I am a freelance journalist and editor and a 2014 National Health Journalism Fellow. I write stories on the consequences of our choices about the environment—expressed not just in terms of melting ice sheets or the ledgers of the oil and gas industry, but in the places where we live, in ways as large as hurricanes and health epidemics and as small as the timing of spring cherry blossoms.
I’m based in Seattle, Wash., and I’ve reported from such places as the Australian outback, rural Nebraska, inner-city Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. I’m a contributing editor and formerly the senior editor of YES! Magazine, where I’ve written stories and developed coverage on topics like climate-change policy, water conservation, populist politics, psychology, criminal justice, and the arts. I led the magazine’s “Bodies” issue, on personal and environmental health, and its anniversary issue on social-change innovators, two issues that, in part, garnered the 2013 Utne award for general excellence in independent media.
My work has also appeared in The New Yorker, Science, Al Jazeera America, The Nation, High Country News, The Sun Magazine, and numerous other publications. In 2012, I received a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism to report on communities that live down the street from California’s worst greenhouse-gas polluters. In 2013, I was a visiting scholar with The International Centre for Landscape and Language at Edith Cowan University and a journalist-in-residence at Murdoch University in Western Australia. I’ve written about ranchers who resurrect polluted rivers, a former New York City drug dealer who raises buffalo herds in Texas, and guerrilla gardeners in crime-afflicted neighborhoods in California. I’ve interviewed leaders in science, environmentalism, and the arts, such as James Hansen, Bill McKibben, Eve Ensler, Billy Bragg, Dar Williams, and Joel Salatin. I’ve been a writing fellow with Seattle’s Jack Straw Foundation and a writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook writers’ center.
I hold a Master’s degree in environmental science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and I’ve previously caught crickets for an entomologist, taught composition to business majors in rural Uganda and biology to pre-med students, run policy programs in Washington, D.C., and worked in a reservation community along a river in rural South Dakota.