Science and Environmental Writer

Select Clips

Select Clips

Latest Work

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Place Where You Live  – This short essay, featured in Orion Magazine’s online section, Place Where You Live, takes an intimate look at the peak of the American River flood in 2017 and my perception of its impact on the landscape and wildlife. As usual, nature has something to teach.
  • 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.

For Kids

  • 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.

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

Conservation and Sustainability

  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Day at the Dump – Who knew the dump was an ecologically sound resource? Join me on location and find out why Sacramento’s Kiefer Landfill is scientifically sexy!
  • Farming Butterflies – Releasing butterflies at special events looks beautiful, but what’s the impact on native butterfly species? Find out why this popular custom concerns scientists.

Environmental Essays

  • 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).
  • Wild About Wildlife The arrival of disoriented whales in Sacramento strengthens my belief in the importance of opportunities to commune with wildlife, understand the challenges they face and the need to preserve their habitat.
  • Weather, Water and Wetlands Find out how dams, climate change and wetlands make Sacramento the number one city in the U.S. in danger of a disaster like Hurricane Katrina.
  • Family Values Live Aboard Style – For the Melendy family, living aboard their catamaran is like living in National Geographic.

Profiles of Environmental Organizations

  • 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.
  • Day As a Bird  – International Bird Rescue, the world’s leading organization in oiled-bird response, rehabilitation, research and education began in 1971 following the collision between two Chevron oil tankers that spilled 800,000 gallons of oil in the San Francisco Bay.
  • Solar Power to the People  – Dr. Robert Metcalf, the world’s leading expert in water pasteurization in developing countries discusses Sunny Solutions with me, Solar Cooker International’s first program to teach the women of Nyakach, a stable community in Kenya, how to use the simple technology of solar energy to cook food, pasteurize water and become entrepreneurs.

Environmental Journalism

  • Refined Conundrum – Balancing California’s supply and demand of gasoline is a complex equation where strict environmental regulations don’t always align with efficiently meeting our infrastructure’s dependency on petroleum.
  • 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.