academies Communication Award[11]
  • 16th Annual Heinz Awards (with special focus on global change), 2010[12]
  • 2010 National Magazine Award for Commentary[13]
  • 2010 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Science Writing [14]


  1. ^ a b "Contributors: Elizabeth Kolbert". The New Yorker. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  2. ^ "Announcing the 2012 PEN Literary Award Recipients". PEN American Center. October 15, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Author Profile: Elizabeth Kolbert", Simon & Schuster
  4. ^ Marina, Gosnell (March 16, 2006). "In Epoch of Man, Earth Takes a Beating". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 February 2014. In a final chapter on the "Anthropocene," a newly minted term meaning the geological epoch defined by man, Ms. Kolbert turns from her mostly unbiased field reporting to give her own opinion. She is not optimistic, in large part because it appears that Anthropocene man can't be counted on to do the right thing. "It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself," she writes, "but that is what we are now in the process of doing." 
  5. ^ http://www.hmhco.com/shop/books/The-Best-American-Science-and-Nature-Writing-2009/9780547002590
  6. ^ http://us.macmillan.com/thesixthextinction-1/ElizabethKolbert
  7. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/16/books/review/the-sixth-extinction-by-elizabeth-kolbert.html?hpw&rref=books&_r=0
  8. ^ http://www.aaas.org/aboutaaas/awards/sja/winners.shtml
  9. ^ http://www.magazine.org/asme/about-asme/pressroom/asme-press-releases/national-magazine-awards-2006-winners-announced-40th-anniversary-celebration
  10. ^ http://www.lannan.org/bios/elizabeth-kolbert/
  11. ^ http://www.keckfutures.org/nakfinews/Q2.2010/J/Archive.Comm_Award_Gugg_Fellows.html
  12. ^ "Profile: Elizabeth Kolbert", Heinz Awards website
  13. ^ http://www.magazine.org/asme/about-asme/pressroom/asme-press-releases/asme-announces-winners-2010-national-magazine-awards
  14. ^ http://www.gf.org/fellows/16807-elizabeth-kolbert

External links[edit]