When the California Humanities Emerging Journalist Fellowship team at Sierra College started researching the role of water in the community and the American River, one group they came across was the Save the American River Association (SARA). Through SARA, journalist fellow, Madalyn Wright discovered local water caretakers, Bob and Mary Beth Metcalf, who spend their Saturday mornings testing the river water for E. coli bacteria. To learn just how accessible this citizen science is, Wright, their 5-year old daughter, Thea, and their partner Ryan Moskun joined the Metcalfs on May 7, 2022, for a morning of pipettes and learning in a parking lot science lab.
Environmental Justice meets Racial Equity
When you think of rivers, lakes and streams, you picture a euphoric sight. The sun shining, birds chirping and crisp, clean; clear water. The scenery draws you into a magical getaway of peace and solitude. But the harsh reality is that this is not always the case near some of Sacramento’s most prominent bodies of water.
Community and Care: Diving the American River
Born and raised in Sacramento, Steven Bruegeman grew up with National Geographic on all the coffee tables and the kitchen counter. Almost everything in his life has been tied back to California ecology. After going back to school in retirement and getting a degree in Environmental Conservation, Bruegeman found Dolphin Scuba- the Sacramento scuba diving hub. Now a pro, Bruegeman takes on river clean-up dives and teaches kids scuba and Ecology Awareness. I interviewed him on May 11th at Dolphin Scuba. Continue Reading
Water Wisdom with Katelyn Vengersammy
There are many ways to learn more about the earth, as well as how to save it. One way is through community events. In this 5-minute podcast, journalist fellows Katelyn Vengersammy and Aviana Loveall visited the Sierra College, Rocklin campus as they hosted an Earth Day event on April 28, 2022. This event lasted from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with vendors, student clubs, small businesses, nonprofits, and others that are local to the Sacramento area. Events ranged from nature walks, a rock-climbing wall, craft-making, and giveaways. Continue Reading
Bends and Banks: Communities, Water, and the American River
Bends and Banks: Communities, Water, and the American River, is a set of five stories produced by a team of journalist fellows in Spring, 2022. The team includes four student journalists: Madalyn Wright, Vontress Ortega, Katelyn Vengersammy, and Aviana Loveall. They were all awarded through the California Humanities “Emerging Journalist” Fellowship with the Journalism program at Sierra College.
Rock climbing, snow sports, and anything semi-dangerous was what fueled my childhood. Living in Sacramento allowed my family and I to be just an hour and a half away from some of the coolest places, such as Lake Tahoe and John Muir Woods. Choosing to study at Sierra College allowed me to stay close to amazing places like these, with the opportunity to take classes even closer to the mountains at the Nevada County Campus.
The Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students (ECOS) is a club at Sierra College that I was lucky to join. It helps educate students on the importance of sustainability and the principles of Leave No Trace. Thanks to ECOS, I was able to participate in outdoor activities and meet people who feel just as passionately about the earth as I do.
Written by Alexis Young
Local Bear River Endangered by Centennial Dam
The above 10-minute video describes how Centennial Dam is endangering the Bear River in Colfax, California. Click above to learn more.
Peaceful before the hunger for money
The King, the danger, the deadly
Few more million than one can count
The tallest, the fastest, and even the smallest
That the world has ever seen
Living on one continent
With whispers of the finest sunsets
Accompany where the wild roams
Believing in what science has proven false
Herbal remedies, black markets
The importance of a narrow-minded belief
Serves more highly than the lives of the wild
Lion manes, rhino horns, elephant tusks
Sold under a criminal act
A trophy on the wall
A smile for the picture
Forever remembering a hunt for the endangered
Ignoring the position as the dominant species
To protect and preserve the lives of ones who do no harm
Don’t turn your head
Look at the numbers
This world has life greater than a desire for selfish needs
Populations low as extinction lists grow
Animals who were here long before
Won’t be here to witness
Written by Nicque McMullen | Photo by Geran de Klerk
Fire- Money- Power
Four million to influence California
Politicians knew and took the money
Convict in this story isn’t a person
Newsom received more than $200,000
But is it ethical?
Lobbying to achieve
Legislative package to help Utilities
Reforms of legal liability
Gas explosion killed eight, a neighborhood was destroyed
Never forget what happened in San Bruno
A jury found PG&E guilty, convicted of six felonies
One count of obstructing investigation
A corporation cannot go to prison
Yet, we expect to be judged by our actions
Television ads apologize, we’re working every day,
Safest energy company in the nation
Since being sentenced in 2017,
Wildfires kill 107
“Camp Fire” killed 85 when it destroyed Paradise
State’s conclusion, PG&E line started the fire
$3.2 million flowed to candidates
Eight out of 10 lawmakers took money
Oh, how it’s going to cost us all.
Written by Eric Pacheco | Photo by Marcus Kauffman
Education as Creative Freedom
My proudest day of school was the day I dropped out. That was the day I declared my learning autonomy; the day I took direct action to occupy my education. I have Sierra College to thank for reigniting my passion for exploration and desire to learn. When I first graduated high school, college was the last thing on my mind. The busy work and pressures of public school had rid me of any interest in further studies. To me, school was a prison. Perhaps I felt that way because I had something to compare it to.
Youth Climate Protest Strikes Sacramento
The broad, stone steps of the Sacramento State Capitol building were crowded with young people hoisting homemade signs into the air. The air rang with the sounds of protest: “No more coal! No more oil! Keep your carbon in the soil!” More than 200 voices chanted in unison, led by the abrasive, static crackle of a megaphone. A group of elementary aged children displayed a hand-painted banner that read “Kids Climate Strike” decorated with paint handprints. Another sign held by a teenage girl read “This planet is getting hotter than my imaginary boyfriend!”