Here is some of my work. I also link to most of my stories from my blog.


Tiny Dragonfly Backpacks Reveal Mysteries of the Brain
National Geographic News, October 2013
Scientists are figuring out how dragonflies catch their prey in mid-air.

Arctic Birds Have Wild Rhythms
ScienceNOW, June 2013
Life high above the Arctic Circle gets kind of trippy in summer. For months on end, it never becomes totally dark. A new study examines the activity patterns of four birds that migrate to northern Alaska.

Happiness Associated With Longer Life
ScienceNOW, October 2011
Happy people don’t just enjoy life; they’re likely to live longer, too. A new study has found that those in better moods were 35% less likely to die in the next 5 years when taking their life situations into account.


Reindeer Games
Smithsonian, March 2014
High up above the Arctic circle, scientists chase reindeer year after year to find out what makes their numbers go up and down.

The Frog That Roared
Smithsonian, January 2013
The red-eyed tree frog is the world’s cutest amphibian–and a very cool example of the flexibility animals have in dealing with life’s challenges.

On Line for the Bottom Line
Medicine + Health, Fall 2012
GWU doctors use telemedicine to help local patients who perform dialysis at home.

Changing Oceans: Viewing Coral Reefs Through a Cultural Lens
Science Careers, June 2010
“You don’t manage fish. Fish swim and they do their own thing. You manage people. Managing ecosystems is really about managing people and understanding what motivates them and their behaviors.”

Book Contributions

The Science Writers’ Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Pitch, Publish, and Prosper in the Digital Age
Da Capo, April 2013
I contributed two boxes to this book about how to be a science writer…while also paying your rent.

Science on Ice: Four Polar Expeditions
University of Chicago Press, 2011
I wrote a 10,000-word chapter about my 2009 expedition to the Bering Sea for Chris Linder’s beautiful photography book.

Special Projects

The Last Word on Nothing
2013 – present
Some piece I’ve written for this group blog include why extraordinary experiences may not make you popular and a topic I have way too much personal experience with: getting pooped on by birds.

Polar Discovery Expedition 5: Bering Sea Ecosystem
April-May 2009
Every day photographer Chris Linder and I posted a set of pictures and a story from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy in the Bering Sea. I wrote about some of the many science projects going on aboard the ship–and about other topics, like how you feed 122 people for six weeks without a port call.

Possibly the Funniest Thing I Ever Wrote

Live Fast, Die Young
Washington Post Express, April 2004
The biggest, baddest brood of cicadas is ready. But are you? This link goes to a pdf of the whole issue; scroll to page 13.