In 2013, I wrote an essay that won the Crerar Science Writing Prize, awarded to undergraduates at UChicago. This prize, according to its website, is a “competitive award for excellence and clarity in science writing [that] acknowledges the ability of a University of Chicago College student to produce a paper, on a scientific topic, which is thorough in its arguments but accessible to a broad readership.”
The essay is called “The Demise of the Ancient Maya: A Cautionary Tale?” Here it is.
Essentially, this essay explores how the ancient Mayans used their land, and how these practices may have caused the fall of their civilization. Was their demise entirely driven by human action, or did climate change play a role? And can local conservation efforts do anything to reverse the effects of climate change?