Dear friends


  • New HCN interns Rob Inglis, Andrea Appleton and Emily Steinmetz. MARTY DURLIN


During the last two weeks of June, we'll be taking our annual summertime publishing hiatus, in which we skip an issue to catch up on office projects and maybe play some Frisbee in the park. Look for the next issue of HCN around July 21.


During her first attempt to return to her native West, new intern Andrea Appleton worked as a school lunch lady and hot dog vendor in Phoenix. Eight years later, she's excited to be back, this time as an environmental journalist.

Andrea spent her first 14 years of life in tiny La Veta, Colo., then moved to the Midwest and got a degree in English from the University of Illinois. After graduating -- and discovering that school lunch and hot dogs were not her calling -- Andrea took a series of entomology-related jobs, including driving a mobile bug museum. Six months of insect research in Switzerland convinced her that she'd prefer a career with a broader focus, so she moved to New York, where she got a master's in journalism from Columbia University and worked as a freelance journalist.

Paonia may be a long way from Brooklyn, but she welcomes the change. "The bird songs, the plant life, the color of the sky all feel like home," she says. "I guess even the bugs feel familiar."

Rob Inglis worked in a sheet-metal shop at McMurdo Station from October through February this year. "The landscape of Antarctica is not as harsh as I thought it would be," he says, recalling the beauty of the sun's late-night glow on the glaciers and the Royal Society Mountains. Originally from South Carolina, Rob finished his bachelor's degree at Yale in ethics, politics and economics last spring. He also participated in the school's nascent Journalism Initiative. Since graduating, besides his Antarctica stint, he's hitchhiked around New Zealand and studied invertebrate sea creatures in Friday Harbor, Wash.

Rob says he's always been fascinated by the West, and sees journalism as an opportunity to explore a wide variety of topics, from the environment and science to public health and immigration.

Emily Steinmetz has made some big changes in her life recently. In early June, she moved from Albuquerque to Paonia to become HCN's first multimedia intern. A scant three days before that, she eloped with her boyfriend. "We were trying to get married the whole week," she says, "but we would go hiking or whatever and suddenly realize it was 4:30 and the courthouse was closed!"

While pursuing her master's degree in anthropology at American University in Washington, D.C., Emily spent dozens of hours in a prison interviewing female inmates. As part of her Ph.D. work at Northwestern University in Illinois -- also on the anthropology of prisons -- she lived for a year in a rural New Mexico town, one-third of whose residents were incarcerated.

There, she was often mistaken for a reporter, confirming her hunch that she'd do better as a writer than an academic. She chose HCN because it seemed the perfect venue for exploring her interests in journalism, social justice and the environment.

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