Coming Home to the Circle of Blue Family

Circle of Blue editorial intern Aubrey Blanche summarizes the first two weeks of her summer in the Circle of Blue newsroom.


Photo © Aubrey Blanche
Bedouins raising livestock in Jordan.

I’m in my second week at Circle of Blue, and it is really a homecoming for me — I’m working just down the street from where I went to high school, and having the opportunity to work and play in Traverse City this summer is wonderful. I just finished my last year at Northwestern University, where I majored in Journalism and Political Science, and I’m spending the next eight weeks with Circle of Blue before I move to California this fall to begin my PhD in Political Science at Stanford.

I heard about Circle of Blue’s intern program through the NU Medill School of Journalism’s residency program, which has produced two other journalists in residence (JRs) before me. In general, Circle of Blue has quite the Medill alumni family:

  • Trevor Seela: JR from April – June 2010, Medill graduate in 2011. Trevor is now a visual information specialist at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center.
  • Nadya Ivanova: JR from April – June 2009, Medill graduate in 2010 — Nadya has stayed on with the team as a reporterand is currently on assignment in China.
  • Aaron Jaffe: Intern from May through August 2008, Medill graduate in 2012 — Aaron has been working on various projects for Circle of Blue since he was in high school, including his latest report on water-food-energy collisions in Australia. Aaron is now an associate at SustainAbility.
  • J. Carl Ganter: Medill graduate in 1987 — Carl co-founded Circle of Blue in 2002 with his wife Eileen. (Check out Carl’s photos from our Philippines story that published yesterday.)

The first few days in the office were a bit confusing — it’s not every day (or ever!) that I come across a co-worker with the same name (Aubrey Ann Parker is the assistant editor here) — but it’s been fun. To get comfortable with water news, I’ve been helping out with the @circleofblue Twitter feed for a couple of months in preparation for this internship. But now that I’m actually in the office, I feel like I’ve really integrated into the team quickly. I’m one of several interns that Circle of Blue has this summer: Alec and Amanda are design interns from Grand Valley State University who started in May; Varun is a data intern from the University of Michigan who, like me, has been doing some work from home for a few months but just recently got to the office; and two additional interns, one data and one editorial, will be joining us in the next few weeks.

I’ve spent the last couple of years studying and living in countries like Jordan and Tajikistan, so I’m excited to report on the environmental issues in these regions. So far, I’ve been doing some preliminary research for a new project we’re rolling out later this month, as well as writing briefs and pitching stories for the site. Look for my brief on Syrian refugees in Jordan in the next few days. There’s always a thousand things going around here, and that’s exactly the way I like to work.

Want to know what it’s like to intern with Circle of Blue? Email me at circleofblue.org/contact or comment below. And check back soon for new and exciting developments!

Aubrey Blanche
Circle of Blue editorial intern

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