Senior Staff Editor at the New York Times to teach Writing About the Environment this fall.

July 27, 2020

Alan Burdick, Senior Staff Editor at the New York Times, is returning to teach EVST 224: Writing About the Environment this fall. The course explores ways in which the environment and the natural world can be channeled for literary expression. Students learn how to create narrative tension while also conveying complex—sometimes highly technical—information; the role of the first person in this type of writing; and where the human environment ends and the non-human one begins.

This course is highly recommended for EVST seniors as a complement to EVST 496a, the fall Senior Colloquium within which seniors draft their senior essays.  It could also be used by juniors to explore a potential senior essay topic, helping focus planned research for the summer of 2020.  

Alan is the author of “Why Time Flies: A Mostly Scientific Investigation” about the biology and perception of time. His first nonfiction book, “Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion” was a National Book Award finalist and won the Overseas Press Club Award for environmental reporting.

Admission to the course is by permission of the instructor only. Students interested in the course should email the instructor at with the following information: 1.) A few paragraphs describing your interest in taking the class. 2.) A non-academic writing sample that best represents you.