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 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)

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

"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 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 Robert Irion '88 (Smithsonian, April 2011)

"Mathematics' Nearly Century-Old Partitions Enigma Spawns Fractals Solution" by Davide Castelvecchi '04 (Scientific American, Feb. 8, 2011)

"The Final Climate Frontiers" by Alexandra Witze '93 (Science News, Dec. 4, 2010)

"Winning the World Series with Math" by Julie Rehmeyer '06 (Science News Math Trek, Oct. 22, 2010)

"At Harvard, the Kitchen is a Laboratory" by Kenneth Chang '95 (New York Times, Oct. 20, 2010)

"How I Trained to Fly in Space (Without Leaving Earth)" by Clara Moskowitz '07 (, Oct. 15, 2010)

"On China's Beleaguered Yangtze, a Push to Save Surviving Species" by Richard Stone '90 (Yale Environment 360, Aug. 23, 2010)

"Masters of Disaster" by director Robert Irion '88 (Smithsonian, Aug. 2010)

"Seeking to Illuminate the Mysterious Placebo Effect" by Erik Vance '06 (New York Times, June 22, 2010)

"The Secrets Within Cosmic Dust" by director Robert Irion '88 (Smithsonian, Dec. 2009)

"Swine Flu Vaccine Fears Debunked" by Emily Sohn '00 (Discovery News, Oct. 23, 2009)

"Weird, Rare Clouds and the Physics Behind Them" by Betsy Mason '01 (, Sept. 29, 2009)

"Behind Moon Travel Goal, Big Talk and Little Money" by Kenneth Chang '95 (New York Times, Aug. 24, 2009)

"Proceed with Caution" by Sarah C.P. Williams '07 (HHMI Bulletin, Aug. 2009)

"Learning from UCLA: Details of the Experiment That Led to a Researcher's Death Prompt Evaluations of Academic Safety Practices" by Jyllian Kemsley '03 (Chemical & Engineering News, Aug. 3, 2009)

"Superheroes: Turning Sadness Upside Down" by Erin Digitale '08 (Stanford Medicine, Summer 2009)

"Think You Have Food Allergies? Think Again" by Emily Sohn '00 (Los Angeles Times, July 20, 2009)

"Operation Sex Change" by Cynthia Mills '93 (Conservation, Summer 2009)

"Bigfoot Hobbit Could Be Ancient Island Human" by Ewen Callaway '07 (New Scientist, May 6, 2009)

"On Cusp of Big Transition, NASA Lacks Permanent Leader" by Kenneth Chang '95 (New York Times, May 3, 2009)

"Teaching Autistic Kids to Read Facial Expressions" by Amber Dance '08 (Los Angeles Times, Apr. 13, 2009)

"In the Key of Bee"
by Erik Vance '06 (Bay Nature, Apr-June 2009)

"The Rock that Fell to Earth" by Roberta Kwok '08 (Nature, Mar. 25, 2009)

"Ante Up, Human: The Adventures of Polaris, the Poker-Playing Robot" by Julie Rehmeyer '06 (WIRED, Dec. 2008)

"Vying for a Soul Mate? Psych Out the Competition with Science" by Regina Nuzzo '04 (Los Angeles Times, Dec. 8, 2008), plus guest spot on Today Show

"Ocean Animal Emergency" by Solana Pyne '01 (associate producer, NOVA broadcast, Nov. 25, 2008)

"The Farthest Horizons" by director Robert Irion '88 (National Geographic special issue on space, Nov. 2008)

"Unraveling Breast Milk" by Jyllian Kemsley '03 (Chemical & Engineering News, Sept. 29, 2008)

"U.S. Election: The Home Stretch" by Alexandra Witze '03 (Nature, Sept. 25, 2008)

"Mapping the Digital Divide" by Madolyn Bowman Rogers '08 (symmetry, Sept. 2008)

"Beaming Energy from Space" by Amber Dance '08 (Nature, Sept. 16, 2008)

"Founder of the Secret Society of Mathematicians" by Julie Rehmeyer '06 (Science News, Aug. 29, 2008

Bigfoot Press Conference Yields Little Evidence, Lots of Scorn" by Erik Vance '06 (, Aug. 15, 2008)

"Is Local Food Really Miles Better?" by Roberta Kwok '08 (, June 24, 2008)

"From Solar Fuel Back to Electricity" by Marcus Woo '07 (Caltech Engineering & Science, summer 2008; pdf download)

"Analytic Chemistry Comes to the Fore" and "Heparin Undone" by Jyllian Kemsley '03 (Chemical & Engineering News, May 12, 2008)

"Homing in on Black Holes" by director Robert Irion '88 (Smithsonian, April 2008)

"To Sleep, Perchance to Dream" by Jessica Marshall '05 (Zoogoer, Nov./Dec. 2007)

"Hackers Could Skew U.S. Elections" by Jessica Marshall '05 (, Oct. 9, 2007)

"Rocking the Vote" by Elisabeth Nadin '03 (Engineering & Science, Caltech magazine, Fall 2007; pdf download)

"Knowing What You Like" by Marcus Woo '07 (Engineering & Science, Caltech magazine, Fall 2007; pdf download)

"4 Robots That Are Saving the World" by Brittany Grayson '07 (, Sept. 7, 2007)

"Blowout (Dismantling Dams)" by Cameron Walker '02 (Outside, Aug. 2007)

"The Dark and Mushy Side of a Frozen Continent" by Mason Inman '04 (Science, July 6, 2007; site license required)

"Koalas: Up Close and Personal" by Emily Sohn '00 (Science News for Kids, June 27, 2007)

“Raising Consciousness” by Emily Singer '03 (Technology Review, Jan./Feb. 2007)

"Swallowing the Best Advice?" by Jessica Marshall '05 and Peter Aldhous, program lecturer (New Scientist, Oct. 27, 2006; subscription required)  

“The Planet Hunters” by director Robert Irion ’88 (Smithsonian, October 2006)

“Inside Chernobyl” by Richard Stone ’91 (National Geographic, April 2006)

“Proof of Big Bang seen by space probe, scientists say” by Davide Castelvecchi ’04 (National Geographic News, March 17, 2006)

“Modeling the first instants of a star’s death” by Robert Irion ’88 (SciDAC Review, U.S. Department of Energy, March 2006)

“Markets to help Willamette River keep its cool” by Cameron Walker ’02 (Ecosystem Marketplace, Jan. 19 2006)

"Of Meth and Motherhood" by Nicole Stricker '03 (Idaho Falls Post Register, Jan. 15-17, 2006)

“Planets” by Robert Irion ’88 (Discover 25th anniversary issue, October 2005)

“Eco-friendly in the kitchen” by Lila Guterman ’98 (The Washington Post, Sept. 17, 2005)

“Footprints rewrite history of first Americans” by Robert Adler ’99 (New Scientist, July 5, 2005)

“Board rooms” by Emily Sohn ’00 (Smithsonian, July 2005)

"The Growth of Inflation" by Davide Castelvecchi ’04 (Symmetry magazine, December 2004/January 2005)