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Metcalf Institute wins NSF grant to help journalism and communication of oil spill research
Date:8/30/2010

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. August 30, 2010 The Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography has been awarded a one-year National Science Foundation (NSF) RAPID Response grant through the Foundation's office of Informal Science Education.

The $199,909 NSF grant, Improving Communication of Oil Spill Research, will support three integrated Metcalf Institute programs that will bring science journalists, communications professionals, and informal science educators together with research scientists who are currently studying the Deepwater Horizon oilrig failure and its impacts on the Gulf of Mexico.

"We are very excited to improve public understanding of the science behind the oil spill through this new project," said Sunshine Menezes, executive director of Metcalf Institute. "This NSF grant will allow us to respond to the urgent need for science training that will equip journalists and science communicators with the information and skills needed to clearly and accurately relay the latest research on the oil spill's impacts."

Metcalf Institute provides science immersion programs designed to help reporters and editors better understand environmental science research methods, scientific ethics, and the peer-review process, all in the context of specific environmental topics. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has grabbed the attention of the public and requires thoughtful and probing news coverage. This project will expand environmental reporting skills of participating journalists and strengthen the communication skills of participating scientists and informal science educators.

The grant will support scientists' participation in the October 2010 annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists to clarify the early scientific findings about the oil spill's impacts; an April 2011 seminar in Louisiana for Gulf of Mexico-based journalists and informal scie
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Contact: Kat Anderson
kat@gso.uri.edu
401-874-6009
University of Rhode Island
Source:Eurekalert

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