From the Pacific Ocean’s growing dead zone to amphibian rescue efforts, I write about how humans are profoundly altering the environment—yet also making extraordinary efforts to preserve natural systems.
My reporting has taken me deep into backcountry wilderness as well as to the top of 10-foot ocean swells while investigating stories for Nature, Frontiers in Ecology and Environment, The Oregonian, Portland Monthly, and others.
I have the good fortune to live in Portland, Oregon, where not only are wilderness and ocean in close proximity, but so are thoughtful researchers questioning the impacts of the current rate of environmental change.
Like many science journalists, I began a PhD to satisfy my own scientific interests. While at Oregon State University, I received a NASA Earth Systems Science Fellowship to investigate how soil microbial communities will respond to climate change. But I soon realized that my desire to explain how soil microbes exert an invisible control on climate outweighed my interest in conducting the actual research. I began to explore science journalism and was quickly hooked on a new profession. After completing the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship at the Oregonian newspaper and an internship at Nature magazine, my own career path was set.
I remain endlessly fascinated with scientists, who devote their lives to increasing our understanding of the natural world. Maybe that is why I’m particularly fond of writing profiles and Q&As that allow a scientist’s passion, drive and motivation to shine through.
While my interests often focus on the science itself, this former scientist-in-training is keenly aware of the hurdles young academics face when building a career. As a result, I also write about issues related to scientific careers—ranging from work-life balance to starting your own business—in features and news stories for Nature Jobs and Science Careers.
photo by Shelby Brakken
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