My work in feature writing encompasses articles about issues, people, or businesses intended for a wide non-technical audience. Such articles sometimes reflect a science or high-tech angle but also cover a range of general topics, from arthritis to accounting to dog training.
Feature writing draws most directly on my journalism experience and requires the ability to quickly research new topics and interview subjects to tell an interesting story.
Science & Health
"Space: 1892"
Sky & Telescope
This article contrasts the state of modern astronomical knowledge with that of a century ago. Although old scientific beliefs can seem quaint, they point out the dangers of arrogantly assuming that we know all the answers--or even have all the right questions.
"Even Kids Get Arthritis"
Twins Magazine
Twin studies often help researchers understand the roles that heredity and environment play in disease. This article addresses juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, particularly in cases in which one twin contracts the disease while his or her identical sibling does not.
"InVisioning the Future"
NorthBay Biz
Software created by Project InVision International helps organizations manage complex efforts with multiple milestones and deadlines, including the Olympics. The company's programs organize tasks, documents, data and communications to help complicated projects run smoothly.
"MicroMed Builds Biotech Niche"
Sonoma Biz
MicroMed is a venture start-up developing a cancer-fighting pharmaceutical and a non-toxic alternative to alcohol disinfection. Staffed by scientists and managers who once worked for major biomedical firms, this entrepreneurial effort illustrates one apparently successful approach in a demanding industry.
"Extending Our Productive Lives"
Sonoma Business Magazine
The Buck Institute is an internationally respected research facility dedicated to answering fundamental questions about aging: What is it? Why does it happen? How can the aging process be altered to help people maximize the number of healthy years they have left?
"Start-Up for Healthy Hearts"
Sonoma Business Magazine
Endomatrix is an ambitious start-up company planning to make and market a dietary supplement to improve cardiac health. This article addresses both the company's product and the larger issue of scientifically determining whether a purported treatment is effective and safe.
Business & Education
"Damned If We Don't"
NorthBay Biz
Inexorable population growth in the San Francisco Bay Area affects jobs and housing in surrounding counties. In many areas homes are unaffordable for all but the wealthiest, creating imbalances with social and economic implications.
"Succeeding in High-Tech Style"
Sonoma Biz
This article looks at two companies, software developer Autodesk and pharmaceutical maker Dey, and examines the policies and philosophies that help make them desirable employers. The story was part of a series with the goal of identifying characteristics that help good businesses succeed.
"Chasing Growth"
Sonoma Biz
New studies indicate that the impacts of home building on local, state, and national economies may be greater than previously thought. As the benefits of new construction ripple through the economy, its direct, indirect, and induced benefits amount to billions of dollars and millions of jobs.
"The Business of Food Banking"
Sonoma Business Magazine
Food banks collect donations from food processors, distributors and supermarkets, and give them to the people who need them most. Although rooted in non-profit charity, a successful food bank demands the same skills as the most aggressive capitalistic enterprise.
"Secrets of the Sonoma Business 500"
Sonoma Business Magazine
This cover feature comprised several stories, each focusing on a particular industry, in an attempt to distill business wisdom that might be common across fields. I contributed two articles, interviewing regional leaders in Building and Technology.
"Bridging the Education Gap"
Sonoma Business Magazine
Centers of high-tech research, development and manufacturing are often nourished by nearby academic institutions that teach and train their employees. In Sonoma County, California, local businesses, industries, and schools are working together to create a mutually beneficial environment.
"AFC Mentors Minority Business"
Sonoma Busness Magazine
Businesses sometimes view diversity programs as more of a burden than a benefit. However, telecommunications firm Advanced Fibre Communications has a program that seems to work well for both the company and those it helps, including a mentoring program to guide small businesses.
Tourism & Agriculture
"Bugs and Bats and Owls...Oh My!"
Sonoma Biz
Integrated pest management (IPM) is an approach to controlling agricultural pests such as insects, rodents, weeds and disease through the use of natural predators and native ecosystems. Although not synonymous with "organic," IPM implies a more harmonious approach to agriculture.
"Green Buildings, Energy and Water"
Wine Business Monthly
This report summarizes a university conference dedicated to the role of green building practices, renewable energy, and water and energy conservation in the winemaking industry. Speakers described different construction and environmental philosophies, and examples of how they are applied.
"Revitalizing Railroad Square"
Sonoma Business Magazine
Historic Railroad Square in Santa Rosa, California, was once a hub for tourism, community and commerce. Ambitious plans for a new Food and Wine Marketplace could make it so again, combining a farmers' market with education, retail and office facilities.
People & Profiles
"The Power of Passionless Investing"
NorthBay Biz
Investment adviser Neil Hennessy has enjoyed success through tough economic times by following a disciplined, straightforward, rigorously mathematical investment strategy that his critics call "mindless." In five years Hennessy Funds' assets grew to $1.2 billion, making him a controversial star.
"Ledson Wines and Construction"
Sonoma Business Magazine
Steve Ledson is a successful builder, developer, and vintner who says the purpose of his career and life is repaying all that others have done for him. While his castle-like winery is a controversial landmark, his philosophy of urban design is reshaping cities that his family helped pioneer.
"Sit. Stay. Read."
Sonoma Business Magazine
John Van Olden learned to train dogs as a military canine handler serving in Germany. In civilian life, he started a successful dog training business that he now has a novel plan to turn into a franchise. Van Olden believes that his training methods and business plan can be taught to anyone.
Sonoma Business Magazine
Lee Pierce turned a lucky discovery into a successful side business, making and selling gemstones that have been treated with a sophisticated vapor-deposition technique. Following early success on Home Shopping Network, he is working to increase volume and find new markets.