Science and Environmental Writer

Select Clips

Select Clips



  • Living on Earth – Public Radio International’s program, Living on Earth, airs my essay featured in Orion Magazine’s online section, Place Where You Live, and interviews me about the inspiration behind the essay. As usual, nature has something to teach.


  • Wood from the Hood – The urban wood movement is growing across the nation, with efforts booming in the Capital Region.
  • Science Is for Kids – California leads the way with an early implementation of our nation’s Next Generation Science Standards designed to improve K–12 S.T.E.M. education and extend the knowledge and skills way beyond the classroom.

For Kids

  • Raising Elephants* – Travel to Namibia, Africa and follow a young male elephant as he grows up. Learn how the roles of adult male elephants will determine whether this youngster makes a successful transition to adulthood.
  • Cooking with the Sun* – Dr. Robert Metcalf teaches villagers in Africa how to cook and sanitize their water with the power of the sun. You, too, can learn how to build your own solar cooker at home and cook everything under the sun with the sun. “Cooking With the Sun” won Highlights’ Science Feature of the Year award in 2006.
  • Spying on Hermit Crabs* – Discover the secret life of hermit crabs through the eyes of a young girl who studied their curious behavior for years.


  • Hydrogen Highway – This cover story examines Gov. Schwarzenegger’s controversial plan for a Hydrogen Highway Network throughout California to achieve a clean energy transportation future.
  • Local Salmon Struggle to Survive – Examine the impact of dams in the Sacramento region on California’s salmon population and the efforts of hatcheries to compensate. Learn what you can do as an individual to protect salmon and their habitat.
  • Crab Lovers, Celebrate! – Australian scientists receive the highest environmental award for their conservation success of Christmas Island’s red crab that was decimated by super colonies of yellow crazy ants. Once again, a healthy population of millions of red crabs return to the island each year to breed, swarming everything in their path from roads to people’s homes!


  • Life of a Circus Elephant – Peer into the life of wild elephants and what these intelligent, sentient beings endure as circus performers. This piece is a call for action to help change the lives of captive elephants.


  • My Carbon Footprint I’ve always cared about the environment, but it was Al Gore’s documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth” that ignited my environmental efforts and advocacy for the planet. This article, originally written for Sacramento News & Review, was selected to appear in the anthology, “The Contemporary Reader” (eds. 10 and 11).
  • Family Values Live Aboard Style – For the Melendy family, living aboard their catamaran is like living in National Geographic.


  • Changing Third World Lives with the Sun – Solar Cookers International teaches people in developing countries how to use the energy of the sun to cook food and pasteurize water in developing countries. These simple technologies could benefit more than 2.5 billion women and children who must travel long distances every day to collect wood, an unsustainable resource, to cook their food and seek water.
  • Keeping Wildlife in the Wild – Born Free USA, a leading animal rights organization, recently moved to a quiet neighborhood in Sacramento to balance animal welfare and global wildlife conservation. Learn about Born Free’s impressive work and contact its CEO, Will Travers, with your ideas to change animals’ lives for good.

*Copyright © Highlights for Children, Inc., Columbus, Ohio. All rights reserved. Used by permission.