Job Posting: Executive Director, The Society of Environmental Journalists

Are you dedicated to the future of environmental journalism?

Can you run a mission-driven nonprofit whose members influence a global dialogue?

Can you see the forest and the trees of running a million-dollar organization?

Do you have demonstrated skills in nonprofit development, financial management, time management, and the ecosystems of both media and the environment?

Can you bring out the best in a small, star-studded staff? Can you work with volunteers?

Do you have a sense of mission — and a sense of humor?

Are you curious, energetic, fearless, strategic and entrepreneurial?

If so, SEJ welcomes your application to be their next Executive Director.


The Society of Environmental Journalists seeks an Executive Director to lead and support our team, recruiting, connecting, educating and empowering journalists around North America and the world to strengthen coverage and advance public understanding of environmental issues. This position is exempt and full-time, with competitive salary and excellent benefits. Candidates should be aware that the Board is considering moving the location of SEJ’s HQ. Read the full job description here.

Beth Parke to step down as Society of Environmental Journalists executive director

The Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) Board of Directors today announced Beth Parke’s intent to step down from her role as executive director by early 2017, marking more than two decades of remarkable service. The organization is now launching a search for a new executive director to lead SEJ in its mission of informing and engaging the public on energy and environmental issues. Parke will continue in her role as executive director through the search and transition process.

As SEJ’s founding executive director, Parke has guided the organization through decades of programs designed to connect, support and educate colleagues and encourage newcomers to the beat.  SEJ’s work gained international recognition as thousands of journalists sharpened their skills, advanced their careers and raised public awareness of some of the world’s most challenging and fascinating environmental issues. Throughout her tenure, Parke has worked side by side with gifted longtime staffers Jay Letto, conference director, and Christine Bruggers, associate director.

“I have been proud to represent the Society of Environmental Journalists, and will always be so glad to be a part of it,” Parke said. “I am forever grateful to SEJ for giving me the opportunity to help build something profoundly meaningful and learn something new every day. Now it’s someone else’s turn.”

“We’d prefer that Beth remain in her role forever,” said SEJ Board President Jeff Burnside. “But she has graciously agreed to help guide the transition to our future executive director so that SEJ can build on Beth’s astonishing legacy.”

Under Parke’s leadership, SEJ has become the world’s leading group of professional journalists, reporters, authors and academics who focus on issues of energy and the environment. On any given day, the journalism delivered by SEJ’s 1,300 members can engage tens of millions around North America and the globe.

Parke has been a creative, entrepreneurial leader and steadfast steward of SEJ’s mission, particularly during a period of significant change for both environmental issues and the media landscape. She drew together and retained a dedicated and talented staff and hundreds of volunteers supporting thousands of journalists, students and educators as environmental news coverage went from niche to essential mainstream.

Jim Detjen, SEJ’s founding board president, said Parke proved to be just the right talent to lead SEJ through its growing pains when it was just a fledgling organization. “I don’t think any of us ever expected the extraordinary job Beth would do over the next 25 years,” Detjen said. “Beth has provided SEJ with an incredible level of dedication, service, vision and hard work. She has been without a doubt the best executive director of any journalism organization in America. Her leadership has led SEJ to become widely admired and its members to become better journalists. I am thankful for all that Beth has done for the SEJ family. And I’m grateful she accepted our job offer almost a quarter century ago.”

Notable accomplishments for SEJ during Parke’s tenure include two dozen conference partnerships with leading universities, $500,000 in project grants disbursed by the Fund for Environmental Journalism and international recognition for SEJ and environment journalists worldwide. Parke represented SEJ in Lisbon as co-winner of the Gulbenkian Foundation’s 2010 International Prize for contributions to public understanding of “humanity’s relationship with nature and respect for biodiversity.”

June 15 deadline: Fund for Environmental Journalism


APPLICATION PERIOD: Proposals will be accepted APRIL 15, 2016 through JUNE 15, 2016, midnight local time.


Journalists working independently or on the staff of news organizations (for-profit or non-profit) are eligible for grants from the Fund for Environmental Journalism.

SEJ membership is not required, but all applicants must meet SEJ’s membership eligibility requirements.

If your work involves lobbying, media relations or public relations on environment-related issues you will not be eligible for membership in SEJ.  Please review requirements if you are not sure.

Applicants for FEJ story grants are limited to receipt of one grant per two-year period and two grants per five-year period. Prospective applicants who have served on the Society of Environmental Journalists board of directors, staff or FEJ grantee selection jury must observe a one-year blackout period before applying.


No. For the June 15, 2016 deadline, grants from the Fund for Environmental Journalism will be available only for journalism projects covering “the politics and economics of renewable energy in the U. S.”

If your project is focused on a different topic, do not apply this time. 

Story project grants from the Fund for Environmental Journalism of the Society of Environmental Journalists can be provided only when opportunities are funded in advance through foundation grants and individual donations. SEJ will announce new categories and new deadlines when new underwriting can be secured.

For more information or to apply, visit

How Journalists Can Help Hold Scientists Accountable

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

Amid the so-called replication crisis, could better investigative reporting be the answer? Maybe it’s time for journalists and scientists to work more closely together.

Grist looking for the fall 2016 class of fellows

Want to grow as a journalist while absorbing a universe of green knowledge? Apply for the Grist Fellowship Program. Grist is an independent nonprofit media organization that shapes the country’s environmental conversations, making green second nature for our monthly audience of 2,000,000 and growing. At Grist, green isn’t about hugging trees or hiking — it’s about using humor and real talk to connect big issues like climate change to the places where people live, work, and play.

In Flint Crisis, A New Model For Environmental Journalism

Read the full story from Yale Environment 360.

Curt Guyette is an investigative reporter who dug deeper into the Flint water crisis. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he explains his work as a journalist employed by a Michigan nonprofit and how it could be a model for in-depth, local reporting on the environment.

SEJ Annual Awards for Reporting on the Environment Call for Entries

SEJ’s Awards for Reporting on the Environment honor the best environmental journalism in seven categories, bringing recognition to the most important stories on the planet. TV, radio, print and online journalism about environment or related issues are eligible. $500 offered for first-place winners in seven categories.

Eligible stories: Environment and related topics across all media broadcast or published from March 1, 2015 – Feb. 29, 2016.

Eligible books: Environment and related topics published or E-published in 2015.

Deadline to enter: April 1, 11:59 P.M. your local time.

All entries must include an online entry form. Where uploading or linking stories is impossible, hard copies can be mailed. See details here. More information can be found in the FAQs and 2016 Rules.

Seven categories include investigative (large and small market), environment beat reporting (large and small market), explanatory reporting (NEW!), features writing and books about the environment.

Winners will be announced in July and recognized at SEJ’s Awards Presentation Ceremony in Sacramento, California, in conjunction with SEJ’s 26th Annual Conference, Sept. 21-25.