Alumni Articles

SciCom alumni span the enterprise of science communication, from journalistic outlets in the U.S. and Europe to university news offices, research agencies, and museums and zoos. Scores of Santa Cruz–trained freelance writers contribute to magazines, news websites, and institutions. This list samples the ongoing work of our graduates.

"'A big night' for newts, and the California newt brigade" by Annie Roth '18 (New York Times, Jan. 23, 2023)

"NASA smashes into an asteroid, completing a mission to save a future day" by Kenneth Chang (New York Times, Sept. 23, 2022)

"Don't go chasing water bugs" by Elyse DeFranco '22 and the KQED Deep Look Team (KQED Deep Look); part of Deep Look's 2022 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award-winning multimedia entry

"Coronavirus in the US: Latest map and case count" by Julia Calderone '14 and New York Times staff (New York Times, ongoing); part of the Times' 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service-winning package of coronavirus coverage

"This ancient shark fossil is exquisite. But some researchers wonder if they'll be able to study it" by Rodrigo Pérez Ortega (Science, April 15 2021); part of Rodrigo's 2022 Eric and Wendy Schmidt/National Academies Award-winning package on diversity in science

"For millions of vulnerable people, COVID-19 is far from over" by Priyanka Runwal '19 (National Geographic, March 2, 2022)

"Members of the Texas National Guard struggle with working conditions at the border" by Carolina Cuellar '21 (NPR/Texas Public Radio, March 1, 2022)

"Institutions in the global north hoard fossils from Brazil, study says" by Rodrigo Pérez Ortega (Science, March 1, 2022)

"Introducing a special issue on how COVID changed the world" by Laura Helmuth '98 (March 2022 issue, Scientific American)

"A UN report shows climate change’s escalating toll on people and nature" by Nikk Ogasa '21 (Science News, Feb. 28, 2022)

"Cretaceous Meteor That Killed Most Life on Earth Hit in Spring" by Amanda Heidt '20 (The Scientist, Feb. 24, 2022)

"Most Complete Simulation of a Cell Probes Life’s Hidden Rules" by Yasemin Saplokoglu '17 (Quanta, Feb. 24, 2022)

"Bald Eagle Population Growth Rate Suppressed by Lead Poisoning, Study Suggests" by Aylin Woodward '17 (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 17, 2022)

"Insect ranchers pour $5 million into world’s first large-scale genetic breeding facility" by Tess Joosse (Science) Feb. 3, 2022

"I'll go if you go" podcast season 2, hosted by Emily Harwitz '21 (Save the Redwoods League; Jan. 27, 2022 debut)

"A Texas team comes up with a COVID vaccine that could be a global game changer" by Joe Palca '82 (NPR, Jan. 25, 2022)

"Love triangle challenges reign of Japan's monkey queen" by Annie Roth '18 (New York Times, Jan. 21, 2022)

"The Monterey Bay’s mysterious mammoth tusk" by Jerimiah Oetting '20 (KAZU, Jan. 20, 2022)

"The James Webb Space Telescope team prepares for launch" by Sukee Bennet '17 (PBS NOVA, Dec. 22, 2021)

"In the wake of floods, what's next for salmon?" by Kylie Mohr, edited by Emily Benson '16 (High Country News, Dec. 2, 2021)

"COVID questions: It's been a long time since we talked about testing" by Erin Ross '16 (Oregon Public Broadcasting, Oct. 26, 2021)

"Getting 'Good Fire' on the Ground: The Karuk Tribe Pushes to Restore Native Burn Management to Protect Forests" by Danielle Venton '11 (KQED, Sept. 3, 2021)

"How to detect, resist and counter the flood of fake news" by Alexandra Witze '93 (Science News, May 6, 2021)

"Race for the vaccine" documentary, produced by Richard Stone '91 at Tangled Bank Studios and partners (CNN, May 2021)

"The bro bonds of sperm whales" by Annie Roth '18 (Hakai, April 26, 2021)

"A doctor trained nurse practitioners to do colonoscopies. Critics say his research exploited Black patients" by Nick St. Fleur '14 (STAT, May 4, 2021); one of the stories that earned Nick the 2021 Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for young science journalists

"Bringing the ocean's midnight zone into the light" by Annie Roth '18 (New York Times, September 22, 2020)

"What It Took to Free a Whale Entangled in 4,000 Pounds of Fishing Gear" by Annie Roth '18 (New York Times, September 1, 2020)

"North Coast, San Lorenzo Valley evacuees share anxieties, needs" by Erin Malsbury '20 (Santa Cruz Local, August 30, 2020)

"Parts of Boulder Creek without water due to wildfire damage" by Jesse Kathan '20 (Santa Cruz Local, August 26, 2020)

"Kids seeking asylum find one measure of it in one makeshift school" by Myriam Vidal Valero and Rodrigo Pérez Ortega '19 (New York Times, August 20, 2020)

"Graduate student solves decades-old Conway knot problem" by Erika Klarreich '01 (Quanta, May 19, 2020)

"The new science of volcanoes harnesses AI, satellites and gas sensors to forecast eruptions" by Jane Palmer '10 (Nature, May 18, 2020)

"COVID-19 wallops meat plant workers; shortages hit shelves, fast food" by Beth Mole '12 (Ars Technica, May 6, 2020)

"How the coronavirus attacks your lungs" reporting contribution from Annie Roth '18 (KQED Deep Look, May 4, 2020)

"Warning: that coronavirus news you're reading could be all wrong" by Danielle Venton '11 (KQED, May 4, 2020)

"Fauci: No scientific evidence the coronavirus was made in a lab" by Nsikan Akpan '14 and Victoria Jaggard (National Geographic, May 4, 2020)

"The race for coronavirus vaccines: A graphical guide" by Ewen Callaway '07 (Nature, April 28, 2020)

"Scientists find warm water beneath Antarctica's most at-risk glacier" by Sukee Bennett '17 (PBS NOVA, April 22, 2020)

"Finding solutions to Valley Fever" Ira Flatow interviews Kerry Klein '15 (NPR Science Friday, April 24, 2020)

"Every moon, ranked" Jennifer Leman '18 interviewed on NPR's Shortwave podcast (NPR Shortwave, April 16, 2020)

Video and article: "Coronavirus ravages the lungs. It also affects the brain" by Daniela Hernandez '12 (Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2020)

"When photographers get too close, wildlife pays the price" by Annie Roth '18 (Hakai, April 14, 2020)

"Gold mining threatens indigenous forests in the Brazilian Amazon" by John Cannon '08 (Mongabay, April 8, 2020)

"Every moon in our solar system, ranked" by Jennifer Leman '18 (Popular Mechanics, April 7, 2020)

"When coronavirus closes your lab, can science go on?" with contributions from Nick St. Fleur '14 and Annie Roth '18 (The New York Times, March 23, 2020)

"Young adults can face severe cases of COVID-19, too" by Erin Garcia de Jesus '19 (Science News, March 19, 2020)

"Macaque monkeys can't become reinfected with COVID-19, small study suggests" by Nicoletta Lanese '18 (Live Science, March 18, 2020)

"A dog in Hong Kong has a low-level infection of the new coronavirus" by Erin Garcia de Jesus '19 (Science News, March 5, 2020)

"As the coronavirus outbreak evolves, we answer some key questions" by Erin Garcia de Jesus '19 and the Science News staff (Science News, March 4, 2020)

"'The spark has ignited.' Latin American scientists intensify fight against sexual harassment" by Rodrigo Pérez Ortega '19 and Lindzi Wessel '16 (Science, February 20, 2020).

"SARS and the new coronovirus target the same cellular lock to infect cells" by Erin Garcia de Jesus '19 (Science News, February 3, 2020)

"This is the most detailed video of the Sun's surface ever taken -- and it's incredible" by Jennifer Leman '18 (Popular Mechanics, January 30, 2020)

"Can Kangaroo Island's glossy black-cockatoo survive Australia's fires?" by Priyanka Runwal '19 (Audubon, January 22, 2020)

"New coronavirus can spread between humans -- but it started in a wildlife market" by Nsikan Apkan '14 (National Geographic, January 21, 2020)

"Doulas are becoming part of the end-of-life equation" by Hannah Hagemann '19 (NPR, January 3, 2020)

"A Silicon Valley disruption for birds that gorge on endangered fish" by Priyanka Runwal '19 (The New York Times, November 12, 2019)

"The Grizzlies Are Coming" by Helen Santoro '19 (High Country News / The Atlantic, November 7, 2019)

"More than 11,000 scientists say climate change threatens 'fate of humanity'" by Erin Ross '12 (Oregon Public Broadcasting, November 5, 2019)

"It's hard to predict where an ember hurled from a fire might land" by Danielle Venton '11 (KQED, October 28, 2019)

"New gene-editing tool could fix genetic defects - with fewer unwanted effects" by Tanya Lewis '12 (Scientific American, October 21, 2019)

"Scientists concerned over US plans to collect DNA data from immigrants," by Lindzi Wessel '16 (Nature, October 7, 2019)

"Intelligent ways to search for extraterresterials" by Adam Mann '10 (The New Yorker Elements, October 3, 2019)

"The 'little cow' of the sea nears extinction" by Annie Roth '18 (National Geographic, October 2019)

"Who liked Hurricane Sandy? These tiny, endangered birds," by Annie Roth '18 (The New York Times, June 21, 2019)

"Part 1: Stopping a killer pandemic" by Nsikan Akpan '14 and PBS NewsHour staff (June 18, 2019); part of a series that won a News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Science, Medical and Environmental Report

"Stressed out? Your dog may feel it too, study suggests," by Jeremy Rehm '18 (Associated Press, June 6, 2019)

"The first picture of a black hole opens a new era of astrophysics," by Lisa Grossman (Science News, April 10, 2019)

"The government shutdown is putting the US further behind in a weather-forecasting race with Europe" by Aylin Woodward '17 (Business Insider, January 16, 2019)

"How Neanderthal DNA might have shaped some human brains" by Ewen Callaway '07 (Nature, December 13, 2018)

"Experts Warn Expanded Heart Valve Use Risks Patient Safety" by Cat Ferguson '14 and Petra Blum (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, November 28, 2018)

"Parker Solar Probe Launches on Journey to Touch the Sun" by Kenneth Chang (The New York Times, August 11, 2018)

"Single subatomic particle illuminates mysterious origins of cosmic rays" by Davide Castelvecchi '04 (Nature, July 12, 2018)

"We're Overprotecting Birds at the Expense of Climbers" by Ula Chrobak '17 (Outside, July 12, 2018)

"Lessons Learned: This is how you go from academia to industry for a postdoc" by Megha Satyanarayana '07 (STAT, July 12, 2018)

"Red Planet Roundup: June 2018" by Sarah Derouin '17 (Earth Magazine, June 12, 2018)

"The Hunt for Earth's Deep Hidden Oceans" by Marcus Woo '07 (Quanta Magazine, July 11, 2018)

"As Salem Frets About Toxic Algae, Should The Rest of Oregon?" by Erin Ross '16 (Oregon Public Broadcasting, June 7, 2018)

"Predatory behavior runs rampant in Facebook's addiction support groups" by Cat Ferguson '14 (The Verge, May 21, 2018)

"They Saw Earth From Space. Here's How It Changed Them" by Nadia Drake '11 (National Geographic, March 2018)

"New U Podcast: Secrets of the Campus Cadavers" by Paul Gabrielsen '13 (The University of Utah UNews, February 6, 2018)

"Universes with no weak force may still have stars and life" by Lisa Grossman '09 (Science News, January 30, 2018

"Your brain knows what songs are for, no matter where they came from" by Marcus Woo '07 (Smithsonian, January 28, 2018)

"Has humankind driven Earth into a new epoch?" by Ramin Skibba '16 (Knowable Magazine, January 22, 2018)

"This graveyard gives scientists insight into lives of stranded dolphins" by Teresa Carey '17 (PBS NewsHour, January 17, 2018

"First Alien Star System With Eight Planets Found" by Nadia Drake '11 (National Geographic, December 14, 2017)

"To find aliens, we must think of life as we don't know it" by Ramin Skibba '16 (Aeon, September 19, 2017)

"Searching for help: How disreputable rehabs game Google to profit off patients" by Cat Ferguson '14 (The Verge, September 7, 2017)

"As Cassini's tour of Saturn draws to a close, a look back at postcards from the probe" by Lisa Grossman '09 (Science News, September 2, 2017)

"Engineering New Foundations for a Thawing Arctic" by Laura Poppick '13 (Eos, August 22, 2017)

"Grappling with graduate student mental health and suicide" by Jyllian Kemsley '03 (Chemical & Engineering News, August 7, 2017)

"The strange topology that is reshaping physics" by Davide Castelvecchi '04 (Nature, July 19, 2017)

"A College Town Gets Ready for Its Moment Under No Sun" by Nicholas St. Fleur '14 (The New York Times, June 30, 2017)

"Who's in charge of outer space?" by Adam Mann '10 (The Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2017)

"Climate change is turning dehydration into a deadly epidemic" by Jane Palmer '10 (Mosaic, April 18, 2017)

"Unravelling why shoelace knots fail" by Erin Ross '16 (Nature, April 12, 2017)

"Cancer cells cast a sweet spell on the immune system" by Esther Landhuis '04 (Science News, April 1, 2017)

"From Vector To Zoonotic: A Glossary For Infectious Diseases" by Natalie Jacewicz '16 (NPR, February 14, 2017)

"How the Bees You Know are Killing the Bees You Don't" by Nala Rogers '15 (Inside Science News Service, January 23, 2017)

"Reef rehab could help threatened corals make a comeback" by Amy McDermott '16 (Science News, October 29, 2016)

"Brazil will release billions of lab-grown mosquitoes to combat infectious disease. Will it work?" by Kelly Servick '13 (Science, October 13, 2016)

"Visions of Life on Mars in Earth's Depths" by Kenneth Chang '95 (The New York Times, September 12, 2016)

"Fish escapes from marine farms raise concerns about wildlife" by Roberta Kwok '08 (Science News, September 7, 2016)

"Why Great White Sharks Are Still a Mystery to Us" by Erik Vance '06 (National Geographic, July 2016)

"The Wisdom of the Aging Brain" by Anil Ananthaswamy '00 (Nautilus, May 12, 2016)

"Psychedelic compounds like ecstasy may be good for more than just a high" by Jyllian Kemsley (Chemical & Engineering News, March 28, 2016)

"The biggest mystery in mathematics: Shinichi Mochizuki and the impenetrable proof" by Davide Castelvecchi '04 (Nature, October 7, 2015)

"Soon, Humans Will Follow Robots Into Deep Space" by Marcus Woo '07 (WIRED, March 27, 2015)

"Company chops down rainforest to produce 'sustainable' chocolate" by John Cannon '08 (, January 20, 2015)

"Contamination: The toxic side of rice" by Emily Sohn '00 (Nature, October 29, 2014)

"Climbing high to save a threatened West Coast plant" by Nsikan Akpan '14 (Science News, October 18, 2014)

"Why Deadly Japan Volcano Erupted Without Warning" by Becky Oskin '00 (LiveScience, September 29, 2014)

"Carbon capture and storage finally approaching debut" by Beth Mole '12 (Science News, August 22, 2014)

"Botched Executions Put Lethal Injections Under New Scrutiny" by Jyllian Kemsley '03 (Chemical & Engineering News, May 26, 2014)

"The lost father" by Julie Rehmeyer '06 (Aeon Magazine, March 26, 2014)

"Multiverse gets real with glimpse of Big Bang ripples" by Lisa Grossman '09 (New Scientist, March 18, 2014)

"Meet the Ex-Microsoft Exec on a Quest to Save Obamacare" by Daniela Hernandez '11 (Kaiser Health News, January 29, 2014)

"Intimate Portraits of Bees" by Jane Lee '11 (National Geographic, January 27, 2014)

"Cocaine is Evil" by Erik Vance '06 (Slate, December 29, 2013)

"Rediscovered Apollo data gives first measure of how fast moon dust piles up" by Thomas Sumner '13 (American Geophysical Union, November 20, 2013)

"To Catch a Shooting Star" by Chris Palmer '13 (Stanford Magazine, Nov/Dec 2013)

"'It's heartbreaking': Shutdown could ruin years of Antarctic research" by Laura Poppick '13 (, October 10, 2013)

"I'm just saying no to mammography: Why the numbers are in my favor" by Christie Aschwanden '98 (Washington Post, October 7, 2013)

"NIH serves up wide menu for US brain-mapping initiative" by Helen Shen '12 (Nature, September 17, 2013)

"New pups bring hope for Isle Royale's wolves" by Christine Mlot '84 (ScienceInsider, August 30, 2013)

"Fundamental forces and medicinal molecules" by Heather Rock Woods '94 (symmetry, August 13, 2013)

"It All Began in Chaos" by director emeritus Robert Irion '88 (National Geographic, July 2013)

"Voyager: Outward Bound" by Alexandra Witze '93 (Nature, May 22, 2013)

"Public health: Polio's moving target" by Ewen Callaway '07 (Nature, April 17, 2013)

"'Chinese Google' Opens Artificial-Intelligence Lab in Silicon Valley" by Daniela Hernandez '12 (, April 12, 2013)

"Making your own phone is easier than you might think" by Lisa Grossman '09 (New Scientist, March 21, 2013)

"Private Plan to Send Humans to Mars in 2018 Might Not Be So Crazy" by Adam Mann '10 (, February 27, 2013)

"Computer Scientists Take Road Less Traveled" by Erica Klarreich '01 (Simons Foundation, January 29, 2013)

"Breakthrough of the Year: The Discovery of the Higgs Boson" by Adrian Cho '99 (Science, December 21, 2012)

"Onward and Skyward" by Nadia Drake '11 (Science News, December 1, 2012)

"Beginnings of Bionic" by Meghan Rosen '12 (Science News, November 17, 2012)

"Hunt for the Male Contraceptive Pill Continues Despite Decades of Research" by Michael Torrice '09 (Chemical & Engineering News, September 24, 2012)

"Blue-Green Algae: Iridescent but Deadly" by Jessica Marshall '05 (The Atlantic, September 18, 2012)

"Genetics to determine cancer treatments" by Sarah C.P. Williams '07 (Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2012)

"Future wellness efforts may include advice based on genes" by Emily Sohn '00 (Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2012)

"Technology to play a bigger role in hospital care" by Amber Dance '08 (Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2012)

"End of an Age for Aquarius" by Mark Schrope '99 (Nature, July 25, 2012)

"Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt" by Maria José Viñas '08 (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, July 24, 2012)

"Neither the Maya Calendar—nor the World—Ends on December 21, 2012" by Erik Vance '06 (Scientific American, July 6, 2012)

"How the Discovery of the Higgs Boson Could Break Physics" by Adam Mann '10 (, July 2, 2012)

"Put a Seismometer in Your Living Room" by Doug Smith '82 (Caltech News Office, June 18, 2012)

"Choosing between solar and soil in California" by Robin Meadows '87 (High Country News, May 28, 2012)

"Traces of Inaugural Life" by Sarah C.P. Williams '07 (Science News, May 19, 2012)

"The Kilogram, Reinvented" by Rachel Courtland '07 (IEEE Spectrum, May 2012)

"Volcanic Rush" by Alexandra Witze '93 (Science News, April 21, 2012)

"Ocean's Deep, Dark Trenches to Get Their Moment in the Spotlight" (subscription required) by Jane Lee '11 (Science, April 13, 2012)

"Squashed Eyeballs Are a Danger for Astronauts" by Kenneth Chang '95 (New York Times, March 19, 2012)

"Power paradox: Clean might not be green forever" by Anil Ananthaswamy '00 (New Scientist, Jan. 28, 2012)

"Wind power: Clean energy, dirty business?" by Erik Vance '06 (Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 26, 2012)

"Why Creationists Shouldn't Gloat About Hawking's Reference to God" by Faye Flam '88 (Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 23, 2012)

"Dino-Chicken: Wacky But Serious Science Idea of 2011" by Stephanie Pappas '09 (, Dec. 27, 2011)

"The Higgs boson: What has God got to do with it?" by Robert Evans '97 (Reuters, Dec. 14, 2011)

"Stolen Notebooks and a Biochemist in Chains" by Julie Rehmeyer '06 (Slate, Dec. 2, 2011)

"The Problem With Landing Humans On Mars (and How to Fix It)" by Adam Mann '10 (, Nov. 21, 2011)

"Scientists and autism: When geeks meet" by Lizzie Buchen '09 (Nature, Nov. 3, 2011)

"Universal flu vaccine may be on horizon" by Amber Dance '08 (Los Angeles Times, Oct. 24, 2011)

"Life on the Moons" by Nadia Drake '11 (Science News, Oct. 8, 2011)

"The Unexpected: Cancer During Pregnancy" by Erin Digitale '08 (Stanford Medicine, Fall 2011)

"Why I Write: Writing About Science—A Way to Pay Attention to Nature" by Anil Ananthaswamy '00 (National Writing Project, Sept. 21, 2011)

"Lasker-Debakey Clinical Medical Research Award citation: Tu Youyou" by Evelyn Strauss '98 (Lasker Awards announcement, Sept. 12, 2011)

"The Toll of 9/11" by Tia Ghose '10 (The Scientist, Sept. 11, 2011)

"Dive-Bombing Hummingbirds Let Their Feathers Do the Talking" by Daniel Strain '10 (ScienceNOW, Sept. 8, 2011)

"Covalent Drugs Form Long-Lived Ties" by Lila Guterman '98 (Chemical & Engineering News, Sept. 5, 2011)

"Plastics industry edited environmental textbook" by Susanne Rust '03 (California Watch, Aug. 19, 2011)

"A Hint of Higgs: An Update from the LHC" by Marcus Woo '07 (Caltech news office, Aug. 15, 2011)

"Masses of Humans May Have Sent Neanderthals Packing" by Jennifer Welsh '10 (, July 28, 2011)

"Wedding in the shadowed valley" by Julie Rehmeyer '06 (High Country News, July 25, 2011)

"Rose-colored glasses may help love last" by Regina Nuzzo '04 (Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2011)

"Race to the Moon Heats Up for Private Firms" by Kenneth Chang '95 (New York Times, July 21, 2011)

"High-temperature superconductivity at 25: Still in suspense" by Adam Mann '10 (Nature, July 20, 2011)

"Riding on a Sounding Rocket" (video) by Kayvon Sharghi '09 (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, July 5, 2011)

"Counterfeit Crackdown" by Rachel Ehrenberg '03 (Science News, June 18, 2011)

"Racism Still Contaminating Science" by Faye Flam '88 (Philadelphia Inquirer, May 30, 2011)

"When Doomsday Isn't, Believers Struggle to Cope" by Stephanie Pappas '09 (, May 20, 2011)

"Geneticists Bid to Build a Better Bee" by Gwyneth Dickey Zakaib '10 (Nature, May 17, 2011)

"Hunting Antimatter" by Clara Moskowitz '07 (, May 16, 2011)

"Europeans Never Had Neanderthal Neighbours" by Ewen Callaway '07 (Nature, May 9, 2011)

"Crushing Cancer's Defenses" by Daniel Strain '10 (Science News, May 7, 2011)

"An Epidemic Among Amphibians" by Emily Sohn '00 (Discovery News, May 2, 2011)

"The Best of Times and the Worst of Times" by Amber Dance '08 (HHMI Bulletin, May 2011)

"Still Searching: SETI Pioneer Jill Tarter Talks Shutdown, Aliens" by Lisa Grossman '09 (, April 28, 2011)

"Alien Bacteria Could Breed in Extreme 'Hypergravity'" by Mike Wall '09 (, April 25, 2011)

"With 'Coolest Job Ever' Ending, Astronauts Seek Next Frontier" by Kenneth Chang '95 (New York Times, April 23, 2011)

"Something New Under the Sun" by director emeritus Robert Irion '88 (Smithsonian, April 2011)