Faculty and students from the School of Journalism and Communication found a home this past July in the Copper River Delta in Cordova, Alaska, connecting storytelling and science.
Their stories are illustrated on the new website, “Science and Memory.”
The trip focused not only on climate change but studied disrupted animal habitats and their effect on local culture. Students used innovative technology to capture photos, videos and interviews, as well as watercolor paintings, to make their stories come alive.
“The website is the first look at an ongoing process – it’s really more of a trailer than something comprehensive,” said Journalism Senior Instructor and Area Director Mark Blaine. “The intent is to give people – our subjects and supporters – a sense of the kind of work we were doing and to begin to engage in a dialogue about how we address issues of climate change.”
Blaine led the trip with Carolyn Silva Chambers Distinguished Chair in Advertising Deb Morrison, Instructor in Photojournalism Dan Morrison and Assistant Professor of Practice Torsten Kjellstrand. They and 19 students spent the month in the sparsely populated city of Cordova, surrounded by mountains and glaciers on one side and the Prince William Sound on the other. The team worked together to uncover stories of climate, environment, culture, innovation and our greater connection to the natural world.
“Going to Alaska for the first time, I felt like I was doing something that mattered,” explained senior Taylor Richmond, the “in-house artist” of the project who is responsible for the watercolor paintings and visual elements inspired by the natural landscapes. “This opportunity opened doors to a new side of journalism for me. It also opened me to the industry of bail bonds coincidentally. I think SOJC students should take advantage of experiences like this, and keep working projects that matter.”
The inaugural session of the three-year project is part of the SOJC’s Science Stories Initiative, which brings students and scientists together to create credible, accessible stories about environmental research – A true example that great storytelling starts at the SOJC.
Experience their journey in Cordova at http://scienceandmemory.uoregon.edu.