Bob Downing covers the environment, parks and the outdoors for the Akron Beacon Journal.
He covers such topics as Ohio's ozone and soot problems, Akron's sewer overflows, Ohio landfills, Lake Erie, recycling, toxic waste, the Great Lakes, E-Check vehicle testing, mega-farms, sludge, septage, Superfund sites, brownfields, prairie restorations, wetland preservation, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, great blue herons, ospreys and white-tailed deer in parks.
His beat includes the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio state parks and local park districts in the Akron area.
He joined the Beacon Journal in 1972 and has covered Portage, Medina, Wayne and Stark counties; education and federal courts; and he has been a rewrite reporter, weekend section editor and features writer.
He attended Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., and graduated from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. He has taught journalism part-time at Kent State and Cuyahoga Community College (Western Campus).
He has won numerous awards for his environmental coverage and is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.
He and his wife, Pat, live in Akron and have three grown children: Andy and Maureen, both in Chicago, and Caitlin in New York City.
He can be reached at 330-996-3745 or email@example.com.
For more than 11 years, Bob Downing has been writing and taking photographs for an outdoor-oriented travel column, In the Wild. The challenge is to capture a sense of place in words and pictures for readers and viewers.
The column has taken me from Maine to California and from British Columbia to Florida and the Caribbean. I have heard wolves howl on a frosty night at Old Faithful. I have searched for orcas in the San Juan Islands. I have pursued moose at Jackson Hole. I have experienced elephant seals on a California beach. I have gone swimming with stingrays on Grand Cayman Island. I have witnessed the migrating sandhill cranes along the Platte River in Nebraska.
I have hiked Isle Royale, paddled the New and the Gauley, pedaled Tsali bike trails, hiked the rain forests on St. Lucia, pedaled the Great Allegheny Passage and snorkeled at Buck Island Reef and Trunk Bay. I have hiked to the top of Mount LeConte and Gros Morne Mountain, hiked to arches in Kentucky's Red River Gorge and explored glaciers in the Canadian Rockies.
I have searched for ghosts in a closed Ohio prison, admired Ithaca's waterfalls, ridden a cog railroad into the snow on Mount Washington, stood in awe at the starry skies in Utah and attended a bear class in the Smoky Mountains. I have walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, learned about Indian earthworks in Ohio, hiked next to mansions in Newport, R.I., and pedaled scrubby Gooseberry Mesa in southern Utah.
I have a special affection for whitewater rivers, old-growth forests, waterfalls, lighthouses, mountain balds, Civil War battlefields, sand dunes and any place with a historic marker or scenic overlook. Just ask my family and friends.
I have favorite places: Yellowstone, Lake O'Hara, Zion Narrows, New River Gorge, Dolly Sods, Yosemite, the San Juan Islands, Asheville, Charleston, Hocking Hills, the Tetons, Big Sur, Harpers Ferry, Bryce, Grand Island, Conkle's Hollow, White Grass, Lake Placid, the Rogue River, Banff-Jasper, Walnut Canyon, White Grass, the South Rim, Newfoundland, Spruce Knob, the Canadian North Woods, Allegheny National Forest and Grand Staircase-Escalante.
There are still places I want to visit: Alaska, the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii), Hawaii, Mesa Verde, Glacier, Taos, the Apostle Islands, the Little Bighorn, Nova Scotia and the Badlands. I want to swim with the manatees in Florida and migrating salmon in British Columbia.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.