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Edward Ortiz – 2003 Fellow

Edward Ortiz Edward Ortiz, reporter at The Sacramento Bee, calls his experience at Metcalf Institute “groundbreaking,” especially his one-on-one interactions with scientists.

“Once a scientist knows that you have a good basic understanding of the science, an element of trust develops,” said Ortiz. “The researcher becomes more open to helping you understand the issues and more likely to give you the important quotes you need to tell your story.”

Ortiz, a Metcalf Institute Environmental Reporting Fellow at the time of the Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists, spent a month studying marine and environmental science at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography and nine months reporting for The Providence Journal. That’s where he got to know Peter Lord, environment reporter for the Journal and former co-journalism director for Metcalf Institute. Lord died last April.

“Listening to Peter talk about his environmental beat was inspiring,” said Ortiz, who, at the time, had four years of experience as a journalist. “Peter set the gold standard for environmental reporting, and to have him as a mentor was priceless.”

Ortiz, who covers the environment, agriculture and the arts for the Sacramento Bee, highly recommends the Science Immersion Workshop. “It’s a great way to learn about environmental issues and to interact with fellow reporters and scientists in a stress-free environment.”

He says he’s most proud of his role as a “watch dog” for the public in his current position, making sure the public stays informed of important environmental issues.