2016 Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists
Coastal Impacts: Global Change in Coastal Ecosystems
June 5 – 10, 2016
University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography
Ten journalists are now back on their beat with new skills following Metcalf Institute’s 18th Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists. Read about their experience.
The 2016 Metcalf Fellows are:
- Doyin Adeoye, reporter, Nigerian Tribune in Oyo, Nigeria
- Richard Gardella, investigative reporter, NBC News in Washington, DC
- Catalina Jaramillo, reporter and editor, freelance in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Maddy Lauria, reporter, Cape Gazette in Lewes, Delaware
- Jeff Mosier, reporter, Dallas Morning News in Dallas, Texas
- Susan Phillips, reporter, WHYY in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Muhammad Qaseem Saeed, reporter, Geo News in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
- Kate Siber, reporter, freelance in Durango, Colorado
- Andy Uhler, reporter, Marketplace in Los Angeles, California
- Amelia Urry, associate editor, Grist.org in Seattle, Washington
These lucky journalists, selected from a record number of applicants and a list of twenty finalists, got the chance to recharge their batteries, gain new perspectives, and network with other journalists from around the globe at the week-long workshop.
The workshop was held at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, one of the nation’s premier oceanographic research institutions and home to Metcalf Institute. Ten early- to mid-career journalists were selected for the fellowship, which includes tuition, travel support, room and board, and career-changing professional training, thanks to the generosity of private donors and the Metcalf Institute endowment.
Using the world’s best-studied estuary, Narragansett Bay, as a living laboratory, the workshop gave journalists opportunities to explore and understand the effects of human activities on coastal ecosystems. In the field, lab, and classroom, Metcalf Fellows gained a greater understanding of how scientists conduct research, built confidence in their abilities to discern the credibility of scientific sources, and acquired the skills needed to comb through complex scientific data to break stories on a range of science and environmental topics. The workshop also provided a unique opportunity for Fellows to network with leading researchers, policy experts, and other journalists in an informal, off-deadline atmosphere.
Metcalf Institute Annual Workshop alumni hail from the U.S. and around the world, including the Philippines, Israel, South Africa, China, Singapore, Brazil, and India. Metcalf Fellows represent a wide variety of small and large news organizations ranging from local and regional newspapers and broadcast outlets to online and national/international outlets.
“I have learned so much about pollutants, storm damage, and fisheries management,” said 2015 Annual Workshop alumnus, Kevin Bunch, of C & G Newspapers. “I can think of no professional development program that has been more helpful to me.”
The 2016 Metcalf Fellows will:
- Gain skills and confidence to translate scientific publications for public audiences;
- Develop a greater familiarity with research methods and basic statistics;
- Explore the development and use of sea level rise models for projecting impacts and responses;
- Explore the water quality impacts of shellfish aquaculture and, separately, emerging aquatic contaminants, potentially harmful chemicals not currently monitored or regulated;
- Conduct a fisheries survey aboard the URI research vessel;
- Discuss the relationships between climate change and extreme weather;
- Enjoy off-deadline interactions with scientists and cultivate contacts for future reporting.
Early to mid-career journalists from all media, and journalists who are new to reporting on science and environmental topics, were invited to apply. Applicants had to demonstrate 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. The fellowship included room, board, tuition, and travel support paid after the program. U.S.-based journalists were eligible for up to US$500 in travel support and those working outside of the U.S. may receive a reimbursement of up to US$1,000 with written assurance that they will be able to pay the full costs of their travel and can obtain the appropriate visa.