UPDATE: As of July 5, 2011, this blog moved to Scientific American. Find it now here. The portfolio will continue to be updated.
On this page you will find links to a few of my lectures, interviews, freelance writing, and articles from my newspaper days, as well as my resume (all the way at the bottom). “The Artful Amoeba”, my blog, has moved to Scientific American.
I speak, write, and blog on natural history and the diversity of life. I also write on biology, earth and atmospheric science, and the environment. If you’re interested in hiring me as a speaker, freelancer, or guest blogger, write me at frazer at nasw dot org.
- American Meteorological Society Award for Distinguished Science Journalism in the Atmospheric or Related Sciences, 2013
- AAAS Science Journalism Award, Small Newspaper Category, 2007
- National Newspaper Assocation — First Place, Best Environmental Story — Daily Division 2006
- “Wine Becomes More Like Whisky as Alcohol Content Gets High” story for Scientific American online Feb. 27, 2014.
- “Fungi on the March“, a feature story I wrote for Scientific American magazine, December 2013.
- “Accident of Evolution Allows Fungi to Thrive in Our Bodies” — the online sidebar to “Fungi On the March”.
- “Frankia” Chapter in the “Invisible Life” project for yourwildlife.org
- “Mycoplasma” Chapter in the “Invisible Life” project for yourwildlife.org
- “Fungal Meningitis Pathogen Discovers New Appetite for Human Brains” Scientific American online, Nov. 12, 2012
- “Blowing in the Wind” Nature, April 4, 2012. This feature story won the 2013 American Meteorological Society Award for Distinguished Science Journalism.
- “Miraculous Microbes: They Make Holy Statues “Bleed” — and Can Be Deadly Too“. Scientific American Online, Nov. 11, 2011.
- “Bombs Away: Yarn Bombers Get Out-Heisted in Boulder“. Freelance piece for Grist, Sept. 27, 2011.
- “Toads on High: Tracking and Photographing Boreal Toads“. Freelance piece for High Country News, Aug. 22, 2011.
- “When Cells Discovered Architecture“. Invited blog post for the Scientific American Guest Blog on a new discovery of the earliest big multicellular life. June 13, 2011.
- “Pimp My Virus: Ocean Edition“. Invited blog post for the Scientific American Guest Blog on the giant CroV virus of marine zooplankton. Dec. 22, 2010.
- “Excuse Me, Sir. There’s a Moss-Animal in My Lake“. Invited blog post for the Scientific American Guest Blog on the weird world of bryozoans, Dec. 1, 2010.
- “The Drift Dweller“. All about snow molds –which you have assuredly walked near if you hike in the west — published in High Country News August 2, 2010.
- “Partners in Crime“. Fungi Magazine piece on the blue-stain fungi associated with the mountain pine beetles chewing their way through America’s lodgepole pines. Summer 2010.
- “When Grasshoppers Attack” — invited blog post for the Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo blog, June 28, 2010.
- “Technology: Audio Recording Systems” on the National Association of Science Writers’ All About Freelancing website, September 22, 2009: bit.ly/VQD5y (NASW members only)
Work from my time as health and environment reporter at the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle in Cheyenne (in reverse chronological order):
- My AAAS-award winning story on mysterious mass elk deaths in Wyoming, November 26 and December 3, 2006: Part One Part Two There was a sidebar on the science of the guilty party, but it was never posted online.
- More red than green, September 9, 2007. The Mountain Pine Beetle’s Excellent Adventure.
- Rocket Test, June 28, 2007. Who knew Wyoming had an aerospace industry? In an abandoned missile silo. Really!
- Wyoming gets its state grass, April 1, 2007. Not an April Fool’s story, but I did write this one with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
- A step closer to ancient England, March 27, 2007. In this story, I talked to an émigré from England who decided to build a medieval mead hall in the middle of the prairie. By himself. Irony: The zoning laws in England would have prevented him from doing the same thing there.
- Fawns emigrate south, June 15, 2006. I found myself running full tilt across the prairie in business casual next to a guy with a giant-butterfly net attempting to capture pronghorn fawns for this story. A personal favorite.
- Medicine Bow clear cutting debated, May 1, 2006. I climbed into a single-engine aircraft and flew over the Medicine Bow National Forest to report this story.
- 8,900 pounds of elk — free and Lines greet free meat, April 13, 2006. The Wyoming Department of Game and Fish decided to give away 33 35-50 pound boxes of culled elk meat to the first 33 people to show up on a certain day. Some stories write themselves.
- Stormy program begins in Wyoming, August 22, 2005. All about the science of cloud seeding. Wyoming is perhaps the first entity on Earth to have both the need and means to conduct the first scientifically valid test of cloud seeding, which has never been scientifically proven to work, according to a National Academy report that came out just a few years ago.
- Great divide, April 10, 2005. Won 1st place for Environmental Story in the National Newspaper Association 2006 Better Newspaper Contest, Daily Division. A story about the conflict over oil and gas drilling in the Red Desert. I got to go on a tour of this extremely remote but gorgeous desert for the story — and it stands out in my mind as having the most startling explosion of lichen diversity I’ve ever seen. Plus we passed a sheepherder’s wagon complete with Belgian draft horses, anthills that reached to my knees, and herds of wild horses. Let no one tell you being a reporter in the west doesn’t have its perks.
- What’s next for the sage grouse? May 15, 2005. The plight of the sage grouse in oil and gas country. Complete with exciting sage grouse lekking action.
- Girls’ guide to the galaxy, May 11, 2005. A conference designed to spark girls’ interest in science.
- Meet the Unmakers, January 24, 2005. A look at e-cycling in Cheyenne at a place called . . . wait for it . . . Tatooine Electronic Systems.
And finally, my very first story ever —
- Scientists Work to Preserve Apple Diversity, Cornell Daily Sun, November 15, 2001.
- You can see my first public lecture (2009), “Life on Earth: The Short, Short Version”, here.
- I gave a lecture on Colorado biodiversity in “Wild, Weird Colorado: Creatures that may Surprise You from Forest, Field, and Bloodstream” at the University of Colorado Natural History Museum (September 2010) and the Longmont Public Library (November 2010).
- In March 2011 and May 2011, I spoke at the Colorado Mycological Society and Pikes Peak Mycological Society on “The Many Ways to Be a Fungus (in Colorado).”(recording here)
- Please contact me if you are interested in me speaking on these topics or any other biodiversity or natural history topic.
I teach the Wild Mushrooms class for the Boulder County Nature Association in August each year. Learn more here.
I gave an interview to the Reef Tank in January 2010 on the peculiarities of aquatic plants and algae, what some of my formative aquatic experiences were, why I started this blog, and how an aquarium is like a hot tub. Read it here.
Resume in Brief
A.B. with Distinction in All Subjects, Cornell University 2000. Major: Biology, with a concentration in Systematics and Biotic Diversity. Phi Beta Kappa.
M.S. Plant Pathology, Cornell University 2002. Concentration in Mycology.
M.S. Science Writing, M.I.T., 2004.
Blogger, Scientific American Blog Network. 2011-present.
Science Writer, The National Center for Atmospheric Research. 2007-2011
Health and Environment Reporter, The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. 2004-2007
Reporter Intern, The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Kentucky. Summer 2004
Intern, Focus, Harvard Medical School. Spring 2003
Staff Writer, The Cornell Daily Sun. 2001-2002