Meet SEJ member Michelle Nijhuis! A lapsed biologist, Michelle specializes in conservation and climate change, and is especially interested in finding new ways of telling stories about conservation. She has lived in the rural West for most of her adult life, and has found it really valuable, as an environmental journalist, to live near the sources of our water, energy and food. Her book "Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction," a history of the modern conservation movement, was named a best book of 2021 by the Chicago Tribune, Smithsonian, Booklist and other publications. She is a longtime contributing editor of High Country News and a project editor at The Atlantic, where she edits features for the Planet section and oversaw the Life Up Close series. She is also the co-editor of "The Science Writers' Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Pitch, Publish and Prosper in the Digital Age" and the author of "The Science Writers' Essay Handbook: How to Craft Compelling True Stories in Any Medium." After 15 years off the electrical grid in rural Colorado, she and her family now live in White Salmon, Washington.
"I've been an SEJ member for more than 20 years, and it's made my job easier in countless ways. It's introduced me to many of my closest colleagues, and connected me with key sources and story ideas. Most importantly, it's given me a sense of community that's sustained me through two decades of upheaval in journalism," Michelle said. Join her in the SEJ community today!
Check out some of Michelle's work:
- "Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction," W. W. Norton, 2021 (hardcover) 2022 (paperback).
- "To Conserve More Species, Act While Their Numbers Are High," Scientific American, November 30, 2021.
- "Detective Fiction Has Nothing on This Victorian-Science Murder Mystery," The Atlantic, June 16, 2021.
- "Species Solidarity: Rediscovering Our Connection to the Web of Life," Yale e360, May 11, 2021.
- "The Miracle of the Commons," Aeon, May 4, 2021.
- "Don't Cancel John Muir. But Don't Excuse Him Either," The Atlantic, April 12, 2021.
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