Megan Ewald is a Washington D.C. based freelance science journalist and photographer, who is particularly interested in how humans coexist and clash with nature, along with marine ecology, toxicology, climate change, environmental justice, and international conservation. Manatees also have a special place in her heart.
During the day, Megan is a science communicator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) writing, editing, and developing multimedia outreach about oil spills and marine pollution.
Her work has appeared in The Maritime Executive, Resilience, Flyway Journal of Writing and the Environment, Unearthed, the International Oil Spill Control Organization Newsletter, and is frequently featured on the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration Blog.
Prior to moving to Washington D.C. Megan served for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi, Southern Africa, during the food security crisis of 2017 and civil unrest of 2018, while working in food security. She speaks English, Chitonga, and Chichewa. Before Peace Corps she bounced between science and science writing.
She has experience as a research assistant for El Grupo Ecologico sea turtle conservancy and the State University of New York, and as a science communicator for NOAA-Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, The New York State Green Party, and the Save The Manatees Club.
Megan has a B.S. in Environmental Studies from The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and is currently pursuing Masters in Science Writing at Johns Hopkins University.
Do you believe science changes the world when people understand it? Contact Megan Ewald to write your story.
Science and The Environment
Sharpshooting for Science: Studying Whales with Remote Biopsy, The Maritime Executive. As the vessel speeds through the icy water in pursuit of whales, one researcher cocks and loads a crossbow, waiting for a dorsal fin to surface and the perfect time to strike. February, 2020
$25 Million to Restore Natural Resources Injured by Pollution in the Kalamazoo River, Michigan. NOAA OR&R Blog. Canoeing down the Kalamazoo River under the shade of trees, watching small fish dart through the shallows, you wouldn’t guess you’re paddling through a hazardous waste site, December 2019
Rivers of the ‘Dammed, Rising from the Grave, Resilience. Once there were six waterways cursed by pollution. But terrifying toxins and oozing oil spills were not the first dooms to befall these rivers, each of them had already been dammed. October 2019
Meet Regional Resource Coordinator Rebecca Hoff. NOAA OR&R Blog. Sitting on her front porch in a rural fishing village in Sierra Leone in the 1980s, Rebecca Hoff remembers reading a newspaper while two neighbor boys sat nearby chatting in Krio, or Sierra Leonean Creole. As they spoke, she realized they were telling the story of Br'er Rabbit, a story she recognized. November 2019
Using ESI Maps to Set Priorities in the Chaos of an Oil Spill. International Oil Spill Control Newsletter. Oil spills are by definition chaotic events. Conditions often change rapidly as the oil moves into the environment and is subject to currents, waves, weather, and whatever is in its path. When time and resources are limited, responders need sound science to make informed decisions to minimize impacts. November 2019
New Report on Optimizing Remote Sensing to Characterize Oil Spill Slicks. International Oil Spill Control Newsletter. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill lasted for 87 days, discharged millions of barrels into the Gulf of Mexico, and posed unprecedented challenges for oil spill experts. September 2019
Threats to Sea Turtles from Oil Spills: Lessons Learned During a Disaster. International Oil Spill Control Newsletter. Few animals capture the human imagination like sea turtles. Sea turtles are living fossils, they have glided through the Earth’s oceans for over 110 million years. But today, sea turtles face new, human-caused threats that put all seven species at risk of extinction. One of these threats is oil spills. August 2019
Rachel Carson: Biologist, Writer, Role Model. NOAA OR&R Blog. Remembering Rachel Carson and the books that ignited the environmental movement for Women's History Month. March 2019
An Oil Spill’s Silver Lining, 30 Years Since Exxon Valdez. NOAA OR&R Blog. How the disaster inspired legislation that ensures cleanup and restoration. March 2019
Spotlight on People and Pollution: Wild rice, pollution, and space for traditions to grow. NOAA OR&R Blog. The Great Lakes and the people who inhabit them are incredibly linked, natural history merging with cultural history. March 2019
When You Can’t Look, Listen: How Passive Acoustic Monitoring Can Locate Whales After Oil Spill. NOAA OR&R Blog. Listen, the ocean is full of sound. From the tip-tap of scuttling shellfish, to the echoing songs of baleen whales, many kinds of marine life use sound to navigate their underwater world. For scientists, it’s sometimes easier to hear marine creatures than it is to see them. Feburary 2019
The Hudson-Raritan Estuary, an Urban Ecosystem on the Rebound. NOAA OR&R Blog. Walking the busy streets of Manhattan, it’s easy to overlook the Hudson River as a living ecosystem, or think about its natural history. November 2018
Oily Killer of the Deep: the Mystery Oil Spill of San Mateo. International Oil Spill Control Organization Newsletter. It was a dark and stormy night. A salty wind blew like ice and waves thundered beneath the Golden Gate Bridge as a storm broke on San Francisco. As the city slept, something sinister rose from the depths of the Pacific Ocean. October 2018
Blowing up Bloede Dam: Patapsco River Resumes Natural Course for First Time in 112 Years. NOAA OR&R Blog. On Sept. 14, 2018 NOAA and project partners took an explosive step in the Bloede Dam project. Following 10 years of planning, and three weeks after partners celebrated, the explosives were detonated. September 2018
The Earth Knows No Language. Peace Corps Stories. Ada Mwenda is a farmer in my village. He's small, thin, rarely wears shoes, and has a wide smile that reminds me of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. April 2017
Lingering Wires. Unearthed Literary Journal. In Wyoming, barbed wire does more than delineate the landscape—it defines it. January 2016
Finding Luminescence. Flyway Journal of Writing and the Environment. A coming-of-age story told through the firefly lifecycle. July 2014
Homewaters: Exploring Waterways that Inspire, from Alabama to Wisconsin. NOAA OR&R Blog. For many of us, our journey into the marine world can be traced back to a special place that first sparked a love of water and wild places. “Homewaters,” explore some of the waters that kindled a passion that would go on to last a lifetime. November 2019
Homewaters: Exploring Waterways that Inspire, from Ireland to Florida. NOAA OR&R Blog. For many of us, our journey into the marine world can be traced back to a special place that first sparked a love of water and wild places. “Homewaters,” explore some of the waters that kindled a passion that would go on to last a lifetime. October 2019
Oil Spill Assessment for Marine Mammals, ARC GIS Story Map, NOAA Publishes New Guidelines Assessing Exposure and Impacts of Oil Spills on Marine Mammals, January 2020
The Spills Behind the Oil Pollution Act. ARC GIS Story Map, National Ocean Service. Remembering the Oil Spills of 1989 that Inspired the Oil Pollution Act, 30 Years Later. April 2019
$28 Million From NOAA Pollution Settlements in 2019. ARC GIS Story Map, National Ocean Service. NOAA and Co-Trustees Reach Settlements With Cooperating Parties to Restore Waters Across America. October 2019
Silly Science Writing
Happy National Siblings Day from NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration. NOAA OR&R Blog. Octopus eggs. It’s time to snuggle up with your littermate and let them know how much you love them - April 10 is National Siblings Day! It’s a time to celebrate those who have known you since before you were hatched. Nobody understands you better than your siblings. March 2019
5 Ways OR&R Shows Our Love For the Ocean. NOAA OR&R Blog. Valentine's Day is a time to express love of all kinds, and nobody deserves a Valentine more than our ocean. February 2019
12 Days of NOAA Trust Resources. NOAA OR&R Blog. From everything that swims, flaps, scuttles and snaps in America’s waterways ... Happy Holidays! December 2018
Rivers of the 'Dammed,' Rising from the Grave. NOAA OR&R Blog. Once there were six waterways cursed by pollution. But terrifying toxins and oozing oil spills were not the first dooms to befall these rivers, each of them had already been dammed. The dams had been constructed for a variety of important reasons, but as the years passed and they fell out of use, an evil crept over them. October 2019