Welcome to Plugged In, a new addition to the Scientific American blogging family! This blog brings together four authors – Robynne, Scott, Melissa, and David – who will explore the connections between energy, the environment, and our lives.
People are intrigued about the Smart Grid (whatever that turns out to be), complex new wireless applications (however they work), and new environmental crises or breakthroughs (whenever they occur). But we sometimes miss the minor events that collectively create changes of great significance - changes in how we're connecting and sharing information, ways we access and use energy, and changes in our environment.
Through this blog, these four authors will use their experiences living with, researching, and writing about energy and the environment to examine the interconnections between these topics. Together, they will examine some of the developments that connect us to energy, our planet and each other.
Robynne Boyd began writing about people and the planet when living barefoot and by campfire on the North Shore of Kauai, Hawaii. Over a decade later, now fully dependent on electricity, she continues this work as a writer and editor for IISD Reporting Services covering sustainable development. When not in search of misplaced commas and terser prose, she writes about environment and energy. Her writing has been published for such websites as Scientific American, Mother Nature Network and HowStuffWorks. Her writing has also appeared in a number of magazines, including Atlanta Magazine, Earth Island Journal, and O: The Oprah Magazine. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and can be found at http://www.robynneboyd.com.
Scott Huler is a writer of nonfiction books and journalism who has addressed everything from the stealth bomber to bikini waxing for such newspapers as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Los Angeles Times and such magazines as ESPN, Backpacker, and Fortune. His award-winning radio work has been heard on "All Things Considered" and "Day to Day" on National Public Radio and on "Marketplace" and "Splendid Table" on American Public Media. His most recent book, On the Grid, traced the many infrastructure systems that support an average house to their sources or outlets. He lives in Raleigh, NC, with his wife and two boys. He can be found at http://www.scotthuler.com and tweets @huler.
Melissa C. Lott
Melissa C. Lott is an engineer who works at the intersection of energy, environment, technology, and policy. As a researcher in the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin, Melissa studies the economic and environmental tradeoffs of energy systems. She also works as an energy systems engineer and consultant for YarCom, Inc. Her work has appeared at technical conferences, in blogs at Scientific American and Discover, and in publications including the Austin-American Statesman, Construction News, The Austin Post, and The Baines Report. Melissa has interned at the Department of Energy and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She holds a B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering from UC Davis and two masters degrees – in mechanical engineering and public affairs – from UT Austin. Melissa can be found on twitter (@mclott) or at http://www.globalenergymatters.com.
David began writing at an early age in Austin, TX, amid piles of Legos and reams of masking tape, about nearly anything and everything he could think of. Over the years, David took interest in how people use energy and interact with the environment, and realized that there were stories and ideas to share with everyone - not just technical people. His writing has been published in scientific journals and on web sites such as Scientific American, The Austin Post, and The Baines Report. David holds masters degrees in mechanical engineering and public affairs from The University of Texas at Austin, and was a member of the Energy & Climate Change Team at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. You can follow David on twitter (@davidwogan) or at http://www.davidwogan.net.
Melissa, David, Scott, and Robynne would like to thank Matt Mangum for designing Plugged In's banner art.