Fund for Environmental Journalism Winter 2014 Grantees

Thanks to generous funding from the Grantham Foundation and individual members and friends of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ), a total of  $12,500 was awarded in grants for four journalism projects selected in SEJ’s Fund for Environmental Journalism Fall/Winter 2014 cycle. In addition to the grant, SEJ provides mentoring support to any grantees requesting it.

Since 2010 SEJ has supported reporting projects and entrepreneurial journalism ventures through its Fund for Environmental Journalism. Including this cycle, $116,648 in grants has been awarded to both staff and freelance journalists to cover costs of travel, document access, graphics and website development, translation, and other budget items, without which journalists might have been unable to produce and distribute specific, timely stories about important environmental issues.


Thanks to our supporters, and congratulations to the grantees in the Fall/Winter 2014 cycle:


Morgan Heim
Boulder, CO
$3,500 for travel and safety-training costs to produce a series of photo essays in multimedia for magazine and online platforms about environmental harm caused by bootleg marijuana farms that are being carved out of California forests

  • Morgan Heim has been sneezed on by a whale, stampeded by bison and almost mistaken for salmon by hungry grizzly bears, all of which she took as great compliments, considering they let her live to spy on wildlife for another day. With a background in zoology (BS) and environmental journalism (MA), Morgan employs photographic techniques ranging from aerials to camera traps, photojournalism and film in order to share human stories of the natural world. She is an Associate Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers, (iLCP), on the board of the North American Nature Photography Association and alum of the prestigious Missouri Photo Workshop. Her work has appeared in such outlets as Smithsonian, National Parks, National Geographic NewsWatch, GEOLino Extra,, The Nature Conservancy and High Country News.
  • Survival Training, Ferret Style, Smithsonian (Photos and Text)
  • Denver’s Street-Smart Prairie Dogs, Smithsonian (Photos and Text)
  • Prairie Solitaire, National Parks Magazine (Photos and Text)
  • Taking to the Trees, High Country News (Most Photos and Text)
  • Red Rocks, National Parks Magazine (Photos)

FEJ-Funded Project: To date, there are three stories associated with this project: Sierra Magazine Jan/Feb 2016 cover feature, "Conservation Dogs Sniff Out Endangered Species," by Julian Smith; The Creatavist, posted Fall 2015, "Toxic Weed," by Morgan Heim. (The Creativist is a storytelling platform from The Atavist, which started in 2009 as a publisher of original longform narrative for iPad.); and Mother Nature Network, published Jan 4, 2016: "Illegal Marijuana Farms are Poisoning California Fishers," by Jami Heimbuch.


Coleen Jose, Kim Wall and Hendrik Hinzel (pictured, left to right), in partnership with The GroundTruth Project
Boston, MA
$3,500 for travel costs to produce a multimedia project integrating video, print, photos and poetry about the displacement of Marshall Islanders due to rising seas and the relocation of some of these climate refugees to Arkansas

FEJ-Funded Project: "This dome in the Pacific houses tons of radioactive waste - and it's leaking," multimedia story published by The Guardian on Friday, July 3, 2015

  • Coleen Jose is a Filipino-American journalist and documentary photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. She has worked in India, the Philippines and Guatemala for publications including the GroundTruth Project/GlobalPost, Scientific American and publications in the Philippines. Coleen holds a Masters degree in digital media with a focus on international news and photojournalism from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She studied history and Asian Studies at Davidson College
  • Kim Wall is a Swedish freelance journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. She has worked in Hong Kong, China, India, Australia and Sri Lanka for publications including The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera, Vice, Slate and The Atlantic. Kim holds a dual Masters degree from Columbia University in journalism and international affairs..
  • Hendrik Hinzel is a German freelance journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. He has worked in Brazil, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia for publications including the BBC, Reuters, Storyhunter and German media, GEO, Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Deutsche Welle. Hendrik holds a masters degree from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, where he specialized in investigative reporting and documentary filmmaking.


Christopher Ketcham
Grand Junction, CO
$2,000 for travel expenses to produce an investigative story for major magazines on industry connections behind a Republican-party push to weaken the Endangered Species Act

FEJ-Funded Project: Harper’s Magazine, cover of the February 2015 issue, "The Ruin of the West: How Republicans are plundering our public lands," a story about the plundering of the public lands of the American West by the livestock industry. Earth Island Journal, Spring 2015 cover story, "Grand Folly," an investigation into the atrocities against nature of industrial tourism. VICE Magazine, May 2015 issue, "The Government Won't Let Me Watch Them Kill Bison, So I'm Suing," a piece about my First Amendment lawsuit, represented by the ACLU, against the National Park Service in protest of the government’s brutal and stupid policy of slaughtering the last wild bison in Yellowstone National Park.

Links to other recent work:


Jordi Pizarro
Barcelona, Spain
$3,500 for travel expenses to produce documentary photographs for major international magazines on how climate change is affecting farmers and fishermen on islands in India’s Bay of Bengal

  • Jordi Pizarro is a freelance documentary photographer currently based in India. His work is represented by Contrasto. He covers breaking news in South Asia and also works on his personal reportages. The emphasis of Pizarro's work is largely focussed on current social and environmental concerns that affect different communities, most of them not covered by big media. In addition, he has a long-term project entitled "Believers” which looks at traditions, cultures and religions from a more anthropological perspective in many different regions globally. Pizarro's main goal is to aid and increase awareness of issues affecting people and their environments in the world we live in. It is his hope that his photographs contribute to creating a critical reflection of this world and foster better understanding of us as humans beings. Pizarro's work has been published in many international magazines around the world including Time, Sunday Times, Le Monde, Spiegel, Forbes, El País among others.

FEJ-Funded Project: In February 2015, Jordi received second prize in the "Science and Natural History" category of the "Reportage Division" of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute's POYI (Pictures of the Year International) competition for his photo, "Untitled," from the FEJ-funded project portfolio.




To learn more about the FEJ grant program, including applicant eligibility and submission guidelines, or to see information and links about past grants, please go to the Fund for Environmental Journalism web page.

If you would like to help experienced environmental journalists produce rich, rigorously investigated and unbiased stories about issues affecting the environment. Make a gift to the Fund for Environmental Journalism on SEJ's secure website.

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