New Mexico journalist Laura Paskus is among recipients of the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources inaugural Frank Allen Reporting Award.

Paskus, a longtime contributor to SFR, plans to travel this summer to report on how diminishing water supplies are threatening endangered species recovery.

"The best thing about being a reporter on the environment beat is spending time outside, traveling, and seeing landscapes, rivers, and development firsthand," Paskus says. "That's not always as easy as it sounds, though. Getting out of the office can be expensive, especially if you're a freelancer covering gas and travel costs on your own. I'm grateful to the folks at IJNR who see the value in field reporting and who work hard to support this sort of work."

In addition to reporting on the issue locally, she's planning a larger long-term project on the river.

Paskus participated last year in one of the organization's "learning expeditions" for reporters, visiting Montana for "Crown of the Continent Institute" on energy development, land and subsurface rights, and changes in Rocky Mountain regional ecosystems.  She also won a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists this year for reporting on New Mexico's copper mining industry. Keep an eye on SFR for her next story.