I’m pleased to welcome our second Report for America corps member and full-time reporter — Katie Brown — to the Maine Monitor team. Brown comes to us from Washington, D.C., where she worked at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication. For us, she’ll report on the environment with a focus on climate and energy.
While earning her master’s in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Brown worked as a local news reporter and community radio producer investigating environmental issues for The Mercury News of San Jose, Santa Cruz Sentinel, and KZSC radio. Her reporting has taken her on overnight commercial fishing expeditions, hikes to sacred native mountains and up winding smoke-filled highways.
Brown, 25, will split time between the Maine Monitor’s office in Augusta and her home base in South Portland while covering statewide issues. She is one of 225 Report for America fellows selected this year to fill news coverage gaps in communities and newsrooms across the country. RFA conducted a national search for talented candidates passionate about local journalism earlier this year and received so many applications that roughly only one in 10 applicants received a job offer.
Brown’s approach, maturity, drive and science background stood out during our round of interviews. We’re thrilled to have her on board covering climate and energy as Maine jumps to the forefront of rural states working to address climate change and adopt renewable energy.
Brown will spend the next year investigating the broad implications Maine’s climate and energy policies have statewide. Her environmental coverage of California’s Central Coast poised Brown to make a large impact in Maine with her friendly demeanor and dogged reporting and research skills. Before becoming a journalist, she worked as a field biologist alongside Alaskan fishermen studying fish guts and collaborated with Ethiopian researchers to conserve indigenous church forests.
Brown grew up in a beach town on the edge of Los Angeles County, where she spent summers doing buoy swims and playing beach volleyball. Her respect for nature and fascination with people steered her toward earning her bachelor of arts in environmental studies from California State University, Monterey Bay, where she was a researcher through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center (UROC) Scholars program.
Brown joins the growing the Maine Monitor newsroom. Last year we added reporter Samantha Hogan and earlier this year, we hired Managing Editor Meg Robbins.
Please join me in welcoming her to the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting/the Maine Monitor.