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Journalists Invited to Apply for Prestigious Fellowship

Are you looking for career-changing investigative reporting tools and sources to help you produce compelling environmental stories for your news audience? Do want a break from daily deadlines and an opportunity to network with journalists from around the world?

Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting, a global leader in providing science training for journalists, invites early- to mid-career journalists to apply for its competitive 17th Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists: Global Change in Coastal Ecosystems.  The workshop will be held June 7-12, 2015, at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, one of the nation’s premier oceanographic research institutions.  Ten journalists will be selected for the fellowship, which includes travel support, room and board, and career-changing professional training, thanks to the generosity of private donors and the Metcalf Institute endowment.

The workshop gives journalists opportunities to explore and understand the effects of human activities on coastal ecosystems, using the world’s best-studied estuary, Narragansett Bay, as a living laboratory.  Metcalf fellows network with leading researchers, policy experts, and other journalists, gain a greater understanding of how scientists conduct research, build confidence in their abilities to discern scientific credibility of sources, and acquire the skills needed to comb through scientific data to discover stories on a range of science and environmental topics.

“The Metcalf training gave me the credibility to ask the right questions,” said Emily C. Dooley, currently a journalism fellow at The Associated Press – NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. “It gave me a chance to talk to researchers and learn how to determine if a scientific study is valid.”

Aaron Orlowski, reporter with the Orange County Register, said that he left the Metcalf Annual Workshop feeling “refreshed, invigorated and ready to serve my readers with more thoughtful, engaging stories about science and environment.”

“Journalists don’t often get a break away from the deadlines and harried rush of daily stories and long term projects,” Orlowski added.  “But Metcalf provides that. It’s a time to let lessons on science and journalism and the relationship between the two really sink in.”

Metcalf alumni hail from all over the U.S. and other parts of the world including China, Brazil, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, and Israel.  Past Metcalf fellows represent a wide variety of news organizations ranging from local and regional newspapers and broadcast outlets to online and national/international outlets such as The New York Times, CNN, National Geographic, CQ Roll Call, and The Associated Press.

The journalists awarded 2015 Metcalf fellowships will spend an intensive week with scientists and regulatory experts in the field, lab and at the conference table.

Metcalf fellows also:

  • Gain a greater familiarity with research methods and basic statistics;
  • Measure emerging contaminants, potentially harmful chemicals not currently monitored or regulated;
  • Apply information about rates of ocean acidification from ancient sediments to better understand present-day climate change;
  • Conduct a fisheries survey aboard the URI research vessel Cap’n Bert;
  • Explore the development and use of sea level rise models for climate change adaptation;
  • Attend lectures featuring top national researchers, policy makers and science communicators;
  • Enjoy off-deadline interactions with scientists and cultivate contacts for future reporting;
  • Gain skills and confidence to translate scientific publications for public audiences.

Early to mid-career journalists from all media with a strong interest in improving and expanding their coverage of environmental topics and a desire to gain a better understanding of scientific research methods through field and lab work are invited to apply. The fellowship includes room, board, tuition, and up to US$500 in travel support paid after the program. Non-U.S. applicants must include a written statement indicating that they can secure full travel funds and obtain the appropriate visa.

Applications for the 2015 Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists must be postmarked or emailed by February 6, 2015. For more information and to apply, visit or click here.

About Metcalf Institute
Metcalf Institute is an internationally 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.