Selected Clips

Writing

Bumblebees being crushed by climate change

A news story for Science on research showing that many North American and European bumblebees are failing to “track” warming by colonizing new habitats north of their historic range. Simultaneously, they are disappearing from the southern portions of their range. July 9, 2015.

Tree of Life

To save the greatest number of species, should we focus on the most common? A feature in High Country News about genetic research that’s providing new insight into how to save the most species in a changing climate. June 8, 2015. 

Don’t Blame the Beetles

A feature in Science about the growing body of research challenging the common notion that the millions of trees killed in Western North America forests in recent years would lead to more severe wildfires. October 10, 2014. (Behind a paywall.)

The Tree Coroners

In order to save the West forests, scientists must first learn how trees die. High Country News cover story, December 2013. Winner of the 2014 Science in Society Award from the National Association of Science Writers, and the 2014 Kevin Carmody Prize for In-Depth Reporting from the Society of Environmental Journalists. 

The Little Fish that Could

A little-known Oregon minnow is the first fish to be declared recovered under the Endangered Species Act. High Country News, March 2014.

Lessons from Colorado’s flooded Front Range

News analysis following Colorado’s historic 2013 floods, on learning to live with the inevitable. High Country News, October 2013.

Another water short year in the Southwest is taking its toll

Generous spring snow storms were a momentary, if welcome, distraction from the West’s real weather story: droughtHigh Country News, March 2013. 

To catch a swine

Feral pigs are making new inroads in the West. Can they be stopped? High Country News, August 2011.

Editing

News Analysis

I edit the analysis that leads off every issue of High Country News. See some of my favorites on: Seattle’s Big Dig; Why dangerous places are so appealing to live in; Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber’s fall from grace.

Fallon’s Deadly Legacy

In a small Nevada town once plagued by childhood cancer, some families still search for answers. A High Country News cover story by Sierra Crane-Murdoch. My editor’s note looked at Fallon’s experience in light of the recent chemical spill in West Virginia’s Elk River.

A groundwater legacy on the rocks

New Mexico has long been a leader in groundwater protection. Is that about to change? An enterprise story for High Country News by Sarah Jane Keller. Called “a sterling example of public service reporting” by the Knight Science Journalism Tracker. 

Beauty or Beast?

Restoration pits beloved — but exotic — eucalyptus trees against California natives. A High Country News cover story by J. Madeleine Nash. My editor’s note touched on a hot debate in ecological restoration over the values and vices of non-native species.

Audio

West of 100 is a podcast I hosted, produced and curated for High Country News. Below is a sampling of episodes.

Lost and Found Waterways

Rediscovering the forgotten rivers and streams of Los Angeles and Tucson.

The Sound of Silence

The world is getting noisier. Should we worry?

The Excursions Episode

Thought-provoking jaunts to inspire your own Western wanderings this summer: a visit to Utah’s Sun Tunnels; a peek into modern hobo culture; and a beginner’s guide to hitchhiking.

Droughts Past, Present and Future

An oral history of the 1950s drought in West Texas, and a look at what the 2000 to 2004 drought could portend for the future.

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