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Know the West

Dear friends



After a degree in zoology from the University of Washington and three years at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Morgan Heim wanted a change. It’s not that Morgan, who grew up catching snakes and crabs in Virginia Beach, didn’t love following salmon or studying orcas. But ultimately the relentless single-mindedness of scientific research wasn’t for her. Journalism represented a ticket to a lifetime of learning: “A free pass to ask whatever questions I wanted on any topic.”

In the company of her “best friend,” her camera, Morgan traveled the world taking nature photos (see them at moheimphotography.com). One of her digital pieces, which she describes as “an abstract image of geckos pouring out of black space,” hung in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History after placing in the 2006 Nature’s Best Photography International Awards.

Now she’s finishing her first year of graduate school in journalism at the University of Colorado. She’s published stories in local Colorado papers and looks forward to getting lots more writing practice during her time at HCN.

Exploring unknown terrain is a way of life for new High Country News intern Eve Rickert. She has just driven more than a thousand miles and crossed an international border in her move from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Paonia.

Born in Boulder, Colo., Eve spent much of her childhood in Seattle, Wash., and Columbia, Md. Surrounded by Cold War propaganda as a child, she dreamed of visiting the Soviet Union and began learning Russian at the age of 12. Her dream came true when she spent three months living in Russia during high school.

Eve has continued to travel the world, living in India, traveling through much of Europe, and studying the effects of coffee prices on land use in Costa Rica.

While earning a master’s degree in environmental studies from Washington’s Evergreen State College, she worked as an editorial assistant for Environmental Practice and has just finished an internship with Conservation magazine. Eve looks forward to a summer at High Country News. “So many people feel so disconnected from science,” Eve says. “That’s a gap I want to help fill.”


“Planet Janet,” aka Janet Smith, of nearby Ridgway, Colo., stopped by to share some ideas about preparing for global warming by reducing our individual impacts. A chemical engineer by training and a landscaper by trade, Janet discussed energy-efficient construction and waterless composting toilets.

A visitor from Munich, Germany, Juergen Haefner, came in to talk with us about the bee crisis described in our March 19 “Silence of the Bees” story, as he’s interested in becoming a hobby beekeeper (as well as a subscriber to HCN). He was in town visiting his friend, Ulli Lange.

— Eve Rickert, Morgan Heim and Jodi Peterson for the staff