Advanced Reporting

48J:171:01 – Advanced Reporting

Tuesdays, Thursdays 12:30-1:45 p.m.

Lang 212

University of Northern Iowa

Instructor: Dr. Christopher Martin

Office:  326A Lang Hall

Office Hours: By appt.

Tel:  (319) 273-6118

Mailbox:  326 Lang Hall




Instructor:  Dr. Kamyar Enshayan

Office: Center for Energy & Environmental Education

Office Hours: By appt.   

Tel: (319) 273-7575



Catalog Description:

Gathering information and writing and editing of complex news stories; emphasis on advanced techniques of interviewing, journal research, and personal observation. Prerequisite(s): 48J:071; junior standing. (Offered Fall and Spring)

Course Approach:

This term’s Advanced Reporting is about Reporting on Iowa’s Environment.  Very few newspapers and local media report have a science writer or reporter covering environmental issues of the state.  This course will offer experiences for students who will develop the knowledge and skills to report on Iowa’s environment and people and the broader context in which these issues are situated.  The course will involve in-depth investigation of such issues as Iowa and climate change, pesticide use and public health in Iowa, floods and land use, profiles of farms with extensive land stewardship history, and water quality.

The course will build on students’ analytical and research skills to create journalistic reports on the state of Iowa’s environment.


•    Required: Sandra Steingraber, Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment, 2nd ed. (Da Capo, 2010).

  1.    Required:  Other selected readings, including those from the Pulitzer Prizes –Journalism Category.

  1.    Recommended: The Associated Press Stylebook (Basic Books, 2009) # ISBN-10: 0465012620   # ISBN-13: 978-0465012626 (paperback) [any recent edition of the AP Stylebook will be accepted]


Resources for Environmental Journalism: 

Society of Environmental Journalists ( Includes issues of the SEJournal.

Knight Center for Environmental Journalism: Toolbox (

International Journalists’s Network - Environmental Topic Page

Nieman Reports, vol. 64, no. 4, Winter 2010, pp. 28-35 (pdf on course eLearning site)

Heat (PBS. Frontline, Oct. 2008)

Sample News Reports on the Environment:

Matthew Wilde, “Big egg farms may be better, producers say,” Waterloo Courier, September 13, 2010.

Matthew Wilde, “Use of antibiotics in livestock spurs national debate,” Waterloo Courier, January 9, 2010.

Mother Jones - Environmental Reports


Resources for Iowa’s Environment: 

Iowa Climate Change Advisory Panel

Iowa DNR Watershed Monitoring and Assessment

    Beach Monitoring

    Groundwater Monitoring

    Stream Monitoring

    Wetland Monitoring

    Glossary of Monitoring Terms

U.S. Geological Survey: Watershed Regression for Pesticides: Atrazine Model

Iowa DNR Air Quality

Iowa DNR State of the Environment Report 2010

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture (ISU), Iowa Local Farm and Food Plan (2011)

State Hygienic Lab at University of Iowa

FDA Food Safety Recalls  Eggs and Egg Products

Iowa Egg Council (state trade group)

American Egg Board (national trade group)

Environmental Health Sciences Research Center (U of I)

    Environmental Impacts of Industrialized LIvestock Production

Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination (CHEEC) - U of I

U.S. EPA -- Pesticides

USDA - Pesticide Data Program

USDA - National Organic Program

CDC - Crop Dusting in Iowa report

CDC - Pesticides and Public Health: Integrated Methods of Mosquito Management

Iowa Department of Public Health - Division of Environmental Health

    Iowa Department of Public Health - Pesticide Poisoning Surveillance Program

Army Corps of Engineers - Iowa Facts Water Levels of Rivers and Lakes, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Prairie Rivers of Iowa

American Farmland Trust

Iowa Environmental Council

The Nature Conservancy - Iowa