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February 28, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 28, 2011

my fellowship with IJNR provided a mid-career boost to my reportage on the environment. the fellowship took place in Wisconsin, where I was able to learn hands-on in the field from experts. the fellowship also allowed me to interact with other journalists from around the country and share ideas and approaches to reporting. this is an organization well worth supporting because it gives reporters and editors a rare chance to spend time away from the newsroom, learning more in depth about the topics on which they report, in turn benefitting readers.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

a fellowship in wisconsin following the Society for Environmental Journalists annual meeting.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

add more fellowships

February 28, 2011

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February 28, 2011

There is no other program like IJNR, bringing together journalists from around the country and the world to learn about natural resource issues -- in the field -- in key regions around the US.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Oregon, Idaho and Washington states.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hope that IJNR could get sufficient funding to support expeditions in more regions of the country.

February 28, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 28, 2011

This is an organization which is fighting to keep alive an endangered species - environmental journalism. Their good work and their efforts to expand the resources available to environmental journalists are helping to bring a higher awareness of critical issues involving natural resources.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've witnessed the work of this organization through the reportage of journalists I respect.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Join forces with other organizations

February 28, 2011

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February 28, 2011

IJNR has an extremely important mission, using the craft of journalism to educate the general public and policymakers about the most pressing environmental issues of our time. The old economic model for daily journalism is broken. While the industry is struggling to find its feet during in this historic time of transition, IJNR is working hard to make sure the biggest, most important, and most complex environmental news stories don't fall between the cracks. It has helped hundreds of journalists during the last 15 years, but there are thousands more who need IJNR's help, mentoring and support.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Helping to organize programs for them in the past.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make it bigger.

February 27, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 27, 2011

The BP oil spill in the Gulf has shown the need for training that helps reporters explain highly technical environmental issues to the public.
But these are not one-time events - hydraulic fracturing, climate change, industrial over-fishing, subsidies for alternative energy and transportation-
in a world that is fast approaching the limits of resources that have long been considered limitless, every decision we make have implications for sustainability and trade-offs that challenge our ideas of economic freedom and social justice.
IJNR, in my opinion, has the most effective and accessible methods for teaching reporters not only what they need to know to understand these complex issues but how to engage both sides to tell a story that is fair and accurate.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my working life every day.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand the scope of their work to include under-reported regions such as the US Gulf Coast.

February 27, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 27, 2011

To comprehend the ecological wonderland that is the Great Lakes, you must get to know Lake Erie -- the shallowest and warmest of them all, yet home to the most abundant fishery. The Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources' Great Waters Institute in May 2009 provided a crash course on the challenges confronting this fascinating inland sea. I was among a group of journalists fortunate enough to take part in the expedition.

Beginning with a cruise on the St. Clair River, ground zero in the debate over low water levels on the upper lakes, we embarked on a nine-day circle tour of the Lake Erie basin. Among the stops: Ohio State University's Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island; the Cleveland waterfront; Niagara Falls; the Ontario fishing villages of Port Stanley and Wheatley; and Pelee Island. We observed scientists taking water samples for quality analysis and laborers filleting perch and walleye. We heard experts debate how best to stop the flood of invasive species into the Great Lakes and the future of wind power in the region. Among the highlights was a boat trip to an uninhabited island for a look at damage wrought by a surging population of double-crested cormorants. Evenings provided time for food and fellowship with like-minded journalists who became fast friends.

At a time when many news outlets are reducing travel budgets and cutting back on the environmental coverage, the importance of IJNR cannot be overstated. The Lake Erie institute enabled me to step away from the crush of daily deadlines and learn the issues in more relaxed and authentic settings than the newsroom. It introduced me to scientists and policymakers who remain valuable news sources, provided a wealth of background knowledge and inspired a lengthy list of story ideas. For all this, my company paid only the cost of getting me to and from Detroit, the anchor city.

I'd strongly urge any journalist with an interest in the environment to seek out an IJNR institute. As an Associated Press correspondent based in Michigan, I have been honored to take part in five IJNR Great Waters expeditions. Each has enriched me professionally as well as personally.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have developed stories and obtained valuable information from sources whom I met during the Great Waters Institute.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I have no substantive criticisms to offer. I hope IJNR is able to maintain the funding stream necessary to continue offering its great programming and educating environmental journalists.

February 27, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 27, 2011

I attended IJNR's 2009 Energy Country Institute with an outstanding group of journalists. For many, this was valuable time away from their busy newsrooms, a rare opportunity to explore environmental issues in greater depth without the pressure of deadlines. I, on the other hand, was looking to return to environmental journalism after some years away from it, and further develop my knowledge and skills. IJNR provided the inspiration, the story ideas, the mentoring and the practical tools to help me take significant steps toward that professional goal. I have since published stories about renewable energy development on tribal lands that were a direct result of the contacts I made and conversations I had while participating in the IJNR institute. The program was comprehensive and extremely well-organized, designed with the understanding that it is a challenge to get these important, complex stories told in a news environment that increasingly favors speed and quantity over quality. Here, an exceptional group of journalists had the space to think about their professional values and start developing some important stories. For the IJNR staff, this is a labor of love, and their support of the participants extends well beyond the nine-day program. They always make themselves available for questions, and the participants become sources of help to each other after the program. IJNR is a much-needed resource to ensure the continuation of thoughtful, investigative environmental journalism.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my own writing and professional development, and in reading the excellent work of my peers.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

work on securing more funding so that more journalists are able to participate.

February 27, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 27, 2011

IJNR is inspirational and amazing and effective. This fantastic organization has singlehandedly improved natural resource journalism in the United States. The leadership team is incredibly effective at identifying key trends and bringing journalists / scientists / policy makers / natural resource managers on site, to contemplate, discuss, dissect the matters at hand in the places at stake.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Two long training sessions, one in the High Country, one Low. I met lifelong friends and colleagues, learned critical content for covering my western beat (then in newspapers) and did it all while thoroughly enjoying myself.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Keep everyone around. Magically bring back lost friends and colleagues. Make us all younger : )

February 27, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 27, 2011

As a journalist, IJNR was one of the most rewarding professional experiences I've had. The time we spent on and around the waters between the U-S and Canada --learning about issues ranging from algae blooms to invasive species to fishery concerns to cormorant overgrowth to snakes and their challenges-- was invaluable.

Each day required one to be fully engaged...listening, seeing, learning, experiencing important natural challenges in situ. The learning curve was steep...and made me long for more.

Every angle, opinion, side-of-the-coin was fairly presented and exhaustively thorough.... exactly what a journalist is supposed to do with his or her story research and presentation. I learned a new environmental language (words like "thermocline") and it has served me well in the past couple of years since I participated in the IJNR program.

The experience and goodwill and intelligence of the leaders and the IJNR group as a whole as staggering.

This is a program well worth every cent it takes to keep it healthy.
Go IJNR!!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way I approach researching and writing environmental stories.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not change a thing. The pace was grueling but it was imperative to keep pouring in the information. Ultimately, with all the resources that were lined up for our review, there was barely enough time to fit them all in. It was physically challenging and mentally exhilarating.

February 27, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 27, 2011

Like other journalism fellowships, IJNR puts journalists and experts together to help the former better understand environmental issues and their repercussions. Unlike other programs, IJNR puts journalists on the sites where these stories are unfolding. Sometimes that's on a wind farm. Sometimes it's a Superfund site. Sometimes it's out in the woods late at night listening to a man howl at wolves. Or sitting down to a meal of fresh fish, flanked by two people who each see the other as a threat to his own existence: an American sportfisherman on one side, a Canadian commercial fisherman one the other and the air thick with resentment. Whatever the case, IJNR doesn't just tell, it shows. And that depth of experience allows journalists to understand the scientific, cultural and economic impacts of each issue they explore. It is unparalleled in my experience.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...at least a dozen published stories I've written or edited that were generated as a direct result of my affiliation with IJNR.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

... find ways to make editors understand its importance so more journalists would be given the time to participate.

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