Naturalist Without a Notebook

One of my New Year’s resolutions is not to write in a journal everyday. I’m terrible at it, even though I wished I loved to scribble daily. I can’t even keep up with my Planner Pad. (In fact, I’ve already lost my 2014 edition). That’s not to say that I haven’t occasionally kept a notebook. […]

Too hot for moose

Over the last few weeks, stories of moose die-offs have made the news. The New York Times reported that one moose population in Minnesota has all but vanished and another has fallen by more than half. Similar declines have happened in New Hampshire and British Columbia. While scientists aren’t sure of the cause, they suspect […]

Dusting Off Metaphors

As a science writer, I trade in metaphors. It’s not just how many dump trucks to fill the Grand Canyon or how close whale intestines would get to the moon if stretched out – that’s amateur hour. No, professional metaphors are the ones you barely notice, they are so woven into the text. Better yet, […]

Hot Times in the Cotswolds

One morning last month a friend and I took a train from London to the city of Gloucester, in southwestern England. The next morning after breakfast we started walking on the Cotswold Way, one of the UK’s National Trails. On its way to Bath, 60-some miles away, the trail passes through quiet beech forests, open […]

Guest Post: Confession of a Climate Coward

I recently learned that my colleagues think I am a coward. And even more recently, I learned that I might agree with them. It all began in 2007. That was a magic year for science writers. That was the year the IPCC released its crushing assessment on climate change, just after the surprise hit of […]

Election Hangover

Hello world. Yesterday was election day in America. One guy won and another guy lost. But the race was hard fought, and our already divided country remains as polarized as ever. Did you listen to the last episode of This American Life? We don’t just disagree, we barely see each other as human beings. And […]

Carbon (Spin) Cycle

We’ve got a lot of dead trees in the Rockies. More than usual. As the region has warmed, bark beetle populations have exploded, and they’ve been killing off massive swaths of pine and spruce. It’s hard to miss the damage, and when British landscape artist Chris Drury visited the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie, […]

Guest Post: Guilt & Shame & Climate Change

The six undergrads that trickle into the Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory at the University of British Columbia are unsure about what they’re in for. The room they enter is all black from the carpet to the walls and the ceiling. A conference table partitioned into six sections is illuminated in the middle. They each take […]