Staff & Contributor Bios

Editor-in-Chief, Amy Westervelt is the founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network, named AdWeek's Podcast Network of the Year in 2019. Amy is also an award-winning print and audio journalist. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, as well as KQED, The California Report, Capital Public Radio, and many other outlets. In 2007, she won a Folio for her feature on the potential of algae as a feedstock for biofuel. In 2015 she was awarded a Rachel Carson award for "women greening journalism", and in 2016 she won an Edward R. Murrow award for her series on the impacts of the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. In 2019, her podcast Drilled was awarded the Online News Association's "Excellence in Audio Storytelling" award. 

Senior Editor, Emily J. Gertz is a longtime environmental reporter and editor whose reporting for The Guardian, Popular Science, Audubon, HuffPost and more has taken her from towns in Arctic Finland and Norway, to conference rooms in New York City, cattle ranches in Wyoming, and a coal-fired power plant in Kansas. Emily is also a board member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, which works to strengthen the quality and reach of environmental journalism, in order to advance public understanding of environmental issues, and has been part of SEJ’s Freedom of Information Task Force for a decade.

Senior Reporter, Karen Savage is an investigative journalist who has covered environmental justice communities extensively and has been reporting on resistance to pipeline construction in Louisiana for the past year. Her work has appeared in Undark Magazine, Project Earth, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, Bridge the Gulf, Youth Today, Truthout and City Limits. Karen is an alum of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, where she teaches environmental reporting.

Reporter, Naomi LaChance has covered technology, surveillance and encryption at NPR, and climate change and political lobbying for The Intercept and Splinter.  Her work has been featured in the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, boston.com, NPR member stations, and U.S. News & World Report.

Editorial Advisor, Rekha Murthy worked with PRX to help launch the Radiotopia podcast network, and has consulted on dozens of successful journalistic podcasts. Prior to her work in podcasts, Rekha worked on the NPR news shows All Things Considered. Rekha has been integral to crafting the Drilled podcast, and has consulted on the approach of the website, and other Drilled News podcasts as well. 

Podcast Senior Editor, Julia Ritchey is an audio journalist, podcaster and editor with an interest in state politics, climate and popular culture. The last decade has taken her from the Beijing Olympics to a leaky beer factory in Guinea-Bissau to Hillary Clinton’s press motorcade in Reno — with some print and radio stops in between. Julia has worked as a senior politics reporter and managing editor at NPR member stations in Reno, Salt Lake City, and upstate New York. 

Contributing Reporters

Heated Newsletter founder/editor/reporter, Emily Atkin is a key content partner and collaborator to Drilled News. Prior to starting her newsletter, Heated, Emily was a climate reporter at The New Republic and, before that, at Think Progress. 

Essayist and Hot Take co-host, Mary Annaise Heglar  is a climate justice essayist based in New York City. She is currently the writer in residence at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Her writing focuses on the intersections between climate change, race, and emotionality. They have appeared in Vox, Dame Magazine, Guernica, and Inverse, and she also writes regularly on Medium. She is also the co-host of Hot Take, a podcast that explores storytelling in the climate era with an eye toward intersectionality. 

Essayist Sarah Miller  manages to combine humor with climate reporting in essays that tackle everything from sea level rise to biomass.. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Cut, Popula, and more. 

Investigative reporter, Paul Thacker  specializes in science, medicine, and environmental reporting. His work has appeared in HuffPost, Science, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Salon, The New Republic, and Environmental Science & Technology.  Based partly on Thacker’s reporting on government suppression of climate science in 2006, fourteen Senators launched an investigation into NOAA and NASA.

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