Science & Environment Writer, Editor
I am a freelance science writer and editor with more than 25 years of experience in the news business. I've written for national magazines and online for a variety of media outlets, including Air & Space magazine, Sky & Telescope, Scientific American, Nature and Space.com. Since 2007 I have been a regular contributor at Yale Climate Connections, and I've written over the years for The Kavli Foundation, UC San Diego and other institutions.
Since 2010, I have worked as a writer and editor for private organizations and the public sector. For regional government agencies in California, I have been the Editor of several large Regional Transportation Plan (RTP/SCS) updates. For universities, research labs and foundations, I have written about climate change and its relationship to national security, astrophysics and cosmology, neuroscience and medical research. Business clients have included Vision Critical, a market research firm for which I've written about the challenges of managing Big Data and also the changing media & entertainment industries.
As a journalist, I have traveled around the world on assignment, including the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile, Brazil, Hawaii, the mountains of Baja California, at sea in the Eastern Pacific, and atop Mt. Whitney in the Sierra Nevada. I love to explore and write about the outdoors and the natural world. I live in Carlsbad, California near San Diego - two miles from the beach and a few hours away from the mountains by car.
In 2015 and the first half of 2016 I was busy on large editing projects, but I was able to fit in some science writing for magazines and online. During this time I also continued to write about climate change for Yale Climate Connections. (click the "climate change" page link at the top of this page). ... Below are some of the science articles I've written in recent years, and also other journalism-related work:
NASA's spacecraft explorer Juno is now orbiting Jupiter in a punishing deep space environment that is cold, dim and filled with the deadliest radiation in the solar system outside of the sun. How will Juno, dependent on solar panels for power and a titanium vault for radiation shielding, survive during its 16-month science mission? I offer some answers in my latest feature story in Air & Space magazine, published online in September 2016 and in print in the magazine's October issue. I review the genesis of the mission, and the engineering feats that Juno's team achieved to get their spacecraft into orbit around Jupiter last July and arm it for "battle" in one of the most dangerous space environments in our solar system.
In July I covered the arrival of NASA's robotic spacecraft Juno at Jupiter, for Air & Space magazine. "Jupiter Orbit Insertion" was a complicated maneuver that brought the spacecraft within a few thousand miles of Jupiter's cloud tops - and into the giant planet's deadly radiation environment. Juno flew into orbit sucessfully and will officially begin its scientific exploration of the planet in October. My first story, "Juno's Do-or-Die Moment: What to Watch for on July 4," was published on June 30. The second story, a short feature on a Juno scientist entitled "Fran Bagenal's Excellent Year," was published on July 8.
On Jan. 15, 2016 I was a guest on Science Friday on public radio. I discussed an Air & Space article I wrote in September (below), on new ideas for space habitats.
Will future astronauts venturing to Mars, an asteroid or back to the moon live in inflatable space habitats paired with propulsion systems for the long haul? In the Sept. 2015 issue of Air & Space magazine, I explored this exciting idea for future space travel, and the pioneering aerospace company partnering with NASA to develop this concept.
If the International Space Station gets smacked by orbital debris, an array of devices can find - and fix - the damage. In this article for the Januaury 2015 issue of Air & Space magazine, I explored current technologies, those under development, and blue sky ideas for confronting a constant and dangerous threat for astronauts on the ISS.
In late February 2014, physicists from around the world gathered at UCLA to brief one another on their latest progress in the quest to identify dark matter, the unknown stuff that makes up more than a quarter of the universe. I attended the meeting on assignment with The Kavli Foundation and spoke with three researchers in a roundtable interview. You can read my conversation at The Kavli Foundation website, or at Space.com, which re-posted my interview on April 11 on the "Expert Voices" page of its website.
On March 17, 2014 astronomers announced they had found an astonishingly faint light signature of the universe's birth. Subsequent analysis of the data suggested that the signal detected by the BICEP2 team may be mostly due to dust in our own galaxy. As a result, the hunt is still on for the earliest signature of the Big Bang. Cosmologists predict that this signature could lie in the cosmic microwave background, the oldest light in the universe, and reveal itself as a pattern in how that ancient light is polarized. A verified discovery would provide cosmologists with "smoking-gun" evidence of the inflationary framework of cosmology - the idea that the universe expanded exponentially immediately after our universe appeared. In February of 2013, more than a year before the 2014 announcement, I traveled to the Atacama Desert in Chile to report on a project called POLARBEAR, which has been searching for the same inflation signal since 2012 and continues its quest today. My article on the trip was profiled in the October 2013 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine.
ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter /submillimeter Array in Northern Chile, is opening a new window on the universe, revealing young planetary systems being born, early dust-enshrouded galaxies and other mysteries. During a second trip to Chile's Atacama Desert in March 2013 I reported on this new sprawling observatory at nearly 17,000 feet on the barren Chajnantor Plateau. In its August 2013 issue, Air & Space published my article on how astronomers are using ALMA to study some of the earliest galaxies ever seen. Read it here.
Earth-like planets just a few light years from Earth? They could be more common than you think. I interviewed astronomers for Air & Space magazine's June 2013 issue about exoplanets orbiting ubiquitous red dwarf stars, and how the right conditions could support life. Read it here.
In February 2013, the meteor that exploded over Russia captured the globe's attention and dominated the news for days. More than a month before that event, Air & Space magazine published my article on a private effort to build a space telescope to search for potentially dangerous asteroids. You can read that story here.
Bruce is conscientious, great at meeting deadlines, knowledgeable, creative and committed. A true professional with an outstanding moral compass.
Bud Ward, Editor, Yale Climate Connections
Bruce served consecutively as the Editor for the San Diego region’s long-range, transportation planning document for both the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (adopted in 2011) and the most recent plan, San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan (adopted in 2015). As the Project Manager for this agency-wide effort, I worked directly with Bruce on San Diego Forward. During the contract period, Bruce helped to create a tone that could resonate with the public and could easily be understood by general audiences. In working with Bruce, he was always professional, creative in his approach, and timely with assignments. Working with Bruce was seamless—he understood our agency’s message and articulated it clearly. Bruce, having worked with other agencies throughout the state, also was knowledgeable of the latest planning trends and guidelines that were applicable to the Plan’s development. And lastly, he was flexible and open-minded when asked to incorporate new software (Microsoft SharePoint) into his editing process.
Phil Trom, Senior Regional Planner, San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)
Bruce was able to transform our scientific report into a concise, readable, well-polished document that maintained substance and accuracy yet was suitable for general audiences. He is a highly independent worker requiring little guidance but is always responsive to requests, suggestions and client goals. He is a pleasure to work with, and we would recommend him to any other scientist hoping to make their work clear and appreciated by policy makers or the public.
Alyson Fleming, Ph.D. Candidate, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego