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14th Annual Science Workshop for Journalists

Coastal Impacts: Global Change in Coastal Ecosystems
June 3-8, 2012
Narragansett, RI

Metcalf's weeklong workshop is held at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography, a leading marine science research campus. The program teams journalists with scientists and regulatory experts to work in the field, lab and at the conference table to consider research and policy on marine and coastal environmental issues.

The 14th Annual Science Immersion Workshop is a comprehensive, hands-on learning experience that gives journalists an opportunity to explore and understand the impacts of global change in coastal ecosystems. The fellows, selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, will learn how to analyze scientific data in and around Narragansett Bay and sharpen their investigative reporting skills at one of the nation's premier research institutions.

During the weeklong workshop, the Metcalf Fellows will:

  • Study the effects of hypoxia, or low levels of oxygen, in coastal waters that lead to fish kills and other habitat losses by taking measurements in the water column, from surface to seafloor.
  • Conduct a fisheries survey aboard the research vessel Cap'n Bert to study the impact of global change on sea life.
  • Study emerging contaminants, potentially harmful chemicals that are not currently monitored or regulated by the EPA, in Narragansett Bay.
  • Explore the impacts of rising sea levels on a salt marsh ecosystem by taking measurements and analyzing the data.
  • Learn data visualization techniques to display scientific information in a way that helps journalists communicate complex information more effectively.

The Metcalf workshop fellowships, which include room, board, tuition and some travel support, are open to professional journalists from all media.

Here's what the Ten Selected Fellows Hope to Gain from the Workshop

Michele W. Berger, associate editor, Audubon magazine in New York, NY
"This fellowship would be an invaluable way for me to tiptoe into scientific research surrounded by peers also trying to learn these crucial skills."

Mary Ann Bragg, Cape Cod Times in Hyannis, MA
"I bring a love of journalism, an interest in writing well and with innovation, a tendency to get my hands dirty and my feet wet on my beat and a desire to better understand and write about the natural world around me."

Grace Chua, The Straits Times in Singapore
"I'd like to understand how ecosystems work and what sort of role they play, physically, in climate change systems and also economically and politically."

Rosa Flores Dee, reporter for WDSU-TV in New Orleans, LA
"Getting selected for this fellowship will help me dive into an important issue here in Louisiana, coastal erosion and its impact on coastal ecosystems."

Robert S. Eshelman, Robert S. Eshelman, freelance reporter in Brooklyn, NY
"By participating in the Metcalf Institute's 14th Annual Science Immersion Workshop, I hope to achieve a better understanding of the impacts of climate change, water pollution, and overfishing on environments."

Stephanie May Joyce, Stephanie May Joyce, reporter for Unalaska Community Broadcasting in Unalaska, AK
"I want to become a better journalist. Attending this year's workshop will help maximize my ability to report on science that matters to Unalaska and Alaska."

Elaine M. Lembo, Elaine Lembo, deputy editor, Cruising World in Middletown, RI
"Admission to this workshop will help our staff continue to deliver this high-quality content to our community."

Marta Smigrowska, host of TV program, Eco Reporter on Polsat News in Warsaw, Poland
"The issues explored at the Metcalf workshops are very important to me because the next series of Eco Reporter will focus on river and marine water pollution and climate research on land and sea."

Matt Smith, news editor, CNN in Atlanta, GA
"I'm hoping the Metcalf program gives me the chance to extend my knowledge and use it to better explain the processes now shaping our world to our viewers."

Meera Subramanian, freelance reporter in West Barnstable, MA
"The Metcalf science fellowship can help me connect to scientists and learn my way around a lab so I can better analyze data I come across in my research."

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April 24, 2012