A reporter on every Great Lake
News about the Great Lakes comes every day from all five bodies of water and the communities around them. You may have noticed more, regular stories here on GreatLakesNow.org across a range of issues and geographies.
That’s possible because we’re expanding! Last week, we introduced you to our new Program Director Sandra Svoboda. Now, we meet two new reporters who are part of our plan to have a correspondent on every Great Lake.
Here’s a little bit about them:
Duluth-based Jack Nissen will report from the Boundary Waters to Sault St. Marie and along the northern shores of Lake Superior. Nissen, a staff writer at the Duluth News Tribune, has a master’s degree in environmental journalism from Michigan State University and is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.
He spent a year reporting on environmental news in the Great Lakes region during graduate school while conducting research on the coverage of the Flint Water Crisis. He’s had articles published in The Detroit News, Bridge Magazine and the Minnesota Star Tribune. Along with covering protests at Michigan State University in 2018, he’s also reported undercover at white supremacy rallies, covered political races, and written from disaster zones and about regional business trends.
Since he joined Great Lakes Now in September, Nissen has covered new algae threats and rapid warming trends in Lake Superior. He also joined a citizen science venture organized by a group of Lake Superior kayakers in a piece coming soon. He’ll be keeping an eye on the potential for invasive species, shifts in Great Lakes ecology, and the effects of climate change on Lake Superior as well as following new waterfront developments and recreational trends that have an impact on the Duluth region’s economy.
From his home in Marblehead, Ohio, James Proffitt will be covering Lake Erie — and he plans to be reporting from on the water as much as possible. He has been a fisherman and a hunter longer than he’s been a writer. He was a freelance reporter for papers in Cincinnati and northern Kentucky before moving north to the Great Lakes, and he worked for Gannett’s Newspaper Network of Central Ohio as a reporter and photographer for eight years. He’s also a frequent contributor to the Outdoor News Network.
Proffitt has work forthcoming in Lake Erie Living and Cooperative Living magazines. Many of his news and photo features have won awards from The Associated Press, and his verse and fiction have appeared in dozens of university and literary journals. He produces videos about fishing, hunting, outdoors, conservation and all things Lake Erie, as well as its tributaries.
In 2015 he published Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie: Ohio’s Historic Beacon (now in its second printing) with Arcadia Press. Since he came on board at Great Lakes Now in September, he’s reported on new fears about harmful algal blooms, the ways charter captains are becoming citizen scientists, the release of baby sturgeon into Lake Erie, and the ongoing threat of Asian Carp. He’ll be following new threats to Lake Erie that could impact the sport and commercial fishing industry, lakeshore development, lake-related politics, and sensitive topics like the role agriculture plays in helping to stop harmful algal blooms.
Featured Image: Looking into the horizon from Lake superior, Photo by publicdomainpictures.net cc 0.0