Robert L. Wyss
University of Connecticut
365 Fairfield Road
Storrs, CT 06269
Academic and Professional Experience
2016- Professor, Journalism Department, University of Connecticut.
2008-2016 Associate Professor, Journalism Department, University of Connecticut.
2002-2008 Assistant Professor, Journalism Department, University of Connecticut.
1974-2002 Reporter, Editor, Providence Journal, Providence, RI.
1978-2002 Adjunct Faculty, English Department, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI;
Communications Department Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI;
Journalism Department, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; and
Journalism Department, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.
1970-1972 Staff Writer, Daily Olympian, Olympia, WA.
B.A. Journalism, California State University, Long Beach, CA, 1970, Cum Laude.
M.A. Journalism and Mass Communications, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, 1974.
Fellow, Mental Health Mass Communication Program.
Summary of Professional Responsibilities:
Professor, Associate and Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Ct. Taught basic and advanced news reporting and writing, feature writing, copy editing, environmental journalism and seminars on improving communication between scientists and journalists. Advised about 40 undergraduate students each year. Remained an active journalist producing articles for national and regional popular, trade and professional publications. 2002-Present.
Deputy Financial Editor, Providence Journal, Providence, RI. Supervised the writing and production of the daily Financial Section. Oversaw eight business writers, three copy editors and one page designer. Directed coverage, edited copy and oversaw page design. Specialized on issues of energy, defense and business. Actively used computer assisted reporting. Produced on-line reports including multi-media presentations on-line that used sound and video. May 1997 to 2002.
Chair, Writing Committee, Providence Journal, Providence, RI. Supervised support and training programs for 350 Writing Division employees and conducted numerous mentoring sessions with writers. Assisted in the organization of a national journalism conference in June 1996, edited a new journalism book, created and produced an on-line site devoted to journalism and writing. January 1994-2002.
Adjunct Faculty, English Department, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI Designed and taught undergraduate courses in beginning news writing, advanced news writing, and feature and magazine writing for more than 20 years. Emphasis was on writing. Students were exposed to a range of elementary and advanced journalism issues, including computer assisted reporting and Internet access. Advised the student newspaper. 1978-2002.
Adjunct Faculty, Roger Williams University, University of Connecticut and Michigan State University. Designed and taught upper division courses on the relationship between science and the media and feature writing at Roger Williams. Taught an advanced news writing course at the University of Connecticut. Organized and established a new environmental reporting program as a visiting professional at Michigan State University. Also organized a regional journalism conference, supervised students on special topics, and began a liaison between local journalists and environmentalists.
Staff Writer, Providence Journal, Providence, RI. General assignment reporter for a suburban bureau, Providence City Hall reporter specializing in political coverage, energy and technology including cable television, and environmental. 1974-1997.
Books and Book Chapters
The Man Who Built the Sierra Club, A Life of David Brower. New York: Columbia University Press, Summer, 2016.
“Environmental Journalism” chapter in The Encyclopedia of Journalism. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, Fall, 2009.
Covering the Environment. New York: Routledge, December, 2007.
Brimfield Rush, The Thrill Of Collecting And The Hunt For The Big Score, Beverly, MA: Commonwealth Editions, May, 2006.
Editor, How I Wrote the Story, Providence, RI: Providence Journal Co., June, 1996.
“Wastes,” chapter in The 1994 Information Please Environmental Almanac, Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1994, p. 86-104.
“Warren, Rhode Island,” chapter in New England: Special Places & Certain People, Dublin, NH: Yankee Books, 1986, p. 74-79.
Recent Newspaper, Magazine and Online Articles
“They Won’t Feed the Bears at this Birthday Bash,” Huffington Post, Aug. 26, 2016.
“When 10,000 is Not Enough,” Huffington Post, Aug. 23, 2016.
“Confessions of a Refugee Anarchist,” Huffington Post, July 21, 2016.
“Who Will Stop Companies From Drilling Holes in the Grand Canyon,” Audubon, Summer, 2016.
“Coal Black Sky,” www.coalblacksky.com, November, 2014 – March, 2016.
“Interview Class Helps Make Science Clearer,” SEJournal, Sept. 1, 2015.
“Yellowstone.” Providence Journal, August 7, 2012.
“The Real Thing,” Rhode Island Monthly, December, 2011.
“Science, Politics and Confusion,” CTMirror.com, November 17, 2011.
“When Local Utility Execs Make Promises,” Providence Journal, September 3, 2011.
“An Interview With Andy Revkin,” Wracklines, Fall/Winter, 2010.
“Basket Case,” Rhode Island Monthly, October, 2010.
“Living on the Edge,” Rhode Island Monthly, August, 2010.
“Connecticut’s Mulberry Craze,” Connecticut Explored, Summer, 2010.
“Where Baseball Bats are Born,” Providence Journal, June 2, 2010.
“The Great Lakes: Saudi Arabia of Water?” Providence Journal, December 9, 2009.
“The Eternal Optimists,” Quill, November-December, 2009.
“Tough Enough,” Rhode Island Monthly, November, 2009.
“New Journalism-Science Initiatives Alter How Science News is Shaped,” SEJournal, Fall, 2009.
“Playing it Safe.” Rhode Island Monthly, July, 2009.
“Dam Good Work, Fisherman Paul Bettencourt Takes Eco-Preservation Into His Own Hands. Rhode Island Monthly, April, 2009.
“Is the Appalachian Trail Being Loved to Death? Providence Journal, November 6, 2008.
“Presidential Campaign Proves Environment a Hot Story,” SEJournal, Fall, 2008.
“Turkey Talk, Money, Food, Sex, Just a Few Highlights in a Typical Day in the Life of Our State Bird,” Rhode Island Monthly, November, 2008.
“Suburbanizing the Forest,” Providence Journal, September 21, 2008.
Still Quiet, Still Green,” Hartford Courant, August 17, 2008.
“Road Work Ahead,” Smithsonian, June 2008.
“Clearing The Foul Air In Mexico City,” Providence Journal, May 5, 2008.
“The Wind-Energy Challenge Of Altamont,” Providence Journal, November 2, 2007.
“Deep Waters,” Rhode Island Monthly, October, 2007.
“The Pikas On The Pass,” Providence Journal, September 2, 2007.
“Diamonds Are Forever,” Rhode Island Monthly, April, 2007.
“Green Pioneer Helped Bring Vermont Back From the Brink,” Hartford Courant, January 7, 2007.
“Antiques No Longer Just Antiques,” Providence Journal, August 20, 2006.
“Hunt Gets Harder,” Providence Journal, June 4, 2006.
“Brimfield (The Anti-eBay),” Rhode Island Monthly, May, 2006.
“Antiques Fever: The Great Old Gold Rush,” Hartford Courant, April 23, 2006.
“SEJ Austin Conference: Impressions,” Environment Writer, October 2005.
“The Leading Man,” Rhode Island Monthly, April, 2005.
“Town Is Split Over Hiking Trail,” The New York Times, April 17, 2005.
“Disaster In Donora: ‘It’s Murder’,” Providence Journal, February 3, 2005.
“Mizzou Rekindles Science Journalism Project,” Environment Writer, December, 2004-January, 2005.
“A Steeple Is Ready to Rise Again,” The New York Times, December 5, 2004.
“A ‘Waist’ Of Time?” Poynteronline, November 15, 2004.
“Ashes To Ashes,” E, The Environmental Magazine, November-December, 2004.
“The Sand Hogs,” Rhode Island Monthly, November, 2004.
“Six Feet Under, But Where? ”The New York Times, October 10, 2004.
“Where the Wild Things Are,” Rhode Island Monthly, October, 2004.
“Wrought-Iron Beauty From a More Stylish Age,” Christian Science Monitor, August 18, 2004.
“In Praise Of The Flowerpot,” Christian Science Monitor, August 18, 2004.
“Gallery Dogs,” The New York Times, August 15, 2004.
“Population/Wildlife,” Environment Writer, July-August, 2004.
“An Ode To Grecian Flowerpots,” The New York Times, July 25, 2004.
“Discovering the Students That I Teach,” Providence Journal, June 12, 2004.
“Rooms With A View,” Rhode Island Monthly, May, 2004.
“Ten Best Ways To Explore Narragansett Bay,” 2004 Yankee Magazine Travel New England, Spring, 2004.
“Bambi’s Last Stand” Rhode Island Monthly, March 2004.
“Rome Point Wins Visitors’ Seal of Approval,” Boston Globe, January 4, 2004.
“Electrical System’s Slipping Reliability,” Providence Journal, October 30, 2003.
“Helping The Grass Grow,” Rhode Island Monthly, October, 2003.
“Water And Population II,” Environment Writer, September, 2003.
“Utilities: Cutting The Waste Bill,” Landlord’s Bottom Line Bulletin, September, 2003.
“Why Did Great-Grandfather Leave This Beautiful Swiss Valley?” Providence Journal, July 2003.
“Play Ball,” Attache, July 2003.
“How The Relentless Watson Built IBM,” The Providence Journal, June 22, 2003.
“Environmental Journalism Education,” Environment Writer, May, 2003.
“When Oil Spills Were More Tolerated,” The Providence Journal, May 13, 2003.
“Al Klyberg Builds His Time Machine,” Rhode Island Monthly, May, 2003.
“The Garden Of Eden Is Alive At Boston’s Arnold Arboretum,” The Providence Journal. April 13, 2003.
“A Wildflower Show In A Rock Garden,” Boston Globe, April 6, 2003.
“Finding Peace In The Capital,” The Providence Journal, March 23, 2003.
“3 Questions, 3 Answers Geno Auriemma,” Yankee, March, 2003.
“The Iceman Winneth,” Attache, January 2003.
“Nader’s Rusted Glory, Guarded Privacy,” The Providence Journal, January 5, 2003.
“The Rise And Fall Of RI’s Oyster Industry,” The Providence Journal, January 6, 2003.
“Covering The Coasts And Population Pressures,” Environmental Writer, December, 2002.
“Providence Against The Bay,” The Providence Journal, November 15, 2002.
“Coastal Issues Highlighted At SEJ Conference,” Environmental Writer, November, 2002.
“Perfect Setting For Sun-Lovers,” The Providence Journal, October 13, 2002.
“The Glitter And Glory Of The Old Fall River Line,” The Providence Journal, September 12, 2002.
More than 6,000 other newspaper and magazine stories have been published in regional and national magazines and newspapers between 1970 and 2002.
Speaker about The Man Who Built the Sierra Club and the craft of writing biographies at Tolland Public Library,Tolland CT., June 22, 6:30 p.m.; Avon Free Public Library, Avon, CT. July 26; Seattle Central Public Library, Seattle, WA, August 2; Third Place Book Store, Seattle, WA, August 9.
Speaker, “Environmental Journalism, Revolution in the Classroom,” panel, Society of Environmental Journalists, New Orleans, LA, September 6, 2014.
Speaker, “Teaching Environmental Journalism,” panel, Society of Environmental Journalists, Chattanooga, TN, October 6, 2013.
Speaker, “Walter Cronkite, The Most Trusted Man in America?” at The Heights senior citizen facility, Hartford, CT, October 25, 2012.
Speaker about Brimfield Rush and the craft of narrative non-fiction journalism at the UConn Co-op April 20, 2006; Phillips Church, Cranston, RI, April 30, 2006; RJ Julia’s Booksellers, Madison, CT, June 15, 2006 ; Barnes & Noble Books, Enfield, CT, July 8, 2006; Weaver Library, East Providence, RI, July 10, 2006; Tolland Library, Tolland, CT, August 22, 2006; Northshire Books, Manchester, VT, August 26, 2006; Barrington Community School, Barrington, RI, October 19, 2006; Bristol Historical Preservation Society, Bristol, RI, and Warwick Public Library, November 15, 2006; South Windsor Public Library, South Windsor, CT, March 26, 2007; Windsor Historical Society, Windsor, CT, April 19, 2007; Providence Public Library, Providence, RI, April 26, 2007; Hebron Historical Society, Hebron, CT., May 24, 2007; Leisure Learning, East Greenwich, RI, October 11, 2007; Clark Memorial Library, Carolina, RI, October 17, 2007; North Kingstown Women’s Club, North Kingstown, RI, January 5, 2008; Portsmouth Public Library, Portsmouth, RI, June 2, 2009; Lincoln Public Library, Lincoln, RI, April 12, 2010.
Moderator for “How journalists deal with scientists,” workshop, Covering the Ohio River Valley, A Convergence of Scientists and Media, Louisville, KY, February 27, 2010.
Speaker on “The Future of Environmental Journalism,” panel discussion, Covering the Ohio River Valley, A Convergence of Scientists and Media, Louisville, KY, February 27, 2010.
Moderator for “Supercharging the Classroom,” session, at the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference, Madison, WI, October 9, 2009.
Moderator for “Writing About Science and the Environment,” panel, at the Society of Environmental Journalists Conference, Roanoke, VA, October 19, 2008.
Moderator for Freedom of Information Case Studies seminar for the New England Associated Press News Executives Association FOI Conference, North Conway, NH, October 14, 2005.
Keynote speaker for “Covering Municipal Finance,” seminar to reporters at the Providence Journal, Providence, RI, January, 2004.
Keynote Speaker on “Twentieth Century Narragansett Bay, An Economic and Environmental History,” presented to Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence, RI, April 1, 2003.
Speaker “First Person in Journalism,” seminar, Providence Journal, Providence, RI, February, 2001.
Other presentations have been made at the Knight Specialized Journalism Program, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, February, 1998; Narrative Serial Writing, Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, FL, January, 1998; Investigative Reporters and Editors, Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI, June, 1996; the Society of Environmental Journalists conference, Boulder CO, October, 1991.
Recent Organization Participation
Member, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Committee on Curriculum and Courses.
Member, Advisory Committee, Environmental Studies Major.
Member, Edwin Way Teale Lecture Series Committee at the University of Connecticut.
Member, Editorial Board, Wracklines, published by Connecticut Sea Grant.
Margaret Rubega, Robert Wyss, Robert Capers, “NRT-IGE: Training STEM Graduates to Communicate in the Digital Age,and Measuring Whether It Works” award of $500,000 for three years from the National Science Foundation, August, 2015.
Magazine Writing, Rhode Island Press Association, May 2012.
Magazine Writing, Rhode Island Press Association, May 2011.
Magazine Writing, Rhode Island Press Association, May 2010.
Finalist, USG’s Teacher of the Year Award, University of Connecticut, April 2009.
Best Deadline Story, Society of American Business Editors and Writers, April 2001.
Pulitzer Prize Nominee of the Providence Journal in 1985, 1987, 1989.
New England Newspaper Association.
American Planning Association.
Organizations and Professional Activities:
Society of Environmental Journalists.
Society of Professional Journalists.