Welcome, new interns!

  • New HCN editorial interns Sarah Jane Keller and Marshall Swearingen pose with the boss-goat.

    Andrew Cullen

Two new editorial interns just arrived at our Paonia, Colo., office for six months of intensive training in reporting, writing and (sometimes seemingly endless) rewriting.

Sarah Jane Keller may be new to Paonia, but she's no stranger to the territory. After growing up in rural Maryland, she made a leap to the West nine years ago for an undergraduate summer research program at nearby Crested Butte.

She then earned a bachelor's degree in biology at the University of Montana and a master's in earth science from the University of New Mexico. She studied the nesting habits of Colorado birds and the impact of climate change on snowpack in the Southwest, among other things. But in her quest to connect science more directly with society, she's shifted to journalism, and last year obtained a science communication graduate certificate from UC Santa Cruz. Most recently, she interned at Conservation magazine in Seattle.

At HCN, Sarah looks forward to writing about a range of topics including energy, water and agricultural issues. In addition to covering stories in her familiar haunts of New Mexico, Colorado and Montana, she's eager to learn about other parts of the West. After the internship, she plans to return home to Bozeman, Mont., and work as a freelance environmental writer. Sarah is also a skilled and enthusiastic telemark skier.

Another Bozeman resident, Marshall Swearingen, packed a toolbox and a bounty of locally grown produce for his move to Paonia. He's been subsidizing his writing habit with carpentry projects that occasionally pay in vegetables.

As an engineering student at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Marshall helped assemble a log cabin on the Appalachian Trail. Back in Bozeman, he built houses and became interested in "how buildings relate to place." That took him to the University of Texas at Austin, where in 2011 he earned a master's degree in sustainable design.

Marshall discovered journalism when a friend asked him to write for an alternative news website, The Bozeman Magpie, last spring. He reported on natural gas drilling, city water issues and "wacky state politics," and even contributed a story to HCN ("State-run banks: a movement driven by unusual politics," 11/26/12). 
Over the years, HCN helped nurture Marshall's curiosity about the politics, geography and history of the West. As an intern, he looks forward to writing about the connections between people and the places they live. He also plans to explore the snowy mountains until spring, when he'll ride around the valley on his orange 1980s road bike.

We're also delighted to announce that Emily Guerin, an outstanding intern from the previous session, will remain with us as an editorial fellow for six additional months. For more on our internship program, see hcn.org/about/internships/.


A caption in our Dec. 24 edition, "The New Wild West," misidentified the location of a Wet'suwet'en man fishing for salmon in British Columbia. He was on a tributary to the Skeena River, not on the Skeena itself.

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