Although you, as a taxpayer, pay for reports by the Congressional Research Service, Congress does not allow you to read them. Fortunately, somebody leaked these reports of interest to environmental journalists.
- SEJ Publication Types:Topics on the Beat:Visibility:
Because it is digital, the Atlas can be overlaid with many kinds of information: data on abandoned mines, coalfields, butterflies, aquifers, or invasive plants — to mention only a few examples. And because scale is variable, you can zoom in or out to customize it to your story and audience.Topics on the Beat:
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which runs satellites collecting geodata both classified and unclassified, has put up a new Web page with Arctic information. It just went up, and it's as little geeky, but it shows promise for longer-term utility.Topics on the Beat:Region:
Investigative reporting in the environmental area depends on the Freedom of Information Act. The latest exposé on GMO lobbying in the New York Times by double-Pulitzer-winner Eric Lipton is a good example.
CAMEO is a free and publicly available suite of applications useful to reporters. Developed by the U.S. EPA and NOAA, it includes information about the hazards of various chemicals, as well as map overlays that may show how close a spill site is to the nearest facility of interest, such as a nursery school or retirement home.
- SEJ Publication Types:
Congress does not release reports done by the Congressional Research Service to the public, even though taxpayers fund them. Thanks to the Federation of American Scientists' Government Secrecy Project, you can read them anyway.Topics on the Beat:Region:
Climate Central science writer John Upton explains how to use the visualization tool that brings to virtual life the climate- and weather-related data generated by the 13 federal agencies that collaborate to form the U.S. Global Change Research Program.SEJ Publication Types:
- SEJ Publication Types:Topics on the Beat:
If you report on agriculture-related environmental issues, you may find useful a new geodata tool available free to the public online. Monsanto has bought The Climate Corporation (for $930 million), which compiles weather, soil, and crop data down to the field level.