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Spotlight on Metcalf Institute Alumni: Emily C. Dooley

Emily C. Dooley – 2013 Fellow

Emily C. DooleyAward-winning journalist Emily C. Dooley still relies on many of the tools she gained as a fellow in Metcalf Institute’s 2013 Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists. “I’ve done a number of fellowships, and this was by far the best,” said Dooley about her Metcalf experience.

She began covering the environment for Newsday in 2012, six months before Hurricane Sandy cut a destructive path across the east coast, killing hundreds of people and causing billions of dollars in damage. Recognizing that she needed a better grasp of the science behind the massive devastation, Dooley applied for a Metcalf fellowship.

“The Metcalf training gave me the credibility to ask the right questions,” said Dooley. “It gave me an opportunity to talk to researchers and learn how to determine if a scientific study is valid.”

Dooley distinguished herself through her coverage of Hurricane Sandy, and was recently awarded The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research Journalism Fellowship on Community Resilience.

“Emily Dooley emerged from an extraordinarily talented field of journalists who recognize that it is important for the field of journalism to move beyond coverage of disaster as spot news,” said Trevor Tompson, director of the AP-NORC Center.

Dooley is working with research scientists and scholars as part of the AP-NORC fellowship to study 13 communities in New York and New Jersey impacted by Sandy. Her research is focused on the science of resiliency, the ability of a community to bounce back after a disaster. Dooley will spend nine months interviewing people about their experiences, crunching numbers and analyzing data with AP-NORC social scientists and experts, and developing stories for distribution by the Associated Press.

During the course of her career, Dooley has covered everything from the economy, technology and the legal industry, to politics and education. She says the challenge in environmental reporting is distilling what scientists say into terms the public can understand. Dooley compared it to speaking another language, a language with which she is now more fluent because of her Metcalf Institute training.

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