Douglas Fox

Freelance Science & Environmental Journalist

icemen cometh_page1_aug9_231x300.jpgIcemen cometh
Discover, September 2008

A profound feeling of isolation sets in as the plane departs. Propellors roar. The twin-engine Basler, vintage 1942, bounces on skis over the wind-pocked ice, bobs into the air, and shrinks to a dot in the sky. Then it’s just the four of us standing here, a pile of boxes, and flat, white horizon in every direction. We’re on our own in Antarctica for the next few weeks, just 380 miles from the South Pole… [READ MORE]

Selected for publication in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009

did life begin in ice_page 1_cropped_231x3001.jpgDid life begin in ice?
Discover, February 2008

One morning Stanley Miller lifted a glass vial from a cold, bubbling vat. For 25 years he had tended that vial as if it were an exotic orchid, checking it daily, adding a few pellets of dry ice to keep it cooled to –108 degrees F. He had told hardly a soul of its existence. Now he set the frozen time capsule out to thaw, ending the experiment that had lasted more than a third of his 68 years… [READ MORE]

antarctic tundra_page 1_cropped_351.jpgFreeze-dried findings support a tale of two ancient climates
Science, 30 May 2008

The Olympus Range of Antarctica may be the oldest landscape on Earth; its naked buttresses and stony, Martian plateaus haven’t tasted liquid water in 13 million years. So when 3 students stumbled upon the tattered stems of dried plants fluttering in the wind, they knew it would raise eyebrows… [READ MORE]

Camera trappers_cropped_231x317_with border1.JPGHunting animals—with cameras
The Christian Science Monitor, 10 April 2008

Chris Wemmer and Reno Taini came of age four decades ago in the formaldehyde-and-stewed-rat school of zoology. Now they stalk the hills of Northern California in search of the elusive mountain beaver… [READ MORE]