I am an independent reporter and writer, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, covering the environment and science. I also write on culture, food and travel, social justice and legal affairs, politics, and technology.
I am a contributing editor with High Country News, and have reported across the West for the magazine since 2002. My work has also been published by Slate, Wired, Scientific American, Yale Environment 360, the Daily Climate, Sierra Magazine, Headwaters Magazine, Nature Conservancy, Pacific Standard, Orion, Grist, Fly Fisherman, 5280 Magazine, Mountain Gazette, Earth Magazine, AlterNet, and other print and online publications. I have also covered energy, water, agriculture, and technology for the Northern Colorado Business Report. And I previously worked as a staff writer and editor for the Rocky Mountain Bullhorn and Rocky Mountain Chronicle, independent weeklies in northern Colorado.
My reporting has taken me to witness a Native American bison slaughter ceremony in South Dakota and the daily work of nomadic herders in Mongolia’s grassland steppe, on scouting missions for the Rainbow Family, on flyovers and drive-thrus of oil and gas fields, inside state prisons, in search of Paleoindian fossils, to the top of a 14,000-foot peak with a world renown climber and hundreds of feet deep into an open-pit mine. Not to mention more water-policy summits, city council meetings, and tech-industry afterhours than I care to count.
Through journalism fellowships, I have learned about international climate policy in Brussels and the environmental ins and out of Puget Sound. I am a member of the National Association of Science Writers, Society of Environmental Journalists, and Investigative Reporters and Editors. My work has also been recognized with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for environmental and business writing.
Before launching my journalistic career, I received a master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and went to college at Emory University. Previous work experiences include documenting rare cacti and endangered grouse habitat, mapping trails and illegal routes in national forests, studying river management on the Yellowstone River in Montana, and dabbling in libertarian environmental economics.
I am also an adjunct professor at Colorado State University, teaching courses in natural-resources communications and environmental and science journalism.
When not out in the field with a pad or in front of a computer, I am an opportunistic international traveler, a camping fiend and underachieving angler, an aspiring homebrewer, a sports nerd and incorrigible Mets fan, and a napping aficionado.
To contact me, send an email to joshuazaffos [at] yahoo [dot] com. You can also find me on LinkedIn.