By David Poulson
One of the delights of Michigan State University’s Fate of the Earth conference is the dinner for organizers and speakers the night before.
I always angled to get a seat next to Barbara Sawyer-Koch, a former MSU trustee, who with her late husband Donald Koch, an MSU philosophy professor, endowed this annual conference on sustainability.
It was their support that allowed MSU’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism to help bring top-flight environmental journalists to speak at the event and later meet with our students.
Barb, who died March 6, was an excellent dinner companion. Her interests were far ranging – music, travel, sustainability, international students and a deep love for MSU. They intersected – she spoke knowledgeably about the impact of climate change that she noticed in her travels. And while we did not know each other well, she thoughtfully remembered to accommodate my hearing deficit during those noisy dinners. Continue reading
Regardless of which presidential candidate takes the oath of office next Jan. 20 and regardless of which party controls Congress for the next two years, the federal government has serious environmental issues to address in Southeast Michigan.
To examine some of those issues for Crain’s Detroit Business, Knight Center director Eric Freedman interviewed the Canadian Consul General in Detroit, the presidents of the Michigan Manufacturers Association and Michigan Environmental Council, the director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor.
Here’s his story.
Knight Center Associate Director David Poulson was cited recently in an article on expanding possibilities for STEM students.
His advice on explaining research: “You only need 2 sentences. Tell people the most interesting thing you do, then tell them why it’s important.”
The article was written by Ellie Louson of MSU’s Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology. Poulson is a Hub Fellow this year. He and Louson were on a recent science communication panel put on for MSU’s Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program.
Two Knight Center faculty presented some of their latest research at the recent Conference on Communication and the Environment at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
Knight Center director Eric Freedman and University of St. Thomas Professor Mark Neuzil.
In one paper, center director Eric Freedman examined the state of environmental journalism in the Republic of Georgia, where he spent the fall 2018 semester teaching journalism at Caucasus University and conducting research through the Fulbright Program.
Based on interviews with journalists, representatives of environmental and multinational organizations, scientists and other experts, the paper identified major barriers to effective environmental journalism in the country: the environment’s lack of priority among news media owners and politicians; staff shortages at news organizations; journalists’ inadequate substantive knowledge about the environment; and the costs of coverage.
Freedman’s second conference paper examined the National Park Service’s media strategy and techniques after it announced plans to translocate wolves from the U.S. and Canadian mainland to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. His coauthors are Professor Mark Neuzil of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Alexander Killian, a Ph.D. student at Boise State University who earned his master’s degree in fisheries and wildlife at MSU.