Warning: preg_match(): Unknown modifier 't' in /home/metcalf/www/archives2/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/mobile-website-builder-for-wordpress-by-dudamobile/dudamobile.php on line 609
Bringing Science to the Conversation

Bringing Science to the Conversation

Metcalf Institute has been fostering informed public conversations about environmental issues by conducting science training for journalists and communication training for scientists for 20 years. Based in the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences, Metcalf Institute collaborates with academics, state and federal agencies, non-profits, businesses, community representatives and news organizations nationwide to develop customized programs and resources that improve and expand news coverage of environmental topics. Metcalf has become a global leader in professional development, training 1,800 journalists, scientists, and environmental communicators since our first training in 1999. Our successful training model has a significant multiplier effect, helping millions of news consumers worldwide access high-quality environmental news coverage that relates environmental science to their daily lives, and sparking essential conversations about challenging issues.

Metcalf Institute’s Mission

The mission of Metcalf Institute is to expand accurate environmental news coverage through innovative training and resources for journalists, researchers, and other science communicators to engage more people in discourse about science and the environment.



Metcalf Institute Programs

Science Seminars for Journalists
Metcalf’s Science Seminars for Journalists are held at URI and around the country on pressing environmental topics, including climate change, coastal pollution and marine biodiversity.

Metcalf Institute webinars feature leading researchers and policy makers in a variety of fields to help journalists and news consumers make sense of complex science and environment issues.

Peter B. Lord Seminars on the Environment
The Peter B. Lord Seminars for southern New England journalists help journalists better understand critically important environmental issues by enhancing their understanding of the science behind the stories they cover.

Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists
The Annual Science Immersion Workshop is a comprehensive, hands-on learning experience designed to give journalists opportunities to explore and understand the impacts of global change in coastal ecosystems at  the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography.

Training for Researchers and Other Science Communicators
Effective communication about the significance of scientific findings is essential to increasing public support for research and engaging citizens in environmental issues.

Training Programs at Journalism and Science Conferences
Metcalf Institute works with partner organizations to develop specialized training programs at professional conferences for both journalists and scientists. Programs range from panels and seminars on relevant scientific topics for journalists to interactive communication training sessions designed to help researchers strengthen their communication skills.

Public Lectures
Metcalf hosts public lectures on a range of environmental topics including the Annual Public Lecture Series featuring top scientists, journalists and policy makers on environmental issues of the day.


Metcalf programs and resources are underwritten by public and private foundations, a modest endowment, and private donations managed by the University of Rhode Island Foundation, a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable corporation.

Metcalf Institute Advisory Board

Metcalf Institute Staff


Metcalf Institute was established at the University of Rhode Island in 1997 with an endowment supported by three media organizations: The Providence Journal Charitable Foundation, the A.H. Belo Corp., parent company of The Providence Journal, and the Philip L. Graham Fund. The Telaka Foundation provided additional funding in 1998.

Metcalf Institute was named in honor of Michael P. Metcalf, the late publisher of The Providence Journal, who was keenly interested in marine and environmental issues and was known for his integrity, vision, and high standards for journalism.

The Institute began programming in 1998 with a series of public lectures on environmental issues and media coverage, followed by the first environmental science immersion fellowship for journalists in 1999.

University of Rhode Island
College of the Environment and Life Sciences

Metcalf Institute is part of the University of Rhode Island College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS). Originating at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography, Metcalf joined CELS in 2017 to enable new collaborations across academic disciplines and advance URI’s contributions to science and environmental communication research, education, and practice on a national scale. This partnership also expands Metcalf Institute’s national and global training for professional journalists and scientists.

The College of the Environment and Life Sciences, with a community of approximately 100 faculty members and 2,200 students, is a leader in the areas of environmental and life sciences, environmental economics and management, marine policy, and informal environmental education. It’s also home to URI’s popular Cooperative Extension program.

Contact Us

Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting
University of Rhode Island
College of the Environment and Life Sciences
1 Greenhouse Road
Kingston, RI 02881

Metcalf Institute is located in the Coastal Institute at the URI Kingston Campus. Directions and map may be found here.