Sustainability Leadership Fellow Program

The SoGES Sustainability Leadership Fellows (SLF) program prepares future innovators and thought leaders with state-of-the-art science communication and career development training. Over the course of one year Fellows receive:

  • Training to effectively communicate science for the public and media
  • Techniques to enhance leadership, time management, and other professional skills
  • Strategies for academic engagement in public and political discourse
  • Skills, approaches, and tactics to translate knowledge to action
  • Techniques for collaboration, building effective networks, and transdisciplinary synthesis
  • Membership in a growing network of motivated early career researchers from across disciplines at CSU

The School accepts applications for the Sustainability Leadership Fellows program each spring for the upcoming academic year (August – May). Fellows must be advanced PhD students or early career Postdoctoral Fellows at Colorado State University.


The Sustainability Leadership Fellow training curriculum is a mix of workshops, trainings, and networking and professional development opportunities. Fellows are invited to participate in a large number of cross-campus public and private events with the School during their Fellowship year in addition to the regularly scheduled trainings.

Core curriculum:

  • 2-day intensive Science Communication Workshop
  • 6 two-hour content-specific trainings with local experts on a variety of career development and leadership topics including: time management, storytelling, communicating for policy, online media, proposal and grant writing, and more
  • Communication drill with the CSU Provost
  • Regular professional development and networking events with visiting Scholars, past Fellows, and special guests

Science Communication Workshop

Each year, incoming Fellows kick off their program with a two-day intensive workshop run by COMPASS, science communication specialists. The workshop incorporates renowned journalist trainers that educate Fellows on effective science communication to media and the public, and to effectively address global environmental challenges in a landscape of increasing digitalization and information accessibility.

At the end of the program, Fellows are able to elegantly deconstruct, define, and communicate their research within the framework of broader global environmental challenges using cross-disciplinary and integrative thinking.

This workshop is a compressed version of the tried and true methodologies of Nancy Baron for teaching effective communication skills to scientific researchers. Through her positions with COMPASS and the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, Nancy Baron has become one of the top trainers in effective scientific communication.

Past workshop trainers

Nancy Baron:
Nancy is the outreach director of the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS). She designed and leads the communications trainings for the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program. Nancy's new book, Escape from the Ivory Tower (Island Press, August 2010), is a practical and entertaining guide for scientists who want to engage their audiences, ace their interviews, promote their papers and enter the political fray. She and her COMPASS team offer a wide range of workshops for academic scientists as well as scientists who work for government and non-governmental organizations in North America and abroad. Her experience as both a biologist for Canadian National Parks and as a science writer inspired her to help bridge the gaps among scientists, journalists and policy makers. Baron has won numerous science writing awards including National Magazine, Science and Society and Western Magazine awards in Canada. An ardent naturalist, Baron has led natural history expeditions around the world. She wrote the popular introductory field guide, Birds of the Pacific Northwest (Lone Pine Publishing, 1997), as a way to help people engage with the natural world. Nancy is based at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) in Santa Barbara.

Liz Neeley, Assistant Director of Science Outreach at COMPASS
Liz Neeley is the Assistant Director of Science Outreach for COMPASS. She helps develop and lead communications trainings for scientists, including the prestigious Aldo Leopold Leadership Program. Liz specializes in the social media and multimedia components of COMPASS trainings and outreach efforts. Before joining COMPASS, she studied the evolution and visual systems of tropical reef fishes at Boston University. After grad school, she helped communities and researchers in Fiji and Papua New Guinea connect their knowledge of local coral reefs ecosystems to the media. She gained experience in international science policy while working on trade in deep-sea corals. Liz is currently based in Seattle, and is affiliate staff at the University of Washington, where she teaches science communication for graduate students.

Dan Glick, Co-founder: The Story Group
Daniel Glick is an author and journalist with 25 years of magazine writing experience, including 13 years with Newsweek and as a freelance contributor to four dozen periodicals, newspapers and online news organizations. He has written for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Rolling Stone, Harpers, PARADE, Outside, Men’s Journal, Men’s Health, Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, and scores of other magazines. He’s been a commentator or guest on Larry King Live, CBS This Morning, Today,  60 Minutes, Cochran and Grace, the O’Reilly Report, All Things Considered, Fresh Air, and other broadcast shows. Dan was a producer of a French documentary for Arte on the Colorado River, and associate producer on JonBenét's America, a documentary about the media farce surrounding the murder of a 6-year-old girl, commissioned by Channel 4 in the United Kingdom and which also aired on the U.S. channel A&E. More recently, he has branched out: as a science editor for the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment; a producer of two video series that show how climate change is already affecting the lives and livelihoods of Americans; and the co-founder of The Story Group, an independent, multimedia journalism company formed in 2009.

Christopher Joyce, Correspondent at NPR
Christopher Joyce is a correspondent on the science desk at NPR. His stories can be heard on all of NPR's news programs, including NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. Joyce seeks out stories in some of the world's most inaccessible places. He has reported from remote villages in the Amazon and Central American rainforests, Tibetan outposts in the mountains of western China, and the bottom of an abandoned copper mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Over the course of his career, Joyce has written stories about volcanoes, hurricanes, human evolution, tagging giant blue-fin tuna, climate change, wars in Kosovo and Iraq and the artificial insemination of an African elephant. For several years, Joyce was an editor and correspondent for NPR's Radio Expeditions, a documentary program on natural history and disappearing cultures produced in collaboration with the National Geographic Society that was heard frequently on Morning Edition. Joyce came to NPR in 1993 as a part-time editor while finishing a book about tropical rainforests and, as he says, "I just fell in love with radio." For two years, Joyce worked on NPR's national desk and was responsible for NPR's Western coverage. But his interest in science and technology soon launched him into parallel work on NPR's science desk. In addition, Joyce has written two non-fiction books on scientific topics for the popular market: Witnesses from the Grave: The Stories Bones Tell (with co-author Eric Stover); and Earthly Goods: Medicine-Hunting in the Rainforest. Before coming to NPR, Joyce worked for ten years as the U.S. correspondent and editor for the British weekly magazine New Scientist. Joyce's stories on forensic investigations into the massacres in Kosovo and Bosnia were part of NPR's war coverage that won a 1999 Overseas Press Club award. He was part of the Radio Expeditions reporting and editing team that won the 2001 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University journalism award and the 2001 Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Hillary Rosner, Freelance Journalist
Hillary Rosner is a freelance journalist specializing in science and the environment. She writes for The New York Times, Wired, National Geographic, Scientific American, Discover, Popular Science, Mother Jones, High Country News, Nature, and many other publications. She was a 2012 Alicia Patterson fellow and a 2010 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. Her work has been featured in anthologies, and she has co-authored or contributed to several books, including Al Gore's bestseller An Inconvenient Truth. Hillary has an MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado, where she studied climate change on a National Science Foundation IGERT grant, and an MFA in creative writing from New York University. Prior to moving to Boulder, Colorado, where she currently resides, Hillary worked as a writer and editor at many magazines, newspapers, and websites in New York City. She has been a senior editor at The Village Voice, a contributing editor at New York Magazine, and science editor at the pioneering online magazine Feed.

Katharine Gammon, Freelance Science Writer
Katharine Gammon is a freelance science writer who writes about science, environment and technology for publications like WIRED, Popular Science, Los Angeles Magazine and FastCompany. She has written about topics as varied as the physics of high heels, birth control for wild beasts, and fish elevators. As a former Peace Corps volunteer, she worked and chased sheep in Bulgaria for two years, but now calls Santa Monica home. Gammon is a graduate of Princeton University and has a master's degree in science writing from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mark Fischetti, Editor at Scientific American
Mark Fischetti is an editor at Scientific American magazine and oversees its energy and environmental coverage. He is a veteran journalist who has written freelance for The New York Times, Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, Fast Company and many other publications. He co-wrote Weaving the Web (HarperCollins, 1999) with Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, which tells the real story of how the Web was created. He also co-wrote The New Killer Diseases (Crown, 2003) with Boston University microbiologist Elinor Levy (and since then finds himself washing his hands much more frequently). Mark has been the managing editor of IEEE Spectrum magazine, and was founding managing editor of Family Business magazine. His 2001 article, "Drowning New Orleans," in em>Scientific American predicted the widespread disaster that a monster storm like Hurricane Katrina would impose, and described comprehensive projects that would save the city and the Mississippi delta. After Katrina hit in 2005 he appeared as an expert on CNN, NBC's "Meet the Press" with Tim Russert, the History Channel, NPR News, and international media. He published "Protecting New Orleans" in Scientific American's February 2006 issue, which presented engineering solutions to protect New Orleans and deltas worldwide from future storms. Fischetti has a physics degree and has twice served as the Attaway Fellow in Civic Culture at Centenary College in Louisiana, which awarded him an honorary doctorate.

Jon Hamilton, Science Correspondant at NPR
Jon Hamilton is a correspondent for NPR's Science Desk. Currently he focuses on neuroscience, health risks, and extreme weather. Following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Hamilton was part of NPR's team of science reporters and editors who went to Japan to cover the crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Hamilton contributed several pieces to the Science Desk series "The Human Edge," which looked at what makes people the most versatile and powerful species on Earth. His reporting explained how humans use stories, how the highly evolved human brain is made from primitive parts, and what autism reveals about humans social brains. In 2009, Hamilton received the Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Award for his piece on the neuroscience behind treating autism. Before joining NPR in 1998, Hamilton was a media fellow with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation studying health policy issues. He reported on states that have improved their Medicaid programs for the poor by enrolling beneficiaries in private HMOs. From 1995-1997, Hamilton wrote on health and medical topics as a freelance writer, after having been a medical reporter for both The Commercial Appeal and Physician's Weekly. Hamilton graduated with honors from Oberlin College in Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. As a student, he was the editor of the Oberlin Review student newspaper. He earned his master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, where he graduated with honors During his time at Columbia, Hamilton was awarded the Baker Prize for magazine writing and earned a Sherwood traveling fellowship.

Susan Moran, freelance journalist and radio host of KGNU's 'How on Earth'
Susan Moran lives in Boulder, Colo., where she is a freelance writer and has been a journalism instructor at the University of Colorado's School of Journalism and Mass Communication for several years. She was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT for the 2009-10 academic year. Her work has been published in The Economist, The New York Times, Newsweek, Marie Claire and other publications. She covers energy development, climate science, health, and business issues. Susan also co-hosts a weekly science show on KGNU radio, called "How On Earth." Before coming to Boulder, Susan was based in San Francisco, where she was a senior editor at Business 2.0 magazine. Previously she worked with Reuters news agency — in Tokyo, New York and Silicon Valley — and other news organizations. She has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, a master's degree in Asian studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and a bachelor's degree in political science from UC Santa Cruz.

Jeff Burnside, Television News Reporter at NBC Miami
Jeff Burnside has been in the news business for more than 20 years working as a reporter, anchor, news manager and producer in cities such as Seattle, Boston and now Miami. Jeff reports investigative, long-format and environmental stories as well as daily news. He’s won more than 25 journalism awards - for television and newspaper reporting and photography - including several regional Emmys. In 2007, he won three national awards for his investigative reporting: the Investigative Reporters and Editors Certificate, the National Press Club Award, and the Clarion Award. His assignments have included interviewing presidents, going inside to investigate violent white extremists, exposing dangerous religious cults, documenting serious lapses in Florida’s drivers licensing, videotaping bribes, uncovering the harm to whales from powerful sonar, and chronicling the secret pipeline from puppy mills to pet stores. His assignments have taken him to Indonesia, Central America, the Caribbean and every part of America. Jeff is also a frequently invited speaker and panelist on environmental journalism and journalism ethics. In addition, he's earned fellowships at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh studying climate change, the Metcalf Institute for Environmental Reporting (University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography) and the Western Knight Center for Specialized Reporting in political coverage (University of Southern California Annenberg School). He is a long-time member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and serves on the national board of the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Scripps Institute on the Environment at Florida Atlantic University. Jeff was born and raised in Seattle, Washington where he grew a fondness for the outdoors, including boating, water and snow skiing, scuba diving and alpine hiking - reaching the summit of Mount Rainier. He lives in Miami Shores. Jeff is also active in volunteering for community non-profit organizations. He graduated from Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow School of Communications.

Cornelia Dean
Cornelia Dean is a science writer and former science editor of The New York Times, where she writes about science policy, environmental issues and related topics. She offers regular seminars at Harvard University on the public’s understanding of science. From January, 1997 until June, 2003, as science editor of The Times, she was responsible for coverage of science, health and medical news in the daily paper and in the weekly Science Times section. In 2003, she was a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. From 1993 until 1997, she worked in the Washington bureau of The Times as deputy Washington editor; her portfolio was domestic policy. Previously she worked as assistant and then deputy science editor. In her tenure as science editor the department won the Lasker Award and members of the department staff have won the Pulitzer Prize (twice, finalists three times), the Polk Award and many other honors. She began her newspaper career at the Providence Journal. Her first book, Against the Tide: The Battle for America’s Beaches, was published in 1999 by Columbia University Press and was a N.Y. Times Notable Book of the year. Her guide for scientists on the communication of science, Am I Making Myself Clear? was published in 2009 by Harvard University Press. She is at work on a book about the misuse of scientific information in American public life. In addition to her work at Harvard, she has taught seminars and courses at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Vassar College and the University of Rhode Island. She is a member of the Corporation of Brown University, her alma mater and was a founding member of the advisory board of the Metcalf Institute for Environmental and Marine Reporting.

Michelle Nijhuis
Michelle Nijhuis is a freelance journalist and a longtime contributing editor of High Country News, and her work has appeared in numerous other publications including Smithsonian, National Geographic, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Orion, Audubon, and The Christian Science Monitor. A lapsed biologist, she specializes in long-form stories about conservation and global change, but has covered subjects ranging from border security to wrestling. Her reporting on science and the environment has won several national journalism honors, and been included in the anthologies Best American Science Writing and Best American Science and Nature Writing. In 2011, as an Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow, She is writing about the science and ethics of rescuing critically endangered species. She lives off the grid in rural western Colorado with her husband Jack and young daughter Sylvia.

Jon Luoma
Jon R. Luoma, a contributing editor at Audubon, has written about environmental and science topics for The New York Times, and for such magazines as National Geographic and Discover. His third book, The Hidden Forest: Biography of an Ecosystem, has been released in a new edition by Oregon State University Press.

John Calderazzo
John Calderazzo is Professor of English at Colorado State University and a former freelance writer who teaches nonfiction writing workshops. His writing on science, the intersections of nature and culture, and the craft of writing has appeared in Audubon, High Country News, Orion, Writer’s Digest, anthologies such as Best American Nature Writing, American Nature (Reader’s Digest Books), Thoreau’s Legacy: Stories of Global Warming (Penguin/Union of Concerned Scientists), and elsewhere. For several years he wrote “Science and the Shore,” a natural history column, for Coastal Living magazine. His books include Writing from Scratch: Freelancing, 101 Questions about Volcanoes (for children), and Rising Fire: Volcanoes & Our Inner Lives. He is co-director of an innovative climate change across the curriculum education and outreach program, Changing Climates @ CSU.

SueEllen Campbell
SueEllen Campbell, Professor of English at Colorado State, writes and teaches about the intricate ways our most personal experiences of the natural world are entangled in our shared cultural and scientific understandings of that world—and about how we can best express these things in writing. She has published two books of literary nature writing, Bringing the Mountain Home and Even Mountains Vanish: Searching for Solace in an Age of Extinction, excerpts from which have appeared in Orion, Utne Reader, Best American Nature Writing, Getting Over the Color Green, and many other places. Her newest book (which will appear this summer) is The Face of the Earth: Natural Landscapes, Science, and Culture; it offers a “field guide” to some of the great shaping forces and major landscapes of our planet combined with a set of vivid portraits of individual places. Over the last two decades, she has spent much of her time working to translate scientific insights into language that will engage non-scientists, both in her writing and in her work as co-director of Changing Climates @ Colorado State, a cross-campus initiative built on the beliefs that climate change is everybody’s business, that dealing with it will take everybody’s perspectives and talents, and that clear communication is a must in these efforts.


Past Workshop Agendas

For questions about this program, contact Aleta Weller, Senior Research and Engagement Officer: