About

Though a woman of words by trade, I’ll be brief.

When someone once asked what three writers I’d combine to create my ultimate mentor, I went with Mark Twain, Vladimir Nabokov, and Mary Roach. (Alexandra Fuller was a close fourth.) I’m not sure what that means, but there it is.

Thanks to my mother’s DNA, I’ve loved animals since the womb.

Along with animals, writing has been my thing ever since I first learned to carve out letters with a sharp #2 on that thin brownish paper with the dashed red lines. Soon I was crafting stories, poetry, songs, all horrible. I wrote my way through school, whether assigned to or not, and improved. Science piqued my interest along the way, so I married two unlike degrees, a Bachelor’s in English and Master’s in Conservation Biology. That combo led to a quirky brand of science/nature writing that has taken me places I never thought I’d get to go. Hopefully there’s still a long road ahead, with many inspiring stops en route.

I’ll add my CV to this site eventually, but here are the highlights:

Education
Master’s in Conservation Biology, University of Maryland, 1998
Bachelor’s in English, with honors, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1991
2 years of study at Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, 1986-1988
1 year study-abroad, York, England

Select Work History

NYT and Indie Best-Selling book Author (present)
Contributing Writer, National Geographic (present)
Senior Writer, National Geographic (2000-2011)
Senior Researcher, National Geographic Television (1998-2000)
Assistant Director, Writing Center, University of Maryland (1996-1998)
Contributor, Earth&Sky radio program, NPR (various)
Editorial Assistant/Contributor, Journal of NIH Research (1992-1996)
Contributor, TLC Monthly and Destination Discovery, the magazines of Discovery      Communications (back when they existed)

I’m a current member of the D.C. Science Writers’ Association (DCSWA) and the Authors’ Guild.