Rachel Zurer

As an associate editor at Backpacker magazine, Rachel spends her days dreaming up fantastic places to go hiking. She has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College, and her publication and broadcast credits include Wired, High Country News, Chemical & Engineering News, Issues in Science and Technology, Pacifica Radio, and Making Contact. She’s a blogger at Vegansaurus.com, and lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband Danny and her cat Zuki. 


Leslie Rubinkowski

Leslie Rubinkowski is working on a memoir about training to run her first marathon, despite the fact that she’d never run a mile in her life. She is also the author of Impersonating Elvis, a book about another kind of transformation. She teaches writing at Goucher College, and her work has appeared in Harper’s, Creative Nonfiction, and Riverteeth, among other publications. She has also taught at the University of Pittsburgh and was director of the news-editorial program at West Virginia University’s School of Journalism. She has lectured at the Poynter Institute and the Chautauqua Institution. She spent the first half of last year writing The Starting Line, a blog for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about training for her first marathon.  

Ross Carper

Ross Carper is a writer based in Washington state whose publications include fiction, poetry, and narrative nonfiction. Having also served as a science writer at a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory, he aims to publish and promote narrative writing within topics of social importance. Ross holds an MFA in creative writing from Eastern Washington University.


Adam Briggle

Adam Briggle is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies and Faculty Fellow in the Center for the Study of Interdisciplinarity at the University of North Texas. His research and teaching focus on the intersections of science, technology, policy, and ethics. He is author of A Rich Bioethics (2010), co-author of Ethics and Science: An Introduction (2012), and co-editor of The Good Life in a Technological Age (2012). He is currently active as a public intellectual in the policy process surrounding the adoption of a new natural gas drilling and production ordinance by the City of Denton, TX. In this capacity, he chairs the Denton Stakeholder Drilling Advisory Group, a citizen-expert advisory committee. 



Jason Bittel

Jason Bittel is a worshipper of the calamine gods. When he’s not fighting off poison ivy, he’s trying to get people riled up about slugs and opossums on his TTTWTP-inspired website, BittelMeThis.com. He has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Pittsburgh and writes for a digital branding agency polite enough to overlook the invasive wild boar skull on his desk. Jason recently co-authored a book about challenger brand business tactics and sadomasochism, Does Your Brand Need A Spanking?

Gwen Ottinger

Gwen Ottinger is an assistant professor in the Center for Science, Technology, and Society and the Department of History and Politics at Drexel University.  Positioned at the intersection of science and technology studies (STS) and studies of environmental justice (EJ), her work aims to:

  • Analyze the environmental justice implications of current modes of scientific research, technological innovations, and relations of expertise; and
  • Envision and implement more environmentally just forms of science, technology, and expertise.

Her book, Refining Expertise: How Responsible Engineers Subvert Environmental Justice Challenges, shows how the engineer-managers of Louisiana oil refineries interact with residents of nearby communities to establish themselves as good neighbors and credible technical authorities without ever engaging the environmental health issues of most concern to residents.  Technoscience and Environmental Justice: Expert Cultures in a Grassroots Movement, which she co-edited with Ben Cohen, takes a broader view of the ways that interactions with EJ activists have (partially) transformed scientific practices and identities.

Ottinger’s current project, funded by a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, follows the development of technologies used to measure air toxics levels in communities adjacent to oil refineries, from user-friendly “bucket” air samplers to high-tech real-time air monitors.  It examines the ethical claims that have been associated with bucket activism–and how those may be shifting as more sophisticated technologies, requiring closer collaboration with experts from industry and regulatory agencies, become more common.  As part of the project, she will work with activists to develop tools to tell better stories with voluminous air data, and to develop a community-based engineering ethics course.

As 2010-11 fellow in the TWP program, Ottinger co-authored “Drowning in Data” with partner Rachel Zurer.  Their article appeared in the Spring 2011 edition of Issues In Science and Technology.  Since then, she has written about TWP for The Cairo Review and Creative Nonfiction.