I’ve got a story for you…

If you’re in awe of the world, or want to be, and are willing to get a little (or a lot) nerdy,

I tell stories.

In this age of “junk food” media that often assumes people only want mindless content, I work with publications and storytellers to create immersive stories, in images and words, that challenge and inform readers.  And I teach others to do the same.

 Whether I’m writing about Douglas Mawson and the modern value of exploration, photographing the Milky Way over the Rio Grande River for a story on dark sky conservation, or editing and publishing a piece in Hidden Compass on efforts to map and awaken disappearing languages, every story is grounded in research and reflects a vast curiosity about the world. 

...and that is the uncomfortable reality of nature: that it is indescribable beauty and arbitrary destruction.

On New Year’s Eve in 2009, I stood on frozen ocean and looked out at towering icebergs, slip-sliding penguins, and an unending Weddell Sea (I jumped into that unending sea, but that’s a story for another time). Surrounded by ice and water in the last hours of the decade, I’d never felt so tiny or been more in awe of our planet. I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since and sharing it with as many people as possible.

Sometimes I do that through my own work and sometimes I accomplish that as a publisher and editor collaborating with writers and photographers from around the globe. 

I am the co-founder, co-CEO, and creative director of Hidden Compass, an exploration-driven media company that’s turning nerds into rock stars and creating a sustainable future for journalism. I’m also an award-winning photographer, journalist, and editor who views the world through a lens of exploration and story. I’ve contributed to AFAR, Narrative, Backpacker, BBC Travel, Outdoor Photographer, the Best Women’s Travel Writing, Hidden Compass, and numerous other publications. My work has been recognized in the Best American Travel Writing series and has appeared in exhibits from San Diego to the Sorbonne.

My strengths lie in being able to see connections among various disciplines and leveraging those connections to tell the story that needs to be told. As a lawyer, I delighted in bridging the gap between math and the law. As an entrepreneur and publisher, I’m applying the lessons of sustainable food movements to journalism in order to create a future for the latter that is both modern and sustainable.
I graduated from the University of Chicago with three majors — economics, public policy studies, and political science — and one Lazarused newspaper, the Chicago Weekly News (now Chicago Weekly).

As a Teach for America corps member in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, I taught eighth graders about the tangency of math and literacy. As a student at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, I taught high school students about the Constitution and competed on Penn’s national trial team. 

After graduating from law school, I returned to Texas, where I worked on a Supreme Court case, gleefully included math equations in as many briefs as possible, and represented hundreds of indigent defendants as a federal public defender.

Ultimately, I left the law to sail across the most brutal sea on Earth and explore Antarctica. Since then, I’ve chased storms through Tornado Alley, hung out of helicopters over California wildfires, searched for polar bears in the Arctic Circle, and celestially navigating the Bermuda Triangle.

A lover of all things cold and dark, I spend much of my life searching for beautiful ice and the darkest skies. And for the last several years, I’ve hunted ink black nights to some of the most remote locations on the planet.

I’m currently at work on my first book, Saving the Night: Shedding Light on the Importance of Darkness

Today, it’s not just the sustainability of a single publication at stake. Around the world, publications are cutting staff and shutting their doors. But as we wrap up 2020 and head into 2021, Hidden Compass is experimenting with a brand new business model.

With Hidden Compass, we’re reimagining what sustainability looks like in journalism. But this isn’t a new topic for me. Nearly two decades ago, I was the executive editor of a floundering Chicago Weekly News at the University of Chicago. The post-9/11 economy was still righting itself, and college newspapers around the country were ceasing publication. For a while, the CWN seemed destined to join them. But instead of shutting us down, the University gave us a chance to rethink the sustainability of the paper. As a result, a classmate and I successfully negotiated a first-of-its-kind partnership with a Chicago entertainment weekly — a partnership that endures to this day.

Sustainable Journalism

Exploration Endures

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