Michelle Nijhuis
Paonia, Colorado • 970.527.3793


Freelance Writer
December 2001 - present

• Specialize in long-form writing about science and the environment, focusing on the Rocky Mountain West.

• Credits include
Smithsonian , The Christian Science Monitor , The San Francisco Chronicle , Audubon , Mother Jones , Salon.com , Sierra , Grist.org , OnEarth , and many other national and regional publications.
Serve as a correspondent for the environmental magazine Orion .

Contributing Editor, High Country News , Paonia, Colorado
January 2003 - present
• Write regular feature stories and edit special projects for this bimonthly journal, which covers environmental
and rural community issues throughout the western United States.
Recent projects include a five-part series on global warming, which won several national honors.

Senior Editor/Associate Editor, High Country News
September 1999 - December 2001

Researched and wrote stories ranging from news briefs to in-depth features. Frequent reporting trips ranged as far north as Idaho and as far south as the Colorado River Delta in northern Mexico.
Edited a wide variety of news and feature stories from freelance and staff writers.
Wrote news headlines and reported stories for Radio High Country News , a weekly half-hour show then heard on 30 public-radio stations throughout the region.
Supervised editorial interns and worked closely with other editorial staff members.

Staff Reporter, High Country News
May 1998 - September 1999

Served as the only full-time reporter for HCN . Covered environmental issues throughout the region, including
water controversies in northern New Mexico, oil and gas development in the remote Book Cliffs of eastern Utah,
forest restoration in northern Arizona, and wilderness management in the Mojave Desert.
Wrote news headlines and reported stories for Radio HCN .

Biological Technician, U.S. Geological Survey, various locations
seasonally 1994 - 1997

Coordinated fieldwork for a study of wildfire in Sonoran Desert plant communities.
Surveyed declining frog and toad populations in the northeastern Sierra Nevada.
Studied desert tortoise behavior in southwestern Utah.


• Selected for the Knight Science Journalism Great Global Crises Boot Camp, MIT, 2007
Winner of the AAAS Journalism Award, Small Newspapers Category, 2006
One of two finalists for the National Academies Communication Award, 2006
Awarded travel grant to Alaska by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, 2006
• Winner of the American Geophysical Union’s Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism, 2006
Winner of the Best Profile Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors, 2006
Winner of the John M. Collier Award for Journalism in Forest and Conservation History, 2005
Awarded fellowship for the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources’ Wind River Institute, 2005
Attended the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop, led by New York Times writer George Johnson, 2005
Runner-up in the National Press Foundation Evert Clark/Seth Payne contest for young science journalists, 2004
Awarded scholarship to Nieman Narrative Journalism Conference, Harvard University, 2004
Awarded Davidoff Scholarship for Journalists, Wesleyan Writers Conference, 2004
Selected for the Scripps Howard Institute on the Environment, University of Colorado, 2003
Included in The Best American Science Writing of 2003 , edited by Oliver Sacks (HarperCollins/Ecco), for “Shadow    Creatures,” a 2002 High Country News cover story.
Lead editor for the High Country News story package “Wyoming’s Powder Keg,” a finalist for the 2002 Edward J. Meeman Award, the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism, and the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Awards for Reporting on the Environment.


• Panelist at a two-day British Council communication training for young climate scientists, Washington, D.C., November 2006
• Presenter at the "Bridging the Worlds of Science and Journalism" workshop at the Society for Conservation Biology's annual meeting, San Jose, California, June 2006
• Seminar speaker at UCLA's Institute of the Environment, May 2006
• Seminar speaker at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, Colorado, December 2005


American Soc. of Journalists and Authors, Soc. of Environmental Journalists, National Assoc. of Science Writers


Reed College, Portland, Oregon, B.A., January 1996
Majored in biology. Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, 1996.

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