Metcalf Wraps Up Successful Workshop & Lecture Series

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Ten journalists are covering the environment with more confidence and a deeper understanding of science following Metcalf Institute’s 2017 Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists, June 4 – 9. The Fellows were reporters, editors and multimedia journalists who represent large and small media organizations based in the U.S., Egypt, England, and Canada.

“The Metcalf workshop was invaluable for my career in science journalism,” said Alessandra Potenza, associate editor, The Verge. “Meeting other inspiring science journalists from all over the world and hearing about their experience in the field made the whole experience even better.”

The Fellows spent a rigorous week at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography immersed in a range of activities as they studied global change in coastal ecosystems.

A science translation exercise provided insight into the peer review process, tools for distilling relevant information from scientific journals, and a unique understanding of how researchers vet their work. The journalists also studied coastal management and sea level rise, land use effects on water quality during extreme weather events, and observed, first-hand, how marine fisheries surveys are conducted.

“My experience at the Metcalf Science Immersion Workshop greatly deepened my understanding of the climate change topics we cover regularly in the media,” said Lindsay Fendt, freelance reporter and photographer. “My time here has opened me up to new story ideas and I believe it will drastically improve my reporting in the future.”

“I didn’t know how much I didn’t know,” explained Tegan Wendland, reporter, WWNO New Orleans Public Radio. “From reviewing the basics of climate science to learning about the uncertainty of hurricane prediction models, Metcalf has greatly enhanced my ability to break down complex issues for my audience.”

The fellows also joined a large public audience at Metcalf’s 20th Annual Public Lecture Series each day.

Johanna Polsenberg, Conservation International, described their work to protect ocean resources through partnerships between non-profit, governmental, and academic organizations; Dan Kahan, Yale University, illuminated the ways people interpret scientific information and public perceptions of science in the age of fake news; Shreeram Inamdar, University of Delaware, discussed extreme weather’s impact on water quality; Cynthia Giles, former U.S. EPA assistant administrator of enforcement, engaged the audience in a timely talk about the state of environmental protection and ways in which the public can play a role in monitoring the environment; and David Baron, author and former editor of PRI’s The World, described the launch of the U.S. as a global scientific leader following the solar eclipse of 1878.

Following Baron’s talk, dozens of people lined up for signed copies of his new book, American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World.

Learn more about the 2017 Fellows and see a list of Metcalf Institute alumni.

Look for videos of the lectures on Metcalf’s YouTube channel in July.

View Past Annual Science Immersion Workshops:

 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008
2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999