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Covering Water in a Changing World

About This Course

Water issues are everywhere: lead in drinking water, harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes, massive “dead zones” in the Gulf of Mexico, deepening conflicts over fresh water in the arid West and the historically wet East.

In this webinar, you'll get an overview of the scientific and legal frames for U.S. water quality and quantity issues, and also some fresh strategies for getting beyond politics, offering solutions and explaining the climate-change angles.

We will help you get up to speed on the topic, showing you the best sources and tools available and offering inspiration in some of the outstanding water journalism happening around the nation.



What Will I Learn?

  • How to find the most current and accurate water sources and data
  • How to move beyond the rhetoric of blame and “water wars” and toward helping local audiences understand water challenges and potential solutions
  • How to convey the climate-change angles that often complicate water issues
  • How to report on water issues in ways that will engage audiences

Who Should Take this Course?

Anyone who wants to dive deeper into the fresh water story: print and online reporters, TV and radio journalists, weather broadcasters who want to deepen their water specialization.

Course Instructor

Cynthia Barnett

Cynthia Barnett

Cynthia Barnett is an award-winning environmental journalist who specializes in water. She teaches Environmental Journalism in the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications. She has covered water from the Suwannee River to Singapore, and as a newspaper and magazine reporter, as a city editor, as a columnist and as author of the water books Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S.; Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis; and Rain: A Natural and Cultural History, nominated for the National Book Award and the 2016 E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. She teaches Environmental Journalism at the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications.


McCormick Foundation

Robert R. McCormick Foundation

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Col. Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The foundation is one of the nation's largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets.

This $30 course is free thanks to the generous support of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Frequently Asked Questions

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See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.