Individuals who are interested
in studying environmental journalism may
choose from the following list of
communications programs and courses
offered by American universities.
Antioch University New England publishes annually Whole Terrain, a nationally renowned journal which explores emerging ecological and social issues from the perspective of practitioners. Each issue's specific theme examines the relationship between an evocative social topic and the environment, attracting renowned writers widely recognized for their contributions to nature literacy and environmental awareness as well as novice authors with unique perspectives to offer. The journal is distributed to an extensive national network. Whole Terrain internships and work-study positions offer hands-on publishing experience to students interested in writing, editing, and marketing.
Inquire via email or contact Chair of the Editorial Board, Rowland Russell,(603) 283-2377.
Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI) is offering a one-year certificate program on writing about innovation and
sustainability, scheduled to begin fall of 2008 in the Seattle area.
The program focuses on
communicating with general audiences about new technologies for socially
responsible and environmentally sustainable practices. Applications for
the program are now being accepted.
The course of study is geared for students who are considering a
one-year program in science writing or technical communication and who
want to gain news writing skills while developing a special focus on
innovative technologies, environmental issues, and sustainable business
practices. Courses cover news, feature, and creative nonfiction writing
along with an internship experience and portfolio project. Students may
apply for the year-long program or they may enroll for individual courses
on a space-available basis. For more information about the writing program, contact Deborah
Illman, (206) 523-7218.
Boston University's Center for Science and Medical Journalism
offers a master's degree in science
journalism in which environmental
reporting plays a critically important
part. For more information, contact the
program coordinator, Maureen
Clark, (617) 353-4239.
The Graduate School of
Journalism at the University of
California, Berkeley offers classes in
environmental journalism. Contact Orville
Schell, (510) 642-5492.
University, Northridge's Department of Journalism
offers a course in environmental
reporting for seniors and graduate
students. Contact Lawrence
Schneider, (818) 677-3135.
Central Michigan University's
Department offers a course in
environmental journalism, Science and
Environmental Reporting. This course is
taught on an occasional basis; next
offering is in spring 2002. Contact John
Palen, (989) 774-7874.
Clarkson University offers a
bachelor's degree in Biology,
Chemistry, Environmental Science and
Hygiene-Environmental Toxicology, and
Technical Communications. Contact Bill
Karis, (315) 268-6484 or Clarkson
University (800) 527-6577.
The University of
Colorado at Boulder's Center for Environmental
Journalism offers an M.A. in
environmental journalism. In addition,
the university's School of Journalism
and Mass Communication is home to the
Ted Scripps Fellowships in
Environmental Journalism. Contact Len
Ackland, (303) 492-0459.
Colorado State University's
Department of Journalism
and Technical Communication offers
an undergraduate and graduate course in
environmental journalism. Contact Kathy
Reese, Program Assistant, (970)
491-3003 or Garrett
O'Keefe, Chair, (970)
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism cooperate in offering a dual master's degree program in Earth & Environmental
Science Journalism (E&ESJ). The goal of the program is to train graduates who have both the scientific background and the communications skills to inform the public about discoveries, processes, insights, and controversies in earth and environmental sciences, in a manner that is simultaneously interesting and accurate. Hands-on training in broadcast and new media journalism is available, as well as traditional print journalism. Graduates receive an M.S. in Journalism plus an M.A. in Earth and Environmental Science. Contact Kim
Kastens, (845) 365-8836, or Marguerite
Holloway, (212) 854-9194.
In addition, the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University offers a one-year Master of Arts degree program with a specialization in science journalism. The 9-month M.A. program is designed for experienced journalists with a proven mastery of journalistic skills, as demonstrated by his or her writing, resume or academic career. The course of study in the science concentration covers: in physics, the importance of scale and relativity; in the earth sciences, how systems work; medicine and health; the processes of innovation and discovery and history of science. Generous tuition scholarships funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are available for the 2009-10 academic year. Deadline to apply: January 12, 2009. Contact Monica Burnette, Assistant Director, Admissions & Financial Aid, (212) 854-6344.
Cornell University's Department of Communication
offers opportunities for undergraduates
and graduates in environmental, science
and health communication through
several courses. Jim Shanahan, who
teaches Communication and the
Environment, said "The Department of
Communication at Cornell looks at
environmental issues from a variety of
perspectives. Our approach emphasizes a
theoretical grounding in communication
theory, applied to practical problem
solving for environmental and
scientific issues." The concentration
includes courses in the communication
process, applications, science and
environmental communication, and
introductory and advanced environmental
science and policy. Contact Jim
Shanahan, (607) 255-8058.
The George Washington
University Green University
Initiative's course catalogue
contains more than 175
multi-disciplinary, undergraduate and
graduate courses with an environmental
focus. The program is a multi-school
and multi-department effort to advance
environmental values and practices
through research, curricula,
operations, and outreach. Contact Mark
Starik, (202) 994-5621.
University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign's Department of Human
and Community Development offers an Agricultural and Environmental Communications and Education concentration, with environmental topics as one of the focus areas, within the
Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) Communications program. Contact Dr. Gerald
Walter, (217) 333-9429.
Indiana University's School of Journalism
offers a joint graduate degree with the
university's School of Public &
Environmental Affairs. Students earn a
dual Master of Arts and Master of
Science in Environmental Science.
Ketcham, (812) 855-1701.
Lehigh University's Science and
Environmental Writing Program
offers a B.A. in Journalism/Science Writing. The
program is interdisciplinary, requiring
a minimum of four courses in science or
engineering plus a core set of
journalism courses and four courses in
science and environmental journalism.
Contact Sharon Friedman, (610)
Marquette University's College of
Communication offers a graduate
course (Journalism 173) in "Science, Health and
Environmental Communication." The course is for
advanced undergraduates and graduate
students. A master's-level specialization in
"Science, Health and Environmental Communication"
is also available. This specialization provides
master of arts students with the theory, research
and fundamental professional knowledge needed to
(1) understand the processes, roles and effects
of communicating about science, health and the
environment interpersonally, in organizations and
in society, and (2) to apply this understanding to
the task of communicating technical, specialized
information to a variety of audiences, especially
non-expert, lay audiences. Contact Bob
Griffin, (414) 288-6787.
Michigan State University,
home of the Knight Center for
Environmental Journalism, offers
courses in environmental journalism at
both the undergraduate and graduate
levels. Students may earn bachelor's,
master's and doctoral degrees in
journalism or mass media with a
specialty in environmental journalism.
Among the specialized courses offered
are environmental reporting, health and
science writing, investigative
reporting, nature reporting
and computer-assisted reporting, as well as seminars in specialized
topics, such as reporting about land use issues, wilderness issues and
environmental, health and science journalism. A specialized master's degree program in environmental journalism, launched in the fall of 2007, is offered by the MSU School of Journalism. The new program includes courses in environmental reporting, environmental science and policy and an internship in science and environmental journalism.
The admissions deadline for fall 2009 is February 1, 2009. A number of graduate assistantships and scholarships will be awarded to members of the incoming class. The Knight Center for Environmental Journalism will offer assistantships to students who can help design and edit EJ, the Knight Center's award-winning magazine; assist in developing a television program on the environment; and other Knight Center projects.
The center is the home of
the Meeman Archives, a collection of
more than 10,000 newspaper articles
on environmental topics; and a
library of 2,500 books, videotapes
and audiotapes dealing with
environmental and environmental
journalism topics. The center's faculty, staff and
publish a magazine, EJ; an electronic newsletter, EJ Update; resource guides in
environmental journalism; videotapes; and moderates listservs for
environmental journalism students and educators and for Mexican environmental journalists. The center also conducts research on environmental journalism.
The center is directed by
Jim Detjen, a former award-winning
environmental reporter for The
Philadelphia Inquirer who holds the
Knight Chair in Journalism. The assistant director is Dave Poulson, a
environmental reporter for Booth Newspapers. The
center organizes an annual week-long
training environmental journalism
training institute; shorter workshops
on nature photography, covering urban
sprawl and computer-assisted
reporting; and brings many prominent
speakers and environmental experts to
campus. The Knight Center organized
the 10th annual conference of the
Society of Environmental Journalists
held on the MSU campus in October
2000. The center has also organized
workshops on environmental
journalism in Russia, China, Mexico, South Africa, England and many other countries. Contact Jim
Detjen, (517) 353-9479; Dave Poulson, (517) 432-5417; or Barb
Miller, assistant to the Knight
Chair, (517) 432-1415.
In September 2003, the University of
Minnesota began offering a Master of Arts in Health
Journalism. This unique new program,
intended for journalists or public health
professionals, includes one course on
environmental health issues, and can be
completed in only 12 months. The public
health professionals take mostly journalism
courses and the journalists take mostly public
health courses. In addition, they take some
courses in common. The University of Minnesota
School of Journalism and Mass Communication and
its School of Public Health provide rich
resources for this program, not to mention
the Association of Health Care Journalists,
which is also located in the Journalism school.
Contact Melinda Voss,
Missouri-Columbia's School of Journalism
offers a Masters of Arts in
environmental reporting within its
schools of journalism and natural
resources. This program requires a
sequence of courses in basic
journalism, science writing,
investigative reporting, and
environmental writing — as well as
natural resources science. The goal is
to provide students with a background
in both the science that underlies
environmental issues and in news media
studies, writing, and reporting. The
combined program gives students the
option to do an M.A. thesis or a
professional project. All students also
receive commercial daily newspaper or
television experience. Contact Rob
Logan, (573) 882-4714.
The University of Montana's
School of Journalism
offers one graduate environmental
journalism course per year, and hopes
to develop more courses with its
environmental studies and biology
programs. Contact Clemens
Work, (406) 243-2160.
Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Agricultural
Sciences and Natural Resources
offers a Bachelors of Science in
agricultural journalism. Contact Jim
Randall, (402) 472-3035.
Nevada, Reno began offering a three-semester Interactive Environmental Journalism M.A. program in 2006. The program, at the Reynolds School of Journalism, is for students who have a journalism degree and/or experience in professional journalism and who want to help invent the next forms of journalism.
Application deadline for fall 2009: March 16, 2009. Contact Donica Mensing, (775) 784-4198.
New York University's Department of Journalism offers a 16-month program
in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting.
Founded in 1982, SHERP is one of the oldest programs
of its kind in the country. (The program was known as 'SERP' until 2006, when the 'H' was added to acknowledge the program's longtime focus on health reporting.) The small group
(typically 12-15) of admitted students takes a
cohesive curriculum that includes courses in print
and broadcast reporting (including online), writing
workshop, press ethics, current topics in science,
science writing, medical writing and environmental
reporting as well as professional internships.
Leading journalists who cover science, medical
and environmental beats in the New York area serve
as instructors and guest lecturers. Admission is
highly competitive; an undergraduate or graduate
degree in science is helpful but not essential.
Graduates receive an M.A. in journalism and a
certificate in science and environmental reporting.
Contact Director Bill
Burrows, or Associate Director Dan Fagin, (212)
Northern Arizona University's
Journalism Program offers an
emphasis in environmental communication for the
bachelor of science degree in journalism. Courses
in environmental communication include: 1)
Environmental Communication; 2) Environmental
Perspectives on Communication Arts; and 3)
Environmental Research and Reporting.
Opportunities for internships in the areas
of environmental communication and environmental
journalism are also available. Contact Lea J.
Parker, (928) 523-4661.
Northwestern University's Medill School of
Journalism offers a graduate course
in medical, science and environmental reporting.
Students take a companion seminar that includes
a hands-on laboratory experience and may also
cover related beats in other Medill graduate courses.
Leff, (312) 503-0768.
Annenberg's School of Journalism at the University of Southern California will again offer a unique 10-month M.A. program in specialized journalism, beginning Summer 2009, for mid-career journalists. Students may receive training and an advanced degree in any one of five specialized topics: science, religion, immigration, education and urban ecology.
In addition to the journalism classes taught at USC Annenberg, students will take courses with faculty from USC's other highly regarded academic units, including the Rossier School of Education, School of Policy, Planning and Development, and College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Applications will be accepted January 2-March 2, 2009. Contact Michael Parks, (213) 740 0638.
University of Tennessee's
School of Journalism and Electronic Media
offers a Science Communication Program
composed of five courses — environmental writing, science and medical writing, science writing as literature, risk communication, and health communication. All five courses can be taken for graduate or undergraduate credit and can provide a concentration for a B.S., M.S, or Ph.D. degree.
Littmann, (865) 974-8156.
Texas A&M University offers
an M.S. degree in science and
technology journalism. Students select
courses in both science and science
journalism. Contact Barbara
Gastel, (979) 845-6887.
Huxley College of the
Environment at Western
Washington University is one of the
oldest environmental journalism
programs in the United States where
students earn an undergraduate degree
in Environmental Journalism. Contact Kathy
Johnson, (360) 650-2817.
Wisconsin-Madison's School of Journalism and
Mass Communication offers a
professional master's degree that
allows individuals to construct their
own science or environmental
communication programs. The school also
offers both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees for
those interested in scholarship
training. Contact Sharon
Dunwoody, (608) 263-3389.
The Directory of Science Communication Courses and Programs, an ongoing project of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a searchable database of university science communication offerings, from physics to biology to the social sciences to environmental sciences to medicine and health.
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