Douglas Fox

About Me

I’m a freelance science and environmental writer based in Northern California. I write broadly within the life sciences, with an emphasis on several loose beats: (1) climate change / glaciology / ecology; (2) neuroscience; and (3) astrobiology and the origin of life on Earth.

I focus on long-form and narrative writing, with an increasing interest in character-driven stories. My work has appeared in The Best American Science and Nature Writing (published annually by Houghton Mifflin) and The Best Technology Writing (Yale University Press), as well as a number of other publications:

  • California Monthly
  • The Christian Science Monitor
  • Conservation Magazine
  • Discover
  • Esquire
  • High Country News
  • Los Angeles Times
  • National Geographic
  • Natural History
  • Nature
  • New Scientist
  • Popular Mechanics
  • Science
  • Science News for Kids
  • Scientific American
  • US News and World Report

I also shoot photography for some of my stories. My photos have appeared in Discover, New Scientist, Natural History, Conservation, The Christian Science Monitor, High Country News, and Science News for Kids.

My stories frequently take me around California, and sometimes as far away as Australia, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, or Antarctica (see Antarctic Project 2007-2010).

I studied biochemistry, religious studies, and classics at Brown University (1989-93). I competed as a distance runner in cross country and track during my 4 years there. Summers were spent in Boulder, Colorado, running 80 miles per week, working in a research lab at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and contucting field projects measuring microbial production of nitrous oxide (yes, that’s laughing gas) in the soils of Niwot Ridge, in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.

Before becoming a writer I punched my time card in the laboratory studying the transcriptional effects of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin (TCDD) in C57 mice. I now consider myself a reformed scientist. I’m happy to participate in that life strictly as a journalistic voyeur, and am glad to be writing about the big struggles and small quirks of science and the people who practice it.

I formerly served as president of the board for the Northern California Science Writers Association (NCSWA) –the local chapter of the National Association of Science Writers (NASW). I spend my extra time backpacking, hiking, cross-country skiing, snow camping, ocean swimming, and sea kayaking.