Author Archives: davepoulson

New library guide for environmental reporting available for MSU students, faculty and staff

Eric Tans is Michigan State University's environmental sciences librarian. He holds a B.A. in English with minors in Environmental Studies and Sociology from Calvin College and a masters of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Originally from Anchorage, he enjoys outdoor activities and has a research interest in sustainable libraries.

Eric Tans is Michigan State University’s environmental sciences librarian. He holds a B.A. in English with minors in Environmental Studies and Sociology from Calvin College and a masters of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Originally from Anchorage, he enjoys outdoor activities and has a research interest in sustainable libraries.

By Eric Tans

The MSU Library supports teaching and research across campus with online research guides that simplify the search for information with links to databases, journals, books and websites.

I have created one on environmental reporting to support the School of Journalism’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism.

The guide divides content into subscription news sources, scholarly databases and journals, free online sources and library books. Each category appears in a separate box and provides links to helpful resources, although each serves a slightly different purpose.

The links in the subscription news sources and in the scholarly databases and journals boxes connect to fee-based news services and databases. But if you’re an MSU student or a faculty or staff member, don’t worry about the fee. The library subscribes to these services, making them available to you because of your MSU affiliation.

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Two high schools win journalism-environmental science grants from the Knight Center

The Knight Center is awarding $2,000 grants to two Michigan high schools for collaboration between journalism and environmental science classes.

The winning projects were selected in the center’s second statewide competition.

The Knight Center also has matched the schools with professional journalism mentors to work with the students and teachers for guidance and advice on the projects.

The grants go to:

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When science meets poetry

By Eric Freedman

Last summer, Knight Center Senior Associate Director Dave Poulson suggested that researchers
present their findings in haiku as a way to emphasize the importance of clear, concise writing
and avoidance of jargon.

I found that an intriguing idea, so I carried out a quick experiment with a class of about 20
doctoral and master’s students in MSU’s Environmental Science & Policy Program. Their
instructors, Professors Wei Zhang (Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences) and Adam Zwickle
(Criminal Justice) had invited me to lecture about science communication, and I seized the
opportunity.

In case you don’t remember what a haiku (俳句) is from your high school creative writing or
literature classes, it’s a short 3-line poem with a 5-7- 5 syllable structure and uses sensory
language to capture a feeling or image.

I gave the students this definition and four science-related examples from wikihow.com and
science thrillers.com: Continue reading

Knight Center hosts free Grand Rapids workshop on covering rivers

The Knight Center for Environmental Journalism will host a free one-day workshop on Saturday, April 1, for journalists about reporting on river issues as diverse as pollution, wetlands, habitat restoration, water recreation, shoreline development and dam removal.

“Covering the Grand River — Covering Any River” workshop is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the L.V. Eberhard Center on Grand Valley State University’s downtown Grand Rapids campus. It’s open to staff and freelance journalists in any media. Lunch is free. Enrollment is limited.

Presenters will be from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, GVSU’s Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute and Environmental Health News. A riverfront walking tour (rain or shine) will be led by the Grand Valley Metro Council’s director of environmental programs.

The Knight Center, which is part of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, held a similar workshop last year in Lansing that focused on covering drinking water in the aftermath of the Flint water crisis.

For information or to register, email Barb Miller at mille384@msu.edu or call 517-432-1415.

This event is part of the year of water festivities.

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