Author Archives: Marie Orttenburger

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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Knight Center director discusses African perspective on environment, U.S. election

By Kevin Lavery
This story originally appeared on Current State and is republished here with permission.

The world is watching as Donald Trump prepares to become the 45th President of the United States. As he selects his team of advisors, many are waiting to see what policies will emerge under Trump’s leadership. Environmental regulation is just one issue.
A year ago, the U-S joined more than 100 nations in signing the Paris Agreement, which sets forth actions to slow the effects of climate change. Now, some analysts believe a Trump administration may be poised to withdraw U.S. participation in the agreement. Such an action could significantly roll back greenhouse gas emissions standards.
Current State talks with the chair of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University. Eric Freedman is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist who formerly wrote for the Detroit News. He’s recently returned from an environmental journalism workshop in Kenya, an area of the world that’s keenly watching America’s next moves.
Image: Scott Pohl

Lake Berryessa: A beautiful landscape quietly suffering

Reporter Marie Orttenburger attended the “Mercury Pollution, Wildfire and Fault Line Impacts on Lake Berryessa” tour at the Society of Environmental Journalists 26th Annual Conference. This podcast is her reflection on the experience.
I’m Marie Orttenburger. I recently traveled to Sacramento for the Society of Environmental Journalist’s 26th annual conference. Part of what’s cool about the conference is its inclusion of tours of the host location. You pick the trip most akin to your interests — based either on subject matter or how you’d like to spend your day. Continue reading

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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