Michelle Nijhuis

After 15 years off the grid in rural Colorado, my family and I now live in White Salmon, Washington, on the north side of the Columbia River Gorge. A lapsed biologist, I specialize in stories about conservation and global change, but Ive covered subjects ranging from border security to wrestling to my daughters conviction that Bilbo Baggins is a girl.

I'm currently a project editor at The Atlantic, where I'm working with some fabulous writers on a very cool series called Life Up Close. My writing also appears in National Geographic, the New York Times Magazine, and the New Yorkers Elements blog, and Im proud to be a longtime contributing editor of High Country News, a scrappy institution that produces some of the finest journalism in the American West. Im the co-editor of The Science Writers Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Pitch, Publish and Prosper in the Digital Age, published by Da Capo Press, and the author of The Science Writers Essay Handbook: How to Craft Compelling True Stories in Any Medium.  Im also a contributor to the award-winning science blog The Last Word on Nothing.

My reporting has won several national honors, including two AAAS/Kavli Science Journalism Awards, the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism, and two finalist nods in the National Academies Communication Awards. My writing has also been included in four Best American anthologies.

My reporting trips take me throughout the western United States and beyond, and my research has been supported by the Alicia Patterson Foundation, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and the Food and Environment Reporting Network.

Im aided in many tangible and intangible ways by my husband Jackson Perrin, a teacher, carpenter, and scrounger extraordinaire. Our daughter, born in September 2008, keeps everything in perspective. (And if youre wondering about my last name, it rhymes with "my house.")



My conversation about journalism with Robert Lee Hotz at New York University.



To Life Off the Grid, a profile of my family for the public-radio series BURN, and a follow-up from on the grid