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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

19 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

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

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

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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

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

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I learned alot and had fun on a week-long seminar with IJNR on environmental issues affecting the Great Lakes. As we traveled around the area, we saw first-hand the threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem and met and talked with people who were dealing directly with these issues. The highlight for me was our trip to Isle Royale in Lake Superior, one of the country's most remote national parks. There I got to hike with and interview Rolf Peterson, who for years studied the predator-prey relationship between the wolf and moose populations.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been a speaker for IJNR field seminars during many years in the past decade. It has been a rich and rewarding experience for the speakers and the participants from all forms of media background. The philosophy of IJNR is based on long experience with environmental journalism, and the selected fellows benefit greatly from their week in the field.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

IJNR believes telling environmental stories is hard work. Sure, journalists can write, "the species is threatened and the future looks bleak." And while that's sometimes part of the story, we've read it before. And it's not the whole story. So IJNR trains journalists to dig deeper, write better, and try harder. A tremendously well run organization.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The folks at IJNR bring passion, integrity, intelligence and a sense of humour to their work. Going on one, or more, of their environmental journalism trips/discoveries is great fun, and deeply educational. They strive to see and tell stories from multiple perspectives, and to impart their love for telling stories. Good people. Important work. Highly recommended.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In 2007 I was accepted as a fellow to participate in the IJNR High Country Institute and the experience has changed my life and my career as a journalist. During the fellowship I learned how to identify the most important stakeholders in environment news stories, accurately represent the scope of their respective arguments, and produce reports that truly add to the collective public understanding of my audience on a given topic, rather than overwhelm or otherwise alienate listeners/readers.

I learned all this in the breathtakingly beautiful state of Montana, where I gained new perspective on the power of nature to enrich human life.

This organization is more relevant than ever, as is evidenced by the growing apathy in the public and the major media organizations towards our natural environment and the growing threats against it.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have created and led experiential workshops for environmental reporters as the associate director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University. Many of our participants have participated in IJNR expeditions. They universally have great things to say about that experience. They learn of issues in great depth and in a way that allows them to share that experience with readers and viewers who are unable to go on such trips.
I also know IJNR leaders and respect them for their knowledge and commitment.

Review from Guidestar