Category Archives: Classes

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Although the lab course numbers remain the same, topics change semester to semester. Check MSU’s schedule of courses for the latest information. The three-credit courses can be taken more than once.

Completion requirements for the graduate 800 level courses are greater than those of the undergraduate 400 level courses.
 

JRN 472/872 Lab Environmental Reporting

This course gives studCarp/jawsents hands on experience producing environmental news stories. Class-produced stories meeting professional standards are published on the center’s award-winning Great Lakes Echo non-profit news service. Students have analyzed the ecological footprint of Spartan Stadium and the pollution inputs into the Red Cedar River. They have waded in rivers to examine macroinvertebrates, analyzed and mapped data and explored creative reader engagement techniques such as this one modeled after Jaywalking on the Tonight Show or this one that gives clues to polluted sites. Others include the Great Lakes Smackdown and the popular carp bombs. The course offers a great way to pick up clips and experience. Story types vary by student interest and skill but can encompass text, audio, photography, video and creative reader engagement strategies. Topics vary semester to semester and students can take the course more than once and for variable credit.

In the fall of 2013 the course is called News eye in the clear sky. Students will shoot video from an aerial drone while exploring the exciting opportunities and thorny ethical and legal challenges of new ways of perceiving the environment with satellite imagery, drones and other remote sensing techniques. And they will look at some of the newsworthy aspects of the other civilian applications of such technology.
 

JRN 473/873 Seminar in environmental journalism

The course focuses on news media reporting of environmental, scientific and health issues. The seminar is mostly guided by the following question: How can journalists deal with scientific uncertainty and the inherent complexities of environmental and health issues? The discussions cover topics such as: journalists’ role conceptions, journalistic norms, environmental discourses in popular culture, use of expert sources, reporters’ beliefs and perceptions, organizational constraints, and the gap between journalistic and scientific cultures, among others. We discuss historical and current issues where science has played a central role in their media reporting. These issues include, among others: energy, smoking, climate change, ozone layer hole, GMOs, hydraulic fracturing, population growth, and natural disasters.
 

Elsewhere within the School of Journalism

Students are encouraged to explore environmental reporting in the context of other journalism classes such as feature writing, multi-media production, broadcast, Capital News Service and public affairs classes. Instructors of such classes often collaborate with the Knight Center.
 

Elsewhere at MSU

Both graduate and undergraduate students interested in environmental reporting are encouraged to broaden their knowledge of environmental science and policy by exploring related coursework at MSU. This is required of undergraduates seeking an environmental concentration and of masters students pursuing the environmental option.

Among the Knight Center affiliated programs at MSU are the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment for undergraduates and the university’s Environmental Science and Policy Program for graduate students.
  

 

Water art: photographer chases storms, ice to document changing planet’s beauty

Camille Seaman

Camille Seaman

By Kate Habrel

Environmental photographer Camille Seaman saw the sky rotating when she worked as a storm chaser.

“It was so visceral,” she said. “I looked up and for a second, I was no longer on the planet. Suddenly it was like I was in a nebula watching a star being formed. And as soon as I felt that, I was back.”

This deep connection to nature has been present Seaman’s entire life. Her heritage as a Shinnecock Indian informs and inspires her photography in a powerful way.

Seaman recently visited Michigan State University, where her exhibition “All My Relations: An Indigenous Perspective on Landscape” is displayed at the MSU Museum until September. It features photographs from two of her extended projects, “Melting Away” and “The Big Cloud.”

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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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Veteran journalists visit Knight Center

By Kate Habrel and Ian Wendrow

Longtime journalists John Hughes of Bloomberg News in Washington and Margie Bauman of the Cordova Times in Alaska and Fisherman’s News spoke with Knight Center students on recent visits to MSU.

John Hughes of Bloomberg News in Washington

John Hughes of Bloomberg News in Washington

Hughes, of Bloomberg First Word breaking-news desk in Washington, shared his experiences working in journalism, where he’s covered a broad range of events from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to the “Miracle on the Hudson” airplane landing in New York City

His career included a stint at the Associated Press, when he spent two years in Detroit covering the auto industry and other topics and two years in Washington, where his beat included such natural resources issues as salmon and forestry.

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EJ students visit Ontario environmental sites

Environmental journalism students at the Canadian customs plaza construction site in Windsor for the Gordie Howe Memorial International Bridge. Image: John Parent, Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority

Environmental journalism students at the Canadian customs plaza construction site in Windsor for the Gordie Howe Memorial International Bridge. Image: John Parent, Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority

Knight Center director Eric Freedman’s environmental reporting class spent two days in Sarnia and Windsor to give students Canadian perspectives on major issues – perspectives that don’t always mirror U.S. concerns – and to generate ideas for stories they’re writing for Great Lakes Echo and in future courses and their careers.

In preparation for the trip, Andrew Hupfeau, the Consulate General’s environmental policy expert in Detroit, came to campus the previous week to background the students on the history of U.S.-Canadian environmental cooperation in the Great Lakes Basin and the Canadian government’s position on key environmental issues. Continue reading