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Metcalf Alumni Pay It Forward & Help Journalists Gain The Metcalf Experience

2012 Annual Workshop Fellows participate in water sampling exercise. Photo by Gretchen Ertl.

2012 Annual Workshop Fellows participate in water sampling exercise. Photo by Gretchen Ertl.

Meera Subramanian knows the value of Metcalf Institute training.  An award-winning freelance journalist who writes about culture and the environment for newspapers and magazines worldwide, Subramanian still appreciates the generosity that made her 2012 fellowship possible.

“Being able to arrive for Metcalf’s Annual Workshop knowing that all our needs were taken care of, and our only duty was to learn – with intent and curiosity and accuracy – was invaluable to me as a freelance journalist,” said Subramanian.

This is one of the reasons Meera joined other alumni who donated money to fund the costs of one Annual Science Immersion Workshop fellowship.  Metcalf Institute alumni contributions support travel, room and board, and other direct program costs of the Annual Workshop.

“It’s great to know that I’m helping other journalists like myself receive great hands-on, lab-based, rigorous training,” said Subramanian.  “The result is better, smarter reporting for the public.”

Some of the donations came from alumni who attended other Metcalf programs, like Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, a participant in Metcalf’s 2014 Oil Spill Seminar for Journalists held in Mobile, Alabama.

“Metcalf’s seminar helped me better understand scientists’ difficulties communicating with journalists, and our difficulties communicating with them,” said Alexander-Bloch, a reporter with The Times-Picayune in New Orleans.  “There is such a wonderful camaraderie at the workshops, between the Metcalf staff, visiting scientists, and journalists, and I felt it was important to give a financial contribution, however small, to help someone else experience that gift.”

“I’m thrilled by this strong show of support from our alumni,” said Sunshine Menezes, Metcalf’s executive director.  “Every single donation, big and small, goes a long way toward ensuring that more journalists receive the science training they need – without incurring personal costs – to produce accurate stories about the science underlying environmental issues.

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