Who am I?
A freelance journalist who writes about science, the environment, health, technology, and anything else that delights, disturbs, or distracts me.
After graduating from Columbia University with a bachelor's in astronomy, I traveled to Chile on a Fulbright grant to study ancient Andean cosmology. I returned to the United States and earned a master's in journalism from Indiana University, where I worked at WFIU, Bloomington's NPR affiliate.
I interned at the Physical Review Focus, a physics news site. Following that, I edited QuantumDiaries.org for the World Year of Physics 2005 and worked for the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, where I wrote for Imagine magazine and Cogito.org. Then I moved to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where I produced the radio show Science Update and developed and launched the Science Update Podcast.
After living for the six years in Vienna, Austria, I now live in The Hague and report from around the world. If you'd like to know more, you can read these profiles by Columbia College Today and the Metcalf Institute.
I'm a proud member of the DC Science Writers Association (where I served on the Board from 2006-2007), the National Association of Science Writers, the Klub der Bildungs- und Wissenschaftsjournalisten Österreichs, and the Society of Environmental Journalists. I'm especially proud to have co-founded (with Christine Dell'Amore) and to serve on the coordinating committee of DCSWA's Science Newsbrief Award.
- 3rd Prize, Outstanding Feature Story, SEJ Annual Awards for Reporting on the Environment, 2013-14. Judges' comments: "At a time when so much reporting on the environment is discouraging, if not downright depressing, along comes a feature story that lifts the reader off the ground with hope. Writer Chelsea Wald introduces a determined scientist who teaches himself to fly so that he can train a flock of northern bald ibises, nearly extinct, to migrate again. And while Wald's story covers many years and much frustration, she does it with a light touch. The story of this unusual conservation project is not without tragedy, but the overall takeaway is refreshingly sweet." Read the backstory in the Spring 2015 SEJournal.
- New York Festivals Silver World Medal in Science & Technology, presented to Science Update, 2006 & 2007
- The Communicator Awards Crystal Award of Excellence in both Science/Technology Program and Explanatory Writing, presented to Science Update, 2005 & 2006
- 1st and 2nd places, Medical/Science Reporting, radio category, and 1st and 3rd places, Best Radio Feature, student category, from the Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, 2004
- 2nd Place, Best Use of Sound category, from Network Indiana, 2003
Fellowships & Grants
- European Geosciences Union Science Journalism Fellowship, 2014
- Nature Travel Grant Scheme at EuroScience Open Forum, 2014
- American Academy of Neurology Journalism Fellowship, 2006
Courses & Workshops
- Introduction to Infographics and Data Visualization, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas Massive Open Online Course, 2013
- Fellow at Deutsche Welle, Burns Fellowship, Bonn, Germany, 2010
- Marine Biological Laboratory Polar Fellowship, Toolik Field Station, Alaska, 2010
- Biotechnology for Sustainability and Water Management workshops for journalists, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, 2008
- Metcalf Workshop for Marine and Environmental Reporting, 2007
- Medicine in the Media: The Challenge of Reporting on Medical Research, 2006