Luke Runyon

KUNC, Community Radio for Northern Colorado

Luke Runyon reports on the Colorado River basin and western water issues for a network of public radio stations in the southwest, based at NPR member station KUNC in Greeley, Colorado. He frequently files stories for NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and APM's Marketplace. Prior to KUNC, Luke reported for Harvest Public Media, Aspen Public Radio and Illinois Public Radio. He has a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield and his work has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Colorado Broadcasters Association and Public Radio News Directors, Inc.

Luke is speaking at

October 9, 2019
8:30 am - 3:30 pm
Room 382, CSU's Lory Student Center


  • Susan Hassol (Moderator and Speaker) Climate Communication
  • Scott Denning (Speaker) Climate Scientist and Professor of Atmospheric Science, Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, Colorado State University
  • Chuck Kutscher (Speaker) University of Colorado
  • Ed Maibach (Speaker) George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication
  • Luke Runyon (Speaker) KUNC, Community Radio for Northern Colorado
  • Meera Subramanian (Speaker) Independent journalist, Freelance
  • Brad Udall (Speaker) Senior Scientist/Scholar, Colorado State University
  • Bernadette Woods Placky (Speaker) Chief Meteorologist and Climate Matters Director, Climate Central, Climate Matters in the Newsroom


This workshop is full.

This workshop includes breakfast (served at 8:00 a.m.) and lunch. Cost for 25 SEJ members will be covered by Climate Matters in the Newsroom’s National Science Foundation funding. The first 25 qualifying applicants to register for the workshop will be accepted and later registrants will be on a waiting list. A stipend to help cover the cost of the additional night in a conference hotel will be provided. Registration is open to SEJ members, with a preference for professional journalists. Registration for the workshop can be completed when registering for the conference. For more information about the workshop, contact To learn more about the stipend, email For registration questions, email

This full-day workshop will equip reporters in all media to tell local climate stories that matter to their audiences. We’ll quickly review the basics of climate change and then do deep dives with top experts on climate and water issues and clean energy solutions. Journalists successfully tackling the challenge of local climate reporting will discuss their experiences. New localized climate reporting resources will be introduced and discussed and we will use them in hands-on practice.

October 10, 2019
8:30 am - 5:00 pm


  • Eleanor Hasenbeck (Tour Leader) Reporter, Steamboat Pilot & Today
  • Luke Runyon (Tour Leader) KUNC, Community Radio for Northern Colorado
  • James Bishop (Speaker) Public Involvement Specialist, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
  • Daylan Figgs (Speaker) Director, Larimer County Department of Natural Resources
  • Meegan Flenniken (Speaker) Manager, Land Conservation, Planning & Resource Division, Larimer County Department of Natural Resources
  • Brian Jackson (Speaker) Senior Manager, Western Water, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Kevin Lock (Speaker) Water Resources Project Engineer, Northern Water
  • Kerri Rollins (Speaker) Larimer County
  • Andy Schultheiss (Speaker) Executive Director, Colorado Water Trust
  • Jerd Smith (Speaker) Fresh Water News
  • Jeff Stahla (Speaker) Public Information Coordinator, Northern Water
  • Reagan Waskom (Speaker) Director, Colorado Water Center, Colorado State University
  • Brian Werner (Speaker) Public Information Officer, Northern Water
  • Mely Whiting (Speaker) General Counsel, Trout Unlimited


(8:30 a.m. departure, $45 fee, lunch included)

This tour is full. If you wish to be put on the waiting list, contact Kevin Beaty.

Few issues in the West can both divide and unite communities like water rights. Conversations about who has access to the scarce resource and who doesn’t can quickly grow tense and are fundamental to the region’s future. This tour begins near the scenic Continental Divide, just outside Rocky Mountain National Park, with an overview of complex water laws and Colorado’s sprawling infrastructure. We’ll start at the eastern portal of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project. Built in the 1940s, the project pumps water for miles through tunnels dug deep in the mountains in an effort to plumb the arid state. Then, we’ll head down the mountain to hike around the site of the proposed Chimney Hollow Reservoir, a pool planned to serve Colorado’s thirsty Front Range cities. We’ll wrap up downstream, talking about pressures on water supplies for both agriculture and municipalities in the face of ongoing drought and a changing climate. We’ll also look to the solutions water managers, conservationists and farmers are considering to tackle these challenges. Total drive time: 4 hours. Good for those looking for some exercise.

Advance registration is required for all Thursday tours. Attendance on each tour is strictly limited, so registering early is important. All Thursday tours will return to the Lory Student Center at about 5:00 p.m.

Departure: Each bus will depart from locations near CSU’s Lory Student Center promptly at the times listed.

Important: Meet up with your tour leaders 30 minutes prior to your departure time near the SEJ registration desk on the third floor of the Lory Student Center to check in and walk together as a group to load on the correct bus at the crowded Transit Center. Free coffee and small breakfast available in the nearby ballroom.

October 11, 2019
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Jay's Bistro, 135 W. Oak Street, Fort Collins, CO


  • Rocky Barker (Dinner Leader) Special Correspondent, Idaho Statesman
  • Luke Runyon (Dinner Leader) KUNC, Community Radio for Northern Colorado
  • Nicole Cordan (Speaker) Project Director, U.S. Public Lands and Rivers Conservation, The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Matt Rice (Speaker) Director, Colorado River Basin Program, American Rivers


Courtesy of American Rivers and The Pew Charitable Trusts. Journalists only. The cost of dinner, wine and beer will be covered by American Rivers/Pew.

This beat dinner is full. Check with the SEJ Information Table on site (near Registration, third floor of the Lory Student Center) beginning Friday at 8:00 a.m. for assistance and open slots.

Join us for a discussion about what's next for river conservation, and why rivers must be a primary focus of reporting and storytelling in an era of climate change.

Restaurant Info: Private room at Jay’s Bistro. Set menu: Salumi Board (Artisan meats and cheeses, marinated vegetables, marcona almonds), Salad - choice of harvest salad or Caesar salad, Entree - choice of Pasta Primavera with sweet potato gnudi, kale pesto and farm fresh vegetables; Colorado chicken with Jamaican jerk sauce, roasted potatoes and vegetable du jour; Pork three ways (baby back ribs with hoisin BBQ, Korean glazed chopped pork, pork belly kimchi spring roll) with Kung Pao brussels, Dessert - choice of sorbet or chocolate decadence. Complimentary wine and beer included.

Contact with questions: 
Rocky Barker, 208-841-5921; Luke Runyon, 309-219-1580; Amy Kober, 503-708-1145

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