Sadie Babits has had a long career in public media where she’s focused her reporting on public lands, water, climate change and western issues. Most recently she was the News Director at Colorado Public Radio where she guided and edited daily and long-term coverage for this statewide network. Sadie’s work has aired on National Public Radio shows including Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Her work has been recognized nationally with an Edward R. Murrow award for investigative journalism and by the Society of Environmental Journalists. She’s reported from Kenya, Israel and many places in between but she calls the West home where she can often be found exploring trails on her mountain bike.
Sadie will focus her fellowship on exploring the tension and control of America's public lands. She'll research questions around whether states have the means and the lasting will to manage vast and sometimes fragile landscapes as well as whether state legislative efforts to gain control of public land will move forward under a new presidential administration. Her goal is to create a multimedia project that tells this story through the eyes of people directly involved in this struggle over land.
Jeff Burnside has led an accomplished 20-year career in TV news in Miami, Seattle, Boston, Kansas City, and Spokane, most recently as Senior Investigative Reporter for KOMO TV Seattle, his hometown. He's been awarded more than 25 honors for his journalism including national awards from the Investigative Reporters and Editors, National Press Club, Clarion and others as well as 10 regional Emmy's. His work has played a role in the arrest of more than a dozen people, multiple class action lawsuits and Attorneys General cases, the closure of unscrupulous businesses, new laws in several jurisdictions, a U.S. Supreme Court case and the return of millions of taxpayer dollars. He is the immediate past president of the Society of Environmental Journalists. His focus has often been on corruption, the environment and animal welfare.
During the fellowship, Jeff will be preparing a complete business proposal for a high quality national television environmental newscast aimed at covering the broad range of topics from energy to recreation to human health and, of course, climate change. Additionally, Jeff will lay the groundwork for a documentary film called "First Contact, Lost Treasures" recounting the three initial encounters between Pacific Coastal Native Tribes and European explorers aboard ships, the global search for the now-priceless artifacts given to the explorers as gifts, and the narrative of Indian culture since then.
Lindsay Fendt is a freelance reporter and photographer covering the environment and human rights. Before the Scripps Fellowship she spent five years based in San José, Costa Rica where she covered stories throughout Latin America. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, U.S. News and World Report, Al Jazeera, The Daily Beast, Hakai Magazine, Outside and others. Before going freelance, Lindsay was a staff writer and photographer for The Tico Times in Costa Rica and had been a staff photographer for The Marietta Daily Journal in metro Atlanta. She has received honors and fellowships from the Livingston Awards, the Georgia Press Association, the International Women’s Media Foundation and the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting. Through the fellowship Lindsay hopes to deepen her understanding of environmental science and global issues outside of Latin America. Her project, which will serve as the first-step towards a book, will look at the global rise in murders of environmentalists.
Jason Plautz is a journalist based in Washington, D.C., where he has covered energy and environment policy for National Journal and E&E Publishing. His writing has appeared in Ars Technica, Washingtonian, MEL Magazine, Mental_Floss, TheAtlantic.com and Inside Climate News, and he reported from Brazil as part of an International Reporting Project fellowship. Plautz is a Cleveland native and graduated from Northwestern University, where he helped found the online magazine North By Northwestern. As a Scripps fellow, he will examine high levels of ozone and air pollution in Western states and how the Trump administration will address them.
Lynette Wilson has spent the last eight years covering human rights and social justice issues for Episcopal News Service. She has reported from more than 25 countries on topics such as Brazil’s land conflicts, forced displacement in El Salvador and Congolese refugees living in camps in Rwanda. She produced a video series on climate change in Kivalina, Alaska, and covered the 2015 climate talks in Paris. Previously, Lynette reported on education for The Meridian Star in Mississippi and The News Star in Monroe, Louisiana. And she was an environmental reporter for the Pensacola News Journal in Florida. As part of the fellowship, she plans to report a series of stories on mining’s resurgence in the Upper Great Lakes region; through courses and field trips, she hopes to learn more about resource economics, policy and regulations.