- Eligible entries: Journalism publisher or aired March 1, 2016 – Feb. 28, 2017.
- Rachel Carson Environment Book category: Books published in 2016.
Read the full story in Pacific Standard.
This is likely to be a pivotal year in the fight to halt global climate change and all of its effects. Here, in no particular order, are some of the top stories to keep an eye on in the new year.
Applications due February 10, 2017
Apply at https://ijnr.submittable.com/submit/73785/institute-application
Lack of access to clean, safe drinking water is often seen as a problem suffered in “developing” countries. Recent events in North America, however, have highlighted the fact that our own water is not to be taken for granted.
There is no better place to explore these issues than the Great Lakes -where 40 million people get drinking water from a basin holding one-fifth of all of the world’s available fresh water. From April 2nd through the 8th, 2017, IJNR will get journalists out from behind their desks and take them into the field to see how safe, clean drinking water is “made” and what issues threaten that supply.
During this expenses-paid, weeklong fellowship journalists will:
- Tour the water treatment plant in Toledo, Ohio to learn what’s being done to prevent a future event like the 2014 algal bloom in Lake Erie that cut off the water supply of half a million people.
- Travel to Flint, Michigan to talk with residents about how they’re dealing with the aftermath of the lead crisis and meet city and state officials trying to restore faith in the municipal water system.
- Spend a day in Walkerton, Ontario, where a deadly e. coli outbreak in 2000 brought the issue of drinking water security and agricultural runoff to the front page, leading to the creation of strict new water laws and the state-of-the-art Walkerton Clean Water Centre, where thousands of Ontario water providers have been trained to manage their own supply.
- Speak with officials in Guelph, Ontario about their concerns over the future of their public drinking water aquifers as both their growing population and private water-bottling companies like Nestle seek to draw water from the same wells.
- Learn how nutrient pollution and a resulting “dead zone” in Lake Erie complicate the job of the water department in Cleveland.
- Meet scientists and engineers working on the latest clean water technologies.
Join your colleagues as they explore these and other to-be-determined issues in our freshwater supply and security. IJNR will also provide training sessions in some of the latest digital media technologies and other techniques to improve writing and reporting on natural resource issues. Participants will return to work armed with story ideas, background knowledge, expert sources and training to tell these stories better and inform and engage their readers, listeners and viewers across North America.
Would you like to take your reporting to the next level of excellence? Do you have the science background, tools, and sources to break new stories and advance your career?
Call for Applications
The University of Rhode Island’s Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting is accepting applications for its 19th Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists: Global Change in Coastal Ecosystems, June 4 – 9, 2017. Ten early- to mid-career journalists will be selected for the fellowship, which includes tuition, travel support, room and board thanks to the generosity of private donors and the Metcalf Institute endowment. Two of the ten slots will be awarded to internationally based journalists.
About the Workshop
The workshop is held at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, one of the nation’s premier research institutions and home to Metcalf Institute. Using the world’s best-studied estuary, Narragansett Bay, as a living laboratory, the workshop gives journalists opportunities to explore and understand the effects of human activities on coastal ecosystems. In the field, lab, and classroom, Metcalf Fellows will:
- Gain a greater understanding of how scientists conduct research
- Develop the skills and confidence to translate scientific publications for general audiences
- Build confidence in their abilities to discern the credibility of scientific sources
- Acquire the skills needed to comb through complex scientific data to break stories on a range of science and environmental topics
- Conduct a fisheries survey aboard a URI research vessel
- Interact with leading researchers, policy experts in an informal, off-deadline atmosphere to cultivate new sources
- Network and develop lasting relationships with journalists from around the globe
Metcalf Institute Annual Workshop alumni hail from the U.S. and around the world, including Nigeria, Italy, Pakistan, Philippines, Israel, South Africa, China, Singapore, Brazil, and India. Metcalf Fellows represent a wide variety of large and small news organizations ranging from local and regional newspapers and broadcast outlets to online and national/international outlets such as National Geographic, The New York Times, CNN, Marketplace, The Associated Press and PRI’s The World.
“It was one of the most extraordinary professional experiences of my life,” said 2016 Annual Workshop alumnus, Jeff Mosier of the Dallas Morning News. “I was absolutely floored.”
“I can’t emphasize enough how important this opportunity was for me,” said 2016 Annual Workshop alumna Catalina Jaramillo, freelance journalist. “I learned so much and made connections that I hope will last for a long time.”
“I now know how to interpret the science for my publications and actually tell the audiences the stories they need to hear,” said 2016 Annual Workshop alumna Doyin Adeoye of the Nigerian Tribune. “I’m ready to take African environmental reporting to the next level.”
The Fellowship is geared to early to mid-career, full-time journalists from all media who are looking to start or expand coverage of the environment. Applicants must demonstrate a need for training in topics relating to global change in coastal environments. The fellowship includes room, board, tuition, and travel support paid after the program in the amount of up to US$500 for U.S.-based journalists and up to US$1,000 for internationally based journalists with written assurance that they have full travel funds and can obtain the appropriate visa. Applications for the 2017 Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists must be postmarked or emailed by February 6, 2017. View application information.
About Metcalf Institute: Metcalf Institute is a globally recognized leader in providing environmental science training for journalists. The Institute also offers communication workshops for scientists, science resources for journalists and free public lectures on environmental topics. Metcalf Institute was established at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography in 1997 with funding from three media foundations: the Belo Corporation, the Providence Journal Charitable Foundation and the Philip L. Graham Fund, with additional support from the Telaka Foundation. Metcalf programming is underwritten by federal and foundation grants, as well as private donations managed by the University of Rhode Island Foundation.
Read the full post from the GAO.
Analytics and “big data” seem to be the next frontier in a number of arenas. Data researchers can use the large, real-time data sets that are available today to facilitate scientific discovery, improve the flow of traffic, and increase energy efficiency, among many other things.
Last year, the White House appointed the first federal Chief Data Scientist. And a few months ago, the federal government released a strategy for big data research and development. Also, numerous initiatives are under way across federal agencies to both release data sets for public use and better use data to manage federal programs.
For years, GAO’s skilled technical staff has provided insights into large data sets that support our work. We have also built up our in-house science and technology expertise. Now, with the increasing use of data across both the public and private sectors, we have established our Center for Enhanced Analytics.
Over the past century, three fossil fuels – petroleum, natural gas and coal – have dominated U.S. energy production and consumption. In 2015, these fossil fuels made up 81.5% of total energy consumption in the country. While fossil fuels have held well above an 80% share for the last one hundred years, that 2015 number marks a new low. And it may be a sign of big changes to come.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is projecting that, by 2040, renewable energy generated by wind and solar will eclipse the contributions of biofuels and nuclear power and even rival coal in our national energy make up. Natural gas, meanwhile, will vie with petroleum for top billing.
IJNR’s Great Lakes Energy Institute will see how these changes are playing out on the ground. Journalists selected for the fellowship will enjoy a week-long field trip exploring everything from gas and oil pipelines and trains carrying crude through the Great Lakes region, to a potential new shale gas play in Michigan and Wisconsin’s largest solar array – built on the remains of a decommissioned coal operation.
Fellows will meet with scientists, business people, lawmakers, activists and local citizens as they take a deep dive into the stories that arise when economy, energy and our environment intersect.
The Great Lakes Energy Institute will begin and end in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
APPLICATIONS DUE MONDAY, AUGUST 29.