"Platte River Odyssey" Receives RNRF's Excellence in Journalism Award

BETHESDA, Md.-RNRF has selected the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's "Platte River Odyssey" to receive its 2007 Excellence in Journalism Award. The award honors and encourages excellence in print journalism about natural resources issues through the dissemination of accurate and scientifically-based information about the environment. The 55-page, full-color magazine reported on various water issues in the Platte River basin. Competing claims on the water - from irrigating farmers, power companies, endangered species and cities - comprise the backdrop for this timely project and echo similar conflicts throughout the American West.

The magazine resulted from a unique collaboration among faculty and students of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, and professional journalists. In 2005, the college began to collaborate with the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper in a project called the "Platte River Odyssey." The series educated the newspaper's readers about the complex interplay of law, history, science, and politics that affects the Platte and the people and wildlife depending upon it.

Journal Star reporters wrote about policy issues related to water in the Platte basins, and students majoring in science or journalism and enrolled in the college's science writing class, wrote the science-based stories. Between March 2005 and March 2006, the newspaper published more than 20 stories on water issues related to the Platte. In early 2006, students and faculty brought the original stories up to date and added more stories, leading to the publication of "Platte River Odyssey," the magazine. The magazine is a resource that explains the complex forces influencing public policy governing water use in the basin.

The award will be presented at the annual meeting of the RNRF Board of Directors on Nov. 9, 2007, in Potomac, Md.

View the "Platte River Odyssey" website


RNRF is a nonprofit, operating foundation, founded in 1972. It is a consortium of scientific, professional and educational organization whose primary purpose is to advance science, the application of science, and public education in managing and conserving renewable natural resources. RNRF's member organizations recognize that sustaining the Earth's renewable resource base will require a collaborative approach to problem solving by all scientific and engineering disciplines.