I grew up in Echo Park…
…a hilly neighborhood in northeast Los Angeles in the heart of Elysian Park. Today I live in Portland, Oregon. In between, I lived in Santa Cruz, Napa Valley, San Jose, Oakland, Death Valley, Yosemite National Park and New York.
I have had many occupations! Mostly recently I was the founder and director of the Santa Cruz chapter of Raptors Are The Solution, a wildlife protection group. Before that I was senior editor of an online news magazine; editor of a labor union newspaper; editor/writer at a handful of alternative weeklies; associate editor of a children’s news bureau; and art department manager of Esquire magazine in New York City.
Before becoming a journalist, I tried many different jobs. I worked at a pet store, a veterinary clinic, a bakery, a winery and bookstores. I have been a cook, a barista, a receptionist, a motel maid, and an animal trainer’s assistant. I spent a summer working at a salmon cannery in Ketchikan, Alaska. And for three years, I was a seasonal firefighter and emergency medical technician in Santa Cruz County.
No matter what job I had, I’ve always been a writer.
BUY THE BOOK
‘A fine introduction to some of the most interesting creatures you’re likely to encounter.’ — Bill McKibben, Eaarth and The End of Nature
‘Wise, witty, compelling and true’ —Sy Montgomery, How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals
‘An extraordinary glimpse into the natural world.’ — Thom Hartmann, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight
‘Zooburbia has the power to quietly change the way you see the world.’ — Robert Jensen, Plain Radical and Arguing for Our Lives
‘This book is a delight.’ — Caroline Paul, The Gusty Girl and Lost Cat
LETTER TO MY FATHER
I wrote this three-minute radio essay for KQED's "Letter to My California Dreamer" series. It's about how my father came to California in the 1950s in the hopes of writing the Great American Novel ... and how his father followed him there a year later. LISTEN
THE JOURNEY OF YELLOW CEDAR
PechaKucha is a storytelling format in which a presenter shows 20 slides with 20 seconds of narrative each. The story I tell here encapsulates the history of humans and trees – and one very special tree in particular. WATCH
A TALE OF TWO COUNTRIES AND TWO SPECIES
In an essay for the Center for Humans & Nature, I contrast England’s love of its native hedgehog with North America’s aversion for its only marsupial, the opossum. READ