Alumni Profile: Rocky Mountain Reporter
Kylie Mohr '12 paddling on a lake at the foot of the Grand Teton Range in Wyoming.
"There’s nowhere to hide when you’re a journalist in Jackson Hole. I run into sources in the grocery store, at the trailhead and even perched on the chairlift. Living and working in a small resort community gives me even more motivation to write fair, accurate stories. It’s always fun to walk into a coffee shop and see someone holding my work in their hands.
"I write about everything from opioid addiction and air ambulances to school funding and forest kindergartens as an education and health reporter. Outside my core beats, I’ve enjoyed writing quintessential Wyoming stories about ranchers, square dancers, rodeo queens and even mutton busting. I cover breaking news, business and feature stories too.
"I also write freelance outdoor and environmental magazine pieces about topics like hibernation, fire recovery in Yellowstone and energy conservation.
"I came to Wyoming in a roundabout way via earning a political science degree at Georgetown University and studying abroad for a year in Denmark. In Washington, D.C., I worked for NPR, CNN and U.S. Senator Patty Murray. I never thought I’d end up in the Cowboy State, but I’ve loved being on the ground, getting my hands dirty and shouldering more responsibility than I would’ve had elsewhere. I firmly believe in the importance, and power, of local news.
"When I’m not working, you’re likely to find me in the mountains. I love exploring all the nooks and crannies of the Tetons and other nearby wilderness areas. With moose in my backyard and world class recreational opportunities literally out my front door, I often feel like I’m living in a postcard.
"Unfortunately, adventure sports always come with some level of risk. I tore my ACL in a backcountry ski accident last June — yes, you read that correctly, there’s snow high up even during the summer here — and needed surgery. Recovery varies for everyone, but for me it’s been a challenging, year-long process.
"My time on the sidelines, grinding through physical therapy and longing to feel athletic again, turned out to be invaluable for me as a health reporter. Insurance hassles and expenses I’d previously written about became all too real, as did pain management. I hope the experience leaves me more empathetic towards the people I interview.
"Another positive to come from my injury was a byline in Powder Magazine. It was fun to write a cheeky, honest look at what living in a ski town is like when you’re unable to ski.
"My interests coalesced around environmental reporting over the last three years. Reflecting on my Saint George’s experience, it makes perfect sense. I always chose outdoorsy May terms — astronomy, canoeing, backpacking — took the environmental science class as a senior and even did my middle school science project on the Spokane River’s water quality.
"Nature is far removed from so many people’s lives, but we’re all affected by what surrounds us — whether that’s pollution, access to public lands or biodiversity. I see environmental journalism and the practice of communicating discoveries from scientist to layperson as incredibly valuable.
"I’ll be moving to Missoula this summer to pursue a master’s degree in environmental science and natural resource journalism at the University of Montana. While I’m sad to leave Wyoming behind, I’m ready for the next step in my career, thankful to earn a full ride scholarship and excited for the opportunities I think it will bring."
— Kylie Mohr ‘12