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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

75 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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

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

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

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

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

An airborne view of a solar field, an inside look at a controversial coal-fired power plant, a discussion of tribal energy initiatives on site at a pueblo ... an energy program with the Institutes for Journalism & Natural Resources gave me and my fellow journalists an invaluable look at the real-world consequences of policy decision. It was a one-week cram course that included dozens of experts, providing extensive background and contacts for future stories. I wrote a piece for our Sunday Viewponts section based directly on the IJNR program, including an on-the-ground looi at how a rancher is profiting from solar. More than a year later, I'm still drawing on the the perspective of the program (and even the photos I took) for editorials about Arizona's efforts to expand the use of alternative ener;gy and build its solar energy sector.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a reporter who had the good fortune to participate in two IJNR expeditions. The organization and its leaders, Frank and Maggie Allen, are experts both at presenting the nuances of environmental and rural community issues and at challenging journalists to do justice to those nuances with excellent storytelling. Thanks to my fellowships with IJNR, I am connected with helpful sources on a range of issues and I am part of a network of experienced, accomplished journalists.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been fortunate to join IJNR for three "institutes" in Montana and New Mexico. All three experiences were tremendously inspiring and educational. The intense seminars fill your brain with facts, context and story ideas that I found useful long after I returned to the daily grind, which for me is in public radio in the Pacific Northwest.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

A wonderful program that I would recommend to anyone. The commitment to the environment and to helping journalists understand the complex issues related to the environment are outstanding. A truly good program that has provided immeasurable benefit to me in my professional life.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources helps journalists gain a fuller understanding of environmental issues through trips which immerse them in all sides of a issue and hands-on experience with research, as well as opportunities for mentoring.
As a participant in the Great Lakes Waters 2010 trip around Lake Ontario, I learned the depth of some of the greatest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem. The leaders of the trip presented us both, or more frequently, all, sides of the issues.