Columbia, Mo. (Nov. 25, 2008) — Two graduate students from the Missouri School of Journalism – one former and one current – won first and third place in the student category of the Society of Environmental Journalists‘ national awards contest.
Gavin Off, MA ’08, won first place for “Lessons in Leniency,” an article published May 6, 2007, in the Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune while he was a University of Missouri student. Off is now the data editor at the Tulsa (Okla.) World. His story recounted the Missouri Department of Natural Resources‘ history of reducing penalties filed against large animal farms for pollution violations.
Katherine Harmon won third place for “Murky Waters,” published Nov. 10, 2007, in the Columbia Missourian. The story detailed the evolving scientific understanding of Missouri River sediment and the impact that understanding is having on resource management, agriculture, public policy and people. Harmon is a master’s student and will graduate in May 2009.
The Society of Environmental Journalists is an association of more than 1,400 journalists, educators and students. SEJ is run by journalists and for journalists. Its mission is to advance public understanding of environmental issues by improving the quality, accuracy and visibility of environmental reporting.
The awards were announced at a ceremony in the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center in Roanoke, Va., on the first day of the society’s 18th annual conference in October. Bill Allen, coordinator of the agricultural journalism program, attended the meeting with Harmon and fellow journalism graduate student Bruce Troetschel.