Watching Our Water Ways

Environmental reporter Christopher Dunagan discusses the challenges of protecting Puget Sound and all things water-related.
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The ongoing adventures of an enviro reporter

October 31st, 2012 by cdunagan

I recently spent an afternoon with Eric Sorensen, former science writer for the Seattle Times who now works for the Washington State University News Bureau.

As we drove up and down the back roads of the Kitsap Peninsula, I showed Eric some of my favorite places, and I dredged through my memory banks for stories I’ve covered through the years. I found myself babbling nonstop, talking about one environmental issue after another, trying to tie together the geography and history of our peninsula.

Somehow, Eric was able to create a nice biographical story about me from our discussion and his review of my stories. You can read his piece, titled “Bearing witness to the sights and smells of our soggy backyard,” in WSU’s alumni publication “Washington State Magazine.”

His story begins, “If you cover the waterfront the way Chris Dunagan does, you have to expect a fair amount of smells. There’s the fresh, tangy scent of estuary and the mild musk of beach wrack. There’s the stench of rotting shellfish during the great Oyster Rescue of 2010 and the outsized rot of a beached gray whale….”

It seems Eric had some fun with this story, even if my reputation as a smelly type of reporter needed no help. Anyway, I think he did a wonderful job of capturing some of my adventures.

I found a brief bio and humorous photo of Eric in an announcement of a talk he was giving journalism students at the University of Idaho, just across the state line from WSU.

Eric has captured many wonderful stories related to the research and personalities of folks associated with WSU. You can find a list of his recent work on this search page of “Washington State Magazine.”

When “Washington State Magazine” went online, he wrote a thoughtful “Dear Reader” piece about magazines, the art of reading and the flow of information. Thanks to the Internet version of the magazine, anyone can read Eric’s story about me.

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2 Responses to “The ongoing adventures of an enviro reporter”

  1. jack stanfill Says:

    I got a kick out of the article. The new habitat on Dickerson Creek is working as advertised. The root balls both slowed and re-directed the fast moving water today, and they provide a protection for the salmon to spawn.

  2. Mike Sato Says:

    Nice profile on what it takes to be a good beat reporter. Chris at the Sun and John Dodge at the Olympian are the two remaining environmental beat reporters who have the 25+ year perspective on the ups and downs of Puget Sound protection and restoration. Having and keeping an environment beat is a real contribution the Sun makes to inform its reader community– a standard Puget Sound major media needs to step up to instead of shrinking from. Good working, Chris.

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"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught."Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist

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