Institute Announcement: Detroit River

The Detroit River and downtown skyline. Photo courtesy Flickr user rexp2

The Detroit River and downtown skyline. Photo courtesy Flickr user rexp2

IJNR invites applications for its Detroit River Institute, an expenses-paid learning expedition that will explore natural resource, agricultural, economic and human health issues in and around Detroit, Michigan. Content of the fellowship program will be relevant not only to journalists in the Great Lakes Basin, but to those working throughout North American cities as well. Radio, television, print and online journalists of all ages and experience levels are eligible to apply.

While the agenda for the Detroit River Institute is still being completed, current planned stops will introduce journalists to:

  • The Detroit River, which holds the hopes of a proposed redevelopment highlighting its ecological and economic comeback, while also bearing the burden of outflow from one the nation’s largest single-site (and most problematic) wastewater treatment plants.
  • Life in the 48217 zip code, a neighborhood of Arab, African-American and Latino residents surrounded by heavy industries like steel plants and the Marathon Petroleum refinery. The EPA’s toxicity score for the area is 45 times higher than the state average, leading to myriad health and environmental justice concerns.
  • Eastern Market, a historic urban marketplace working to not only connect consumers to locally grown, fresh food but to also procure some of that food from Detroit’s urban gardens and help inner-city agriculture flourish in the city.
  • The city planners, farmers and organizations working to grow and organize Detroit’s urban agriculture landscape now that unused land is plentiful and official zoning regulations are on the books.
  • Ford Motor Company’s Wayne County Plant, where the industry that gave birth to “Motor City” is attempting to reinvent both itself and the technology that made Detroit possible by building new electric and hybrid cars and planning for a much different auto industry future.

These are just a few of the issues currently being considered for an Institute that will use Detroit as its hub and visit several locations both in and around the city over the course of four to five days. The trip may also include programming like: Lake St. Clair dredging and its impact of Great Lakes water levels and the shipping industry; Belle Isle, the newly created Michigan state park in downtown Detroit, and the move to adopt more “deconstruction” versus demolition of abandoned houses.

Posted in Agriculture, Climate, Development, Economics, Energy, Fisheries, Health, Institutes, Journalism, Legislation, Politics, Pollution, Technology, Water | 1 Comment

Dispatches from the Road: Shale Country Day 3 & 4

The Shale Country crew wrapped up their trip this past weekend, and now are – hopefully! – settling back into their daily routines. They had a whirlwind tour of three states in five days, and returned home with heads full of stories ideas.

The last two days of the trip found them in Northeast Ohio, discussing citizen science, NIMBYism, economics, oil & gas regulation, and how to tell environment stories better. They paddled on the Cuyahoga River, and visited a massive fracination plant. They heard from farmers who have benefited from the boom, and those who resent it. They visited a couple at their rural home, where a compressor station has been built across the street – and runs 24/7 at roughly 80 decibels.

Read all about their adventures here, and stay tuned as we share their post-Institute stories!

Shale Country Institute, Day 3 Recap

Shale Country Institute, Day 4 Recap

Posted in Development, Economics, Energy, Health, Institutes, Journalism, Legislation, Mining, News from Fellows, Photos, Politics, Pollution, Public Lands, Technology | Leave a comment

Dispatches from the Road: Shale Country Day 2 Recap

On Thursday the group traveled to New York to learn about drill-waste disposal, concerned citizens, and the economics of natural gas – among other things.

See a complete recap of their day, and learn more about the issues they covered:

Shale Country Institute, Day 2 Recap

Marcellus Shale Sample. USGS hydrogeologist Bill Kappel:  "What you're holding was a swamp before Earth even had dinosaurs."  (Photo courtesy David Unger. )

Marcellus Shale Sample. USGS hydrogeologist Bill Kappel: “What you’re holding was a swamp before Earth even had dinosaurs.” (Photo courtesy David Unger. )

Posted in Development, Economics, Energy, Health, Institutes, Journalism, Legislation, Mining, News from Fellows, Politics, Pollution, Public Lands, Technology, Water | Leave a comment

Dispatches from the Road: Shale Country, Day 1 continued

The Shale Country crew continues their journey near Lake Erie, despite torrential downpours.

Yesterday afternoon the group got up close and personal with a well pad in Western Pennsylvania. Read all about it here:

Shale Country Day 1 Undaunted by Deluge

And, check out this post from Fellow and KUNC reporter Stephanie Ogburn, who is reporting from the road:

In Eastern National Forests, Split Estate Means Less Control

Stay tuned for an update this evening about where the group went today, who they met, and what they learned!

Posted in Development, Economics, Energy, Institutes, Journalism, Mining, News from Fellows, Pollution, Public Lands, Technology, Water | Leave a comment

Dispatches from the Road: Shale Country

The intrepid Shale Country crew is on the road, and they’re already seeing and learning about lots of exciting things!

For up-to-the-minute updates about what they’re doing, follow us on Twitter  @IJNR_connect,  hashtag #IJNR_shale. You also should check out this blog, Exploring the Shale: Promise and Peril, by Fellow Pat Bywater, who is posting updates from the road.

Here’s a Storify synopsis of what they’ve been up to so far:

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2014 Shale Country Institute Preview

We’re just two weeks away from the start of our 2014 Shale Country Institute, which will bring 18 journalists from around the country to learn all about fracking in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.

As usual, we’ll be posting daily dispatches from the road during the Institute, and you can follow along virtually right here on The Nooze. We’ll also be tweeting about the program at #IJNR_shale.

Curious about the route we’ll take and the topics we’ll cover? Check it all out here:

And, last but not least, we’d like to congratulate and welcome the fine journalists who have been selected to join us on this journey:

Pat Bywater – Meadville Tribune
Stephen Cunningham – Bloomberg News
Mary Esch – AP
John Finnerty – Community Newspapers (PA)
Peter Green – Freelance
Kalea Hall – The Vindicator
Kathi Kowalski – Freelance
Martin LaMonica – Freelance
Joe Mahoney – Daily Star
Stephanie Ogburn – KUNC
Steve Orr – Democrat and Chronicle
Joanna Richards – WCNP/Ideastream
Lonnie Shekhtman – The Boston Globe
Lisa Song – InsideClimate News
Miranda Spencer – Freelance/Daily Climate
Lana Straub – Freelance
Dave Unger – Christian Science Monitor
Patricia Villone – CTV News

Posted in Climate, Development, Economics, Energy, Health, Institutes, Journalism, Mining, Pollution, Public Lands, Technology, Water | Leave a comment

Earth Month, Day 15: Whales and Sustainability in Uruguay

Carol Ann BasettFor today’s Earth Month offering, we bring you something a little different. From alumna Carol Ann Bassett, who teaches environmental writing and journalism at the University of Oregon, comes an innovative project. In her own words:

I direct a new & on-going Study Abroad Program through the University of Oregon’s Office of International Affairs: “Environmental Multimedia in Uruguay.” The program is similar to the core values and design of IJNR as expedition-style immersion journalism on environmental issues. Last fall I worked with a team of eight students (mostly juniors) over an intensive 4-week period in Uruguay. We became the first journalists in the world to ever document Uruguay’s Route of the Whale, from its beginning in the hillside town of Piriapolis to the Brazilian border at Chuy. The result is our website, which was released a few months ago. It’s bilingual — and my faith in environmental multimedia on an international level has taken a quantum leap!

Check out their great work here – Route of the Whale - and watch a video synopsis, below:


Posted in Development, Earth Month, Economics, Fisheries, Health, Journalism, Legislation, News from Fellows, Oceans, Politics, Pollution, Public Lands, Technology, Water, Wildlife | Leave a comment