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November 10, 2006

For the past decade, the editors of High Country News, like many in the media business, have struggled with the telling of what may be the biggest story in the world: The warming of our planet. How, we wondered, could a journalist take a mind-numbing matrix of immense data bases, complex scientific models and, to date, very little political action, and turn it into a logical and compelling narrative?
This is the task we gave to our contributing editor, Michelle Nujhuis, who possesses both the inquisitive nose of an investigative reporter and a love of science. You hold in your hands the fruit of Michelle's labor: “High and Dry,” a special collection of five outstanding stories – three, of which, won Michelle the 2006 Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Writing and the prestigious 2006 AAAS Science Journalism Award.

With a clear and nuanced narrative, Nijhuis takes you into little known research labs, where scientists are conducting cutting edge studies, and out into the Western landscape, where the signs of a warming climate are mounting: spreading beetle infestations in our forests; dramatic movements of mountain wildlife and habitat to higher elevations;  rapidly melting winter snow packs; and record-breaking droughts that have left the region's major reservoirs depleted.

Michelle Nijhuis lives in western Colorado, between the foothills of the Rockies and the redrock canyons of southern Utah. She is a contributing editor of High Country News, and her work has appeared in many national publications including Smithsonian,, The Christian Science Monitor, The San Francisco Chronicle, Mother Jones, Sierra, Orion, Audubon, and the anthology Best American Science Writing. She travels frequently to cover stories throughout the Western United States, northern Mexico and beyond.

High Country News is a 38-year-old nonprofit news magazine that covers the West’s communities and nature resource issues. The mission of High Country News is to inform and inspire people to act on behalf of the West’s land, air, water and inhabitants. It works to create what Wallace Stegner called a society to match the scenery.

For more information about “High and Dry: Dispatches on global warming from the American West,” please contract JoAnn Kalenak at 800-311-5852, e-mail or visit

2006, 48 pages, glossy booklet, $6.95 • Subscribers, nonprofits and educators, $5.95
Bulk rate, 5-25 copies, $4.95 (one ship-to location)

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