Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism

Department or School/College

School of Journalism

Committee Chair

Lee Banville

Commitee Members

Jeremy Largo Chad Bishop


Wildlife, Conservation, Journalism, Photography, Endangered


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Journalism Studies


Wildlife is held in public trust, and the public plays an important role in management and conservation as voters, advocates and beneficiaries of the many services and enjoyment that wildlife provides. But understanding wildlife issues, conservation and management decisions can be challenging given the often complex science around wildlife ecology and diverse public perspectives. That is why careful and accurate reporting around wildlife and environmental topics is imperative and a requirement of a well-informed electorate. This master’s portfolio is a collection of extensively reported stories around wildlife issues that are designed to be accessible to general readers to fulfill that societal requirement.

The theme of this portfolio explores novel techniques being used in the conservation of endangered and threatened species in the U.S. I reported on how managers in the Eastern Sierra are working to save an endangered subspecies of bighorn sheep by capturing and relocating mountain lions away from the sheep the big cats prey upon. I covered the development of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to use rodenticide to eradicate invasive mice on the Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco and the implications for the endangered ashy storm-petrels. Lastly, I took viewers behind the scenes and into the lives of researchers studying elusive wolverines, fishers and threatened Canada lynx in Montana.

Throughout the work on all my portfolio stories, I encountered sources hesitant to speak about their work for fear of it being portrayed inaccurately to the public. This is an unfortunate problem that I believe can be ameliorated through increased quality of coverage around these environmental topics. Wildlife management can be complex and telling stories about this kind of work can be challenging and yet equally rewarding when it is done well. Sound reporting offers the chance to provide the public with the necessary framework for understanding issues surrounding wildlife, the places they live, and what people are doing to conserve them.



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