About

I am a Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder, for the 2020-2021 academic year. As a fellow, I am studying health disparities in vulnerable communities in the Denver metro region and elsewhere in Colorado, with the goal of untangling the health effects of air pollution and early-life exposure to oil and gas emissions. (Read more about my fellowship experience here.)

Prior to this, I co-founded and served as managing editor of Sapiens, an award-winning digital magazine that covers anthropology and archaeology for the general public. From 2015 until August 2020, I led Sapiens’ editorial team and oversaw the production of hundreds of stories on topics ranging from Holocaust archaeology, schizophrenia, and fracking to language preservation, cultural appropriation, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Before I took on that role, I spent more than a decade as a freelance science journalist, specializing in health and the environment. My work has been published in outlets such as AudubonNatureNew ScientistScienceScience News for Students and The New York Times, and I spent time as a health columnist for both the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

I’ve covered topics ranging from the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf oil spill to the health of Mongolian reindeer herds. Two of my favorite areas to write about are innovations that solve humanitarian problems and the surprising biological adaptations that enable organisms to thrive in extreme environments. My reporting adventures have taken me wading through quicksand, hiking across the Alaskan tundra, trailing undercover drug agents and exploring otherworldly marine life at the bottom of the ocean through the eyes of a submersible robot.

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Dispatches from the Field

Before I began writing for a living, I spent several years as a researcher, first as a fellow at the National Institutes of Health and then as a research technician at the University of Southern California. Along the way I discovered that I enjoyed telling the tales behind science more than doing the science itself. As a master’s student in journalism at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, I had the honor of being awarded an interdisciplinary fellowship called the “Carbon, Climate, and Society Initiative” by the National Science Foundation. For three years, it allowed me to delve into environmental policy and the societal, ethical, and scientific issues surrounding climate change and energy alongside a team of graduate students from diverse disciplines.

I am based in Centennial, Colorado, where I reside with my husband, three children, and one rambunctious dog named Hurricane.

Speaking Engagements

  • Science Writers 2020 Conference – Co-organized and moderated “Telling Stories That Include Indigenous Perspectives” panel
  • 2017, 2018, 2019 American Anthropological Association Conferences – Led workshops for academics on writing for the public
  • Science Writers 2018 Conference Organized and moderated workshop session titled “Raising Your Voice,” focused on the use of voice in science writing
  • 2018 Assoc. of Health Care Journalists Conference – Contract negotiation panelist
  • 2017 World Conference of Science Journalism – Participated on panel about the rise of digital publications
  • Science Writers 2016 Conference – “First Aid for Editors” panelist
  • Science Writers 2012 Conference – Co-organized and moderated panel on the difference between topic and story

Honors

  • Best American Science & Nature Writing “Notable” Readings of 2013 Achievement, 2014

Fellowships/Awards

  • Ted Scripps Fellowship in Environmental Journalism, CU Boulder (2020-2021)
  • 2017 American Anthropological Association “New Directions” award
  • California Endowment National Health Journalism Fellow, Los Angeles, CA (July 2013)
  • Scripps Howard Institute on the Environment Fellow, Jupiter, FL (May 2012)

Affiliations

  • National Association of Science Writers
  • Society of Environmental Journalists

“My reporting adventures have taken me wading through quicksand, hiking across the Alaskan tundra, trailing undercover drug agents, and more.”