Ron Seely is an editor and reporter for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and a senior lecturer on journalism and science writing in the Department of Life Sciences Communication. Until he retired from the Wisconsin State Journal in 2013, Seely was an award-winning reporter there for 35 years, covering science and the environment for 20 of those years.
In addition to his work as a journalist, Seely has been a lecturer in LSC for more than 15 years. He has also taught graduate seminars in the departments of Genetics and Botany on how scientists can better communicate their research to lay audiences. He also regularly works with the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific organization, to conduct communication training sessions for the organization’s scientists in Washington, D.C. and throughout the country.
Seely has won numerous state and national awards for his journalism over the years. In 2014, he was awarded the Sierra Club’s David Brower Award for excellence in environmental reporting. He is also a three-time winner of the Wisconsin Press Association’s award for environmental reporting, mostly recently in 2009. In 2010, he was the recipient of the American Chemical Society’s national science writing award, the prestigious James T. Grady—James H. Stack Award.
In May of 2013, Seely was hired by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism where he serves as an editor and reporter focusing on environmental issues. He also serves as a mentor to the center’s staff of interns. Seely’s first reporting for WCIJ was an in-depth look at the role of Wisconsin’s tribes and their powerful treaty rights in the debate over a proposed 4 ½-mile-long open pit iron mine in the Penokee Range.
In 1997, Seely was the co-writer and narrator for Wisconsin Public Television’s “Love of the Land,” a documentary about private landowners who have adopted Aldo Leopold’s land ethic. An avid angler and wilderness paddler, Seely lives in Madison with his wife, Doreen. They have two children, Will, who is a middle school teacher in Madison, and Anna, who recently completed a degree in international business at University of Wisconsin–Whitewater.