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OWAA hires Suzanne Downing as communications manager/OU editor

March 26, 2019

MISSOULA, Montana — The Outdoor Writers Association of America announces the hiring of Suzanne Downing as its new communications manager and editor of Outdoors Unlimited, the association’s flagship magazine.

“Suzanne comes to OWAA with a wide variety of skills and experience from writing to editing to photography,” said OWAA president Paul Queneau, conservation editor for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Bugle magazine. “I’ve worked with her first as an intern at our magazine, then later as a freelancer.

“She is equal parts creative and enterprising, and a self-starter who is always professional, thoughtful and well-organized. Plus, she’s just a darn nice person. What a great fit to guide the pages of Outdoors Unlimited.”

Downing recently earned her master’s degree in environmental science journalism from the University of Montana and continues working as a freelance writer and photographer covering environmental science, natural resource and conservation issues throughout the West.

In addition to her role as Outdoors Unlimited editor, Downing will contribute to communications efforts on the OWAA website and social media.

She received a bachelor’s degree in English/graphic art & design from Saint Xavier University in Chicago, where she focused on outdoor, environmental and humanitarian issue reporting and worked as an international photojournalist and associate marketing director in the Midwest for many years.

Growing up in Lowell, Indiana, Downing is a self-proclaimed small town country girl. She spent her summers detasseling corn, riding ATVs, fishing local lakes, hiking, camping and spending countless hours around backwoods bonfires.

All the while, she fostered a love of the outdoors by photographing wildlife every chance she could.

“I’m a naturalist at heart,” she said. “I enjoy seeing a majestic elk just as much as a tiny wild orchid. I look forward to working with and learning from a myriad of outdoor communicators who share my passion for the great outdoors.”

Downing said she always dreamed of living in the mountains, so she moved across the country in 2015 to settle into a small cabin on the Nine Mile Creek in Huson, Montana (population 210), where she still lives.

When she’s not seeking and pitching stories that will get her outside, Downing loves exploring new parts of Montana.

Welcome Suzanne to OWAA by email at sdowning@owaa.org

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