Finishing up a graduate program in forestry and environmental studies many years ago, I had a choice. Take a job with the U.S. Forest Service setting up research plots in Idaho. Or accept a fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) that was designed to bring scientists and the media together, and which would take me to Newsweek in New York City for the summer.
I chose Newsweek. The magazine hired me after the fellowship was over, and I never looked back. I covered the first space shuttle launches, the nascent AIDS epidemic, the Arkansas creationism trial, the U.S.'s first loss ever in the America's Cup sailboat race, the debate over a new theory of evolution called punctuated equilibria, and many other stories.
After six years, I moved to Washington, DC to become a writer and editor at National/International Wildlife, where I chased sea otters, caught loons, chronicled the growing problem of capturing wildlife for sale as 'bushmeat', and edited the articles from a stable of freelancers. Then, after a stint as an editor at The Scientist, I joined BusinessWeek as a reporter covering science, technology, medicine, health, space and the environment in the magazine's Washington bureau, and soon was promoted to senior correspondent.
In more than a dozen cover stories over 21 years, I wrote about the promise of gene sequencing, the real reason for the high cost of drugs, the economics of oil, the surprising lack of benefits for most people from cholesterol-lowering drugs, and the growing threat of climate change to business, to name just a few.
Along the way, I won awards from the AAAS, the Wistar Institute, the Deadline Club, the Association of Health Care Journalists, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, among others, and was a finalist for the National Magazine Award.
After Bloomberg bought BusinessWeek in 2009, I had another choice. Become at reporter at Bloomberg News or take advantage of a buyout offer. I spent four months in Bloomberg's Washington bureau before deciding to go out on my own.
Since then I've been writing for publications like Scientific American, Conservation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Ideas at TED. I've also been writing for organizations like the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Economist Intelligence Unit, and the Rocky Mountain Institute. I edited Amory Lovins' book, Reinventing Fire, for example, and wrote first drafts of the energy plan for the State of Connecticut and the climate action plan for the city of Fort Collins, CO. I also am proud to be a contributing editor for Xconomy, the news site at the intersection of science and business.