Institute on the Environment to launch Momentum magazine

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MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (8/8/08) -- In September 2008, the Institute on the Environment is launching a magazine titled Momentum. Published three times a year, the magazine will use University of Minnesota expertise as a springboard to addressing the world’s most pressing environmental issues.  

“Today’s environmental problems can’t be solved with business-as-usual thinking,” said Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment. “Our goal with the magazine is to create an ongoing forum for innovative thinking. Through Momentum’s print, Web and multimedia features, the world’s top environmental experts can share new ideas and solutions with each other and with the public.”

In the premiere issue, topics will range from Minnesota as a “living laboratory” and the future of the Statewide Conservation and Preservation Plan; to the promise and pitfalls of algae-to-biofuels conversion and the challenges surrounding local food systems.

Using a narrative writing style and accessible language, each article will dig below the surface to explore the complexities and policy implications, as well as the need for an interdisciplinary problem-solving approach.

The first issue will include contributions from leading environmental writers such as:

  • Jim Motavalli, senior writer at E Magazine and author of Feeling the Heat: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Climate Change;
  • Jessica Marshall, environment correspondent for Discovery News and a regular contributor to New Scientist;
  • Lee Egerstrom, a veteran reporter who spent three decades covering agricultural and business issues for the St. Paul Pioneer Press; and
  • Mark Neuzil, an environmental author, contributor to MinnPost, and former reporter for the Associated Press and the Star Tribune.

The inaugural issue also features an interview with New York Times columnist and best-selling author Thomas Friedman, whose new book, Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—and How It Can Renew America, releases Sept. 8.

“When we started planning the magazine this past winter, we immediately received interest from seasoned journalists in Minnesota and from across the country,” said Momentum editor Eve Daniels, an award-winning writer who has contributed to a wide range of regional and national magazines.

“The enthusiasm from such experienced writers and well-known interviewees speaks to the University of Minnesota’s reputation as a leader in environmental research,” said Daniels.

Rounding out the issue, prominent University of Minnesota researchers from a variety of disciplines—including David Tilman, Lee Frelich, Lucinda Johnson, Susan Galatowitsch and more—will discuss and debate the challenges surrounding climate change, biofuels, biodiversity and several other hot topics. 

Beginning with a limited print run of 6,000 to 7,000, the Institute will distribute the magazine to a broad environmental community of business and nonprofit leaders, researchers, policy makers, students and the general public. As the Institute on the Environment’s communications efforts grow to reach national and international audiences, the circulation will grow as well.

The limited print run, combined with environmentally-friendly ink and paper, is one way the Institute is staying sustainable in the production process. In addition, Web features such as videos and extended podcasts will supplement the print content in every issue, keeping the magazine’s page count relatively brief.