Grist looking for the spring 2017 class of fellows

Want to grow as a journalist while absorbing a universe of green knowledge? Apply for the Grist Fellowship Program.
The Grist Fellowship Program is an opportunity to hone your skills at a national news outlet and deepen your understanding of environmental issues. We’re looking for early-career journalists with a variety of skills, from traditional reporting to multimedia whizbangery. We will offer exposure to the leading sustainability thinkers and theories of our time, real-world experience at a fast-paced news site, and the occasional “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” debate.
The fellowship pays $2,600 per month. Fellows must make a six-month commitment.
For our spring term, which begins in February 2017, we are offering (count ’em) THREE fellowships:
Editorial Fellow
The editorial fellow will work full-time, making daily contributions to Grist’s editorial operations including (but not limited to) research, reporting, story ideas, writing, and creative experiments. You will be expected to write two to three news briefs a week, one to two profiles a month, and one mini-feature a month. You will also identify a long-term special project to produce in collaboration with others on the team.
Justice Fellow
The justice fellow will report on the issues, communities, and people that don’t get enough play in the environmental movement. You will make connections between the environment, social justice, policy, and pop culture. You will explore the ways in which the environmental movement can become more inclusive — and how communities of color are developing new ways to fight for cleaner air and water and safer neighborhoods. You will be expected to write two to three news briefs a week, one to two profiles a month, and one mini-feature a month. You will also identify a long-term special project to produce in collaboration with others on the team.
Video Fellow
The video fellow will work alongside Grist’s video team to produce explainer videos, shareable short videos, and longer-term projects. You will be expected to produce one to two explainer videos a month and two to four short-form videos a month, and to assist on the video team with weekly production. You will lead multimedia experiments, collaborate with our social media manager, and push Grist to innovate new ways to tell stories. You will also identify a special project to produce in collaboration with others on the team.
Who should apply?
Any curious, self-motivated, hard-working individual who wants to grow as a storyteller. Our primary subject areas are climate, clean energy, sustainable food, livable cities, and environmental justice. Candidates are most likely college or j-school grads, with some experience in journalism.
Where do I apply?
For fellowships that begin February 2017, please submit applications by November 8, 2016.
No phone calls, please and thank you.
Grist is an independent nonprofit media organization that shapes the country’s environmental conversations, making green second nature for our monthly audience of 2.5 million 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.

GAO creates new Center for Enhanced Analytics

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.

Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources accepting applications for Great Lakes Energy Institute

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.


Captivate Kids with Science News

Read the full story from the Society for Environmental Journalists.

I’ve been a science journalist for more than four decades, over the years probing the long-range transport of persistent organic pollutants, counterintuitive low-dose impacts of many toxicants and the myriad ways humans have inadvertently been altering the biogeochemistry of our planet.

My reporting has taken me to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, to Alaska’s “science city” (Barrow), to the windswept South Pole and to nuclear- and chemical-weapons facilities. And I’ve covered electromagnetic-pulse weaponry, helped pioneer coverage of hormone-mimicking pollutants and was the first reporter to showcase the emerging global threat of pharmaceutical contamination of surface waters.

But the last decade has unquestionably proven the most satisfying.

Why? It’s since then that I started bringing news of science and tech advances to a much younger audience — notably tweens and teens — through the magazine I edit, Science News for Students.

The Path to Better Investigative Science Reporting

Read the full story from the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Investigative journalism and science reporting are both enjoying post-recession era renaissances. That makes 2016 an ideal time to consider how these fields can overlap.

Will Journalists Heed the Lessons of Flint?

Read the full story from the Society of Environmental Journalists.

The lead-laced drinking water debacle in Flint, Mich., became a top national story in December 2015. By January 2016, a Poynter Institute blog headlined: “How the Media Blew Flint.”

Did we blow it? Well, yes and no.

Almost everybody blew Flint.

Earlier warnings and louder watchdogging might have headed off the failures and kept neurotoxic lead out of kids’ bloodstreams. To competent water treatment engineers, to conscientious drinking water regulators, to experienced environmental reporters, none of this should have been a surprise.

Flint was a repeat of lessons taught long ago.

The Subtle Art of Covering Climate Cycles

Read the full story from the Society of Environmental Journalists.

The planet is enduring an extraordinary jolt.

A 13-year warming lull was recently followed by an unprecedented jump in global temperatures. The temperature spike is coinciding with a surge in worldwide efforts to slow global warming, and it appears to be helping to change the minds of Americans about global warming during a precariously optimistic time for global climate diplomacy.

It’s also presenting reporting challenges for journalists. What exactly is happening, and what’s the clearest way to report it?