High Country News to open a provisional satellite office at Western State Colorado University

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jan. 16, 2018

Paonia, Colorado – High Country News announced today that it will establish a satellite editorial office in Gunnison, Colorado, for its digital editorial team in July 2018. The award-winning Western magazine, whose headquarters have been located in Paonia since 1983, will set up a new office in collaboration with the School of Environment and Sustainability (ENVS) at Western State Colorado University, assessing over the course of a year whether a more permanent move for the team is feasible.

“As High Country News continues to grow our subscriber base and staff, we are experimenting with ways to employ new communications technology to better cover the American West through satellite offices and telecommuting writers and editors,” HCN Executive Director Paul Larmer said. “An office in Gunnison would allow us to capitalize on the innovations being made within Western’s School of Environment and Sustainability. At the same time, we’ll stay grounded in the rural West, which has always shaped the magazine’s unique perspectives.”

Western’s School of ENVS has grown rapidly in recent years, more than tripling its faculty. Its robust master’s program enables the school to serve up to 40 environmental organizations per year across the West through its rigorous, hands-on master’s projects.

“We’ve taken note of Western’s increased efforts to tackle the same big questions of the American West that we are, and we think having writers and editors in close proximity to the school will lead to a wide range of learning opportunities and capacity-building for our own growing organization,” Brian Calvert, HCN editor-in-chief, said. 

The expanded ENVS faculty team complements HCN with expertise in issues related to Western land and water management, climate action planning, and environmental justice. This growth has led to an expanded building for the school, designed with the HCN experiment in mind.

“Western’s School of Environment and Sustainability is honored to engage in this experimental partnership between community-based university education and place-based journalism and writing,” said John Hausdoerffer, dean of Western’s School of Environment and Sustainability. “Imagine hands-on educators, faculty researchers, student masters project leaders, and thought-leading editors and writers wrestling together over the future of the West, from our campus at the headwaters. 

The High Country News satellite office will be housed at Western, but remain independent from the university. The magazine’s headquarters, which includes the print magazine production and business operations, will remain in Paonia, Colorado. 

Taking part in the experiment are HCN Editor-in-Chief Brian Calvert, who is currently completing an MFA in creative writing - poetry at Western; Deputy Editor – Digital Kate Schimel; Assistant Editor Paige Blankenbuehler; and Engagement Director Gretchen King. 

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About High Country News

High Country News is a nonprofit 501(c)3 independent media organization that covers the important issues and stories that define the American West. Its mission is to inform and inspire people – through in-depth journalism – to act on behalf of the West's diverse natural and human communities. Learn more at hcn.org.

For more information about High Country News, contact Brian Calvert, HCN editor-in-chief, at 970-527-4898 or [email protected].

About Western State Colorado University

Western State Colorado University delivers a full liberal arts curriculum and career preparation to 2,800 intellectually adventurous students, deep in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The university’s small size, unique setting and low cost ensure that its students receive personalized attention, gain hands-on experience and graduate without taking on excessive debt. Learn more at western.edu.

For more information about Western State Colorado University and its School of Environment and Sustainability, contact John Hausdoerffer, Dean, at 970-943-3450 or [email protected].

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