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Spotlight on Metcalf Institute Alumni: Sujata Gupta

Sujata Gupta – 2011 Fellow

Sujata - profile pageArmed with degrees in English and science writing, but limited first-hand exposure to the world of scientific research, science journalist Sujata Gupta dove headlong into Metcalf Institute’s Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists in 2011.

“It was amazing,” said Gupta.  “As a journalist who interviews researchers constantly, it helped me to hone in on what’s important and it really taught me how to talk to researchers.”

Gupta says that before the workshop, her interviews with researchers were much more narrowly focused.  Metcalf Institute gave her the opportunity to talk to scientists in a broader, more casual way, giving her new insight to their world.

“I was always focused on my end goal, and after Metcalf I realized that it can be really interesting to learn how researchers got to where they are.”

Gupta also enjoyed meeting reporters from a wide variety of backgrounds, learning how to read scientific graphs, conducting research and “poking around in muddy boots” during Metcalf fieldwork experiences.

A correspondent for New Scientist, Gupta’s work has appeared in Scientific American, Wired, Psychology Today, ScienceNOW, Earth Magazine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) and several other publications.

She just completed her first international reporting trip to cover a story for High Country News – a trek down to Mexico with a researcher to study the wintering habits of migratory grassland birds and the impact of habitat depletion on a few key species.  During the six-hour car ride she utilized one of the lessons she learned at the Metcalf Workshop, the value of getting to know researchers as individuals in addition to learning more about their research.

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