Ranger Rick is now available for all ages!

Jury for Young Reporters for the Environment

Submissions to the YRE USA competition will be judged by a panel of professionals with expertise in the fields of environmental conservation, sustainable development, journalism, photography, videography, and education.

The members of the jury will utilize a rubric based on the Judging Criteria to review participants’ entries.

We are pleased to announce the members of the 2014 YRE USA jury. 



 Gary Braasch is an environmental photographer and writer who has documented natural history and environmental issues worldwide for major publications such as Time, Life, Scientific American, and the United Nations and World Meteorological Organization. Gary is the 2006 recipient of the Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography by the Sierra Club, the 2003 Outstanding Nature Photographer by the North American Nature Photography Association and a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers. University of California Press publishes his book Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World, and in 2012 he co-produced an App for iPhone and iPad visualizing climate changes to glaciers, coastlines and other landscapes.


Anne Bolen 

Anne Bolen is managing editor of National Wildlife magazine. For more than 20 years, she has written articles and edited and managed the publication of magazines, books and other publications that show how science illuminates our world. She has served as an editor for Smithsonian magazine, publications manager for the ocean conservation and communications organization SeaWeb and a production editor for Smithsonian Institution Press and Iowa State University Press.


Mary Dahlheim  

 Mary Dalheim is the Editorial Director of National Wildlife Federation’s two nature magazines for children: Ranger Rickand Ranger Rick Jr. She has held top editorial positions at the National Geographic Society; Scholastic Inc.; the National Education Association; and In2Books, a nonprofit literacy program. Before entering the publishing field, Mary was a middle school teacher. She has a B.A. in education from St. Mary’s College of Notre Dame, and an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.


Hillary Esquina  

Hillary Esquina is a Telly Award-winning producer/editor and has been working in the multi-media/video production field for over 8 years. She is currently the Content Producer at National Wildlife Federation, where she is in charge of all video production for the organization. Hillary has worked on a wide variety of award-winning projects and has demonstrated expertise in multiple areas including video marketing strategies, creating effective content and video production. She volunteers with animal rescue organizations and is an avid photographer.



Suzanne Garr is a freelance photographer and journalist. In addition, she is an account manager at Quad/Graphics, Inc. where one of her accounts for the past 23 years has been the National Wildlife Federation. She has participated in several of NWF’s Conservation Summits and has worked with the National Parks Conservation Association. Suzanne is also actively involved in a number of non-profit organizations including the Coalition of Photographic Artists, and she serves as board director of Outpost Natural Foods Co-op in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Suzanne recently led a team of volunteers to Uganda with the Change the Truth Foundation.


Sara Katz  

Sarah Katz-Hyman is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, where she majored in Broadcast Journalism and Environmental Science and Policy. She is currently a freelance photographer and a student contractor at the EPA. She first got involved with National Wildlife Federation at the Smart and Sustainable Campus Conference while a student at the University of Maryland. She has interned with Education Week, Living Classrooms, SESYNC, and the Bee Informed Partnership. Through these experiences she has learned how to communicate to a broad audience and worked to identify stories that can help everyone connect to the environment in their own way. Sarah enjoys walking dogs, biking, and camping. 


Laura Knudson  

Laura Knudson is the Education Program Manager at the Green Living Project (GLP). This film production and marketing company showcases global sustainability initiatives to educate and inspire businesses, communities, and individuals about the importance and benefits of global sustainability. Laura is responsible for curriculum development and outreach and has spearheaded multiple projects to bring GLP’s films to students and teachers across the country, including the Student Film Project contest, GLP’s Ambassador Program, and national partnerships with leading education organizations. Laura graduated from University of Redlands in 2008 with a double major in Environmental Studies and Creative Writing, and is an alumnus of the School for Field Studies Kenya.


Susan McElhinney  
Susan McElhinney is the Photo Editor for Ranger Rickmagazine at the National Wildlife Federation. She works with top nature photographers around the world to find photos that teach about fauna and flora, entertain, encourage kids to get outside, and bring wildlife news to millions of readers each month. Susan has also been a professional photographer for 25 years. She was a staff photographer for Newsweek in the Washington D.C. bureau through the Carter and Reagan years, and has freelanced for publications such as People, Life, Parenting, Fortune, and National Geographic.



David Poulson is the associate director of Michigan State University's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism where he teaches environmental, investigative and computer-assisted reporting to graduate and undergraduate students and organizes workshops for professional journalists. He is also the founder and editor of Great Lakes Echo, a non-profit environmental news service now serving the Great Lakes region. Prior to arriving at MSU in 2003, he was a reporter and editor for 22 years, covering the environment for several news organizations.



James A. Rousmaniere Jr. is former editor and president of The Keene Sentinel, an independent daily newspaper in New Hampshire founded in 1799. He came to the Sentinel from The Baltimore Sun, where his coverage included environmental affairs in Chesapeake Bay and, later, economic policymaking in Washington, D.C.  Over the years he has judged youth writing competitions about the Constitution and has helped a number of elementary schools start their own newspapers. He has also helped to teach a high school American Studies class that focused on studies of place, and has taught writing at the graduate level. He lives in a rural part of New Hampshire and is an outdoorsman.

YRE USA thanks all our jurors for offering their time and expertise to help youth develop their skills as environmental journalists! 

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