Thanks for visiting my site, and welcome to the eclectic world of this author, freelance journalist, multiple media storyteller, international private investigator, editor and journalism trainer. Please stay awhile and poke around.


I’ve always been confused about how climate change deniers make sense of their world view. Then I realized I had some of my own cognitive dissonance to contend with. Here’s a piece I published on the subject in the Washington Post: What being a football fan taught me about climate change deniers. 

Over the past six months, I have written an investigative series about what I have come to see as a carbonocracy in my adoptive state of Colorado. The oil and gas industry has a stranglehold on the legislature and runs roughshod over local communities that are seeking ways to slow or stop hydraulic frackturing, or “fracking,” near their homes and children’s schools. The series, Fractured, was produced in conjunction with my colleague Ted Wood at The Story Group and published in The Colorado IndependentHere’s a link to a radio interview I did about one of these stories on KGNU

Here is a piece I wrote for Biographic.com about how the Brazilian Amazon forest is responding to climate change, and what that means for us. It’s a wonderful example of how multimedia journalism, incorporating video and photos and graphics, can be used to tell compelling stories.


For most of my career, I have been a magazine journalist, with a 13-year career at Newsweek as a Washington correspondent and a roving Rocky Mountain special correspondent. More recently, I have branched out: as a science editor for the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment; as a producer of two video series that show how climate change is already affecting the lives and livelihoods of Americans around the country; and even as a private investigator turning up new leads on a 25-year old unsolved murder in Australia. Life is rarely dull.

In addition, I am the co-founder of The Story Group, an independent, multimedia journalism company formed in 2009. Please visit the site for examples of some recent work, only some of which I include here. I am also an author and journalist with 25 years of magazine writing experience, including 13 years with Newsweek and as a freelance contributor to four dozen periodicals, newspapers and online news organizations.

Over the course of my career, I have written for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Rolling Stone, Harpers, PARADE, Outside, Men’s Journal, Men’s Health, Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post Magazine, Audubon, National Wildlife, Self, Women Outside, Condé Nast Sports for WomenLears, Working Woman, USA Today, Parenting, the Denver Post, Wilderness, Backpacker, Sierra, Snow, Powder, Skiing, Ski, Hooked on the Outdoors, High Country News, Travel-Holiday, Blue, Defenders, Sports Afield, The Nature Conservancy, EcoTraveler, Stanford Magazine, the Times of London, The Weekend Australian MagazineNewsweek Japan, Diversions, Private Clubs, Salon.com, ABCNews.com, ScientificAmerican.comThe Daily Climate, The Bear Essential, East Bay Express, Mountain Gazette, The San Francisco Examiner, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the Sonora Union Democrat. I’ve been a commentator or guest on Larry King Live, CBS This Morning, Today, 60 Minutes, Cochran and Grace, the O’Reilly Report, All Things Considered, Fresh Air, and other broadcast shows. I was a producer of a French documentary for Arte on the Colorado River, and associate producer on Jon Benet’s America, a documentary about the media farce surrounding the murder of a 6-year-old girl, commissioned by Channel 4 in the United Kingdom and which also aired on the U.S. channel A&E.

This site offers an opportunity for me to introduce visitors to my books, share my magazine work, post some radio pieces, display photographs from around the planet, offer my teaching and public speaking services, and occasionally write essays and blogs about events and observations without having to go through the brain damage of getting an assignment or contract. Feel free to visit The Story Group as well.

In a kiva in Glen Canyon. Photo by Michael Melford