I am an investigative journalist at KPBS in San Diego. I also write for The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Marie Claire, Runner's World, The Denver Post and The San Francisco Chronicle.
I was named the San Diego Society of Professional Journalists' 2020 Journalist of the Year and won the SPJ Sunshine Award in 2021.
I am a graduate of UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, where I wrote a master's project with Michael Pollan on Americans' distorted relationships with food. It received the Gobind Behair Lal Award for the Most Outstanding Science or Health-Related Story. I majored in Chemistry at Reed College, and completed a senior thesis, "Pressure Studies on the Multiphoton Dissociation of Chromium Hexacarbonyl," which let me spend a year in the lab blowing molecules apart with a laser.
I previously worked for The Denver Post, Voice of San Diego and The Daily Transcript before joining KPBS.
I live with my husband, son and extremely talented dog Kima in San Diego and train for marathons in my (very limited) free time.
Show kids the secret lives of animals this fall
What common behaviors do animals like bears, foxes and geese do in the fall, and what do those behaviors mean?
What the metaverse might mean for kids
Immersive virtual worlds are coming—and experts have concerns about the effects on children. Here’s how parents can prepare right now.
Why tiny art can be huge for kids
Free Little Art Galleries are fun for families to experience—and can also help boost kids’ brainpower.
Teach your kids to be grateful for a gift—even if they aren’t
A child who sulks after unwrapping a pair of socks isn’t spoiled—that’s just how a young brain works. But parents can still help children develop graciousness and gratitude.
So your kid barely had the sniffles this past year. Will that last?
COVID-19 protocols dramatically decreased how often children got sick. Here’s what it will take to keep that up.
Vaccines for kids are coming. Here’s what that might mean for your family
We’re so close—but precautions are still necessary to keep everyone around you safe.
We know the pandemic is affecting working moms—but how is that affecting kids?
A shift in gender roles could be impacting children as well as parents.
What having a teacher as first lady might mean for your kid
As a working educator, Jill Biden could have tremendous influence on schools and students.
How to talk to your kids about the chaos at the Capitol
The events at the U.S. Capitol caused fear and confusion. Here's how to help children make sense of it all.
The pandemic might be changing the way kids give gifts
Experts say the holidays can be a time to reset expectations for young givers and receivers.
Stop Telling Women They're Amazing
When we call women “super moms,” we’re actually complimenting them for living in a completely unsustainable way.
Laura Cole Helps Edit Police Body Cam Footage Before It's Released To The Public. Should She?
Her company edits police videos before releasing them to the public. She says she’s an objective observer, but critics wonder if that’s true.
When Firefighters Abandoned Us, We Saved Our Family Farm By Fighting the Fire Ourselves
As fires burned much of the Western United States, one community in California—abandoned by Cal Fire—saved itself.
How To Save Your Marriage In Quarantine
Heartening lessons from a couple once stuck on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
How to Run Your Best Half Marathon Ever
Why 13.1 miles is the best distance—and everything you need to smash a PR.
How Many of These Running Etiquette Rules Do You Know?
Here’s how to deal with everything from an overly chatty training partner to farting on a group run—according to etiquette expert Lizzie Post.
Troubled Teens Find Direction Through Running
A running club at a school for juvenile offenders takes teens who've never run a mile and helps them finish 5Ks, 10Ks, even half marathons and marathons, while teaching them discipline, self confidence and how to handle pain.
All of our online interaction makes us more organized, accountable, and motivated. But can sitting down to type on a computer — or tethering ourselves to a smartphone — really make us better runners?
Running on Emptiness
My meditation instructor said to follow my breath, but as I ran up a steep trail, 8,000 feet above sea level, I was breathing so hard that my mind could barely keep up. I was about a mile into a 2.5-mile run. Dry air filled my throat, my leg muscles burned, and all I could hear was my own panting breath. I hated that sound. Each heavy gasp for air reminded me of how tired I was, which then ushered in the thought that I was desperately trying to avoid: stop running.
I scanned the faces of the runners coming toward me as I ran an out-and-back leg of my first maratthon. My boyfriend was somewhere in the herd. When I finally saw him, Sam beamed and blew me a kiss. I smiled back — but not because of the kiss. Because I was beating him.
I'm a Runner: Kathleen Sebelius
"Saying you don't have enough time is a bad reason to not run," says Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "There's always time for a run."
"I'm an Olympic Underdog"
Sarah Attar was an average college runner. Then she became one of two women who were the first to represent Saudi Arabia in the Olympics.
Just because a woman is dressed as "Slave Princess Leia" doesn't mean it's OK to harass her. So says Rochelle Keyhan, a 30-year-old Philadelphia-based lawyer, who started the group Geeks for CONsent to battle what she says is rampant sexual harassment at comic conventions like Comic-Con.
College Professors Say They're Being Punished for Speaking Out Against Rape on Campus
Instructors at several colleges say when it comes to sexual assault on campus, school administrators would rather they stay out of it. They describe the fierce pressure they feel from their employers to not speak out.
Weddings in the Shadows
Some couples are holding "shadow wedding" ceremonies before their actual weddings where they vow to do their worst: fight, be jealous, cheat on each other, get bored and grow apart. The idea is to learn to accept your future spouse with all of his faults and to know he has accepted you with all of yours.
Faking My Engagement
As a writer covering one of the biggest biotechnology industries in the country, getting hit on is an occupational hazard for me. I go to a lot of events where I stand around and drink warm beers with men in khakis and button-down shirts, interviewing the mostly male scientists and entrepreneurs. Then I found a company that offered a solution to my problem.
Left speechless: Everything has changed for deaf visitors at Yosemite
After building a history of providing superior services for Deaf visitors, the park cut its deaf services coordinator position and no longer has staff members on site who can provide sign language interpreting.
Yosemite National Park brings back deaf services after cuts
Yosemite National Park cut its deaf services coordinator position last year. Now it has brought the job back and gone a step beyond to better serve its hearing impaired visitors.
How travel has changed from one generation to the next
Like older generations, people in their 20s are traveling to experience new things and learn about themselves, but they are looking to have more unusual and challenging experiences than simply buying a Europass and staying in hostels.
The ‘Wild’ effect: Hikers are flooding the Pacific Crest Trail
It’s not yet known how many hikers will try the Pacific Crest Trail this year, but estimates range from 1,600 to 3,000 — 10 times the number from before Cheryl Strayed's book came out.
San Diego Magazine
How the pandemic convinced us all to adopt telehealth, made San Diego's top docs social media stars, and changed healthcare forever.
San Diego's Top 50 Trails
From hiking the foothills to biking the beach, San Diego is a city made for exploring outdoors. I wrote a lengthy checklist of the best trails in the region.
Radio & Podcasts
Hundreds of San Diego cops refused COVID vaccines. Now, some don't want tests either
San Diego Police have to get regular COVID tests if they request religious exemptions from vaccination. But now, some say the tests also violate their beliefs. And residents say that endangers them.
Soaring rental prices are yet another obstacle for childcare facilities
Soaring rental prices are putting pressure on childcare facilities. Many private facilities are also renters, which means they are incredibility vulnerable.
San Diego is still feeling the impact of child care centers closing in the pandemic
In San Diego, about 12% of child care centers have closed since March 2020. City Heights, a lower-income, high-minority neighborhood, has been hit particularly hard.
Adopted a dog during the pandemic? Put a leash on it or pay, if you live in San Diego
The Humane Society has four "park patrol" officers who are giving out about 200 dog-related citations a month. That's almost triple the number in the early stages of the pandemic.
Bighorn Sheep Count In California Is Canceled After A Volunteer Dies
Extreme heat is causing problems for wildlife researchers. Outside San Diego, a volunteer died from heat stroke and the annual bighorn sheep count is now canceled.
California's Eviction Moratorium Was Extended — But Its End Looms For Many Renters
When California's eviction moratorium ends, the rental market faces a crisis. Renters in arrears could end up homeless, and landlords could end up holding the bag on months of unpaid rent.
Developer Tries To Exclude Low-Income Renters From Luxury Amenities
A San Diego real estate developer has proposed an apartment building that would have a separate entry for lower-income renters. It's getting pushback from housing advocates and government officials.
How San Diego's Utility Companies Are Working To Prevent Wildfires
In California, power company PG&E is using blackouts to prevent its equipment from starting wildfires. But San Diego's utility doesn't use widespread outages because of changes it made a decade ago.
To Aid Minority Representation, California Cities Change How They Elect City Councils
California has improved minority representation on city councils by moving from at-large seats to district elections. It's a change that came about because of lawsuits over voter rights.
California Prosecutors Challenge Murder Law
California prosecutors are challenging a recent law that changes who can be charged with murder when a person is killed during a felony crime.
Breaking The Cycle Of Disinvestment In Lower-Income Communities
Increasingly, there are investors looking specifically to help businesses in those areas, with the aim of reversing the cycle of disinvestment.
Why Craft Breweries Need Cows
San Diego is one of the top craft brewery locations in the country, but what are breweries to do with tens of thousands of pounds of used up grain? They send it to nearby farms.
California Moves To Require Boat Licenses Due To Safety Concerns
A handful of states don't require licenses to operate recreational motor boats. It's a major safety concern in California, but now, the state is about to begin permitting boaters.
Cash-Strapped Seniors Turn To Assisted Living Centers In Mexico
Some seniors are moving to Mexico for assisted living care. Costs at these facilities are much cheaper, but family members worry about the distance and their loved one's access to medical care.
San Diego Is Now Hiring: Civic Organist
San Diego is looking for someone to play the world's largest outdoor pipe organ. Musical repertoire must range from Bach to David Bowie. San Diego is one of two U.S. cities with a civic organist.
Conservationists Review Efforts To Restore California's Bighorn Sheep
This time of year, the endangered bighorn sheep of Southern California gather at desert watering holes. Conservationists use these huddles to see how efforts to restore the population are going.
San Diego Takes Unlikely Approach To Outlaw Synthetic Drug 'Spice'
San Diego is working with scientists to find out what the drug does to the brain and making any substance with that effect illegal.
San Diego Mulls Whether To Let City, Not Utility, Buy Alternative Energy
Everybody's on board with the goal to reach 100 percent renewable energy now, but there could be trouble brewing on the horizon.
Jack Johnstone, Creator Of The Triathlon, Dies At 80
Sometimes you try a thing and then it becomes an event at the Olympics. OK, so maybe that's not very common, but it is Jack Johnstone's story.
San Diego Stumped On How To Stop The Stink
Sea lion poop is frustrating residents in the San Diego neighborhood of La Jolla who pay top dollar for their ocean views.
Delta Beta Om: Buddha Comes To San Diego's Greek System
A group at San Diego State University says they're trying to strike a balance by starting a Buddhist fraternity and sorority.
Huge Fish Farm Planned Near San Diego Aims To Fix Seafood Imbalance
The largest fish farm in America could be built 4 miles off San Diego's coast. Backers say the U.S. needs it to produce more seafood, but environmentalists have concerns.
San Diego Installed Public Loos, But Now They're Flush With Problems
Portland Loos have been popping up from Seattle to Cincinnati to Montreal. But they're also creating cost overruns and complaints about crime.
San Diego Homeowners Rip Up Their Lawns in Exchange for Rebates
The massive California drought means homeowners are coming to terms with the fact that water used on their lawns is water wasted.
California Cities Struggle to Enforce Mandatory Water Restrictions
Amid a historic drought, Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the state to cut back its water use by 25 percent. But while San Diego already had its own water conservation rules, it's still struggling to enforce them.
Gay Republican Hasn't Won Fans In LGBT Community
Carl DeMaio's campaign shows the fine line gay Republican candidates have to walk. LGBT groups point out that DeMaio hasn't stood up for gay rights. He also can't be too outspoken and risk upsetting socially conservative voters.
Coaching First-Generation Students Through College
One-third of college students are the first in their families to enroll in college. But few of them graduate within six years, according to the Department of Education. One program is working to change that, one student at a time.
Ardent Atheists Spread Their Reverence For Disbelief
Many religions seek converts, but why would atheists care whether others believe in God? A group of San Diego atheists set up an outreach booth because they think the world would be better off with less dogma.
From Lab To Lectern, Scientists Learn To Turn On the Charm
Science isn't known as a career that attracts showboats, but scientists still must be comfortable speaking in front of a crowd. A public speaking group in San Diego trains scientists to be the center of attention.
These Stormtroopers' Galactic Mission: Comic-Con
Like Civil War reenactors from this galaxy, the 501st Stormtrooper Legion's costuming requirements are strict. To be accepted into the Stormtrooper ranks, a new recruit's armor must have every stripe perfectly painted, every button and divot perfectly placed.
The Runner's World Show
Running With a Baby
Moms and moms-to-be talk running with babies, from the daily challenges to the awesome moments that can occur.
Love on the Run
The art and the luck of finding someone to run with, with help from our listeners and a few RW staffers.
What do you think about when you run? It turns out, our random ponderings might have scientific value.
Why Mortals Need Coaches
Should mortal runners ever consider getting a coach? Yep. And contributing producer Claire Trageser explains why.