The institute is guided by a small volunteer board of professional journalists who specialize in environment and science reporting. The board provides input on program subject matter and recommends speakers and activities to the director.
Jeff Burnside has been in the news business for more than 20 years as a reporter, anchor, news manager and producer in cities such as Seattle, Boston and now Miami. He reports investigative, long format and environmental stories as well as daily news. He's won more than 25 journalism awards -- for television and newspaper reporting and photography -- including several regional Emmys. In 2007, he won three national awards for his investigative reporting: the Investigative Reporters and Editors Certificate, the National Press Club Award and the Clarion Award. His assignments have included interviewing presidents, going inside to investigate violent white extremists, exposing dangerous religious cults, documenting serious lapses in Florida's driver's licensing, videotaping bribes, uncovering the harm to whales from powerful sonar, and chronicling the secret pipeline from puppy mills to pet stores. His coverage of environmental issues is his particular passion. He was elected to the national Board of Directors for the Society of Environmental Journalists. He's earned fellowships at Carnegie Mellon University to study climate change, the Metcalf Institute for Environmental Reporting and the Western Knight Center for Specialized Reporting. He won a Packard grant to cover the International Coral Reef Symposium in Bali, Indonesia. He lectures at Stanford's Aldo Leopold Leadership Seminars and the Pew Institute for Ocean Science Marine Fellows conference. He served on a National Science Foundation commission examining climate change and the media. He's a frequently invited speaker on environmental journalism and journalism ethics. He was born and raised in Seattle, graduated from Washington State University and now lives in Miami Shores.
Robert McClure is co-founder of InvestigateWest, a non-profit journalism center covering the Pacific Northwest. He previously covered environmental affairs for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, with special emphasis on natural-resource topics such as fisheries, endangered species and mining. Before that he worked for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, where he concentrated heavily on Everglades coverage, and for United Press International.
McClure has been on the environment beat for nearly two decades. He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Florida, where he was editor of The Independent Florida Alligator. He also spent an academic year at the University of Michigan in the Knight Wallace Journalism Fellows program.
McClure has received numerous journalism awards including the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism and Best of the West. He also was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. McClure co-authored two travel books and is active in the Society of Environmental Journalists, where he serves on the board of directors and the Freedom of Information Task Force.
Craig Pittman is a native Floridian. He graduated from Troy State University in Alabama, where his muckraking work for the student paper prompted an agitated dean to label him "the most destructive force on campus." Since then he has covered a variety of newspaper beats and quite a few natural disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires and the Florida Legislature. Since 1998 he has reported on environmental issues for the St. Petersburg Times. His work won the Waldo Proffitt Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism in Florida in 2004, 2006 and 2007, and a series of stories on Florida's vanishing wetlands that he wrote with Matthew Waite won the top investigative reporting award in both 2006 and 2007 from the Society of Environmental Journalists. He is the author of "Manatee Insanity: Inside the War Over Florida's Most Famous Endangered Species," and is co-author with Waite of "Paving Paradise: Florida's Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss," both published by the University Press of Florida. His third book, "The Scent of Scandal: Greed, Betrayal, and the World's Most Beautiful Orchid," will be in stores in spring 2012. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two children.