The term “College Green” is no longer reserved for the popular hangoutarea that serves to bridge Ohio University’s campus and uptown Athens. Now it refers to an environmental, on-campus magazine as well Thenewly created College Green magazine will be coming to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Nov. 3 meeting to discuss a way for students to getinvolved in a publication on campus.College Green discusses environmental issues present at OU andthroughout the surrounding area. According to the magazine’s Web site,its purpose is “to provide a positive learning opportunity for aspiringenvironmental journalists while also instilling a sense of pride in the area’snatural beauty, amenities and assets.”The site discusses the phenomenon that surrounds the physical CollegeGreen – that it is a place where the line between OU students and Athensresidents becomes less prominent – and suggests that the likewise-namedmagazine will “further bridge the gaps among students, residents and theenvironment.”Editor Katherine Bercik, who will be speaking at the meeting, says thetopics she may cover include today’s environmental problems and whatstudents can do to help. “There’s so much that can be shared,” she said.College Green, which continues to seek writers, editors and designers, isstill in its beginning stages. Bercik, who founded the publicationafter a volunteer trip to Australia in 2008, says that despitechallenges that have arisen, she is pleased with themagazine’s progress.“Most of the people on staff aregenuinely interested inworking the green beat. Having a
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A publication of the Ohio University
Society of Professional Journalists
strong interest in what you are doing is key,” she said.Joe Brehm, a graduate student working toward a degree inenvironmental studies, is College Green’s science editor. As soon as heheard about College Green, his interest was piqued.“I knew that this wasn’t just a pipe dream or some project that would be haphazardly thrown together, but something that could really take off and be a great asset for Ohio University,” he said.Brehm, Bercik and the rest of College Green’s staff have becomeacutely aware of environmental problems and issues that exist in theworld today. Bercik listed carbon emissions, climate change and risingwater levels as problems that are prevalent on a global scale, but saidthat College Green looks at issues closer to home.“In Southeast Ohio especially, the dependency on coal as a source of
energy and for providing jobs is a difcult issue to tackle because there
are social, cultural and economic implications in the mix,” Bercik said.Brehm says one of the most important environmental issues, in hisopinion, is one that often is not considered.“One area I believe to be incredibly important is Native Americanissues,” Brehm said. “Indigenous people have a very long-term senseof place and therefore an amazing amount of wisdom and ecologicalknowledge. Western science and US federal and state agencies are only beginning to recognize the value in partnering with Native Americantribes, and I believe such partnerships will be a key in the maturation of the U.S.’s land ethic.”Although the threats facing the environment can seem intimidating,Bercik and Brehm believe there is much students can do to help. Bercik suggested that student journalists, especially, should take the time andeffort to investigate environmental stories in-depth rather than relyingon brief blurbs. She said, students can “educate themselves about it andmake small changes to their consumption and living habits over time.”
Educating people about the environment is a difcult job, Brehm
added, and students with an interest in the topic and a journalism background have an especially vital task.
“Conveying scientic research and issues such as climate change,
conservation biology, renewable energy, and environmental justice
to people is a very difcult and incredibly important job,” Brehm
said. “Journalists who do this in an accurate and interesting way canessentially improve the land ethic and environmental knowledge of their readers.”All these issues and more will be covered at the SPJ meeting.Bercik says she is excited to talk to an audience comprised of mainly journalism students and hopes she will garner some interest.“If just one more person decides to use their communication andwriting skills to bring more awareness to environmental issues,” shesaid, “then I would consider the night a success.”
Going Green with Environmental Journalism
OU’s new College Green online magazine to discuss environmental journalism and campus involvement.
Rebecca McKinsey art
each year that the sea levelat New York rises.
Fahrenheit the world’s temperature has gone upin the last century.of the world’s carbon emissions comefrom the United States.
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*World Resources Institute Web site