I’ve had a lucky and unusual career as a journalist in Washington, D.C.  and in my home state of Pennsylvania.

I’ve covered some of the most complex programs ever dreamed up by Congress  (#ethanol), and delved into some of the most arcane tangles our leaders have created for themselves (#internscandal) or the folks back home (#financialcrisis.)

But I’ve always had the opportunity to seek out the story that no one is covering, instead of chasing down the story everyone is covering. I don’t cover Washington, but how the decisions made here–and the decisions avoided here–are affecting households, communities, and the world.

My focus is now the most important and difficult environmental issue that we have ever faced: How to address climate change in a world where economies and politics are so tightly bound to the industries that are the source of this profound problem for the planet and civilization. I write on climate change and energy for National Geographic, Science, and others.

I also am trying to do my part to help future scientists better communicate and connect with the public as Science Writer-in-Residence at Ursinus College’s Center for Science and the Common Good. I am so inspired by the commitment of the young fellows in this unique program, and their desire to make the world a better place through their work in science.

My 2010 special report for National Geographic, “The Great Shale Gas Rush,” on Pennsylvania’s energy boom, was honored as a finalist in both the American Society of Magazine Editors’ Digital Ellie awards and the National Academy of Sciences’ 2010 communications awards.

Unequal Protection, a 1992 computer-assisted project that I conceived and led for The National Law Journal, received the Polk Award, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award and other honors, for its look at the disparity in environmental law enforcement in minority and white communities. Our report led to  Congressional hearings and a U.S. Civil Rights Commission probe, and The New York Times credited our work with helping to prompt the Clinton administration’s executive order on environmental justice.

I spent a year as science writer for The Daily Climate web site, four years as energy editor at National Geographic‘s web site, and two years covering climate change lobbying for the nonprofit journalism organization, The Center for Public Integrity. I also worked at U.S. News and World Report, and before that, at The National Law Journal. You can see my resume here.

One bit of personal background I’ll mention: I grew up on Coal Street in Carbon County, Pennsylvania. Our high school basketball team played in the “Anthracite” league, decades after they stopped delivering hard coal to homes. I believe we can’t forget the people and communities that grew up around the old energy realities, even as we work to find and deploy cleaner fuels and a better new reality.

This web site is meant to showcase just some of my work and media appearances. Get in touch and I’ll tell you more!

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