Applications Open for 20th Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists

Hirotsugu Uchida, Department Chair and Associate Professor
Hirotsugu Uchida, Department Chair and Associate Professor

The University of Rhode Island’s (URI) Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting is now accepting applications for its 20th Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists scheduled to hold from June 10 to 15, 2018.

It is scheduled to hold at one of the premier oceanographic research institutions in Rhode Island which is the URI Graduate School of Oceanography. The workshop is open to journalists who have knowledge and context to bring accurate, science-based stories about hurricanes, hazardous drought conditions, coastal storms, flooding and other extreme impacts caused by climate change.

The Metcalf Institute Workshop provides journalists with hands-on experience and expertise from leading scientists and policymakers who are working to project the impacts of climate change, identifying adaptation measures, and investigating the most effective ways to communicate these challenges. It aims to provide journalists with the tools, resources and understanding they require to investigate and break stories on important environmental issues.

While it will significantly focus on local and regional U.S. examples, the workshop will also address topics of global significance. It will mostly focus on the science and policies underlying globally significant issues from a U.S. perspective. The workshop will provide an intense week of learning in the field, classroom and lecture hall.

Ten journalists will be awarded fellowships to attend the workshop which include tuition, room and board, and travel support, thanks to the generosity of private donors and Metcalf Institute’s endowment. This covers double-occupancy rooming at a nearby Hampton Inn, tuition, all ground transportation and meals. The travel support paid after the program amounts to US$500 for U.S.-based journalists and up to US$1,000 for internationally-based journalists. Although the Metcalf Institute receives applications from journalists worldwide, due to funding limitations, only two of the ten fellowships will be awarded to journalists based outside of the U.S. Journalists applying from outside the U.S. must provide written assurance that they have full travel funds and can obtain the appropriate visa.

The Fellowship is designed for early- to mid-career, full-time journalists from all media types who are looking to start or expand their coverage of the environment. Applicants must demonstrate a need for training in topics relating to climate change and extreme weather in coastal environments.

Details which can help in checking eligibility status are available here.

Metcalf Fellows so far have represented all media types and come from a wide variety of large and small news organizations ranging from local and regional newspapers and broadcast outlets to online, national and international outlets such as The New York Times, The Verge, Reuters, National Geographic, PRI’s The World, Marketplace, The Associated Press and CNN.

Metcalf Fellows can expect to:

  • Receive a comprehensive overview of climate science and global change
  • Gain a deeper understanding of how scientists conduct research and handle scientific uncertainty
  • Develop the skills and confidence to translate the language of scientific journals for news audiences
  • Build confidence in their abilities to discern the credibility of scientific sources
  • Board a research vessel to study the impact of rising water temperatures on ecosystems and fish populations
  • Visit wetlands, shorelines, and coastal communities to better understand adaptive management efforts and solutions in response to sea level rise and coastal storms
  • Gain scientific background on the science of “attribution,” or how extreme weather events are tied to climate change
  • Discover new ways to write about climate change to build audience understanding and engagement
  • Cultivate new sources by interacting with leading researchers and policy experts in an informal, off-deadline atmosphere
  • Network and develop lasting relationships with journalists from around the globe

Metcalf Institute alumni hail from the U.S. and around the world, including Europe, Latin America, Egypt, India, South Africa, Israel, Pakistan, and China. Since its first workshop in 1999, the Institute has held more than 50 training programs for journalists, helping nearly 800 journalists cover the environment with greater accuracy and nuance.

The deadline for application for the 2018 Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists is February 12, 2018 by which time all the applications must be submitted.

Applicants can apply, review, complete and submit the application information necessary here.