Missoula, Mont. — The Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) announces First Vice President Christine Peterson will be the organization’s new President. Peterson has written about wildlife, the environment and outdoor recreation as a journalist in Wyoming and across the West for well over a decade, first at the Casper Star-Tribune then as a full-time freelancer. She will become the youngest president in the organization’s history.
Her goals as president will include: the launch, marketing and expansion of a new mentorship program; continued efforts to diversify membership on multiple fronts and reach out to underrepresented communities; and to build on the past year of online educational webinars and workshops and continue connecting OWAA members virtually and in-person throughout the year.
A 21-year OWAA member, Peterson has told stories about grizzly bears, wolves, elk and insects for National Geographic, water law and persistence hunting for Outdoor Life, and chronic wasting disease and landlocked public land for High Country News. Her byline has also appeared in The Guardian, Bugle, the Cool Green Science web magazine and many other publications. She is a contributing writer for Outdoor Life.
A member of OWAA since 2010, Peterson served for three years on the Board of Directors before being elected as Second Vice President and then a year later becoming First Vice President. She’s currently co-chair of the Diversity and Conference Planning committees.
Peterson has also won many Excellence in Craft awards for newspaper and magazine writing as well as Backcountry Hunters and Anglers’ Ted Trueblood award for conservation communication, American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Kavli Journalism Award and the National Association of Science Writers’ Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award.
“OWAA has provided me with outdoor communication colleagues throughout my career, giving me the support, resources and network to advance in untold ways. It only made sense for me to give back to the organization that has given me so much,” Peterson says. “I’m thrilled to help lead OWAA over the next year as we continue our focus on conservation, professional development, diversity in the outdoors, and mentoring the next generation.”
She will be making her in-person debut October 3-6, 2021 at Jay Peak, Vermont at what could be the height of the fall foliage season. OWAA’s conference brings together world-class outdoor media, including writers, photographers, bloggers, podcasters, videographers and more, together from a broad spectrum of outdoor specialties to learn, connect and discover all the outdoor offerings of the local hosts.
“At our conference, we do everything we can to deliver outstanding professional development workshops and lectures. We also get our members outside so they can experience adventures firsthand – and produce stories about them for their outlets,” she explains.
OWAA is open to individual professional media, conservation organizations, brands and service providers that are focused on outdoor communication. Their annual conference gives attendees a chance to network with other professionals, build career relationships and help improve their skills. Sessions are geared toward general business, newsmakers and craft improvement in multiple genres of outdoor communication including Photograph, Videography, Writing and Editing, Technology, and more.
Recognized as “The Voice of the Outdoors,” OWAA is the nation’s largest organization of professional outdoor journalists. Its membership includes writers, photographers, videographers, radio and TV personalities, digital storytellers and artists. Formed in 1927, the nonprofit association’s mission is to improve the professional skills and opportunities of its members, set the highest ethical and communications standards, encourage public enjoyment and conservation of natural resources, and mentor the next generation of professional outdoor communicators. https://owaa.org