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Institutes For Journalism & Natural Resources

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities, Environment, Environmental Education

Mission: The organization pursues higher standards of news coverage of natural resources and the environment -- standards of accuracy, fairness, balance, depth and context.

Programs: Shale country institute - see schedule o

north carolina institute - see schedule o

detroit river institute - see schedule o

Community Stories

122 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

IJNR provides the highest level of professional experience for serious environmental journalists. The program's field immersion is unparalleled. Fellows receive intensive training in this specialization. They also have fun in the field learning about other cultures, environmental issues and their solutions, and getting to know each other on IJNR's well prepared field trips, such as rafting on rivers, crabbing, and participating in traditional Native American ceremonies.An

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

IJNR is without a doubt the most professional environmental nonprofit organization in the United States. The institute takes working journalists into the field to study first-hand some of the most pressing environmental issues of our times. Many IJNR fellows have written award-winning articles based on their experience with this NGO. Still others have written highly acclaimed books on issues they learned about as participants in this forward-looking institute that provides the skills and opportunities to truly excel in the field.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In the summer of 2002, I went on an IJNR-sponsored trip to the California/Oregon border on a program to help environmental journalists get a better grasp of water issues in the area. It was a fantastic experience that lead to a multi-dimensional understanding of the forces at work in the area. We talked with farmers, native Americans, environmentalists, loggers and policy-makers. We met many passionate and committed people, who brought the region's issues to life. We covered a lot of ground. We learned a lot. And we had a blast. I came away extremely impressed with IJNR. This is a quality organization.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

It was in the summer of 2000 that I went to Maine as a Fellow to learn to be a better natural resources reporter. The exposure to how to ask probing questions and to come up with a more complete understanding of complicated topics was extremely valuable. Like most reporters at small newspapers, I have to move quickly from one complex topic to another and get it right. And be able to pull readers into stories and topics and hold their attention. The travels tested my stamina, too. Unfortunately, Frank had to leave part-way through the trip to keep an eye on his house in Montana, threatened with wildfires. Otherwise I might have learned more about setting up a story. But it was a wonderful experience!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Beyond the stimulating total emersion within a journalistic milieu that IJNR offers its selected Fellows on each of its highly organized Institutes, the most remarkable aspect of the experience they provide is the complete financial support that's included with each invitation to participate in one of their unique journeys of discovery.

From the moment of arrival until the final departure, Fellows' expenses for each Institute are all covered by IJNR and its generous supporters. I hadn't experienced funding support like that since I served in the Navy, and IJNR doesn't even require you to wear a uniform or stand mid-watches. And the food is so much better than Navy chow, there's no comparison.

But the best food IJNR brings to the table is food for thought, both in the outstanding speakers and other resources they present to the Fellows day after day, and the careful selection of the Fellows themselves for each journey whose members are chosen with the intent of creating a symbiotic whole that will continue to evolve from their shared experience long after their particular Institute is complete.

Like the old wisdom about college--that education is what remains after all you learned has been forgotten--the IJNR experience only gains with time, investing intellectual capital in its alumni that continues to grow like compounding interest, and which will benefit the collective Fellowship on each journey for the rest of their careers, even lives.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I received some of the best training I've ever had in journalism through IJNR. Frank and Maggie bring together informed and thoughtful experts in all realms of things environmental. They also manage to facilitate productive discussions among the journalist-participants.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5


It’s no exaggeration to say that participating in an IJNR journalism fellowship was one of the most stimulating and enjoyable experiences I've had as a reporter and writer. With twenty years in the industry I’ve attended dozens of conferences and participated in many fellowships, but the IJNR expedition is truly unique.


In a time when traditional journalism seems to be a in a free fall, the IJNR field trip experience feels like a life raft. The chance to meet the experts and practitioners in their own element, to see science unfolding in an outdoor laboratory of nature, is exciting, and to experience the comradery of fellow journalists and mentoring of elders is invigorating as well.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is a privilege to know first-had the lasting impact IJNR has on its participants, both as professionals and as people. When I first encountered IJNR, I had never had the opportunity to spend time with another reporter who wanted to specialize in environmental journalism. My nine-day journey with a busload of fellows supported and encouraged my commitment like nothing else could. Once the bus ride is over, IJNR fellows continue to challenge each other. I’m continually blown away by the outstanding contributions IJNR fellows are making to honest reporting that dodges preconceived notions and avoids easy conclusions. I am grateful for the investment IJNR makes in people.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The great thing about IJNR is learning about emerging environmental issues on the ground. You're hearing from the experts, while you're also in the field. It's like going to a cool seminar, but you're not in a sterile classroom or conference center. You're actually outdoors and learning.
I remember one night in southern Georgia helping with a controlled burn while on an IJNR fellowship. I'd often spoken with experts about how fire can help forests, but seeing how controlled burns are conducted was eye opening. It was interesting to learn the preparations that go into it, then how the burns are managed. We later discussed what the burning would do for the landscape. It gave me much greater insight and perspective on an issue I only knew in the abstract before.
Another great experience was simpler. Our group was taken to a mixed forest in South Carolina. In the forest, we heard birds, squirrels and other sounds of wildlife that lived in the woods. We then were taken to a pine plantation. The thing I remember most is how eerily quiet it was in the pine plantation, since it lacked a diversity of tree species. No birds or animals making sounds. The only real sound was the spring wind blowing in the pines.


Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a supporter and general admirer of IJNR. While I am in a different field, I value very much the expertise that IJNR provides for journalists who cover natural resource issues. I care a lot about these issues and feel confident that IJNR and their fine group is providing a much-needed service. I have kept up with their projects and am happy to support them. They get my vote! Joyce L. Hocker, Ph. D.

Review from Guidestar

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

IJNR took me to the intersections of science, public policy and natural splendor during my 10-day fellowship. I canoed on Tule Lake with the head of the Klamath Nation, saw bears and bald eagles, traversed the Klamath River, learned about healthy forests and the need to control fuel loading, saw the efficiency of wetlands and how this natural filtering process helps the City of Arcata with waste water treament on Humboldt Bay. These hands-on, boot-on-the-ground experiences are essential for those who report on natural resource issues and intrepret resource policy for the public. IJNR is the answer for deadline-drive journalists who struggle to get out of the office and into the field. What I experienced was more than fun, it was essential.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a journalist, my fellowship with IJNR helped me see how much is possible in environmental reporting, and challenged me to meet the inherent promise in every story I tell. Our 10-day trip was intense. We covered hundreds of miles and talked about climate change, water use, hatcheries v. wild fish, logging practices, grazing standards, the reintroduction of wolves and more. We got to meet interesting people on all sides of every issue. I can't imagine how an organization could touch more hot topics and go more into depth. As the pressure builds -- on the natural environment and within the journalism industry -- the importance of IJNR will only rise.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

IJNR helped train me to do my job.
It is run by people who are respected in the field.
The 10 days I spent on this fellowship provided a wealth of information that informed my reporting for years to come.
IJNR staff continued to encourage me long after the fellowship ended.
At a time when newsrooms have fewer resources, nonprofits that assist them are crucial.
I've expressed my gratitude by donating to the organization and hope others will join me.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources is the best organization I have been associated with during my nearly 40 years in the field of journalism. Through intensive field trips, the IJNR staff creates for its fellows an experience that provides immediate professional development. Moreover, the staff manages to create a collegial atmosphere among recipients of fellowships so that the learning continues for years afterward. The seeds sown by IJNR continue to bear fruit in ways IJNR staff members do not even know about. It is a great organization.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've enjoyed IJNR's expeditions since they started in the mid-'90s. I began as a teenager tasked with hauling coolers full of beverages from site to site. I wound up as person who cares deeply about the environment and who wants to see America's newsrooms far better-equipped to the myriad natural-resource stories that have a huge impact on the quality of life for communities across the country. IJNR provides an outstanding service to an industry that desperately needs their thoughtful approach to professional development.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

IJNR organized a tour of environmental points of interest around Lake Erie in May, 2009 for a group of journalists, both English and French speaking from the U.S. and Canada. I was one of them. The experience was superb in every way. It was well organized, informative and provided a great opportunity to meet and disccus issues with other journalists and colleagues. The access to sites such as the large dairy operation in Michigan, fishery in Lake Erie, and power facilities near Niagara Falls was extraordinary. There were background briefings with leaders in a wide variety of environmental issues and there was particular care taken to provide many sides of each story. The tour was thought provoking and inspiring and did a great deal to promote more thoughtful environmental journalism. IJNR is an organization that should be strongly supported.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I went on a 2007 IJNR expedition in Montana and found it incredibly helpful as a reporter newly arrived to the region. Frank and his team were able to stir up so many story ideas that almost four years later I'm still putting them to use. All in all a great organization providing a valuable service to reporters and the public.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

There are few opportunities for journalists to get crucial hands-on experience in science and environmental topics. This is an amazing experience and an important pillar in the support of a well-educated press.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

There is a tremendous dearth of good science and environmental reporting in the U.S. today. Mainstream media only seem to respond when there is a huge disaster, like the BP oil well blowout.
IJNR is able to get reporters from cash strapped news organizations into the field... to see and hear and smell and ponder important nature, wildlife, and environmental stories. Having an idea of what ecosystems are like in "normal" times helps reporters understand and explain the situation when nature is in the midst of a crisis.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

IJNR is a fantastic organization, vitally needed at a time when media outlets are scaling back on staff as well as professional development opportunities for reporters and editors. Covering environmental issues well demands knowledge of the subject covered, a critical eye, and an appreciation for the complexity of viewpoints and perspectives. IJNR expedition fellowships take journalists into the field and into the heart of many of the most important environmental issues of the day. I was a fellow in November 2009 in the American Southwest, specifically New Mexico, to study how this region is emblematic of the nation's reliance on 20th century sources of energy, such as highly polluting coal, and at the same time at the cutting edge of developing alternative sources of energy, including wind and solar. We toured wind farms by air, talked with coal executives, and saw how Native American communities are adopting 21st century solar energy technology to improve their economic standing -- among many other activities. The staff of IJNR was wonderful -- organized, supportive and incredibly inspiring. I met some terrific journalists, and two years later I still keep in touch with many of them.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had two fellowships with this organization. They take you into the field and recharge your journalism batteries, sending you back to your news organization with a fresh eye and renewed vigor.

Review from Guidestar