Category Archives: Workshops

The Knight Center for Environmental Journalism organizes workshops to help journalists better report on the environment in the U.S. and abroad. Information about recent and upcoming conferences is posted here.

Photographer helps others eye how people shape the Earth

Eyes on EarthBy Natasha Blakely

Dennis Dimick

Dennis Dimick

Dennis Dimick has worked as a journalist and photographer and with students and schools.

But those achievements pale in comparison to his daughters, he said.

“All the work that I’ve been doing, magazine editing, coming to schools, trying to proselytize on these issues, I think that’s all very good and important,” Dimick said. “But I think the most important thing I’ve ever been able to do is produce two young, active, engaged future citizens of society.”

Dimick, the retired environment editor of National Geographic, recently visited Michigan State University to help produce more. He attended journalism classes as a guest, lectured, critiqued work and participated in a Q&A, all of that as part of his work with Eyes on Earth.

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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 or call 517-432-1415.

This event is part of the year of water festivities.


Scientists raise alarm over decline of invasive species in East African great lake

A fisherman carries two large Nile perch fish at Lihunda Beach in Lake Victoria on June 26, 2016. Image: Tonny Omondi

A fisherman carries two large Nile perch fish at Lihunda Beach in Lake Victoria on June 26, 2016. Image: Tonny Omondi

By Halima Abdallah

Editor’s note: Uganda-based reporter Halima Abdallah of The East African developed this story at an environmental journalism workshop led by Eric Freedman, director of MSU’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism which publishes Great Lakes Echo.

Will the commercial viability of Lake Victoria and its ecosystem be sustained? This is the question arising from re-emergence of low value native species like dagaa against dwindling stocks of high-value species like the Nile perch.

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Image: Mike Gifford, Flickr

Cultivating uncertainty through science reporting

Image: Mike Gifford, Flickr.

By Marie Orttenburger

SACRAMENTO – Science is integral to environmental reporting, but it’s also a source of the field’s biggest dilemmas.

Science reporters often find themselves crafting imperfect metaphors, navigating complex findings, trying not to overwhelm the reader with data. And they’re doing all of that while struggling to understand the science themselves.

The “EJ Reporting: Don’t Forget the Science” panel at the Society of Environmental Journalist’s recent 26th annual conference tackled this challenge.  The discussion, featuring science reporters Sarah Zielinski, Dan Fagin, Janet Raloff and Christopher Joyce, opened with some reassurance. 

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