About Q Magazine


Welcome to Q Magazine, a showcase for inspired environmental writing at the University of Illinois.

Q Magazine features outstanding articles by University of Illinois students, most of them enrolled in the Undergraduate Certificate in Environmental Writing (CEW), a joint venture of the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE), the School for Earth, Society, and Environment (SESE), and the English Department.

When enrolled in the CEW capstone course (ESE 498), students have the opportunity to submit their work for publication in Q, working closely with instructors and production staff to develop their work to a professional, publishable standard.

The motto of the CEW is “turning data into narrative” — to learn about the latest scientific research on the environment and how to communicate that research effectively to the public. Certificate courses offer students the opportunity to write about environmental issues they are passionate about, and to engage the latest on-campus research in sustainability science. Whether dropping in to take one of our courses, or completing the full three-course sequence, students work with dedicated professors, meet enthusiastic students from other disciplines all across campus, and build marketable skills in environmental communication.

Enjoy these student voices, broadcasters for change and a livable planet. 

Our Gracious Donor …

A very special thanks to Janelle Joseph, who has continued her support of the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) with three donations of $5,000 apiece to help Q Magazine student writers go on location and research their stories. Her gifts have also funded a new 2020 initiative, the Janelle Joseph Environmental Writing Contest, open to all University of Illinois undergraduates to submit articles with the possibility of cash awards and publication in Q!

“Through my dear friend Joel Friedman, I became aware of iSEE’s dedicated programs,” said Joseph, pictured here with her dog Moonbeam. “The planet and the environment are where all things future begin. All needs and other great causes depend on where we live and are safe.

“After hearing about iSEE and Q Magazine, I felt HOPE, for the first time in many years, that brilliant young people are working on improvements and solutions.”

With Joseph’s funding, student writers are inspired to explore environmental issues up close and in person.

We are grateful!

Q Magazine Editorial Board

Gillen D’Arcy Wood (Editor)

Associate Director, Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE). Author of the award-winning book Tambora: The Eruption that Changed the World (Princeton, 2014), his new book on Antarctica, Land of Wondrous Cold (Princeton) appears in March 2020.

John Barnard 

Assistant Professor, Comparative Literature and Environmental Humanities. Author of Empire of Ruin: Black Classicism and American Imperial Culture (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Lucinda Cole

Visiting Associate Professor of English. Her book Imperfect Creatures: Vermin, Literature, and the Sciences of Life, 1600-1750 (University of Michigan, 2016) explores how 17th- and 18th-century art and literature register and address environmental pressures during The Little Ice Age\. With Robert Markley, she is the editor of AnthropoScene, a book series published by Pennsylvania State University Press.

Jamie L. Jones

Assistant Professor, English. Her current book project, Rendered Obsolete: The Afterlife of U.S. Whaling in the Petroleum Age, chronicles the culture of the U.S. whaling industry from its peak production through its obsolescence.

Rob Kanter 

Clinical Associate Professor, School of Earth, Society, and Environment (SESE). Creator and author of the popular Environmental Almanac.

Sarah Gediman

Q Fall 2020 Student Editor; senior from Wilmette, Ill., majoring in History and Earth, Society, and Environmental Sustainability.

Jenna Kurtzweil 

Communications Specialist, Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) and former Q Student Editor (Fall 2019 issue).

Tony Mancuso 

Communications and Public Affairs Director, Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE); Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI).

April Wendling

iSEE Communications Intern and former Q Student Editor (Spring 2020).

Julie Wurth

Communications Specialist, Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE).