Week 2: Getting to know Great Lakes Now! – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 2: Getting to know Great Lakes Now!

This summer, I’ll be working with Detroit Public Television’s Great Lakes Now, a monthly TV series that airs stories about anything and everything related to the Great Lakes, from current issues to recreation opportunities to environmental justice. Great Lakes Now also has a website that publishes original articles about these same topics. My summer project is centered around writing and researching stories for this website. By the end of the summer, I will have written several short-form stories about a wide variety of issues and one long-form story, as well as a number of smaller projects. 

So far, I feel like I’m settling in nicely to my project. I’ve already published a small project on the Great Lakes Now website about PFAS, which is a class of dangerous chemicals that is being discovered in water sources across the country. My project was to collect articles from local, regional, and national sources that relate to PFAS and compile them into a single article. This “headline roundup” allows people interested in catching up on news about PFAS contamination to view a bunch of recent articles about the issue in a single location, read a short summary of the article drawn from the original source, and visit the original article if they wish. 

Currently, I am working on a story about citizen science opportunities in the Great Lakes region. These opportunities allow ordinary people to get involve in the scientific process by collecting data that assists researchers. Researching and writing the story has taught me so much already; I had no idea how many citizen science opportunities existed in the region. I’m conducting interviews for the story this week and next week, which is an entirely new experience for me as well. I’m a little bit nervous to take on the role of a journalist, but also excited because it’s something I’ve never done before. 

I’ve really enjoyed the DCERP experience so far! It’s only been a little over a week, and I’ve already learned so much, both from working at Great Lakes Now and from all of the amazing fellows! You all bring an incredible passion for social justice to your individual projects, and I find it really inspiring. I feel like I learn something new every time I get a chance to have a conversation with you, and your kindness has really helped me feel comfortable in what is a completely new experience for me. I look forward to getting to know everyone even more in the future!

5 thoughts on “Week 2: Getting to know Great Lakes Now!”

  1. WoW! This is so cool. I wish everyone around Michigan got to know they can play this kind of role in our environment. I feel like citizen-research is an opportunity young people should be exposed to, especially with how much higher education values young scholars taking research initiative. Also, it’s really cool to me that you write and mention these topics because it is niche knowledge to me – I’d only heard of PFAs maybe one other time in my life. Out of the water, and into the atmosphere… just wow. I love seeing your article on the website’s homepage too. Godspeed!

  2. Your organization sounds really interesting and unique! It’s super cool that your research is being published on their website, and it sounds like you’ll be learning a lot throughout the summer. Do you have an interest in journalism at all? I can imagine that this type of work would complement that profession well.

    1. I’ve always had a bit of an interest in journalism, but I’ve never considered it as a career path. Depending on how rest of the summer goes, that might change!

  3. Hi, Noah!
    This project sounds so cool! Will the stories you’re writing be featured in the monthly TV installment? I would love to see the work you’re doing.
    I was in the Yearbook class in high school for two years and am now the Editor in Chief of the college newspaper. I think the beginning of writing journalistically was the most difficult part for me. I had a hard time adjusting to that style of writing and also had trouble finding good topics to write about. Once I got the hang of it, though, I really enjoyed it. I hope the same is happening for you. The more you do it, the better you’ll get!
    Good luck with your project.

    1. Some of my stories will, yes! I am looking forward to that aspect for sure.

      I have had the same difficulties, especially in finding good topics to write about. This is my first experience with journalism, but I feel like I am getting the hang of it. Thanks so much for the advice!

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