Rachael has a passion for maps, science fiction, nerdy day trips and great journalism. Called to storytelling at a young age, Rachael pursued a career in journalism to appease her wanderlust and document earthen wonders along the way. Now she’s a West Texas drifter who supports herself through her words. Click here to follow her adventures.



Michigan State University | 2009-2011

East Lansing, Michigan
Master’s Degree: Journalism, Emphasis: Health, Science and Environmental Reporting
Activities: GreatLakesEcho.org, EJ Magazine, EJ Television, Environmental Journalism Association


Sam Houston State University | 2005-2009

Huntsville, Texas
Bachelor of Arts, Major: Mass Communication, Minor: Geography
Honors and Activities: The Houstonian, Student Environmental Organization, President’s Climate Commitment Committee


Katy High School | 2001-2005 

Katy, Texas
High School Diploma
Honors and Activities: The Paw Print, National Honor Society, Girl Scouts of America


The Midland Reporter-Telegram | June 2012-Present

Local, daily newspaper of Midland, Texas
Online Editor  (Present) , Reporter (June 2013-September 2014) Copy Editor and Page Designer (June 2012-June 2013)
• Reported on business, trend and long-term enterprise stories for the daily paper, special sections
• Edited news, feature and business content; designed pages using Adobe InDesign for local, wire and special sections


National Geographic Society | April 2014- Present

The Great Energy Challenge Blog
Freelance reporter and blogger
• Provided a weekend of blog coverage during the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas event in Houston


The Houston Chronicle | Sept. 2011-June 2012

Largest daily newspaper in Texas
Freelance Reporter (Sept. 2011-June 2012), Business News Intern (Summer 2008)
• As stringer, wrote news and feature stories about drought and water-related issues for the Chronicle’s neighborhood sections


Knight Center for Environmental Journalism | 2009- 2011

Michigan State University
Graduate Assistant: Worked on the following projects and publications:


EJ Magazine | Sept. 2009-May 2011

Magazine covering environmental issues
Editor (three editions), Contributing Writer (Fall 2009)
• Managed magazine workflow; assigned and substantively edited stories
• Supervised a graphic designer and approved all artwork and maps


The Road to Pearl Lagoon | March 2010-May 2011

Project examining globalization along Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast
• Traveled to Nicaragua in July 2010; created print stories and a website


EJ Television | Summer 2010-May 2011

EJTV documentary examining Great Lakes invasive species
Associate Producer of Bad Company (aired on various PBS stations in May 2011)
• Researched issues, conducted interviews; updated the documentary website


Great Lakes Echo | Aug. 2009-Aug.2011

Environmental news website of Great Lakes region
Reporter/Quiz Editor/Mashup Editor
• Wrote news, feature, investigative and analysis stories about environmental issues
• Experimented with alternative story forms and interactive features; created multimedia such as maps and videos; formatted stories for online publication; and used social media to market stories and content


The Huntsville Item |  June 2007-May 2009

Local, daily newspaper of Huntsville, Texas
Freelance Reporter, Photographer and Desk Editor
• Wrote news, feature and business stories for daily and special sections; covered Texas executions
• Created, edited artwork for publication; updated the website
• As desk editor, paginated weekend editions; managed obituaries


The Houstonian | Jan. 2006-May 2009

Biweekly independent publication of Sam Houston State University
Editor-in-Chief (Spring 2008), Production Manager (2008-2009), Various Positions (since 2006)
• As editor, managed staff of 10 reporters, photographers and editors; assigned and edited stories and paginated front and campus pages


Society of Professional Journalists


2011: Mark of Excellence National Finalist for Best Student Magazine

(Mark of Excellence 1st place Best Student Magazine in Region 4)
EJ Magazine, Spring 2011


2011: Mark of Excellence Regional Finalist for Non-Fiction Magazine Article

(Mark of Excellence 2nd place Non-Fiction Magazine Article in Region 4)
“Road to Pearl Lagoon”


2010: Mark of Excellence National Finalist for Online Opinion/Commentary

(Mark of Excellence 1st place Online Opinion/ Commentary in Region 4)
“Great Lakes SmackDown!”


2010: Mark of Excellence National Finalist for Online In-Depth Reporting

(Mark of Excellence 1st place Online In-Depth Reporting in Region 4)
“Cleaning Coal”


2006: Mark of Excellence 2nd place Breaking News Reporting (The Houstonian Staff) in Region 8

“SHSU student slain”


Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism

Notable Entry, 2011


Michigan State University

Rachel Carson Graduate Student of the Year in Environmental Journalism (2011)


Texas Intercollegiate Press Association


2009: 3rd place Headline Writing
2008: 1st place News Story
2008: 2nd place Newspaper Op/Ed Design
2008: 3rd place Page One Design
2008: 3rd place Print News writing (on-site competition)
2008: Honorable Mention Ad Design
2007: 1st place Breaking News Story
2007: 2nd place News Feature Story
2007: 2nd place Feature Story
2007: 3rd place News Story


Houston Press Club

2nd place Houstonian Staff in Student News, Feature or Sports story, 2006

“SHSU student slain”


Sam Houston State University

Student of the Year in Journalism (2007 and 2008)



Texas Press Association | Member since 2009
Society of Environmental Journalists | Member since June 2010
Investigative Reporters and Editors | Member since November 2010
Society of Professional Journalists | Member since January 2011




Great Energy Challenge Blog

Canadian College Teams, Midwest High Schools Win Big  | April 2014

Students Reflect on Shipping, Travel Costs During Last Leg of Race | April 2014

Student Teams Share Tools, Advice Off the Track During Eco-marathon | April 2014

Detroit Teams Look to Innovation and the City’s Future | April 2014

Shell Eco-marathon Americas Heats Up in Houston as Student Teams Test Prototypes | April 2014




Online news




Litter crackdown: states battle trash left by ice anglers | February  2010

Asian carp push Great Lakes invasion through Minnesota | August  2011

Poisoning Michigan: Author revisits PBB crisis |  June  2010

Great Lakes states hand out cash for clunker appliances | February 2010

Drought causes lake level drops in Minnesota, Wisconsin | November 2009

U.S/Canadian examine inconsistent water quality measuring | October 2009

Study: Winter road salt pollutes Great Lakes streams | September 2009

Tree rings record Lake Erie water levels, could predict future | September 2009


Online in depth and explanatory



Great Lakes Echo


BEACH CONFLICT |  With more than 10,000 miles of shoreline, the Great Lakes have the most freshwater access in the world — at least, in theory. There are growing conflicts over who can do what where roads meet the water.

Are beaches public where roads end? | August 2011

Public docks spark conflicts where roads end at water | August 2011

Abandoning access: Townships hand over legal rights to road-ends | August 2010

GREAT LAKES COMPACT | In 2008, Great Lakes state governors agreed to prevent large-scale water diversions and employ conservation measures. See how states measure up to policy requirements halfway through implementation.

Latest battle for Lake Erie tests agreement to protect Great Lakes | July 2011

Ohio lawmakers approve Great Lakes region’s weakest water rules | June 2011

Great Lakes diversions: Does Illinois catch a break? | June 2011

New York approves Great Lakes water rules; Wisconsin up next | June 2011

WATER WAGES | Many Great Lakes city utilities are setting water rate structures that discourage consumption and encourage conservation. But these rates can be bad for business if set poorly.

Survey shows Great Lakes trend of water rates that encourage conservation | June 2010

Conservation rates: Bad for business? | June 2010

CLEANING COAL | Burning coal is dirty business. Coal-fired power plants install scrubbers to clean air emissions. But sometimes that means the pollution goes into the water instead of the air. Click here for the entire project.

Cleaning up air could harm quality of water | December 2011


Online blogs and features


Echo catches up with a quick-witted Asian carp | August 2011

See emerald ash borers in action; states still battling the bug | July  2011

Can you pronounce Great Lakes cities better than a Texan? | February 2011

Great Lakes SmackDown! | October-November 2010

What’s on your Great Lakes bucket list? | October 2010

Researchers use planes, lasers to survey Lake Superior | August 2010

People with Midwest ties make Time’s influential 100 |  May 2010

Michigan officials: Latin name of state tree too sexy for plate | June 2010

Cool maps of deformed lakes | March 2010

Online Clips

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