Stories from the Crown of the Continent
The Crown Reporting Project sends students into the heart of the Rocky Mountain region that spans Montana, Alberta and British Columbia. Graduate students in the University of Montana's Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism program have the opportunity to pitch stories for this fellowship each spring. Winners of the pitch contest are paired with professional journalists and, through that mentorship, tell stories about climate, conservation and communities from the Crown of the Continent.
Both first-year and second-year graduate students are eligible to compete for this opportunity. The strongest pitches contain compelling characters, concrete research and specify what media will be used to tell the story. The award includes a $5,000 fellowship to help cover reporting costs. Once selected, each student is paired with a seasoned journalist who offers guidance throughout the reporting process and helps edit the stories so they are fit for publication.
Explore the recipients, mentors and finished stories linked to below to see the impact reporting dedicated to the communities of the Crown of the Continent region can have.
Crown Fellow: Kevin Trevellyan
Mentor: Jim Robbins, The New York Times, Yale e360. Author: "The Wonder of Birds: What they Tell Us about the World, Ourselves and a Better Future."
Hemp: Lessons in the northland. Some Farmers Who Bet On Hemp Early Have Gotten Stung, National Public Radio
Crown Fellow: Maxine Speier
Mentor: Ben Goldfarb, freelance writer, Atlantic, Washington Post, Orion. Author: z'Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter."
Crown Fellow: Breanna Roy McCabe
Mentor: Chris Johns, National Geographic
Ghost Forests, PBS Television, Montana, Oregon
Crown Fellow: Sam Weber
Mentor: Graham Lee Brewer, reporter NBC News, New York Times, High County News.
The Blackfeet Nation is opening its own national park, High Country News
Crown Fellow: Beau Baker
Mentor: Laura Krantz, freelance multi-media editor and producer: NPR, Foxtopus Meida, Popular Science, Outside.
‘Diabolical’ mussels begin their march into Montana, High Country News
Crown Fellow: Olga Kreimer
Mentor: Michelle Nijhuis, freelance science writer, NYT Magazine, Atlantic, NY Review of Books, High Country News. Author: “Beloved Beasts Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction."
Water-bottling plant creates rift in MT, High Country News
Awards: National Finalist, Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award.
Crown Fellow: Nicky Ouellet
Mentor: Jane Greenhalgh, NPR health an science producer
Banned From National Forest: For Profit Mushroom Pickers Go Underground, NPR's Morning Edition.
Crown Fellow: Katy Spence
Mentor: Hillary Rosner, freelance science journalist. Wired, Scientific America, National Geographic, Atlantic.
Natural Hydrologists: Beavers mitigate drought, Natural History Magazine Dec. 2016/Jan. 2017 double issue (print only.)
Crown Fellow: Ken Rand
Mentor: Christopher Joyce, NPR science correspondent.
Underwater invaders, Daily Interlake.
Crown Fellow: Celia Talbot Tobin
Mentor: Ted Alvarez, multimedia editor, Outside, Backpacker, Grist. Author: The Wilderness Idiot
Crossing the Line: Protecting International Waters from Mining, High Country News