Team 2 Student

Katy Spence


A native of the Kansas prairie lands, Spence comes to the West with enthusiasm, fascination and a fresh perspective. “I have the great opportunity to approach my story with few preconceptions or biases. So many people are excited about the possibility of using beavers as a natural water mitigation strategy, but just as many think of them as pests. I'm grateful to be surrounded by knowledgeable, excited folks who can help me channel this fresh excitement in productive and coherent ways,” Spence said.

To produce her Crown Fellowship story Spence will use photography and writing skills that she’s cultivated since her time at Truman State University, where she earned a BA in English with minors in Biology and Photography. She has been published in the award-winning travel magazine, Detours, and currently is a graduate teaching assistant for “Beginning Visual Journalism” in UM’s School of Journalism.

From her work in the Journalism program Spence has learned that stories need to be told from the front lines, because fully learning about the interaction between humans and nature is impossible through a telephone. She said, “This story is important for the landscape and for the people within it, and working with a professional journalist to develop it may be the most important journalistic opportunity I've ever had. I can't wait to start reporting!”