Ten journalists have been selected to attend Metcalf Institute’s 2019 Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists. Included among them this year is our own Rob Anthes, assistant managing editor for Community News Service and the editor of our Hamilton Post and Robbinsville Advance publications.
Fellows serve U.S. and international audiences and were selected from a competitive pool of applicants representing 17 nations around the globe. At the workshop, to be held at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography June 2–7, fellows will explore ways in which climate change and other human activities affect global water supplies.
Local news has a significant influence on a community’s ability to make informed decisions about environmental issues, from planning for flood hazards to the adoption of policies to curb water pollution. In spite of the important role for local news, small to medium-sized news outlets have limited resources to support their journalists’ professional development.
With that in mind, Metcalf Institute prioritized the selection of fellows from local and regional news organizations for the 2019 Annual Workshop. These selections are intended to emphasize the importance of consistent, high-quality reporting on local environmental issues.
Metcalf Institute donors have supported Metcalf’s Fund a Fellow initiative this year. Donations cover the entire $8,000 cost for each fellow to attend the 21st Annual Science Immersion Workshop.
The 2019 Metcalf Annual Workshop Fellows are:
• Robert M. Anthes, assistant managing editor, Community News Service
• Clifton Adcock, senior investigative reporter, The Frontier in Tulsa, Oklahoma
• Mohammed El-Said, editor, Daily News Egypt in Giza, Egypt
• Chloe A. Johnson, coastal environment reporter, Post and Courier, Charleston, South Carolina
• Debra Utacia Krol, freelance journalist in Phoenix
• Josephine Okojie, environment reporter, BusinessDay Newspaper in Lagos, Nigeria
• Ezra David Romero, environment reporter, Capital Public Radio in Sacramento, California
• Molly Samuel, environment reporter, WABE in Atlanta
• Christian von Preysing-Barry, reporter, KRGV-TV in Weslaco, Texas
• Kate Yoder, editor, Grist in Seattle
Fellows will gain hands-on experience and insights from leading scientists, natural resource managers, and private and nonprofit sector practitioners who are working to understand and project the interactions of climate change and water resources and investigating effective ways to communicate these challenges. They’ll discuss links between water and climate systems, discover the value of long-term data collection, and explore techniques for measuring and addressing water quality and quantity problems that affect communities and aquatic ecosystems.
The Fellows will also seek to gain a deeper understanding of how scientists conduct research and handle scientific uncertainty, develop the skills and confidence to interpret and translate the language of scientific journals for news audiences, and build confidence in their abilities to discern the credibility of scientific sources.
Fellows will board a research vessel to study the impacts of rising water temperatures on ecosystems and fish populations. They will look to discover new ways to write about global change to build audience understanding and engagement, cultivate new sources by interacting with leading researchers and policy experts in an informal, off-deadline atmosphere, and develop lasting relationships with journalists from around the globe.
The Metcalf Institute mission is to provide environmental science training for journalists. The Institute also provides communication training for researchers from across the United States and offers free public lectures and webinars. Metcalf Institute was established at the University of Rhode Island 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. The Institute joined the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences in 2017.