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Annual Public Lecture Series

Environmental Reporting Fellowships
Former Fellows

2009-2010 Fellows
Sindya Bhanoo The New York Times, New York, NY
Marina Giovannelli PRI's The World, Boston, MA

2008 Fellows
Azadeh Ansari CNN, Atlanta, GA

Azadeh Ansari is a morning news writer at KTVU-TV, a CNN and FOX affiliate in San Francisco. In 2007, she was awarded a Kaiser Family Foundation Broadcast Internship in Health Reporting. Prior to working at KTVU-TV, Ansari worked as an investigative field producer for WDIV-TV in Detroit, Michigan. She began her journalist career at WXYZ-TV in Detroit, Michigan, where she interned as an assistant health and science producer. Prior to this, Ansari was an adjunct professor at the Henry Ford Community College, Oakland Community College and Wayne County Community College where she taught college courses in biology, anatomy, and physiology. Ansari earned a B.S. in microbiology and sociology from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in biology from Purdue University. She is fluent in Farsi and proficient in Spanish. Ansari will be reporting on the environment at CNN for her Metcalf Diversity Fellowship.

Hamida Kinge Next American City, Philadelphia, PA

Hamida Kinge has been press and marketing manager at Brooklyn Arts Exchange since relocating to New York City from Philadelphia in 2006. For seven years (1999-2006), she was a contributing writer for Philadelphia City Paper, reporting on everything from the African immigrant and refugee community to local hip-hop music superstars The Roots. Kinge has also contributed to music/culture magazines such as London's Straight No Chaser and the L.A.-based URB. From 2002-2006, she was publicist and subsequently marketing manager at Philadelphia's first interdisciplinary performing arts center, Painted Bride Art Center. Kinge received a B.A. in English literature from Temple University in 1998. She will fulfill her Metcalf reporting fellowship with Next American City.

Michelle Ma The Seattle Times, Seattle, WA

Michelle Ma is an environment, health and social issues reporter for The Daily Triplicate in Crescent City, California. She covers environmental issues that include local harbor issues, fishing, river and lagoon restoration, invasive species, redwoods, and tsunami preparedness. She has held reporting internships at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Minnesota, The Oregonian in Portland, Oregon, and the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She took part in the Chips Quinn Scholars program and an Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources fellowship. Ma received a B.S. in journalism and international studies from Northwestern University in 2007. Ma will be reporting at The Seattle Times for her Metcalf Diversity Fellowship.

Brentin Mock The American Prospect, Washington, DC

Brentin Mock was most recently a staff writer for the Intelligence Report magazine published by Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama. He was a staff writer for the Pittsburgh City Paper newsweekly from 2002 to 2006. He received the National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Investigative Reporting Award for magazines in 2008 and was a finalist for the same award in 2007. He and the Intelligence Report staff were awarded the 2007 UTNE In-Depth/Investigative Reporting Award from the UTNE Independent Press for their coverage of race, immigration and hate organizations. Mock received a B.A. in English and African studies from the University of Pittsburgh in 2002. Mock will be covering the environment for his Metcalf Diversity Fellowship with The American Prospect.

Bina Venkataraman The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

Bina Venkataraman is reporting on the science desk of The New York Times as a James Reston Reporting Fellow. She was an Asian American Journalists' Association reporting fellow at The Christian Science Monitor in 2007 and a correspondent for The Boston Globe in 2006. Prior to that, she interned with The Burlington Free Press and was a Princeton Writing Fellow in Hanoi. She is an active volunteer, is fluent in Spanish and speaks French conversationally. Venkataraman received a B.A. in international relations from Brown University in 2002 and a Master's in public policy from Harvard University in 2008. Venkataraman will be reporting on the science desk of The Boston Globe for her Metcalf Diversity Fellowship.

2007 Fellows
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Julia Kumari Drapkin PRI's The World and WGBH, Boston, MA
Ambar Espinoza Minnesota Public Radio, MN
Natalie Garcia The Providence Journal, Providence, RI
Ngoc Nguyen The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, CA
MA Shumin Talk of the Nation: Science Friday (NPR),
New York, NY
Julie Varughese Times Union, Albany, NY

2006 Fellows & Media Hosts
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Meghna Chakrabarti WBUR, Boston, MA
Claudine Ko NOVA Science Television, Boston, MA
Michelle J. Lee The Providence Journal, Providence, RI
Jori K. Lewis PRI's The World and WGBH, Boston, MA
Autumn Lily Spanne The Standard-Times, New Bedford, MA
Moises Velasquez-Manoff Christian Science Monitor, Boston, MA

Brandie Jefferson

Brandie Jefferson covered science-based environmental issues, especially those that concern urban areas, under the mentorship of Peter B. Lord, environment writer, at The Providence Journal for her Metcalf fellowship.

Jefferson had dreams of being a scientist until she discovered a desire to understand where science fits in society, in the past, today, and in the future. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a BA in history and philosophy of science, she moved to Rhode Island and earned her MA in print journalism from Boston University.

She worked at The Providence Journal as a Chips Quinn Scholar, won the Metcalf fellowship, and was subsequently hired as a reporter for the Associated Press in Boston. She later returned to The Providence Journal. In the future, Jefferson would like to freelance, making it possible for her to write small, local news items as well as in-depth, magazine features of national and international importance.

Ayana Meade

Ayana Meade reported on the environment for WBUR radio in Boston for her fellowship.

After graduating from Fordham University with a BS in psychology, she began her career in journalism at John Wiley and Sons, the scientific publisher. While working as an editorial assistant, Meade contributed articles to Inside R&D, a newsletter that covers emerging trends in science and technology. During her time at Wiley, she completed a Master's degree in publishing management from New York University in 2004.

She worked at IBM as worldwide market intelligence website staff writer, freelanced for the online publication, the JC Report, and produced her own cable TV show covering fashion, called "Fashion Informer".

Meade's passion for environmental issues has led her back to science journalism through the Metcalf Institute Environmental Reporting Fellowship.

Scott Lowe

Scott Lowe reported for The Providence Journal in Providence, RI and wrote more than 20 articles on many environmental issues, including invasive species, wildlife legislation and open space.

Before he began his work at the Journal, Lowe studied environmental sciences for four weeks with Dr. Peter August, Professor of Landscape Ecology, URI, and Director of the Coastal Institute; Dr. John Merrill, Professor of Oceanography, GSO; and Dr. Roger LeBrun, Carnegie Professor of Life Sciences, URI.

Prior to the fellowship, Lowe was a reporter at the University Daily Kansan, the Lawrence Journal-World, and the Prince George Gazette. A native of Virginia Beach, VA, he earned a BA in English from Morehouse College in Atlanta and a Master's in journalism from the University of Kansas. Since his Metcalf fellowship, Lowe has freelanced, taught, and been a writer for Old Dominion University and Norfolk State University.

Caroline Rodriguez

Caroline Rodriguez learned radio production at NPR-member station, WRNI, in Providence, Rhode Island, with Executive Producer Mark Degon, and wrote and produced radio features. Her stories included the declining health of Narragansett Bay, urban development, and fisheries.

Rodriguez began her Metcalf Institute fellowship at URI with guidance from Dr. John King, Professor of Oceanography, GSO and Dr. Arthur Gold, Professor, Natural Resources Science, URI. Rodriguez studied a wide array of environmental topics ranging from estuarine ecology to biotechnology and climate change. In July 2003, she was presented with a unique opportunity to accompany a team of scientists on the GSO research vessel Endeavor. The purpose of the expedition was to research the role of zooplankton grazers in harmful algal bloom dynamics.

Rodriguez freelanced for the Ithaca Journal, Ithaca Times, and Elmira Star-Gazette and was the arts and entertainment editor at the Ithaca Times. She received a BA in music and a minor in writing from Ithaca College in 2001. After her fellowship, Rodriguez was accepted to the Master's degree program in Environmental Science at Brown University.

Edward Ortiz

Edward Ortiz was a Metcalf Fellow at The Providence Journal and worked with Peter B. Lord, Environment Writer, and Jean Plunkett, Assistant City Editor. Ortiz wrote more than 70 articles there, covering global warming, fish kills, air pollution, and water management.

Dr. John King, Professor of Oceanography, GSO, and Dr. Arthur Gold, Professor, Natural Resources Science, URI, mentored Ortiz during his independent study at URI.

Prior to working at The Providence Journal, Ortiz was a scriptwriter for the Academy of Television of Arts and Sciences, a social justice columnist for, and a reporter at the North Adams Transcript and Boston Globe. He was a feature writer for the Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, Mass. Ortiz received a BA in film from San Francisco University in 1990 and an MFA in dramatic writing from New York University in 1998.

Suzannah Gonzales

Suzannah Gonzales was Metcalf Institute's first Environmental Reporting Fellow. She worked at NPR-member station WRNI, Providence, Rhode Island, where she wrote and produced 11 radio features, covering biodiversity, lead poisoning and public health risks in the environment.

Dr. John King, Professor of Oceanography, GSO, and Dr. Roger LeBrun, Carnegie Professor of Life Sciences, URI, worked with Gonzales during her four weeks of independent study at the University of Rhode Island.

A two-year reporting intern at The Providence Journal, Gonzales came to the fellowship with experience at the Washington Post, Newsweek Interactive, and Voice of America. She received a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago in 1998. Following her Metcalf fellowship, Gonzales was a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times and received a Master's degree at the University of Texas, Austin, and is currently a staff writer and podcaster at Austin American-Statesman.

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March 24, 2011