Hannah Waters
freelance journalist
My writing on science and the environment has been published by National Geographic, Audubon, Slate, Smithsonian, Hakai and Vice Motherboard. Read selected recent work below.

No Birdsong Near Abandoned Colorado Mines


Audubon — Colorado’s toxic “yellow river” may look bad, but it’s just a visual manifestation of a larger problem.

The Internet of Elephant Seals


Vice Motherboard — Strap a satellite tag onto an elephant seal’s head and — voilà! — you have a living oceanographic instrument.

The Robots That Dare to Explore Antarctica’s Frozen Ocean


Vice Motherboard — Sending robots where no human dares to go: Beneath Antarctica’s frozen ice shelves.

GooseBuster to the Rescue


Audubon — Canada Geese be a nuisance. But there’s a humane way to keep them at bay thanks to one determined ornithologist.

Life Finds A Way


Hakai — How will Japan’s new volcanic island turn green?

Intemperate Planet


Nautilus — How Natural Systems Magnify the Effects of Global Warming

Big Moon Jelly Blooms Tied to New Dock Construction


Smithsonian — A floating pier installed off Japan led to a four-fold increase in baby jellies, offering a solid link between structures and blooms

How Methane Fueled a Food Web after the Gulf Oil Spill


Smithsonian Ocean Portal — The Gulf Oil Spill created an unintentional experiment: What happens when millions of barrels of methane spew into the deep ocean?

Honor Before Death? Not For Female Scientists

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Bitch — Marthe Gautier discovered the genetic cause of Down’s Syndrome. But a man took credit for her work and continues to today.

Breaking Down the Myths and Misconceptions About the Gulf Oil Spill


Smithsonian — Does oil stick around in the ecosystem indefinitely? What was the deal with the deformed fish? Can anything bad that happens in the Gulf be blamed on oil?

The Enchanting Sea Monsters on Medieval Maps – Smithsonian


  Smithsonian — Fictitious animals on 16th and early 17th century maps hint at how people’s perception of the ocean has changed over time

Call Me Migaloo: The Story Behind Real-Life White Whales


Smithsonian — White whales, such as the recently spotted humpback nicknamed Migaloo, are rare and elusive creatures. How many are there and why are they white?