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IJNR Chosen to Conduct SEJ’s 2009 Post-Conference Tour
For the first time, the tour will be offered at no cost to participants
Madison, Wisconsin, June 18, 2009—The Institutes for Journalism & Natural
Resources, widely considered the premier organizer of expedition-style
journalism fellowships in North America, has agreed to conduct SEJ’s 2009
Since 1995, IJNR has successfully conducted more than 30 expedition-style
programs of professional development for reporters, feature writers,
editors, news directors and radio-television producers. The post-conference
tour, scheduled for Oct. 11-14, will focus on several newsworthy
destinations in the forested lake country of northern Wisconsin, just as
fall colors should be at or near their peak. Leading the program will be
IJNR president Frank Allen and Peter Annin, IJNR’s associate director, who
is also a co-chair of SEJ’s 2009 Annual Conference.
In a break from SEJ tradition, this year’s tour will be offered as a
competitive fellowship program instead of on a basis of first-come,
first-served. Journalists who are SEJ members in good standing and who are
registered to attend the 2009 SEJ conference in Madison will be eligible to
submit an application to IJNR. All eligible candidates will be considered
by IJNR for participation. In an unprecedented arrangement, IJNR will cover
all travel, lodging and meal costs for those journalists who are selected to
participate in this year’s post-conference tour.
From the pool of candidates, IJNR intends to select up to 20 journalists for
the trip. A description of the fellowship program, including detailed
application procedures and contact information, appears below.
Details and application instructions are posted on IJNR's website.
Themes will include:
- The Lake Country and Global Warming: How Far Will Water Levels Fall?
- Challenges of Atmospheric Monitoring in an Era of Climate Change
- Tensions in Wolf Country: Managing the Largest Regional Wolf Population in the Lower 48
- Rural Sprawl: Ecological Consequences of Shoreline and Deep Woods Development
- Outsmarting Exotics: Novel and Innovative Methods of Extirpating Aquatic Invasive Species
- Sustainable Practices in Tribal Forests: The Realities of a 180-year Harvest Rotation
- Prehistoric Comeback: Reviving Populations of the Mighty Lake Sturgeon
About the program:
IJNR, the Institutes for Journalism & Natural Resources, is inviting
applications for its Lake Country Institute, a four-day journey through
scenic sections of northern Wisconsin’s vacationland. This program is being
organized in collaboration with the Society of Environmental Journalists as
SEJ’s 2009 Post-Conference Tour. Water-related themes will unify the content
of this roving, field-based journalism program. This year’s fellowship, North Woods Fellowship for Journalists, will start and end in Madison, Wisconsin, and will begin immediately following
the SEJ Annual Conference.
Although the expedition will be based in Wisconsin, the content of the
program is designed to be relevant to journalists who work throughout the
Great Lakes region and beyond. The Lake Country Institute is a program of
learning and professional development, organized and led by journalists.
Fellowships will be awarded to up to 20 competitively selected reporters,
editors and producers (perhaps including one or two graduate students)—all
in pursuit of better, more informed coverage of natural resources and the
Lake Country Fellows will venture into the field with limnologists to
examine whether climate change is responsible for the historically low water
levels now apparent on many inland lakes. Journalists will see some
unprecedented attempts to remove exotic species from inland waters, and will
discuss the potential application of this field research over a wider area.
Journalists will also hear from wolf biologists charged with managing the
largest regional wolf population in the lower 48 states and then venture
into the woods for an after-hours howl. Fellows will examine the
consequences that shoreline and deep-woods development has had on thousands
of lakes and streams sprinkled throughout the lake country. During a visit
to the world-renowned Menominee Indian Reservation, journalists will hear
about the tribe’s unusual silviculture practice of harvesting trees on a
180-year ‘old-growth’ rotation. Journalists will also meet with leading
fisheries biologists who have worked to keep the Wisconsin lake sturgeon
population among the most robust in the world.
IJNR’s field programs are designed by journalists for journalists. Each
program emphasizes the importance of context and perspective while covering
issues of the environment, economic development, public health and rural
communities. IJNR encourages better reporting and storytelling in order to
increase public awareness and understanding of natural-resource issues.
IJNR Fellowships cover all field expenses, including meals, lodging,
chartered vehicles and excursion fees. In cases of hardship, a modest
stipend may be available for help with travel expenses to and from Madison,
Wisconsin—the program’s hub city. Newsrooms are asked to cover salaries
while participants are "on assignment" during the program, so that
journalists are not expected to use vacation days or compensatory time to
About the Lake Country staff: Peter Annin, the architect and leader of the
Lake Country Institute, is IJNR’s associate director and a former
Chicago-based correspondent for Newsweek. He is also the author of The Great
Lakes Water Wars, an award-winning book published in 2006 about water
conflicts in the Great Lakes region. Frank Edward Allen, IJNR’s President,
is a former bureau chief and environment editor for The Wall Street Journal.
He is the principal author of Matching the Scenery: Journalism’s Duty to the
North American West, published in 2003.
The Joyce Foundation is the primary sponsor of this post-conference program,
but IJNR also receives funding from more than 20 other organizations and 200
individual donors, representing a wide and balanced spectrum of interests
and viewpoints. IJNR insists on editorial independence in all of its
How to Apply:
Send a statement of interest (no longer than two pages), a current résumé of
work experience and educational background, a reference letter or
supervisor's endorsement, and four work samples to contact@IJNR.org.
Applications by email are preferred. Hard copy applications can be sent to:
IJNR Fellowship Selection Committee
P.O. Box 1996
Missoula, MT 59806
The application deadline for this program is August 10, 2009. Applications
must be received in Missoula by that date. Early applications are