Posted by Trish Riley, April 30, 2010

The topic of our Environmental Journalism panel at the ASJA Writers Conference April 25 was the importance of vetting your science and being informed about environmental issues. Panelists Dale Willman, Executive Editor of Field Notes Productions; David Biello, Associate Editor at Scientific American; John Mecklin, Editor in Chief at Miller-McCune; and Roger Witherspoon, freelance journalist and editor and publisher of www.spoonsenergymatters.com all shared advice, insight, and entertaining – albeit critical – examples of poorly informed environmental stories. Sunshine Menezes, Executive Director of The Metcalf Institute, was unable to join us, but kindly shared resources for environmental education:

Compiled by Sunshine Menezes, 4/19/10

Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting, University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography, Narragansett, RI
•    Science immersion programs for early career to veteran journalists. Programs focus on improving journalists’ understanding of the scientific research process including data collection and analysis, as well specific topics ranging from marine science to climate change to toxic chemicals.
•    Fellowships include a one week Science Immersion Workshop, 10-month Environmental Reporting Fellowship, and Science Seminars on specific topics. (Metcalf Institute also administers the $75,000 Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment.)
•    For more information, contact Program Director, Katharine McDuffie.   (401) 874-6211, info@metcalfinstitute.org

Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources, Missoula, MT
•    Expedition-style programs designed for reporters and editors who aspire to produce deeper, more explanatory news coverage of issues that affect growth, economic development, rural communities, natural resources and the environment.
•    For more information, contact Maggie Allen, (406) 273-3523, Maggie.Allen@IJNR.org

Logan Science Journalism Program, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA
•    Offer two programs, one focused on biomedicine, and the Polar Hands-On Laboratory held at the Toolik Field Station, Alaska.
•    For more information, contact Andrea Early, (508) 289-7423, aearly@mbl.edu

Knight Science Journalism Fellowships, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
•    Nine-month fellowships offer experienced journalists the opportunity to increase their understanding of science, technology, medicine and the environment.
•    For more information, call (617) 452-3513, knight-info@mit.edu

Science Literacy Project, SoundVision Productions, Berkeley, CA
•    One week workshops for journalists who report on science, health, environment or technology issues—as well as editors, news directors and general assignment reporters—who seek concentrated training in science journalism and creative use of the radio medium.
•    For more information, contact Executive Director, Bari Scott, (510) 486-1185

Great Lakes Environmental Journalism Training Institute, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
•    One-week program for journalists who cover the environment in the Great Lakes region, to learn about some of the most critical environmental issues confronting the region.
•    For more information, contact Associate Director, David Poulson, (517) 432 5417, poulson@msu.edu

And this is just the beginning! See the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Web site for a thorough list. http://www.sej.org


Here are further resources I put together to share at the ASJA Annual Conference 2008 and 2010, NYC and SATW Caribbean Conference 2008, Little Rock:


Vetting Your Science

Compiled by Trish Riley

The Society of Environmental Journalists www.sej.org

International Ecotourism Society www.ecotourism.org

Union of Concerned Scientists www.ucsusa.org

The Rocky Mountain Institute www.rmi.org

Green Seal Certified Lodging  http://www.greenseal.org/certproducts.htm#lodging

Greenpeace International www.greenpeace.org

Green Globe 21 http://www.greenglobe.org

WorldWatch Institute www.worldwatch.org

ResponsibleTravel.com http://www.responsibletravel.com

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency www.epa.gov

The Center for Media and Democracy www.sourcewatch.org

Green Hotels Association Member List http://www.greenhotels.com/members.htm

Environmental Working Group www.ewg.org


Environmental Health News – www.ehn.org

Earth Policy Institute www.earth-policy-org

Friends of the Earth www.foe.org

Physicians for Social Responsibility www.psr,org

Center for Health and Environmental Justice www.chej.org

Rachel’s Democracy and Health News www.rachel.org

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