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Cynthia Barnett - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

Cynthia Barnett

Journalist in Residence/Director | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

Cynthia Barnett is an environmental journalist who writes about water and climate issues.


Cynthia Barnett is an environmental journalist who has covered water and climate stories worldwide, from the decline in Florida’s signature springs to epic drought in California and Australia and the rainiest place on Earth in Cherrapunji, India. She is the author of three books on water, including The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans and Rain: A Natural and Cultural History. She has written for National Geographic, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Discover magazine, Salon, Politico, Orion and many other publications. As the Environmental Journalist in Residence, Cynthia teaches environmental journalism and helps team up across disciplines with UF faculty and students who are working to improve public understanding of complex environmental issues such as climate change.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Florida Ecology

Climate Change

Environmental Journalism


Media Appearances (3)

One of the world’s biggest sea snails at risk of extinction

National Geographic  online


The story focuses on Horse Conchs, the marine snails that build Florida’s colossal state seashell. According to the story, the iconic animals live shorter lives and reproduce later than previously understood which warned that the Gulf of Mexico population could be nearing collapse.

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Op-Ed: Will Shell’s oil future outlast its ocean namesakes?

Los Angeles Times  print


When Royal Dutch Shell’s new chairman, Andrew Mackenzie, asks shareholders on Friday for their vote to move the global oil giant’s headquarters from the Netherlands to Britain and drop the “Royal Dutch,” he will also be asking to return the company home.

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The Nasty Political Fight Over the First Weather Forecasts

Politico Magizines  online


On October 25, 1859, a slow-moving gale churned northward toward the British Isles, winds topping 100 miles an hour in a narrow fury over the Irish Sea. That evening, the steam clipper Royal Charter also approached the coast with 500 men, women and children aboard, on what should have been the celebratory last night of a two-month journey from Australia.

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Ep. 43 – Cynthia Barnett on our world of seashells The best climate change reporting drives solutions