Welcome, new interns!

by Marian Lyman Kirst, Kimberly Hirai and Jodi Peterson

Two new interns have just joined our editorial department for six months of "journalism boot camp" here in Paonia, Colo. "I was the shy nerd in school," says Kimberly Hirai of Boise, Idaho. When she and her brother ordered pizza as kids, they fought over who had to talk on the phone. She's more outgoing these days, thanks partly to her studies in biology and print journalism at the University of Idaho. "It forced me out of my shell," she says.

Kimberly wrote for and edited The Blot, UI's student magazine. For her first cover story in 2007, she explored wolf reintroduction in Idaho from the viewpoints of hunters, environmentalists and government agencies: "I was finally able to combine my two loves: biology and writing."

This May, Kimberly graduated with a master's degree from Michigan State University's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, where she reported on regional efforts to reclaim the Detroit River shoreline and investigated General Motors' abandoned cleanup attempts at old factory sites.

Tiny Paonia is "a bit of an adjustment" for Kimberly after Boise's "big city" feel. She looks forward to hiking and fishing, and as a confirmed "lane rat," she'll happily drive 30 miles to the nearest bowling alley to chase pins.

New intern Marian Lyman Kirst would fly-fish in a ball gown if she could; the self-taught angler also admits to a serious clothing- and shoe-shopping habit. A Billings, Mont., native, Marian is recently married and just returned from a yearlong trip to China, where her husband worked on a nuclear plant site.

In 2006, Marian picked up a degree in environmental studies with an emphasis in geology at Hamilton College in New York. During summer breaks, she ushered hundreds of Boy Scouts through Alaska as a canoe and fly-fishing guide. Marian has an affinity for bugs and says her ideal pet is a vinegaroon: "It's the perfect arachnid ambassador to insect-phobes," owing to its scorpion-like appearance but harmless nature.

Inspired by David Attenborough's BBC insect series, she took journalism classes at Montana State University in Billings before transferring to Boston University's Science and Medical Journalism Program. Marian wrote about climate change impacts on fly-fishing, among other topics, as a staff writer for www.freeradicalsmag.com, the program's magazine, and completed a master's degree in 2010.

At HCN, she hopes for a chance to write "about bugs, fish and insects -- and make David Attenborough proud."

CORRECTION
In our July 25 story "Fumigant fight," the first photo showed workers applying the fumigant methyl iodide in Fresno County, Calif. It was not an experimental application as the caption indicated, but rather the first commercial application in the state.

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