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Jessica Marshall is an award-winning science, environmental and health journalist. She has been a regular contributor to Discovery News and New Scientist. Her work has also appeared in Nature,, Science's online news service, Science News for Kids, and on public radio, among other outlets. She has taught science journalism at the University of Minnesota. Jessica earned her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley before becoming a science journalist. She attended the Science Communication Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is based in St. Paul, Minnesota.

8 responses to “Battling loneliness in paradise”

  1. Helen Fields

    Oh gosh, I need this – I’m getting ready to head out for several months in a few different places in Europe. I wonder how you do this when you’re only in a place for two months? It would be very easy to have my head up Facebook (and non-local work) the whole time.

  2. Anne Sasso

    But Helen, you have that whole passion for museum thing happening, which would help you focus. Couldn’t you use your drive to discover cool new things at local museums wherever you are and turn it into opportunities to connect with locals and even write a few fun pieces … maybe for local markets, as Stephen suggests, or your usual clients?

  3. Helen Fields

    Ooh…that’s a really good idea about the co-working spaces. And I actually have a story idea for one of the two places I’m going, which means I just have to, you know, pitch….

    Anne, yes, I love the museums! I’ve never figured out how to sell a story on my museum passion, though. I write about them for my own blog (in a rambly way) and wrote something once for LWON (, but I have never figured out how to turn my museum-nerdiness into paying work.

  4. Anne Sasso

    OK, Helen, here’s my secret to writing about museums … or at least upcoming exhibits at museums: Find a cool museum, say the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Get invited to a preview of a fascinating, new, science-based exhibit, perhaps one on Gold. Check it out, preferably with a local friend (cough, cough, Sarah Webb). Then write a short piece for a hip, local publication in a far away place, like, maybe, Pheonix, Az.
    It helps if you have an ongoing relationship with an editor (which I did) and can drop them a quick note, like, “Hey, there’s this neat exhibit at the AMNH opening soon. Want a little blurb for the Cool Happenings section?” Or whatever. Sarah, also wrote about that exhibit for a kids’ pub (
    It was a fun SciLance convergence. Unfortunately, we’ve both moved so we can’t do it anymore. But you can.

  5. Helen Fields

    Ooh, sneaky! 🙂

  6. Sarah Webb

    I have to agree with Anne about the fun of going to museum previews with friends. But really, Helen, I think you have a real opportunity to write about interesting European tidbits for a variety of publications. Good luck!

  7. Emily Sohn

    I wonder if airline mags or newspaper travel sections might be good outlets for those new-exhibit stories? Can’t wait to read them!

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