The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Dennis Dimick Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Janice Dilg.

December 15, 2014


“Bridging the Gap Between Science and the Public”  December 15, 2014  Location: National Geographic Society Headquarters, Washington, D.C.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Dimick discusses his family background and upbringing on a farm south of Portland, his involvement in agriculture as a boy, and his first experiences with photography. He then describes his enrollment at Oregon State University, the furthering of his passion for photography and photojournalism, influential contacts that he made with faculty and fellow students interested in journalism, and his activities as a staff member at the Daily Barometer newspaper and Beaver yearbook.

As he continues his reflections on his years at OSU, Dimick shares his memories of campus life, his fraternity, and working during the summertime. He likewise notes the advancement of his journalistic skill set while an undergraduate, comments on his early engagement with environmental issues, and discusses his employment with the OSU Office of Agricultural Information.

From there, Dimick recalls his graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, his hosting of a radio program while there, and his broader impressions of life in the Midwest. Dimick then outlines his past work at a number of newspapers in Oregon, Washington and Kentucky, as well as influential people that he met during those years.

The remainder of the session is devoted to Dimick's career at National Geographic. In this, Dimick recounts the means by which he came to be employed by the magazine, his initial duties at the publication, standout projects with which he was associated, and his increasing involvement in reporting on environmental issues. The interview concludes with words of advice for students of today.