Environmental Reporting

Environmental Writing Environment

The greenest office building in the world. Italian wall lizards colonizing suburban New York. The ascent of the green roof industry. Roadkill as a wildlife indicator. My favorite ecology-related articles have told the surprising stories of unnoticed or overlooked inhabitants of the natural world, while many of my environmental stories have explored the fast-evolving green building industry and the factors influencing environmentally-friendly consumer behavior. My work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, ENSIA, Newsday, and MSNBC.com.

Featured Stories

Photo: Bryn Nelson

A Building Not Just Green, but Practically Self-Sustaining

The New York Times, April 2, 2013

When an office building here that bills itself as the world’s greenest officially opens later this month, it will present itself as a “living building zoo,” with docents leading tours and smartphone-wielding tourists able to scan bar codes to learn about the artfully exposed mechanical and electrical systems.

Photo: Miller Hull Partnership

The Self-Sufficient Office Building

The New York Times, October 4, 2011

One of the most highly anticipated development projects in the Pacific Northwest is still little more than a grid of concrete and rebar at the edge of the Capitol Hill neighborhood here. When completed near the end of next year, though, the six-story office building may be the greenest commercial structure in the world.

Photo: Nic Lehoux

In Rural Minnesota, a 70-Acre Lab for Sustainable Living

The New York Times "Green" Blog, January 11, 2013

Paul Hunt still remembers the dilemma that he and his wife, Lynn, faced in early January 2010 at their home in rural north-central Minnesota. The couple had just moved into their ultra-efficient house, on the outskirts of Pine River, population 944, but still lacked a thermostat and were about to go out of town for more than two days. It was bitterly cold, and an exterior sensor, one of the many dotting their house, suggested that the nighttime temperature would dip far below zero. Should they leave the heat on or turn it off?

Photo: NEEA

Subtly Selling ‘Green’ to the Flat Screen Crowd

The New York Times, April 10, 2012

A convergence of clever advertising and engineering advances in televisions, appliances and housing components is allowing green marketers to recast high-efficiency options as practical problem-solvers for the home rather than as saviors of the planet. Newly honed pitches steeped in consumer psychology are linking up the traits people crave — cutting-edge quality, say, or convenience — with the energy savings and reduced emissions championed by environmentalists.

Photo: Bryn Nelson

Green Roofs Popping Up in Big Cities

MSNBC.com, April 15, 2008

The Washington Nationals’ new baseball stadium opened the 2008 season with one. Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Olympics will feature many more. And earlier this year Minneapolis decreed that the city’s voluminous Target Center arena will have one too. Suddenly, green roofs are sprouting across North America.

Photo: Newsday/Bill Davis

A Flat You Can’t Repair [PDF]

Newsday, December, 2003

At 55 miles per hour on the Northern State Parkway, the identifications must be made swiftly and decisively. Raccoon. Squirrel. Raccoon. Uh, squirrel? Call it a URP. For the uninitiated, URP stands for “Unidentified Road Pizza,” at least according to Brewster Bartlett, also known as Dr. Splatt.

Associated Awards  Associated Awards

Newsday Publisher’s Award,
Team Enterprise Reporting, “Our Natural World” Series, 2003

Photo: Newsday/Bill Davis

The Lizard King [PDF]

Newsday, May 2003

Two years before astronauts walked on the moon, a few dozen colonists took their first small steps onto another foreign landscape. The exact details are lost to legend, but the settlers soon discovered that Garden City wasn’t such a bad place to land. For a lizard.

Associated Awards  Associated Awards

Newsday Publisher’s Award,
Team Enterprise Reporting, “Our Natural World” Series, 2003

Photo: Harley Soltes

Q and A: The Rambunctious Garden

The New York Times "Green" Blog, July 28, 2011

An interview with environmental journalist, Emma Marris, author of the book, “Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World.”

Related Photo Gallery  Related Photo Gallery

Additional Stories

Marketing Plan: Solve a Problem, Then Spread the Word

The New York Times "Green" Blog, April 11, 2011

How marketers are hitting the "sweet spot" in persuading customers to make greener choices.

Points of Light for Green Construction

The New York Times "Green" Blog, October 5, 2011

How some building projects in the Pacific Northwest are taking “green” to the next level.

Could vertical farming be the future?

MSNBC.com, December 12, 2007

Researchers dream up plans for urban farms that can feed thousands.

Crowd Farms’ Could Offer Alternative Energy

MSNBC.com, August 9, 2007

A conceptual design tries to harness the ‘people power’ of big crowds for energy.

Buds are Bloomin’ Early [PDF]

Newsday, April 2, 2006

Earlier emerging plants suggest that the Northeast climate is warming.

The Tupelo Hunter [PDF]

Newsday, July 18, 2004

Daniel Karpen is looking for Long Island’s oldest trees.