On manipulating life: Isotope: A Journal of Literary Science and Nature Writing, "The Art is Alive!" (Notable Essay in the Best American Essays 2010) "Bioart is often ludicrous. It can be lumpy, gross, unsanitary, sometimes invisible, and tricky to keep still on the auction block. But at the same time, it does something very traditional that art is supposed to do: draw attention to the beautiful and grotesque details of nature that we might otherwise never see..."
OnEarth Magazine, "Tiny Critters That Eat Oil" "Scientists estimate that less than 1 percent of all microbial species have been identified so far. And in the ocean, microbes may represent 50 percent to 90 percent of all life. Manipulating such complex microbial systems, as ubiquitous as they are poorly understood, is akin to engineering the dark matter of biology...
OnEarth Magazine, "Power Trip" "Recently I walked down to 255 Pearl Street in lower Manhattan, a couple miles south of where I live. I turned onto Wall Street, passed the New York Stock Exchange, and then proceeded to circle the same short block until a parking attendant confirmed that the address I was looking for no longer exists..."
OnEarth Magazine, "A Supremely Bad Idea" "No sane person would rise at 4:48 a.m. to stand beneath a tree craning for a glimpse of a whip-poor-will — a dull, flattish bird the exact color of bark, more likely to relieve than reveal itself..."
On conservation: OnEarth Magazine, "Gas in the Gulf" "The first killer in the Gulf this spring was not oil. It was a bubble of methane gas that escaped from the Deepwater Horizon well, shot straight up the rig, and then ignited and exploded on the platform above..."
On movers and shakers: OnEarth Magazine, "Robert Redford Reflects..." "'As technology thrusts us relentlessly into the future, I find myself, perversely, more interested in the past. We seem to have lost something — something vital, something of individuality and passion. That may be why we tend to view the western outlaw, rightly or not, as a romantic figure...'"
OnEarth Magazine, "Her Legal Crusade" "On May 12, the Sichuan earthquake devastated the countryside of Zhang's youth. But even before then the landscape had been altered beyond recognition, scarred by decades of unhindered development..."