MDSG Welcomes New Science Writer

MARYLAND SEA GRANT HAS A NEW SCIENCE WRITER, Daniel Strain. He will travel the Chesapeake Bay region reporting on the area's coastal research and its people and economy. His writing will include outreach and education projects supported by Maryland Sea Grant Extension. He succeeds Erica Goldman, who left for another position in 2010.

Strain brings to the job a passion for the natural world and a background in environmental science. "I'm really looking forward to starting here at Sea Grant and to just getting out and seeing more of the Bay," he says.

A 2010 graduate of the science communication graduate program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Strain produced engaging news coverage as an intern for several high-profile employers. Most recently, he worked on the news staffs of the journal Science and Science News magazine, both based in Washington, D.C. At Science, he wrote a long feature story detailing efforts to remove invasive aquatic species from the millions of tons of ballast water dumped by cargo ships into the Chesapeake and other estuaries each year. Previously, he was with the National Park Service in California, where he produced a narrated slideshow about marshes and assembled other multimedia presentations. Look for similar, forthcoming projects by him about the Chesapeake region.

Strain, who grew up in Chicago, is an avid camper who remembers fondly his yearly trips to the Rockies with his parents. That love of the outdoors helps to explain his decision to study ecology and evolutionary biology during his undergraduate years, also spent at UC Santa Cruz. As a young student, Strain worked on a number of field studies. He spied on the behavior of woodpeckers in California forests and monitored invasive tree species in mucky woodlands in Illinois.

He says he's not only interested in reporting on the critters that swim along the Chesapeake's tributaries but also on the people who live and depend on the Bay. "Humans have lived on the Chesapeake for so long," he says. "I'm really hoping to explore how much the two are intertwined."

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