Meet HEATED's new reporter
Arielle Samuelson is joining the family. (And we're hosting an AMA at noon EST.)
Arielle comes to us from Atlantic Media’s Long Dash, where she wrote about climate change and sustainability for a corporate audience. Prior to that, she spent four years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, communicating complex scientific topics—including climate change—to the public.
I didn’t expect to hire anyone but a traditional journalist for this position. After all, this newsletter was built on a traditional journalistic principle: to “serve as an independent monitor of power.”
But in order to effectively monitor power, journalists have to understand how power works. And Arielle understands how power works. Through years of producing high-quality climate analysis and reporting for corporations, Arielle brings an insider perspective on the priorities, motivations, and actions of some of the most powerful sectors in the country. Through her time at NASA, she brings insights from some of the best Earth scientists and engineers in the world.
These perspectives—and the source rolodex that comes with them—are things I simply do not have. And I love that, because I didn’t want to bring on my mirror image. I wanted insight and expertise that would complement my own, thereby giving you the fullest picture possible. That being said, Arielle is like me in at least a few ways. She’s outspoken. She takes no shit. She has a degree in journalism (though hers is a Masters). She’s a Libra.
Most importantly, Arielle has a lot of super original climate story ideas that I am stoked to work on. Soon, we’ll publish the one she pitched me during her interview. It’s really good.
As enterprise reporter, Arielle will be collaborating with me on the newsletter, reporting stories of her own, and helping me build more sustainable newsroom systems. She’ll also be helping me to grow HEATED’s audience, so we can not only remain employed, but hopefully hire more people in the future.
During the interview process, Arielle defied my expectations. In an applicant pool teeming with reporters, she consistently stood out. Her story ideas were the most intriguing; her source lists were the most complete; her perspective was the sharpest; her writing was the clearest. This is someone who's been working on the edges of the climate journalism world for a long time. I’m thrilled to finally welcome her into the fray.
Wanna know something cool? This job was created entirely by HEATED’s readers. No advertisers, corporations, or foundations. Just y’all.
If you want to be part of growing our newsroom even further in 2023, there are two ways you can contribute. Annual paid subscriptions are our lifeblood; they allow us to plan for an entire year of funding. You can also make a one-time donation to our hiring fund if that’s more your speed.
A note from Arielle:
After years of working and writing on Earth science and climate stories part-time, I’m so pleased to be joining you all as a full-time climate reporter.
My journey to HEATED started several years ago as a subscriber. Every time I’d read Emily’s investigative reporting, like her story on what each of us can do about climate change or how news outlets can better cover the climate crisis, I’d think, “I should send her an email and ask if she’s looking for a reporter.”
I never sent the email. Luckily for me, Emily put out the call. I was so excited, I applied from vacation in New Orleans, where I pressed my friends into service as my editors. (Thanks, friends.)
I’ll be reporting to you all from the West Coast, where the climate crisis is impossible to ignore. I drive daily past billboards that remind me to turn off the tap. I traded winter for wildfire season—on one memorable occasion, I drove through a wildfire on the way to a friend’s house. (Hot tip: never make the mistake of turning on your air conditioning to cool your flame-engulfed car.)
I’m interested in investigating the connections between climate change and law enforcement; the legal efforts to make clean air a human right; the unsustainable cost of climate disasters and who's going to pay for them; and the facts and fiction surrounding renewable energy solutions.
My previous role at Atlantic Media prepared me to tackle the biggest climate players in unexpected ways. I helped create editorial strategies for company newsrooms, and worked with clients on sustainability, disinformation, and how ESG is more profitable for companies in the long run. This has given me insight into a world I may not otherwise have as a journalist, namely: How do executives think about the climate crisis? What do they care about when it comes to sustainability? Does your voice, as a consumer, matter?
I wasn’t always interested in writing about the climate. Growing up in a conservative area, climate was the weather, and humans had nothing to do with either. My desire to write about this crisis started at NASA JPL, where I covered exoplanets, astrophysics, and Earth. One of my first responsibilities was helping create daily news alerts about climate-linked natural disasters.
But my main job was teaching people about exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system. I’ve written and spoken about a planet where it rains glass, a planet shaped like an egg, and a planet covered in lava. The combination was a powerful reminder that, so far as we know, this is the only planet we can live on.
Thank you all so much for making it possible for me to be here.
Got any burning questions for Arielle? We’ll be hosting an AMA (Ask Me Anything) discussion thread today at 12 p.m. EST. All subscribers, free and paid, are welcome to participate. Look out for an e-mail around that time with further instructions if you’d like to join.
Catch of the Day: No introductory e-mail would be complete without an introduction to another one of Fish’s friends!!
Pittsburgh-based pup Juno really wishes winter would start wintering again. His home city was 60 degrees yesterday.
Reader Katie tells us that Juno is currently worried about how climate change will reduce the duration of winter and overall snowfall.
Want to see your furry (or non-furry!) friend in HEATED? Send a picture and some words to firstname.lastname@example.org.