I was lucky enough to be chosen for a nine-month Ted Scripps Fellowship in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
It’s an amazing opportunity, and I’m doing my best to make the most of it. The university’s doors have been thrown wide open, allowing me to take classes that range from water resources management and conservation biology to computer-assisted reporting and natural resources law.
I also get to sit down each week with the four other fellows (reporters from the Los Angeles Times, Spokesman Review, Associated Press and a photojournalist based in Southeast Asia) and have free-ranging conversations with visiting experts on everything from climate change to genetically-modified foods.
We’ve attended three conferences, including the Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Lubbock, Texas.
The fellowship has allowed me the time to delve into research on the federal Superfund program. What started as a single, focused project has split in two, with loads of FOIA responses coming in from EPA offices in Washington and Colorado.
And then there’s Colorado. For a web-toed Puget Sound boy, it seems almost unnatural to have this much sun and so little water in the sky. When not in class or hunched over Superfund records, I’m hitting the plethora of trails on bike or in running shoes, taking full advantage of this Rocky Mountain weather.