Featured Writing Projects

Photo By Mark Katzman from Fires, Fuel & the Fate of 3 Billion

Photo By Mark Katzman from Fires, Fuel & the Fate of 3 Billion

saving millions of lives and forests with solar cooking: The Guardian

A late 2015 feature in the Guardian about how the effort to save 4.7 million people from smoke inhalation-related deaths annually is slowly warming up to solar cooking as an option, and one solar startup that hopes to lead that effort. Read my analysis here at the Guardian website.

Stephen Jenkinson

Stephen Jenkinson

Conversation with Cultural philosopher Stephen Jenkinson

My long-form interview with cultural philosopher and end-of-life thinker Stephen Jenkinson on hope, grief, mortality, and more for The Sun's August 2015 issue spurred much conversation among the readership. A popular writer and speaker, he was a palliative care provider for years and his unconventional approach to helping the dying became the subject of the feature length Canadian Film Board documentary, Griefwalker. Read an excerpt from our wide-ranging conversation here,: "As We Lay Dying: Stephen Jenkinson On How We Deny Our Mortality." (To read the full text, order a copy of the magazine here).


Clearcut forest in northern Sweden

Clearcut forest in northern Sweden

Exposed: greenwash in the world's greenest country

Sweden has the reputation of being one of the world’s most environmentally progressive nations, but surprisingly lax forestry laws often leave decisions about logging to the timber companies — and as a result, large swaths of biologically-rich boreal forest are being lost, pushing the country toward a biodiversity crisis.

I traveled Sweden to interview activists, foresters, and scientists about the issue and when I broke the story in the National Magazine Award-winning journal Yale Environment 360, it caused a global debate. If Sweden couldn't do forestry right, who could? The exposé was then picked up by National Geographic News Watch. See "Sweden’s Green Veneer Hides Unsustainable Logging Practices."

Other Recent or Noteworthy Publishing Credits

July 2017: original report for Mongabay about business owners in Belize calling for greater protection of mangrove forests, here.

May 2017: a solar cooking product test with kids for World Ark magazine, here.

April 2017: conversation I had with 2016 Harry Potter film star Alison Sudol about her role as an IUCN goodwill ambassador, meeting Jane Goodall, and the need to connect with nature, here.

August 2016: a conversation at Mongabay.com about carbon farming, agroforestry, silvopasture, and more elements of 'carbon farming' that can fight climate change while producing food, building soil and water resources, increasing biodiversity, and more benefits, view that here.

June 2016: new photo-essay from a seabird research station (Great Gull Island) for Sierra magazine, here.

April 2016: profile of visionary solar cooking entrepreneur Dr. Catlin Powers in Sierra, here.

February 2016: an interview with ethnobotanist, author, and MacArthur Genius Award-winner Gary Nabhan on strategies for growing food in a hotter, drier, climate-changed world that he's learned from traditional arid-land farmers all over the planet, here.

November 2015
: a conversation for Orion with revolutionary thinker and author Paul Hawken about his latest book, Project Drawdown, an encyclopedia of the 100 most effective ways that societies can remove climate-warming carbon from the atmosphere, here.

October 2015: a new Guardian feature on how the effort to save millions of lives and forests globally by switching people away from smoky cook fires to clean burning stoves is, paradoxically, late to adopt solar cooking as an option, here.

September 2015: a feature on 'land grabs' by large agribusiness enterprises which too often evict residents of rural communities in the developing world, leading to hunger and homelessness, here.

August 2015: a conversation with popular cultural philosopher Stephen Jenkinson for The Sun, read an excerpt here.

Spring 2015: interview for OnEarth with Top Chef star Tom Colicchio about reinventing the American diet to benefit public health and the environment, here.

Spring 2015: conversation in World Ark with researcher Gautam Yadama about the thorny questions surrounding the need for cleaner cooking options in the developing world. Every year global forests are cut heavily and almost 5 million people die from the resulting smoky cook fires, but solutions to this problem are anything but simple. See it here.

Fall 2014: the Guardian published my findings about the watering down of the fair trade label on coffee, tea, and other products, and the power of cooperatives to make lasting change, here.

Spring 2014: conversation with author Judith Schwartz about her book Cows Save the Planet, and Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth for World Ark magazine. See the text here plus a short video I shot.

Winter 2014: discussion of problems within the food system with TV's Top Chef, Tom Colicchio, for Gristhere.

Fall 2013: interviewed by Mongabay, one of the biggest independent online conservation news outlets in the world, about environmental journalism, here.

Summer 2013: review of the book Living With the Trees of Life for World Ark, here, about how agroforestry (a kind of permaculture) can be a key tool both for feeding people worldwide and slowing climate change.

Spring 2013: update to my investigative report on the Swedish Forestry Model and the failures of the Forest Stewardship Council in that country was posted at Earth Island Journal, here, alongside a gallery of previously unpublished images of the Swedish 'biodiversity hunters.'

Also, land trusts in the U.S. have been doing great conservation work for decades through the purchase and stewardship of natural areas, but an exciting new trend is their work to support local agricultural efforts in numerous locales through land conservation. Feature for Grist, here.

Winter 2012: conversation with permaculture author Eric Toensmeier for World Ark. Go here to see the Q & A, images, and video shot in this fascinating garden, and learn how permaculture relates to the work of the global hunger relief project Heifer Project International.

Spring 2012: interview for World Ark, with the founder of ARCHIVE about his group's efforts to combat disease through environmental design (i.e. healthy housing") in Haiti and Cameroon.

I was in San Francisco in April to help celebrate a person whose work I'd covered for Grist, Russian forest activist Evgenia Chirikova. She was being honored with a Goldman Environmental Prize, the 'green Nobel,' and it was my privilege to take her and her husband out of the city to Muir Woods for an afternoon to see ancient redwoods. My email postcard about that trip was later published by Andy Revkin in the New York Times, here.

Winter 2011: my investigative report "Sweden’s Green Veneer Hides Unsustainable Logging Practices" appeared in the award-winning publication Yale e360hereand then appeared at National Geographic News Watch, here.

Also: an image from my Hunter/Gatherer series appeared as a 2-page spread for an article on the culture of hunting in Northern Woodlands magazine. See the online version here.

Summer 2011: gallery of images from the Ghost Nests Project was part of Terrain.org's Summer 2011 issue, here. This fantastical photo series imagines the nesting behaviors of extinct animals, or perhaps birds and animals of a future Earth.

Spring 2011: "How far are we willing to go for Canada’s ‘tar sands’ oil?" Essay about tar sands development in Canada for PBS program Need to Know, here.

Winter 2010: feature story on the Bialowieza Forest, an enormous old growth forest inhabited by bison, wolves, lynx, and more, that sprawls across a wide swath of Belarus and Poland. I traveled the region and reported on the situation for Earth Island Journal, here. Despite its unique status as the last and largest such forest in Europe, its health is in decline, but a band of dedicated activists has been able to keep it from being totally degraded.

Summer 2009: cover story on the work of Heifer Project International which is redeveloping heritage breeds of farm animals in Poland to save them from extinction, while lifting small-scale farmers out of poverty. Story appeared in World Ark  accompanied by glorious black and white photos, and the cover also featured an image from the trip. View the beautiful digital version of the issue here.