Institutes for Journalism & Natural Resources

Learning Expeditions 2013

IJNR learning expeditions help reporters and editors at all career stages to gain perspective and understanding and to become better storytellers. Mid-career, early-career and veteran reporters and editors from a diverse range of newspapers, magazines, broadcast operations and on-line news organizations are chosen to participate. Journalists working for smaller organizations, including tribal and ethnic news media, are encouraged to apply. IJNR fellowship awards cover the costs of meals, lodging, chartered bus and all other field activities during the expeditions. In addition, some travel stipends are available.

These fellowships are designed for reporters and editors who aspire to produce deeper, more explanatory news coverage of issues that affect growth, economic development, rural communities, natural resources and the

Funding for IJNR programs comes from a broad spectrum of charitable foundations, conservation and environment groups, state and federal government agencies, news-media groups, natural-resource companies and trade associations, as well as individual donors. (See IJNR's Supporters page.)

Please review How To Apply for details on selection criteria, application materials and costs.

Kalamazoo River Institute — Western Michigan

The Kalamazoo River Institute will cover issues including:

  • The Talmadge Creek oil spill of July 2010, the ongoing cleanup, and lessons learned from the first major spill of tar-sands crude on U.S. soil.
  • Implications of increased summer droughts predicted in a changing climate and how a region built on non-irrigated agriculture adapts
  • Nutrient runoff, non-point source pollution, and water quality
  • Algal blooms, low oxygen and invasive species in Midwest lakes
  • The Kalamazoo River's history of ruin and renewal
  • Institute to be based at Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station and take several trips throughout the watershed

View IJNR - 2013 Kalamazoo River Institute in a larger map

Crown of the Continent Institute — Montana's Rocky Mountain Front

June 26-30, 2013

The Crown of the Continent Institute will cover issues including:

  • Energy exploration and development
  • Use and ownership of land and subsurface rights, including private, state, federal, and tribal
  • Economic development and environmental protection
  • History of the Rocky Mountain front, and the region's aesthetic and cultural value
  • Changing realities in the region's ecosystems
  • This Institute will be based at the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch, and will include trips to Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Reservation

Mining Country Institute — Michigan's Upper Peninsula & Northern Wisconsin

August 20-24, 2013

Application deadline: July 9

How to Apply

The Mining Country Institute will cover issues including:

  • Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and hard-rock sulfide mining: What are they, how do they work, where are they happening, what are the pros and cons?
  • The backstory of a mining boom: environmental protection, economic growth, landowners' rights, and evolving communities
  • Native American lands and traditions caught in the mining crossfire
  • The politics of extraction: Wisconsin's attempts to hammer out a compromise on iron mine permitting
  • Citizen scientists and concerned communities begin monitoring air and water quality and environmental impacts on their own
  • This Institute will travel to mines, communities and reservations in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin