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Know the West

New interns and old errors

Get to know Paige Blankenbuehler and Gloria Dickie. Also, a correction and a clarification.


July means fresh blood here at High Country News headquarters in Paonia, Colorado. Our newest interns began their half-year stint July 6 and are already hard at work.

Paige Blankenbuehler arrived shortly after a five-day, 50-mile hike through Zion National Park’s red sandstone canyons. That expedition was the hardest physical thing she’s ever done, she says, but well worth it because it reconnected her to the West. Born in Parker, Colorado, Paige began her journalism career at The Durango Herald as an intern and general assignment reporter before moving on to The Summit Daily in Frisco, where she covered science, the ski industry and local government. She is currently a master’s student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, with plans to graduate in December. Her studies have taken her to Costa Rica’s tropical dry forests to report on drones and conservation, and landed her a gig at the Bond Life Sciences Center, where she wrote about infectious disease, biochemistry and plant science.

But Paige missed Colorado’s mountains and climate when she was in Missouri. “I love the West. I love journalism, and I love marrying those two things,” she says. “This is a complicated place with lots of layers. It’s really fun sussing out the personality of a place through its people.”

Gloria Dickie has wanted to be a journalist since she was just 14 years old, snapping photos of sparkling Lake Louise on family trips to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. Since then, Gloria, who is from London, Ontario, has covered urban bear issues in the West, as well as wildfire in Arizona, eastern Colorado and Montana.

Gloria earned a bachelor’s degree in media, information and technology and minored in geography at the University of Western Ontario, where she was one of the few female editors-in-chief during the 106-year history of the university’s daily student newspaper — Canada’s largest. She has since interned at National Geographic and the Boulder Daily Camera, and was a research assistant at the Center for Environmental Journalism in Boulder, Colorado. In May, she graduated from the University of Colorado with a master’s degree in environmental journalism. “Landscape is a strong character that matters to the story,” Gloria says. Someday, she hopes to work as a freelance magazine journalist, specializing in stories about environmental crime and international wildlife poaching.

The op-ed “Wyoming acts to discourage citizen scientists” (HCN, 6/8/15), ran with a photo showing citizen science in action –– not in Wyoming, however, but in Montana’s Glacier National Park.

Our photo essay on open-air cremation in Colorado, “Last remains” (HCN, 6/22/15), overstated the amount of wood required for a cremation; it’s actually one-third of a cord. In addition, the Crestone End of Life project gives cremated remains only to family members, not the community. HCN regrets the errors.