Community Updates

New jobs, publications, and more from our community in 2022



AB = Advisory Board
AWJ = Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists
CCSJ = Climate Change Seminar for Journalists
ERF = Environmental Reporting Fellowship
ISCS = Inclusive SciComm Symposium
PBLS = Peter B. Lord Seminars on the Environment
SSJ = Science Seminar for Journalists
SciComm Workshop = various communication workshops for researchers


Allen Best

I am wrapping up three years publishing Big Pivots, an e-journal that focuses on the energy and water transitions in Colorado and beyond. (CCSJ)

Alok Gupta

After reporting environmental issues in China for around five years, I’ve moved to Chicago to work as a Freelance Environment Journalist. (AWJ)

Annie Ropeik

I was recently elected to the board of the Society of Environmental Journalists! Hope to see many of you at the spring conference in Idaho. I’m now a freelancer working part-time for the Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk, a journalism collab that newsrooms can join for free, and writing about climate change in Maine. I’ve also been on a few panels recently, and was glad to trot out my Metcalf knowledge during a media workshop for scientists at the National Science Foundation’s annual competitive research conference in Portland, ME. (AWJ)

Ayurella Horn-Muller

I got a new job! For the next year, I’ll be reporting from the climate and energy news desk at Axios as one of their inaugural newsroom fellows (AWJ).        

Brett Walton

Reporting for Circle of Blue, Eric is the Inaugural Recipient of Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Science Communications in category of Science Journalist: Local/Regional. (CCSJ)

Bud Ward

Best wishes to our longtime friend and collaborator, Bud Ward, on his well-deserved retirement. Capping off a storied career as an environmental journalist and editor, Bud recently retired from Yale Climate Connections, the environmental news website he founded and edited. Bud has partnered with Metcalf Institute in many ways over the years, most notably by administering the jury for The Grantham Prize from 2006-2012. In the early 2000s, Bud and Metcalf Institute organized a series of workshops that were the first to bring top climate scientists and journalists together to improve news coverage of climate change. Stemming from those workshops, he wrote and published a book with Metcalf entitled Communicating on Climate Change. We thank Bud for his lifetime of work to advance excellence in environmental reporting and his collaboration.

Caitlin Ochs

Last Week Tonight referenced Caitlin’s reporting for Buzzfeed (AWJ)                                                              

Cover of Chris Woodside’s new book, Going Over the Mountain

Christine Woodside

I am still editor-in-chief of the mountain journal Appalachia, which publishes narratives on adventure and some science-based essays on field research. My new book, Going Over the Mountain, which is basically a memoir of my personal evolution in the wilderness, will come out next year from Appalachian Mountain Club Books. I teach journalism history at UConn and am developing a wilderness writing course for UConn.                                           

I interviewed Madeline Ostrander about her new book at a Metcalf event this fall. It was a great to talk about how she created a narrative about climate change as it it affecting people now.

At right is the cover of Christine’s next book. (AWJ, CCSJ, PBLS, AB)


The Metcalf Institute really influenced me to get going on the environmental reporting path and I’ve really enjoyed it.
Christian von Preysing

Christian von Preysing

Named one of the 2022-2023 National Science Health Environment Reporting Fellows! (AWJ)

Colin Kinniburgh

Colin Kinniburgh

I started a new full-time job as climate and environment reporter for New York Focus, where I previously a contributing reporter (on a freelance basis).                                

One of my first stories as a staff reporter was about climate impacts on agriculture — an issue somewhat outside of my usual wheelhouse, which sent me back to my notes from the Metcalf workshop. That story is now up here, along with the rest of my reporting for Focus. (AWJ)

“I am still so grateful to the Metcalf Institute for hosting the Inclusive Science Communication symposium that encouraged me to pursue a career shift into inclusive communication.”
Crystal Chen

Crystal Chen

Crystal shared an updated after her year-long science communication internship with the National Park Service. “I partnered with a western national park to create more inclusive web content about Chinese American railroad workers. This was very fulfilling, and also very challenging! As a reflection on this experience, I facilitated a discussion for the NPS Inclusive Science Communication practice group.” (SciComm Workshop)

Elaine Lembo

I would like to share that I’m newly appointed as the editor in chief of the Caribbean Compass, a decades long publication of sailing, environmental, and business news for live aboard sailors, Caribbean visitors, and local dwellers alike. I will continue the fine tradition of Compass founders Sally Erdle and Tom Hopman of connecting the sailing and shore and environmentally engaged audience. Long live the great Caribbean Compass! (AWJ, SSJ)

Floriano Filho

I was one of the authors of the 2021 book “Taiwan’s Relations with Latin America: A Strategic Rivalry Between the United States, China, and Taiwan.” My chapter’s title is “Energy Policies and Politics Compared: Taiwan and Latin America.”                                                           

At the end of October 2022, I concluded a one-year Japan Foundation fellowship at the University of Tokyo. During that period I was a visiting researcher at the Institute of Social Science (ISS) and wrote four chapters for a future book on strategic issues concerning China-Latin America-Japan relations. Therefore, towards the end of 2023, I should be looking for interested publishing companies in that subject. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for me. 

And having a close connection to Metcalf’s concerns, one of the great opportunities I had during my time in Japan was to make a very productive visit to Fukushima. After that, I built a short website about some energy-environmental-societal impacts of Fukushima and how Japan is rebuilding the region through innovation. (AWJ)

Jesse Hirsch

I am the editor of a brand-new media outlet on agriculture called Ambrook Research, covering issues that are relevant to farmers but of interest to a wider audience. Sustainability, climate, and finance are three underlying focus areas.   
We are looking for writers! (AWJ)

Jo Lauder

Triple J and ABC’s (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) RadioNational’s science crew have teamed up on a podcast! It’s called Who’s Gonna Save Us and it’s about climate change, but not in the way you think. It’s about solutions and the people fighting for them.

Julia Kumari Drapkin

My company ISeeChange has had a big year. ISC is a data and engagement platform to help cities combat climate change. Thanks to investment from the Knight Foundation, ISC is growing in South Florida: For the last three years, ISC has been the City of Miami’s flood reporting tool and generated over $20M in stormwater infrastructure investments. Starting in 2023, we are expanding to Miami Dade County to track heat, flooding, and pollution. In New Orleans this year, ISC helped inform and lower the City’s first ever cooling standard and we are working with Johns Hopkins University in multiyear heat and health study alongside the New Orleans Health Dept. The Museum of Science in Boston used ISC as its engagement platform in its New England Climate Stories exhibit this year. ISC was selected to join Morgan Stanley’s Sustainable Solutions Lab in 2022 and just last week, ISC was named top social impact company in Village Capital’s ADAPT program by our peers. ISC earned an NSF SBIR Phase 1 award to develop higher level AI for our anchor customers. We look forward to 2023 with two new cities (to be named soon!) using ISC to center the public in climate ready public infrastructure investments. 

We’re hiring and welcome catching up with our fellow Metcalfers! (ERF)

Kate Sheppard

In April, I became managing editor of The Assembly, a new, long-form publication focused on power and place in North Carolina. After nearly 9 years at HuffPost. it’s fun to be at a startup trying something new, in the place I live. (AWJ)

Kevin Bunch

Metcalf Institute alumni are creating works beyond environmental science, too. Kevin completed work on a video game history book called “Atari Archive: 1977-1978,” which will be published in March 2023. (AWJ)

Kimberly Cauvel

Kimberly has joined the communications team of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, where she’s helping to tell the stories of treaty tribes working on natural resource issues in western Washington. (AWJ)

Laura A. Kiesel

Laura’s piece on the impacts of rodenticides on wildlife for Dig Boston (an independent weekly paper), which was syndicated in Salon, was one of four finalists for a national award–the David Carr Award for Investigative Reporting by the Association of Alternative News Media (AAN).

She is looking to be a regular feature writer for a publication starting in 2022, as well as considering a book project based on the aforementioned article. (CCSJ, ISCS)

Lewis Raven Wallace

Is a Movement Journalism Fellow at Interrupting Criminalization and Prison Culture. (AWJ)

The book “At home on an unruly planet” atop a wooden stump

Madeline Ostrander

Madeline’s first book, At Home on an Unruly Planet: Finding Refuge on a Changed Earth, was published this year. It is listed as one of Kirkus Reviews’ 100 Best Nonfiction Books of 2022. In October she gave a book talk at Metcalf with alumna Chris Woodside. (CCSJ)                           


Max Chesnes

Max was a 2022 Sunshine State Awards Finalist for environmental and science reporting. He also started a new environmental reporting job at the Tampa Bay Times in Florida. (AWJ)

Miguel Otarola

This was my second year as a climate and environment journalist with Colorado Public Radio in Denver. I wanted to share two big news items. I wrote a personal essay for NPR Music about the Marshall Fire and how I used the music of UK producer Burial to cope.
I also received an award from Covering Climate Now for best short audio feature this year. It was a report I did in 2021 on the risks vs. perception of risks for communities living in the wildland-urban interface.









It was an honor to receive the award and to be published on NPR. Music is such an important part of how we cope with tragedy and uncertainty, and there is no bigger uncertainty than our future. There is a lot to explore here, and I can’t wait to keep doing it.

I was able to reunite with one of my Metcalf fellows at the Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Houston earlier this year. Great to finally meet in person, since our workshop was virtual in 2021! Hope we can come to Rhode Island one day. (AWJ)

Molly Peterson

Molly was named one of the 2022–23 Public Policy Institute of California – CalTrout Ecosystem Fellows. (AWJ, SSJ)

Raquel Zaldívar

Raquel is another alum with a new job this year. She is now a Visual Journalist at the New England News Collaborative. Climate change and clean energy are one of the areas of focus for her team. (AWJ)

Photo of Ridden Karim DIni-Osman that says Science Journalist: Early Career below

Ridwan Karim Dini-Osman

Ridwan won Best Science Journalist – Early Career Journalist from the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Science Communication. He is currently a freelance broadcast journalist and news anchor with PRI’s The World (AWJ)                         

Rona Kobell

Rona Kobell

I co-founded an organization, the Environmental Justice Journalism Initiative, that focuses on helping communities tell their own stories and plan their own activism to combat environmental injustices. We also have a marine science arm focused on bringing more women and Black/indigenous residents into aquaculture and marine science. We are based in Baltimore but plan to work nationally. I have also been trying to tell stories about eroding history on the Chesapeake. One of those ran in the Washington Post.                               

We are making a film about this community. Our website is

This photo is me standing in a Deal Island road that floods all the time. (CCSJ)

Ryan Spencer

Ryan started a new job at Summit Daily News in Summit County, Colorado. His main beat will focus on courts and public safety, but he is hoping to find more opportunities to cover environmental stories — and was already working on one as we went to press. (AWJ)

Shalu Mehta

This is the first story from Shalu’s series on water. To learn a bit more about the series, check out the recent newsletter. (AWJ)

Sindya Bhanoo

Sindya’s book, “Seeking Fortune elsewhere,” is on the longlist for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction. (ERF)

Taylor Kate Brown

Taylor, independent reporter and editor, published this story on how school districts are taking on electric school buses. (CCSJ)

Victoria Cerdeira

I am working on a STEM book for children, prioritizing minorities (ie. BIPOC, physical disabilities and neurodivergence). With this I hope to increase diversity in STEM and making every child feel they can be scientists!

Tony Briscoe

Tony joined the Los Angeles Times as an environmental reporter focusing on air quality, which, along with Rosanna Xia, brings the total number of Metcalf alumni covering the environment for the Times up to two! (AWJ)

Zoom screenshot of two women laughing
STEP co-founders Virginia Schutte (left) and Bethann Garramon Merkle (right) on one of many, many Zoom calls that made STEP a reality.

Virginia Schutte

I co-hosted a session with Bethann Garramon Merkle at the 2021 Symposium called “Talking About the Hard Stuff: The Challenge of Putting Inclusive Scicomm Training Philosophy into Practice”. During that session, we collected opinions from experienced scicomm practitioners and trainers about what kind of career development program would best help them advance.
In 2022, we used that informal data as a foundation to build and secure funding for “SciComm STEP: Sparking Transitions for Experienced Professionals”. We ran a pilot of this program in fall 2022 and the results blew past our expectations. 100% of participants reported: (a) specific mindset changes they credit to STEP; (b) that they anticipate making additional changes to professional workflow/behavior based on STEP; and (c) they have taken specific steps/made products directly because of STEP. A major example is a participant who applied for a new job during STEP as a result of the program. In 2023, we hope to find a sustaining funder for the program so we can continue to offer it to future cohorts of experienced communicators. None of this would have been possible without the input we received at the 2021 symposium on what our community most wants and needs. (ISCS)

Whitney Bauck

Whitney was named a Climate Solutions Fellow by Solutions Journal. (AWJ)



Nicole “Nikki” Buskey

We are deeply saddened by the loss of Nicole “Nikki” Buskey. A Rhode Island native, she was an acclaimed environmental journalist and communicator. She attended our Science Seminar: Marine Science for Journalists in 2011, while working at the Houma Courier. There, she reported on pressing environmental issues in the southern Louisiana area, such as the recovery from Hurricane Katrina and Rita, and the Deepwater Horizon spill. She is in our hearts and remains a great inspiration. (SSJ)             

Metcalf’s 2022 Annual Report