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© 2018, Andy Birkey



My career has focused on three disciplines: impact journalism, strategic communications, and ecology.

My educational career is focused on ecology, particularly the intersection of the natural world with the urban environment.

I have passion for equity and justice, and my method of achieving it is through journalism. Since 2006, I’ve worked as a journalist with an eye toward impact, and my work has helped spur positive change for communities facing oppression.

Engaging in strategic nonprofit communications work has been a rewarding experience, one that connects communities and funders with the causes I care about.


My work over the last two decades has focused on investigative journalism, photography, and videography. In 2002, I founded Eleventh Avenue South, a popular local news blog that ran from 2002-2011. In 2006, I joined the team at the Minnesota Independent, a nonprofit public interest news website and part of the American Independent News Network. In 2011, I joined the Washington, DC-based American Independent until it closed in 2013. In 2014, I joined the radio team at KFAI’s Fresh Fruit. In 2015, I participated in the The UpTake Institute’s Fall 2015 Conflict-Sensitive Video Journalism Fellowship.Since 2009, I’ve served as the editor of The Column, a Minnesota-based news service by and for the LGBTQ community. 

My freelance and syndicated work includes: The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, and more.


  • Best News Writing by National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (First Place, 2016)
  • Best News Writing by National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (Third Place, 2015)
  • Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (First, 2010)
  • In 2008, I was selected by DIVA MN as one of “ten twenty to thirty-something activists making positive impacts in the community.”
  • Best Opinion Writing by Dan Savage’s Sex-Positive Journalism awards (2nd place, 2008)
  • Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association (Finalist, 2007)

Strategic Communications

Since 2015, I have served as Communications Manager for the Minnesota AIDS Project. In this role, I successfully deployed development communications and led development efforts of the first year-end surplus for the organization in a decade (2017). I coordinated all aspects of peer-to-peer fundraising and marketing for the 28th and 29th Minnesota AIDS Walks. I coordinated all aspects of the organization’s strategic communications including social media, web properties, program collateral, annual reports, internal communications, and media relations. In this role, I gained a strong knowledge of and appreciation for metrics, benchmarks, and projections for development and communications success.


I have 20 years of experience in ecology. At Illinois Central College, I participated in invasive species removal (buckthorn, garlic mustard) and controlled burns at Forest Park Nature Center.At the University of Minnesota, I participated in the Chequamegon Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study with a specialization in sap flow measurements and leaf area index studies. I spent three years on the project doing research at the University of Minnesota Forest Research Center (now the Cloquet Forestry Center), and the Sylvania Wilderness in the  Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Ecology Experience

Urban Forestry and Geography, BIS, University of Minnesota, 2005

President, Student Association for the Environment, Illinois Central College, 1998

Member, College of Natural Resources Student Board, University of Minnesota, 2003

President, St. Paul Board of Colleges, University of Minnesota, 2003

Member, North American Butterly Association, 2018

I use these programs/platforms

CMS: WordPress, Drupal
Audio/Visual: Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Final Cut Pro, GIMP, Blendr, Inkscape, VLC, Audacity
Fundraising: NGPVAN’s EveryAction, Frontstream Artez
Web: Working knowledge of CSS, HTML and PHP
Ecology: iNaturalist