All posts filed under: Published stories

Eating an Alien

I begin to panic. As I stare into an open Styrofoam container of frozen fillets of lionfish wrapped in plastic and tucked in between blocks of dry ice, I wonder if the $120 I shelled out for this package will be worth it. Eight friends are coming over for dinner the next afternoon and here sit only three pounds of frozen fish. Torrents of doubt stream through my mind. Are lionfish safe to eat? Am I really going to serve frozen fish? Do I even have enough? Will the beautiful crimson and ink-striped skin look the same after singed by the hot flames of a grill? Continue reading here…

Anacostia River, Washington, DC

You belong to no one, everyone, yet you exist in the shadows of politicians and history. You have a reputation of being forgotten. I stride past sweet honeysuckle, but traces of decay, drudgery, death, make me crinkle my nose and hasten my pace. Low tide unveils muddy banks hoarding plastic water bottles and old tires — relics from a habitually neglectful era. Unbeknownst to the great blue heron watching me with a statuesque neck and suspicious eye, lead, beryllium, and arsenic dwell below her feet, masked by turbid eddies. Continue reading at Orion Magazine.

Alpine Unrest

“As we hustled into our tent and sleeping bags, somberness settled on us, a stark contrast to the circus stirring outside. It was five o’clock in the evening. It could have been ten minutes; it could have been two hours. Time slipped into a void. Winds ricocheted off the cliffs sending an amplified thrum through the tent walls that narrowed my wandering mind into a tunnel lined with closed doors. I carefully opened each one — letting the possibilities flood my mind, weighing the risks and outcomes, trying to make sense of all the unknowns.” Listen to the podcast on Golden Walkman Magazine.

Vertical Imposition

I reach up with my right hand and slip a tooth-sized aluminum nut into a crack running through the greenstone rocks of Little Stony Man—a cliff outcrop in Shenandoah National Park. This minuscule piece of metal and a rope are all that protect me from a 20-foot drop to a ledge below. Continue reading on Blue Ridge Outdoors.

A blob creates a record-breaking bloom

Bloom. It doesn’t sound that bad. The word may conjure up the image of spring crocuses popping up out of the ground. But start talking about harmful algal blooms, Pseudo-nitzschia, and domoic acid poisoning and people begin to realize that something more threatening is happening. Last week during the annual American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, researchers warned that abnormally warm Pacific waters, commonly referred to as the “blob,” were linked to a record-setting harmful algal bloom outbreak along the west coast of the United States. To make matters worse, this outbreak could be exacerbated by the current El Niño event. Continue reading on PLOS Blogs

The search for Greenland’s missing ice

When viewed from above, the fjords of Greenland look like arteries carrying water and ice from the heart of the mainland ice sheet. At the head of these fjords are some of the world’s largest glaciers. Called marine-terminating glaciers, they constantly recede and advance with the change of the seasons. And every so often, a piece of ice breaks off. The pieces are never trivial. Imagine a chunk of ice miles across and as tall as a skyscraper, most of it submerged below the water’s surface. The ice crumbles into the ocean, rolling and bobbing around like a rubber duck in a bathtub, and slowly floats out to sea. Ice that used to be part of the glacier now drifts around the ocean as large free-floating icebergs, steadily melting. Occasionally, one of these calving events gets caught on film. For a long time scientists focused on warming air temperatures as one of the leading causes of the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. Now, researchers have turned their attention to where the ocean and ice meet, …