Welcome, new interns!

  • New interns Ariana Brocious, Cally Carswell and Arla Shephard.

    Shaun C. Gibson

Three new interns have arrived for six months of "journalism boot camp" at our Paonia, Colo., office. (For more on the internship program, see hcn.org/about/internships.)

Editorial intern Ariana Brocious is thrilled to be embarking on her first full-time journalism job. Last year, she reported on climate change in Argentina for the Arizona Daily Star.

A love for the Southwest comes naturally to Ariana, who was born and raised in Arizona's Sonoran Desert and earned her B.A. in Latin American studies and Spanish literature from the University of Arizona. She has studied in Costa Rica and Argentina, worked in Mexico, and recently traveled to New Zealand and Brazil.

Ariana is an avid reader, whose belief in the power of information drew her to journalism. She sees HCN as the ideal place to develop her interest because it focuses on people and culture as well as the environment. Professional goals aside, Ariana plans to spend her time in Paonia exercising her vocal chords in her open mic debut.

Arla Shephard, editorial intern, is looking forward to the relaxed, small-town life of Paonia after spending the past six months in bustling Washington, D.C. As an intern for the Washingtonian, Arla worked the high-society wedding beat, which she is now eager to trade for the West's environmental and social stories. Prior to that, she reported for the Seattle Times near her hometown of Bremerton, Wash.

A graduate of the University of Washington, Arla earned degrees in French and comparative literature while participating in study-abroad programs in Paris and West Africa. 

Arla has been writing from a young age; she was responsible for the "character development" of the stuffed animals in the childhood dramas she produced with her younger sister. She climbed the ranks at her college newspaper from arts columnist to editor-in-chief.

Arla looks forward to working on her writing at HCN. She admits she was surprised by the variety of activities available in Paonia; here, she'll have a chance to put her karaoke and dance skills to use -- and finally learn how to ride a bike!

Multimedia intern Cally Carswell always thought she'd return to her Western roots. Born in New Mexico but raised in Chicago, Cally has wanted to work for High Country News for a long time, because it "perfectly combines" her interests in media and the environment. At the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Cally majored in geography, with a focus on people and the environment. Since graduating in 2004, she has held a variety of jobs in public radio. Most recently, she worked for the Utne Reader in the Twin Cities.

Cally, who enjoys traveling, just came back from a six-week trip to Southeast Asia. We hope she'll improve the potlucks here at HCN: She has worked at a brew pub and likes to cook and waitress, a side effect of being raised by a family that owns restaurants in Santa Fe and Chicago.

She is eager to translate her radio experience to the field of video, which has given the world "a whole new way to tell stories."

Subscribers Randy and Kathrine Backe stopped in for a visit en route from their Chipita Park, Colo., home to nearby Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The couple, who recently co-chaired the development of their community's wildfire protection plan, hit the road to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. We wish the Backes many more happy years together. Subscribers John Wise and Evelyn Wachtel came by on a rainy day during our mid-June publishing break to find a sparsely populated office. The couple, who currently reside in the San Francisco area, were on their way to meet up with family in Ouray, where John grew up.

HCN stories recently won two prizes in the Society of Environmental Journalists 2009 Awards for Reporting on the Environment. Florence Williams' "On Cancer's Trail" (May 26, 2008) got second place in the Outstanding Small Market Reporting, Print category. J. Madeleine Nash's story "Back to the Future" (Oct. 13, 2008) took third place in the same category. The award announcement noted that "the competition in most categories was intense, according to our judges, all of whom are accomplished journalists or journalism educators."

And, last but not least -- or perhaps both last and least -- the Ladies Precision Irrigation Shovel Brigade got the Grand Prize at Paonia's annual Cherry Days Parade on July 4th. Team members, who included several HCN staffers, honed their drill routine with frequent, dogged practice parades around the town park. Outfitted in straw hats and rubber boots and wielding their shovels with military precision, they marched to the musical beat of assistant editor Marty Durlin, who played Stars and Stripes Forever on her accordion. We can't even begin to tell you how proud we all are.

In our June 22/July 6 special issue, the map of planned and existing renewable energy projects incorrectly placed a clump of wind farms just north of the Oregon-Washington border. In fact, the wind projects are distributed about equally between the states on both banks of the Columbia River. We regret the error.

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