Al Shaw

Deputy Editor, News Apps

Photo of Al Shaw

Al Shaw is a deputy editor on the news apps team at ProPublica. He uses data and interactive graphics to cover environmental issues, natural disasters and politics.

A year before Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston, Shaw was part of a team that produced “Hell and High Water,” which warned of the region's vulnerability to coastal storms. The project won a Peabody Award in 2017. Shaw's project, “Losing Ground,” about the century-long erosion of Louisiana's coast won a Gold Medal from the Society for News Design. His interactive maps surrounding FEMA's response to Hurricane Sandy were honored with the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi award. Before joining ProPublica, Shaw was a designer/developer at the political news website Talking Points Memo.

Supreme Connections: Search Supreme Court Financial Disclosures

Find organizations and people that have paid the current justices, reimbursed them for travel, given them gifts and more.

How We Used Machine Learning to Investigate Where Ebola May Strike

ProPublica spent months teaching a computer to analyze past Ebola outbreaks linked to deforestation. What we found reveals a weakness in the way that governments and public health experts are preparing for future pandemics.

The (Random) Forests for the Trees: How Our Spillover Model Works

ProPublica borrowed machine learning methods from academic research to better understand links between forest loss and spillover risk. The results were surprising, but led us to a story we wouldn’t have found otherwise.

Au bord de la catastrophe

Une simple clairière de forêt nous sépare de la prochaine pandémie mortelle. Mais nous n’essayons même pas de la prévenir.

How Forest Loss Can Unleash the Next Pandemic

The forests around the epicenter of the world’s worst Ebola outbreak are getting patchier. The next pandemic could emerge from the edges around these patches, where wildlife and humans mix.

How We Found That Sites of Previous Ebola Outbreaks Are at Higher Risk Than Before

Research links deforestation to outbreaks. Combining two peer-reviewed models and the latest satellite images of tree loss, we discovered that the sites of five previous outbreaks have a greater chance of facing Ebola again.

On the Edge

The next deadly pandemic is just a forest clearing away. But we’re not even trying to prevent it.

Visualizing Toxic Air

Making data public isn’t enough when it’s incomprehensible to the people it affects. ProPublica set out to decode a complex EPA data set to expose hot spots of industrial air pollution across the U.S.

We’re Releasing the Data Behind Our Toxic Air Analysis

Last year, ProPublica revealed more than 1,000 hot spots of carcinogenic industrial air pollution. Now we’re releasing the data behind that analysis.

Planta de esterilización de equipo médico contamina con sustancias cancerígenas a decenas de miles de alumnos

Nadie le dijo a la familia de Yaneli Ortiz que la fábrica cerca de la que vivían emitía óxido de etileno. No les dijeron cuando en la EPA se descubrió que causa cáncer. Tampoco cuando le diagnosticaron leucemia.

A Plant That Sterilizes Medical Equipment Spews Cancer-Causing Pollution on Tens of Thousands of Schoolchildren

Nobody told Yaneli Ortiz’s family that the factory they lived near emitted ethylene oxide. Not when the EPA found it causes cancer. Not when she was diagnosed with leukemia. And not when Texas moved to allow polluters to emit more of the chemical.

Veneno en el aire

La EPA permite a los contaminadores que conviertan barrios en “zonas de sacrificio” donde los residentes respiran carcinógenos. ProPublica revela dónde están esos lugares en un mapa, el primero de este tipo, y con análisis de datos.

El mapa más detallado de contaminación atmosférica industrial que causa cáncer en los EE. UU.

Utilizamos información de la EPA para trazar un mapa de las emisiones atmosféricas industriales que causan cáncer hasta el nivel de los barrios. Busque su casa para ver si usted y sus seres queridos están viviendo en un lugar peligroso.

¿Puede la contaminación del aire causar cáncer? Lo que usted tiene que saber sobre los riesgos.

Si usted vive cerca de ciertas instalaciones industriales, puede tener un riesgo estimado de cáncer más alto. Aquí hay respuestas a preguntas comunes, datos producto de una colaboración participativa y cómo compartir su experiencia.

Poison in the Air

The EPA allows polluters to turn neighborhoods into “sacrifice zones” where residents breathe carcinogens. ProPublica reveals where these places are in a first-of-its-kind map and data analysis.

The Most Detailed Map of Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution in the U.S.

Using the EPA’s data, we mapped the spread of cancer-causing industrial air emissions down to the neighborhood level. Look up your home to see if you and your loved ones are living in a hot spot.

How We Created the Most Detailed Map Ever of Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution

We analyzed billions of rows of EPA data to do something the agency had never done before: map the spread of cancer-causing industrial air emissions down to the neighborhood level.

Can Air Pollution Cause Cancer? What You Need to Know About the Risks.

If you live close to certain industrial facilities, you may have a higher estimated cancer risk. This may sound alarming. Here are answers to common questions, some crowdsourced tips and how to share your experience to help our investigation.

What Parler Saw During the Attack on the Capitol

ProPublica sifted through thousands of videos taken by Parler users to create an immersive, first-person view of the Capitol riot as experienced by those who were there.

New Maps Show How Climate Change is Making California’s “Fire Weather” Worse

On California’s fall fire days — days with high temperatures and wind speeds, as well as low humidity — all it takes is a spark from a downed power line to start an inferno. New research indicates that they’re about to become a lot more common.

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