News & Events

Diana has lectured on her book subject to diverse audiences and has been interviewed by major media, including The Washington Post, National Geographic, and Japanese and British television. Her published articles on the topic and related writing awards are also listed below.

Media Interviews & TV Appearances

Juneau filming BBC2 Michael Perillo and Diana Parsell

Filming in Juneau for BBC2, with Michael Portillo (Photo: Bruce Parsell)

July 29, 2018: Filmed in Juneau for  BBC2’s “Great American Railroad Journeys” episode on Alaska; interviewer was former Minister of Parliament Michael Portillo, host of the series.

March 29, 2018: Interviewed by scriptwriter Dan Stashower for National Geographic Live! staged reading of Eliza Scidmore’s work, held during cherry blossom season in Washington.

Sept. 29, 2017: Interviewed by Kyla Whitmore, UC-Berkeley student, for podcast on history of Potomac Park and its cherry trees (not yet posted). 

March 18, 2017: Filmed by Japan’s TBS network for “Mystery Hunter” episode on cherry blossoms in U.S. and Japan.

February 2017: Interviewed by National Geographic reporter for online article about Eliza Scidmore.

March 30, 2013: Filmed by Japan’s NHK television for evening-news special; footage included visit to Scidmore’s grave in Yokohama and cherry blossom viewing at Mukojima.

March 13, 2012: Interviewed by Washington Post reporter Michael Ruane for article “Cherry Blossoms’ Champion Eliza Scidmore Lived Life of Adventure.”

Cherry blossom filming in Potomac Park, Japanese "Mystery Hunter" TV crew

With Japanese TV crew from TBS network, filming in Potomac Park for “Mystery Hunter” cherry blossom program, Feb. 5, 2017

Speaking Events

April 7, 2021: Delivered hour-long virtual presentation  “Introducing Eliza Scidmore, Visionary” for Washington Walks in conjunction with cherry blossom season in Washington.

March 27, 2021: Presented virtual interactive talk on Eliza Scidmore and her Washington cherry tree legacy with members of English Conversation Group in Japan.

Aug. 1, 2018: Presented briefing to rangers at Glacier Bay National Park wanting to know more about Eliza Scidmore for park’s visitor programs; Gustavus, Alaska.

Ranger Caiti Campbell w. Diana and Bruce Parsell at Glacier Bay

With Ranger Caiti Campbell at Glacier Bay National Park, July 2018

July 31, 2018: Gave public lecture on Eliza Scidmore and her historic Alaska travels to overflow audience at Glacier Bay Lodge; Gustavus, Alaska.

April 17, 2018: Conducted 90-minute teleconference briefing on Eliza Scidmore for seasonal staff at Glacier Bay National Park.

March 1, 2017: Luncheon speaker for Ikebana International Alexandria regional event; Mount Vernon Country Club, Alexandria, Va.

April 2, 2015: Lectured on Eliza Scidmore’s reporting career to D.C chapter of Journalism & Women’s Symposium (JAWS); National Press Club, Washington, D.C.

April 4, 2014: Met with Lab School teacher Mollie Walnum’s science-class students studying Eliza Scidmore in their Discovery Club; Washington, D.C.

Feb. 20, 2014: Luncheon speaker for Washington-Tokyo Women’s Club; Army-Navy Country Club, Arlington, Va.

Diana Parsell with Cherry Blossom Princesses in Tokyo, March 2013

With cherry blossom princesses at Parliamentary Museum in Tokyo, April 2013

April 10, 2013: Spoke on Eliza Scidmore’s ties to Japan at Japan Cherry Blossom Association; Parliamentary Museum, Tokyo.

April 7, 2013: Addressed Eliza Scidmore Cherry Blossom Society at luncheon following annual gravesite service in Foreign General Cemetery; Yokohama, Japan.

March 7, 2013: Presented research findings on Eliza Scidmore to Women’s History Discussion Group at Library of Congress; Washington, D.C.

Oct. 19, 2012: Speaker at 39th D.C. Historical Studies Conference, on panel devoted to cherry-tree centennial; Washington, D.C.

June 30, 2012: Presented 20-minute public reading from book in progress at “New Mercury” nonfiction author series”; Baltimore, Md.

Published Articles

April 3, 2018: By invitation, wrote entry on Eliza Scidmore for Sierra Club’s popular John Muir website.

Jan. 16, 2018:  “From Early ‘Lady Writer,’ Washington Cherry Blossoms and National Geographic Legacy”; National Geographic News blog (original version published in 2012, updated in 2018)

March 28, 2012: “Eliza Scidmore, the Woman Behind the Planting of Washington’s Cherry Trees in 1912”; guest guest blogger for Ken Ackerman’s Viral History blog

March 26, 2012: “Cherry Tree Planting in March 1912 Shaped Public Face of Washington, D.C.”; National Geographic News blog

Recent Awards

BIO Hazel Rowley Award winner 2017

Receiving BIO Hazel Rowley Award from Gayle Feldman at BIO 2017 conference in Boston (Photo: James McGrath Morris)

May 2017: Awarded the Hazel Rowley Prize from Biographers International (BIO) for best proposal for first biography.

July 2012: Received Mayborn Fellowship in Biography at Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, hosted by University of North Texas; award included short-term residency in Santa Fe, N.M., under mentoring of the award’s sponsor, prize-winning biographer James McGrath Morris.


“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.”