Ensia Mentor Program

The Ensia Mentor Program offers scientists and aspiring environmental journalists an opportunity to build their communication skills and professional network by creating an article, video, image gallery, infographic or other work on a topic of their choice for Ensia under the guidance of an experienced communicator.

How It Works

An Ensia mentorship begins with an application from an individual who is interested in producing a specific piece of content for Ensia but would benefit from guidance through the process. Ensia staff evaluate the proposal and the proposer for fit with Ensia and the mentor program. Individuals whose proposal is accepted are given an assignment (700-word article, short video, photo gallery, infographic or other work) for the proposed piece and matched with a mentor. The mentor advises the learner as needed, with both keeping in mind that the mentee is responsible for the assignment and Ensia editors are responsible for the editing process.

Mentees

Ensia Mentor Program mentees may be journalism students, scientists, professional communicators interested in expanding their skills, or professionals or students in other disciplines interested in environmental communications. Mentees receive a small stipend along with credit for their work.

Mentors

Ensia welcomes experienced environmental communicators — writers, videographers, designers — to share their knowledge and skills with the next generation as mentors. Ensia mentors guide learners one on one as they envision, refine, report and create an assigned work. They receive a small honorarium for their role and recognition, if desired, in the final product.

Cornell Launches Free Climate Change Course Online — September 11-October 1, 2017

FREE Climate Change Science, Communication, and Action Online Course
Course Dates: September 11-October 1, 2017
Registration Link: https://cornell.qualtrics.com/jfe5/form/SV_d68I902D6SPzts1
Questions?
 E-mail civicecologylab@gmail.com

Format
You will learn about basic climate change science, impacts, communication strategies, and actions. You will participate in weekly online discussions and complete short quizzes and compete a final project in which you apply what you have learned to your work (e.g., develop a short plan for an educational program). Plan on an average of 3-4 hours a week of work during the course. We encourage you to form a team of colleagues or friends to take the course together. Course Delivery. Course material will be delivered via video lecture and readings. Course participants may complete assignments alone or with other students. You can access course lectures and readings at any time during the course, but we encourage you to keep up with the assignments for any one week. This course will use the learning management software Canvas for all videos, readings, assignments, and discussions. We will use a closed Facebook group as an optional discussion platform where course instructors and participants can post resources, pose questions, and “meet” others with similar interests.

Benefits to the Learner You will learn about climate change science, communication, and action from experts and apply this knowledge to local climate action projects. You will also have the opportunity to share your ideas and projects with other participants and learn from each other. You can use the materials for proposal writing, program development, and to enhance your career.

COURSE OVERVIEW
Participants.
Cooperative Extension Educators, Master Volunteers, state and local government, land trusts and other non-profits, Cornell students and staff, and others interested in an introduction to climate change science and how to communicate effectively about this important topic.

Cost: Free

Certificates
Achievement Certificate awarded to those who complete course weekly assignments. Expert certificate awarded to those who complete weekly assignments and final project.

Course Objectives.
Participants will:

  1. Increase their understanding of the basics of climate change science and communication and action strategies.
  2. Make new connections and share resources as part of an online network of Extension educators, master volunteers, university students and employees, and other professionals, volunteers, and interested individuals.
  3. Enhance climate-related education and actions with youth, students, private land-owners, gardeners, master volunteers, municipal officials, colleagues, and others.

EPA says climate scientists trying to ‘politicize’ Texas storm

Read the full story from Reuters.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday rejected a contention by scientists that the historic rainfall from Tropical Storm Harvey was linked to climate change, calling it “an attempt to politicize an ongoing tragedy.”

Scientist asked to remove ‘climate change’ from grant blames ‘the ongoing politicization of science’

Read the full story in the Washington Post. See also “DOE denies it has policy to remove ‘climate change’ from agency materials” in Science.

A Northeastern University researcher who was asked to remove any reference to climate change from her Energy Department grant proposal said Monday that she had posted the letter publicly “because I found it to be a stark reminder of the ongoing politicization of science.”

Southern Environmental Law Center Calls for Submissions for Phil Reed Environmental Writing Awards

The Southern Environmental Law Center is now accepting submissions for the 2018 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Awards. Nominations are welcome from anyone, including readers, authors, and publishers.

Presented each year during the Virginia Festival of the Book, the Reed Awards recognize outstanding writing on the southern environment in two categories: Book, for works of nonfiction (not self-published) and Journalism, for newspaper, magazine, and online writing published by a recognized institution (e.g. a news organization, university or nonprofit group).

  • All submissions must have been published between October 1, 2016, and September 30, 2017.
  • Submissions must relate to the natural environment in at least one of the following states: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee or Virginia.
  • Submissions are due October 1, 2017, at  SouthernEnvironment.org/submit.
  • Journalism entries must be at least 3,000 words.

There are three options for submitting entries: electronic copy, hard copy, or a website link where the submission is available for sale. Hard copy submissions will not be returned.

The Reed Award celebrates writers who achieve both literary excellence and extraordinary insight into the South’s natural heritage. Past winners exemplify the quality and diversity of contemporary environmental writing. They include:

    • Eminent biologist and Alabama native E.O. Wilson, the “father of biodiversity” and a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner;
    • Veteran environmental journalists Charles Seabrook, a longtime contributor to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and Ben Raines, an accomplished filmmaker as well as an award-winning reporter on the Gulf Coast;
    • Writer, poet, and NPR commentator Janisse Ray, author of the celebrated Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, a New York Times Notable Book and the winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award;
    • University of the South forest biologist David Haskell, a Guggenheim Fellow, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and winner of the National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature; and
    •  Author Deborah Cramer, visiting scholar at MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative, whose books on the sea have won awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Academy of Sciences.

As in past years, the winners will be selected by a distinguished panel of judges that includes leading environmental writers, journalists, and advocates. The awards honor the late Phillip D. Reed, a distinguished attorney, a committed environmental activist, and a founding trustee of SELC.

Please contact Chris Reiter, Reed Award Coordinator, at creiter@selcva.org, or 434-977-4090 for any additional questions.

US federal department is censoring use of term ‘climate change’, emails reveal

Read the full story in The Guardian. See also Bill McKibben, The Trump administration’s solution to climate change: ban the term, also in The Guardian.

Staff at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been told to avoid using the term climate change in their work, with the officials instructed to reference “weather extremes” instead.

A series of emails obtained by the Guardian between staff at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a USDA unit that oversees farmers’ land conservation, show that the incoming Trump administration has had a stark impact on the language used by some federal employees around climate change.