We have a highly-qualified slate this year. Please vote carefully. There are four officers, who are running without opposition for their positions. There are six candidates for the remaining five At-Large positions (You can vote for up to five of the six candidates.) Some of these are new candidates and some are board members choosing to return again for another year of service.

Below the ballot you will find information that the candidates provided to support their nomination.


Complete your ballot by copying the ballot below, pasting it into an email, and submitting.

Your completed ballot must be sent via email to 2016 NSWA Election Chair David Williams at voting@nwscience.org by 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. Results will be officially announced at the NSWA annual event on Thursday, Jan. 28. Look for more details on the event soon.


President:  Keith Seinfeld: _____

Vice President: Jane Hu: _____

Secretary: Michelle Ma: _____

Treasurer: David Ansley: _____

Or write-in (include office and candidate’s name): __________________________

Vote for up to five of the six candidates

Ashley Braun: _____

Maria Dolan: _____

Wayt Gibbs: _____

Hillary Lauren: _____

Lynne Peeples: _____

Matt Vivion: _____

Or write-in (include office and candidate’s name): __________________________

Officer Candidates

Keith Seinfeld, candidate for President
I am a communications officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, where I’ve been since 2013. Prior to that, for about 16 years, I was a Health & Science reporter and assistant news director at a wonderful NPR station (whose demise deserves your sympathy and scorn – ask me about that) — KPLU in Seattle. I’ve also had brief stints at the Seattle Times and News Tribune, and spent 2007-08 with the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships at MIT. I’ve been a member of NSWA since the early days (around 2003?) and joined the NSWA board five years ago.

While my writing these days veers more towards policy than science, I still find myself in the front lines of communicating about diseases, risk, and research, and I help manage a blog.

As your president in the year ahead, I look forward to coordinating the energies of a really thoughtful and creative set of individuals who are also running for the Board. We have had an unusual amount of turnover in the past two years – a truly random convergence of factors – and now we have a crew who are primed to bring forward a variety of programs and activities that will keep you engaged. I hope we can continue the conversation related to ethics, expand our skills as writers/publishers, and learn about new areas of research. I will push us to hold at least one NSWA event per month, with a majority of those at University House. Yet, we also will branch out with new “field trip” tours and more partnerships with Town Hall Seattle.

Jane Hu, candidate for Vice-President
I’m an science outreach specialist at UW’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) and also a science journalist for publications like Slate, Nautilus, and Quartz. In my year as an at-large member of the NSWA board, I’ve seen how integral this organization is for bringing together the local writing and science communities. I’m running for VP because I’d love to take on more of a role in steering this fantastic group. If elected, in the next year, I’d look forward to planning more fantastic programs and member outings (like our fun screening of The Martian), as well as continuing to beef up NSWA’s social media presence (a project I’ve been working on alongside our intrepid webmaster Matt Vivion).

Michelle Ma, candidate for Secretary
I am a science writer and assistant director in the University of Washington’s news office. For the past year I’ve covered environment-related research, including wildfires, salmon, biofuels, aquaculture and species migration due to climate change. Before that, I mainly covered engineering and tech research for our office. I got my start in science reporting at a small newspaper on the Northern California coast, and I then delved into web and video production at the Seattle Times, as well as nonprofit work before arriving at the UW.

I have served in the position of Secretary for NSWA for most of this year, stepping up from my elected Member At Large position. I enjoy both the nuts-and-bolts aspects of this role — taking notes at board meetings and producing monthly minutes — as well as the collaborative task of coming up with interesting, inspiring monthly programs and social events. As a science writer, I appreciate the support of the NSWA community, and I hope to continue contributing fresh ideas, comradery and passion to our organization by serving as Secretary of the board.

David Ansley, candidate for Treasurer
After several decades covering science and medicine for newspapers, magazines and websites, I now am at Consumer Reports, where I have run ConsumerHealthChoices.org for four years. I also have contributed to the UC-Santa Cruz science writing program and the Knight Fellowships at MIT. I’ve enjoyed serving as NSWA Treasurer for several years now and would like to keep doing so.The duties include managing our funds, paying our bills, keeping our state and federal records up to date, and running the software that keeps track of our members and friends.


Members At-Large Candidates (Vote for up to Five)

 Ashley Braun, At-Large candidate
Who are we kidding? Sharing science and all its glorious, messy implications with the world is a pretty incredible job description. Nurturing a vibrant local community of science communicators ensures we all have the support we need to live up to that ideal. I’ve been writing about science and the environment for more than six years, with my current career mix balancing a part-time outreach position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) while also freelancing for publications such as Discover, Popular Science, and Natural History.

In addition to enjoying NSWA’s many educational and networking opportunities, I’ve also benefited from this organization’s career development grant program, and, spurred by events at the National Association of Science Writers 2015 meeting, I recently organized and moderated a panel discussion on ethics in science writing. I’m eager and motivated to explore the sticky issues facing science communicators today, help broaden our skills and capabilities, and have plenty of fun along the way. Thanks for considering me for the NSWA board!

Maria Dolan, At-Large candidate
I’ve been an at-large board member of NSWA for the past year, co-managing our web calendar, and helping with event planning. I have worked as a freelancer in Seattle for more than 15 years, writing on a variety of subjects including natural history, travel, the environment and health for the Seattle Times, Seattle Magazine, Seattle Metropolitan, Sunset, Slate, Smithsonian.com and many other publications. I have also worked as a copywriter, book reviewer, ghost and guidebook writer. I’d love to continue supporting the local science writing community by serving another year on the NSWA Board.

Wayt Gibbs, At-Large candidate
I’ve been an active NSWA member since moving to Seattle in 2006 to take a job as Executive Editor at Intellectual Ventures, a research and invention company in Bellevue. I work there with a wide range of scientists and inventors (most commonly Nathan Myhrvold, the founder and CEO) on publications, videos, and presentations. I was editor-in-chief and editorial director for the Modernist Cuisine series of books. From 1993 through 2006, I was a staff writer, senior writer, and editor at Scientific American magazine, where I primarily produced feature articles. The Economist gave me my big break in journalism, with an internship on their science desk in London.

In addition to my day job at IV, I am a contributing editor for Scientific American, and I freelance as a science reporter and publishing consultant. I’ve written in recent years for SciAm, Discover, Nature, Wired, IEEE Spectrum, Conservation, Taschen books, and others.

NSWA has been a helpful source of friendship and professional support for me over the years, and as a board member I would like to encourage the formation of more “tribes” or informal writer circles in which a handful of science writers get together regularly on their own to give and get feedback on each other’s work and to discuss professional issues. I found such a group through NSWA contacts, and I’d like to explore ways to make it easier for all NSWA members (especially newcomers) to link up with peers. I participated recently on an NSWA panel and hosted a hang-out for a well-known science author following his Town Hall talk. So many international stars of science and science writing pass through Seattle, and I’d like to help create more opportunities for us to get to know them on a personal level.

Hillary Lauren, At-Large candidate
Hillary loves to combine her varied talents and tastes with her love of science. For the past five years, she has written science education content for high school students, teachers, and researchers, while also using her illustration and graphic design skills to design educational tools, games, and videos.

Hillary’s interest in science writing began as an English-converted-to-Biology major at Seattle University, where she studied the ecological effects of slugs on the urban forest of Seward Park. (She still finds them inspiring, as evidenced by the name of her blog, The Science Slug!) She also studied salmon habitat in Alaska while earning her MS at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Hillary thinks that she’d be a great board member because she enjoys working on collaborative teams and thinking of creative ways to explore science! In addition, while looking for ways to engage in the Seattle community, Hillary recently attended Seattle Works’ “The Bridge” workshop for nonprofit board member leadership.

Lynne Peeples, At-Large candidate
I cover the environment and public health for The Huffington Post, and as a freelancer, from my home office in Seattle. I’ve written for outlets including Scientific American, Reuters Health, Popular Science, Audubon Magazine and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In a former life, I crunched numbers as a biostatistician for HIV and environmental health studies. I enjoyed serving on the board this past year, and would love to continue helping NSWA maintain a vibrant community of science writers. I’m looking forward to many more thought-provoking panels and friendship-building beverages in 2016!

Matt Vivion, At-Large candidate
I’m a Seattle-based Web designer and aspiring sci-fi screenwriter. I’m currently NSWA’s webmaster and have served as an at-large board member for three years. I built our website in 2010, redesigned it in 2012 and made it mobile-friendly in 2015. The website features a calendar of science events, Facebook and Twitter integration, a blog highlighting recent writing by members, a member directory and more. I joined NSWA in April 2008 and also worked as our calendar editor during my first year as a member. Additionally, I established our Facebook and Twitter accounts and co-manage them.

I’m currently the web manager for the fundraising team at Swedish, where I’ve been for three years. Previously, I held communications roles for science departments at the University of Washington for six years. In a former life, I was the secretary for the communications director at The Seattle Public Library for seven years during an ambitious capital campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in screenwriting from the University of California, Riverside. I’m from Colton, California and have been in Seattle for 15 years.

If re-elected, my goals for next year are to continue improving our website and grow our member base.