I'm a reporter interested in new formats for impactful storytelling about our environment and its regulatory structure from a scientific, legal, and public lens.
Meet the Community Scientists Shaping the New Environmental Resistance
With science policy and the data that fuel it under administrative attack, both the world of science at large and communities on the front lines of environmental catastrophes are losing what direct avenues they have left to hold the government responsible for a sustainable and safe future.
But now, a growing movement of coders, activists, scientists, and organizers are radically breaking from the status quo by creating tools that put the ability to collect data and monitor environmental conditions in the hands of community members, ushering in a new front in the environmental resistance: community science.
For The Nation.
STEM Students Are Asking More of the #MeToo Movement
Little was known about the prevalence of sexual abuse in the sciences. But as the #MeToo movement launched, the tides seemed to change. But the statistics show a deeper problem: Women make up just 24 percent of the STEM workforce. A 2014 report found that more than half the women who enter STEM fields leave them within a decade, close to twice the frequency of their male peers.
According to current science graduate students, the “leaky pipeline” of missing female involvement in higher STEM positions is the result of localized gender harassment early in their careers, an aspect they fear is being sidelined by the national-level attention to explicit sexual abuse brought on by #MeToo.
For The Nation.
Reflections from Antarctica: A Landscape in Flux
Working as an Antarctic field scientist, I witnessed the destruction provoked by a rapidly warming planet. But I also found inspiration.
Western Antarctica is one of the most climate-vulnerable places in the world, warming five times faster than the global average temperature trends. I could hear the thunderous sound of glaciers calving when I went out for hikes or skiing and boating trips—it’s a powerful roaring noise that really makes you think about what our human activities are costing us.
For The Earth Institute.
Trump’s election may be the second coming for creationism in schools
In most states, teaching religion in public schools violates the separation of church and state. But “academic freedom” laws label established science, like climate change and evolution, “controversial issues,” which opens the door for teachers to offer alternatives, like climate denial and creationism.
Since Donald Trump’s election, a new wave of bills with verbatim ties to one creationist think tank called the Discovery Institute made inroads in statehouses across the country. Three of the bills had never come so close to becoming law.
For VICE News.
Not on our watch: Taking down our national monuments won't happen without a legal fight
When President Donald Trump signed an executive order to review and potentially abolish at least two-dozen national monuments in April, he promised an “end to another egregious abuse of federal power.” The language of the order takes aim at the Antiquities Act, a law that delegates a small slice of power from Congress to the president to decide and approve national monuments.
But legal scholars say it’s unlikely the president will be able to follow through on his promises, in part due to prior judicial interpretations of the Antiquities Act. Numerous groups, including Sierra Club, Earthjustice, and the Natural Resources Defense Council are responding by gearing up their legal challenges.
For VICE News.
The big rollback: Trump's latest executive order guts Obama-era environmental protections
Trump signed a sweeping executive order that requires the Environmental Protection Agency to review the Clean Power Plan, a crucial Obama initiative that aimed to cut power plants’ pollution. The order will also rescind several Obama-era environmental protections, such as a moratorium on leases for mining coal from federal land and the requirement that federal officials consider the “social cost of carbon” emissions when making decisions. It will serve as a blueprint for the Trump administration’s energy and environmental policies.
For VICE News.
Our newest fuel efficiency standards are kicking the bucket
The administration is looking to roll back federal regulations that would have forced automakers to meet new environment-friendly standards. The EPA regulations, known as the Tailpipes Rule, were one of the Obama administration’s final acts aimed at protecting the environment.
But according to a 2016 EPA Fuel Economy Trends Report, automakers have been adopting fuel-efficient technologies at unprecedented rates, recording a record low of carbon dioxide auto emissions last year, despite filed industry complaints of technology cost gaps.
For VICE News.
For The Gate.
Kyoto’s Fallen Giants: Can they Step it Up Fast Enough?
This past November, China and the United States made a bilateral climate deal at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in Beijing. Both countries promised major emissions cuts: the United States pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent by 2025, while China said it would decrease emissions by same proportion by 2030. The international press has heralded this as a “historic” agreement between usually antagonistic world powers, interpreting agreement as a sign of progress. However, the supportive media coverage has failed to examine the historical background that says otherwise.
Guns or Grids: How Russian Aggression Could Shape the Renewable Energy Revolution in Eastern Europe
The Baltic states in Eastern Europe have long been overshadowed by a dark political and economic Soviet history, which even after reconstituting independence over twenty years ago, has not changed the region’s energy dependence on its former occupier. Over the past year, recent movements away from Russia’s gas and electricity network have spurred concurrent public domestic successes and geopolitical rifts with Kremlin. But what really stands at the center of this seemingly political and economic shift is a new and unique opportunity to invest in a completely renewable green energy infrastructure, the first of its kind in the world. The question remains, however - will the Baltics be brave enough to turn on the switch?