The Bay Journal has added two members to our team, Whitney Pipkin and Leslie Middleton. Both will report in Virginia and bring an eclectic mix of interests and experiences to their beats.

Whitney, who lives in Alexandria, VA, got her first taste of reporting on estuaries when she lived and worked for three years at newspapers in the Pacific Northwest. Living on a bay in Anacortes, WA, was a new experience for someone raised in the landlocked state of Kansas, and the interplay between the land and water intrigued her.

She worked for The Skagit Valley Herald in Anacortes, where she re-established a business beat and wrote often about agricultural and environmental issues. Her work covering the many sides of environmental conflicts in the Puget Sound region earned her a fellowship with the Institute for Journalists of Natural Resources.

Whitney got her journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma, and learned the ropes for reporting during stints at two McClatchy-owned metro dailies: The Wichita Eagle in Wichita, KS; and The News Tribune in Tacoma, WA.

Since moving to Virginia, Whitney has freelanced for the Bay Journal, The Washington Post, Grist, NPR's Kitchen Window, Elevation DC Media and The Delmarva Farmer, among others. She has a not-so-secret passion for food, and blogs about it at We are pretty sure she will be searching for stories with that perfect intersection between choice Bay fare (think oysters, crabs, rockfish, snakeheads…) and news. That would be her Land of Pleasant Living!

Leslie Middleton has been around water her whole life. She grew up on the Assabet River in Massachusetts and worked at sea in support of commercial fisheries and oil production on the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico before attending the University of Rhode Island where she obtained a bachelor's of science degree in mechanical and ocean engineering.

Degree in her pocket, she went to work as a research engineer for the U.S. Navy, where she worked on remotely operated vehicles, the development of fiber optic cable systems, and shipboard solid and plastic waste handling, and processing equipment. Her Navy career ultimately led her to Virginia.

After working with the Navy, Leslie became the Virginia director of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and later founded the Rivanna Watershed Center, a community-based nonprofit promoting watershed conservation and collaborative watershed education and protection.

In 2009, she went to work for the Rivanna River Basin Commission where she was the executive director for four years. There, she built strategies for local governments to manage strategies on a watershed-scale and was involved in developing watershed implementation plans to meet the Bay total maximum daily load.

Leslie has written articles for Bay Journal and Bay Journeys, had a radio show and wrote a newspaper column. She also developed a successful private practice in massage therapy, a piece of her life that she says people have "a hard time fitting into the arc of my career."

As a Bay Journal team member, she will be helping with grant writing and Virginia reporting.

Ad professional wanted

There is an opening on the Bay Journal/Bay Journeys team for a part-time advertising professional to assist in developing the advertising base for our publications and the related websites. Familiarity with our products is a plus. For information, e-mail, or call 717-428-2819.

Get out & have a good time

As this is our combined July-August issue, our staff will be taking a well-earned break, but will soon be back working on our September edition. We hope everyone has an enjoyable summer vacation, with plenty of opportunities to get outdoors. See the summer Bay Journeys inserted in this issue if you need any ideas.