About

I am a versatile, award-winning science and environmental journalist with more than 15 years of experience, including nine years as a full-time freelancer. I’ve written news stories, features, profiles and essays for globally recognized outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Science, National Geographic, Quanta and many others. I’ve reported from three continents, covering everything from space to forests to climate modeling to cancer, from quantum computing to diversity in science to policy to a long-overdue obituary of the world’s first woman rabbi for the New York Times’ Overlooked series. I bring out the human element in complex topics and specialize in finding unique, under-covered stories. As a leader in regional and national science writer groups, I’ve organized two meetings of 100+ science writers.

I’m at home writing a straight-ahead news story on a recent scientific finding, developing a deeper feature story that explores a scientific field or personality, or digging into what’s happening behind the scenes at a federal science agency or other institution. Through exhaustive reporting, I uncover information and perspectives that other writers overlook and find unique, undercovered stories.

I’ve received fellowships and grants including a 2021 Arthur F. Burns Fellowship that took me to Berlin for two months, two Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources Frank Allen reporting grants in 2016 and 2019; a COMPASS travel fellowship in 2016; Fund for Environmental Journalism reporting grants in 2015 and 2019; the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources Chesapeake Bay Institute in 2015; and National Association of Science Writers travel fellowships in 2012 and 2014. I received the 2021 John M. Collier Journalism Award from the Forest History Society.

Experience

Freelance writing: My work has appeared in the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, ScienceNature, Washington Post, Washington Post Magazine, Johns Hopkins Magazine, Quanta, Scientific American, NPR, Aeon, Slate, Undark, National Geographic News, Smithsonian, Inside Science, Science News, New Scientist, Physics, APS News, Physics World, Yale E360, Orion and others.

Freelance editing: American Physical Society, American Geophysical Union, Scientists Greater than Einstein (book)

Board member, D.C. Science Writers Association, June 2013 — April 2016. Vice president, April 2014 — April 2015; President, April 2015 — April 2016

Co-chair, National Association of Science Writers information access committee, 2015 — 2018

Intern/Writer, Science News, Oct 2013 — Feb 2014

Intern, American Institute of Physics, June 2013 — July 2013

M.A., Science Writing, Johns Hopkins University, May 2013

Education Projects Manager, American Physical Society, June 2007 — May 2011

B.A., Physics, Wesleyan University, 2003

Full bio

I am an independent science and environmental writer with 15 years of professional experience. I’ve written about research across the scientific spectrum, from plants to planets, batteries to bacteria, cancer to climate. Most of what I write falls into either the physical sciences — broadly defined — or ecology/environment/conservation. I specialize in tackling complex topics that other writers aren’t covering, from straightforward research to science policy to how science affects society at large. I also unearth the human stories behind the science.

I studied science writing at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison and physics (and many other things) at Wesleyan University and Columbia University.

I’ve written for more than 30 publications, ranging from popular venues such as the New York Times and Washington Post to more scientist-oriented publications such as Science and Nature. I’ve also edited a large variety of articles and reports for both technical and non-technical audiences.

From October 2013 to February 2014 I wrote primarily for Science News, focusing on physics, astronomy, climate and environment. In 2012 I produced a series of radio stories as a volunteer for the Perpetual Notion Machine on WORT, a community radio station in Madison. I also researched, wrote and edited sections of Scientists Greater than Einstein, a popular science book on the world’s top lifesaving scientists that was published in 2009.

From 2007 to 2011 I worked for the American Physical Society‘s Education and Diversity Department. I wrote frequently for APS publications, covering physics and education issues as well as scientific talks at APS meetings. I also designed educational physics posters and brochures, and helped produce videos about physics teaching and managed a major teacher education project called PhysTEC.

Proof that I have been writing from an early age

Getting an early start on a writing career.

In 2005 and 2006 I worked on sustainable vegetable farms in Virginia and Kentucky. These hands-on experiences gave me an appreciation for the interdependence of humans and nature. In 2006 and 2007 I worked for a Washington, DC-based nonprofit, helping to provide access to local food for low-income DC residents. In 2004 I served in the Americorps*VISTA program at an education center in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Outside of work, I’m into traditional music and dancing, gardening, local and international food, wild and foraged food, biking, hiking, canoeing, Ultimate frisbee, traveling and speaking other languages at varying levels of proficiency. I co-founded the DC Square Dance, which I believe is the largest regularly occurring traditional square dance in the nation if not the world (or was, before covid). I love big, old trees and served for six year on Mount Rainier, Maryland’s tree commission. More recently I’ve helped found and continue to lead the Mount Rainier Food Forest.

I grew up in Lexington, Kentucky and, as the photo shows, I’ve been writing since a young age.