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Elyse DeFranco


I write about science and the environment from my home where the sagebrush meets the Sierra Nevada mountains. By day I write about the wide-ranging environmental science research happening at DRI as the institution's science writer, and by night I continue to freelance for a range of outlets. I received a 2022 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award and a 2022 Excellence in Journalism Award for my work with the Deep Look video production team at KQED Science, as well as a 2020 award from Sci Shortform for my essay about the deep sea parasitic plankton, Phronima

I completed an M.Sc. in Science Communication at U.C. Santa Cruz, an M.Sc. in ecology and environmental science at the University of Maine (where I served as Editor-in-Chief of Spire: The Maine Journal of Conservation and Sustainability), and a B.Sc. in wildlife ecology and environmental policy from U.C. Berkeley.


My past lives have included: examining the ecological effects of large-herbivore loss and climatic variation in an African savannah at Kenya's Mpala Research Center; shimmying up trees in the Peruvian Amazon to study endangered macaws at the Tambopata Research Center; and tracking condors, burrowing owls, red-legged frogs, and other endangered species around the rolling golden hills of California.  



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