As part of our class “Reporting on Natural Resources and Wildlife,” we report on bird migration, endangered species, habitat restoration and other land, water and wildlife issues in northwest Missouri and central Nebraska.
We time our journeys to coincide with one of the planet’s great natural wonders – the migration of more than a half-million sandhill cranes as they stop along a small piece of the Platte River.
We’ve made the journey many times, but from Saturday, March 27, through Tuesday, March 30, 2010, we blogged about it for the first time. Four students, mentored by two MU faculty members and two professional journalists, made the trip. Here is a list of our goals from that trip:
1. To produce a Soundslides show for the blog, preferably of the cranes taking off in the morning.
2. To work as a team maintaining, contributing to and editing the blog.
3. To see a whooping crane.
1. To get a taste of field reporting, bitter and sweet.
2. To see one of the biggest bird migrations on the planet.
3. To draw on sensory details that can’t be experienced in the comforts of my desk.
4. To check out the huge Cabela’s in Kearney, Neb.
1. Understand what the cranes bring to the towns economically.
2. Take photos of cranes.
3. Gain a greater appreciation for sandhill cranes.
4. Write a blog.
5. Bond with group members.
6. Understand why people are so passionate about these cranes.
1. Become proficient in communication media other than writing, such as Soundslides and photography.
2. Become an overall better reporter.
3. Witness one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world.
4. And I just want to have fun!