Published: July 11, 2023

By Joe Arney

The New York Times. The BBC. National Geographic. CNN. 

The 2023-24 class of Ted Scripps Fellows in Environmental Journalism at CU Boulder brings experience from the world’s most prestigious media outlets to the Center for Environmental Journalism. 

“We are always impressed by the quality of journalists who apply to this fellowship, but this year’s pool was truly distinguished,” said Hillary Rosner, assistant director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a teaching assistant professor at the College of Media, Communication and Information. “The incoming fellows bring a variety of interests and perspectives to topics around climate change—including environmental justice and gender issues—and are comfortable using multiple platforms to tell stories and connect with people.” 

Headshots of the new class of fellows arranged alphabetically left to right.

Established in 1993, the Scripps fellowship has been based at the University of Colorado Boulder since 1997. The program aims to give full-time journalists working in any medium the knowledge and tools to report on today’s pressing environmental issues in ways that resonate with diverse audiences. Over a nine-month period, fellows attend classes at the University of Colorado Boulder, participate in weekly seminars and field trips, and pursue their own journalistic projects on a wide range of environmental topics.

This year’s class consists of:

  • Kara Fox, digital producer, CNN International. Fox’s work unpacks the why and how behind breaking news, with a reporting focus on women’s issues, geopolitics, culture and corruption. She also has worked at National Geographic Adventure Magazine and the World Picture Network. During her fellowship, she plans to develop a project about climate change’s unique threats to women. 
  • Rebecca Halleck, senior editor, The New York Times. Halleck will spend her fellowship examining the legal and policy frameworks surrounding climate change and climate action. She was part of the Times’ live coverage of the coronavirus, which won a Pulitzer Prize, and has also served as a digital editor at the Chicago Tribune.
  • Elliot Ross, photographer. Ross’ work documenting the American West—in particular, the water crisis and its impact on indigenous communities and geopolitics—has offered him opportunities to collaborate with National Geographic Magazine, TIME, The New York Times and The New Yorker. As a fellow, he aims to build out a long-term project, Geography of Hope, exploring environmental and social issues in the Glen Canyon ecosystem. 
  • Ishan Thakore, multimedia producer and journalist. As a fellow, Thakore plans to study and report the federal government’s approach to coastal resiliency, with a close look at a plan to protect New York from storm surges. His work has appeared in “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” Al Jazeera, the BBC and National Geographic, among other outlets.
  • Clifton Wiens, writer and filmmaker. Wiens previously worked at National Geographic in various capacities, including as a senior script researcher and a development producer on documentaries and series on a wide range of topics. He plans to develop a documentary film during his fellowship that will explore apocalyptic beliefs and their impact on attitudes and policy related to climate change and other environmental issues.