Institute shining example of environmental reporting

By Rhonda J. Miller
PBN Staff Writer

The escalating international concern over climate change has increased the demand for scientific information on the issue, along with a clear understanding of the impacts on society and the environment. More

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Institute shining example of environmental reporting

COURTESY METCALF INSTITUTE
SHINING BRIGHT: Sunshine Menezes, executive director of Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting, said the institute wanted to partner with news organizations that would give it local credibility.

By Rhonda J. Miller
PBN Staff Writer

Posted 10/7/13

The escalating international concern over climate change has increased the demand for scientific information on the issue, along with a clear understanding of the impacts on society and the environment.

The mission of the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting is to provide training for journalists so they improve their skills in covering science-based topics. Sunshine Menezes recognizes the critical timing element in the need for accurate, understandable coverage of climate change and how that converges with Metcalf Institute’s mission and resources.

The action sparked by that convergence is to expand a highly successful program that has been bringing journalists from around the world to Rhode Island and take it on the road.

Metcalf’s first out-of-state climate change seminar was held in September in Seattle, with additional locations on the agenda.

PBN: What influenced the creation of this new on-the-road phase of programs by Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting?

MENEZES: We have this very effective training model and we’ve been wanting to take it on the road for some time. For us, since we are funded by grants and donations, it’s always just a matter of finding the money to support this kind of thing. We received a grant this year from the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment. It’s a four-year grant and it supports us going to these different regions of the country and developing these one-to-two day seminars that look at the regional impacts of climate change.

PBN: What’s the structure of the new traveling program? How is it different from the seminars Metcalf has been doing at URI for 15 years, like the weeklong science-immersion workshop for journalists and one-or-two day science seminars for reporters?

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