A polling station

Voting is now open!


Elections Procedures

Relevant rules with regards to elections procedures:
  • For all voting this year, all decisions will be determined by a simple majority of votes or ranked number of votes (for at-large members)
  • The results of the election will be tallied by a non-candidate NSWA Member (David Mills)
  • Members are required to provide email addresses to verify their standing within NSWA, however, only the election administrator will be able to see these addresses. It shall be anonymous for all other purposes.
  • Members are allowed to change their vote until the date of the annual meeting (January 18th, 2024)
  • Results will be announced at our annual meeting

Relevant rules with regards to board positions:

  • Terms are for one year.
  • In the event of a tie, the current president shall be the tie-breaker.
  • In the event of the vacancy of the at-large board member role, the NSWA president shall appoint a member to fill the role.




Candidate Statements


Michael C. Bradbury

I’ve been honored to be Vice President this year, and now I’d like to lead NSWA as President. I have served on the board for many years, first during the early years of NSWA and then most recently as an at-large board member last year, and now as Vice President. I have a strong and current knowledge of how the organization operates and look forward to building on the success of the last few years.

I’m proud of the accomplishments of the board this year. Our membership is growing and the organization is fiscally very healthy. But we find ourselves in a chaotic time for science media and journalism. Thousands lost their jobs this year, and many of them were in science journalism. The landscape is always changing and NSWA needs to be able to adapt by offering programs, support, and initiatives to provide value for the membership. For those like me who work from home most or all the time, it can feel like we’re in a lonely business. So, in addition to the great social events that are NSWA staples, I’d like to rebuild connections to other local and regional journalism organizations, form partnerships with media, and listen to the needs of the membership.

I’m currently a freelance science journalist, specializing in climate and sustainability science. During my 25-year career I have worked in newspapers, magazines, TV, Radio, and online newsrooms. I was an early podcaster, have owned two media companies, and even worked in digital marketing.

I look forward to working on your behalf next year.

Vice President

Starre Vartan

I’m running for Vice President this year because as a board member in 2023, I had so much fun and it was so rewarding to give back to the science-writing community.

This past year I organized the Ben Goldfarb happy hour event and the Dungeness Spit hike; helped fellow board member Ian Rose represent NSWA at the Portland Book Fair (our table there was busy and popular!); helped with the initial planning for the amazing party we’re going to have at the Seattle Aquarium in January; and along with board member Ellen Kuwana, met up with most of the extant regional science-writer groups at the National Association of Science Writers meeting in Boulder, Colorado in October. We learned so much from the other groups there and were able to share our challenges and triumphs (and hopefully mentor and inspire some of the smaller/fledgling sciwri groups we met with).

I already have plans for 2024 including more author events and more outdoor-adventure (with a side of science education) events. I would especially like to organize an overnight, in-depth trip  to North Cascades National Park to both enjoy the incredible surroundings and hear from scientists doing research there, which is a locus for wildlife introductions (and has some incredible geology!).

In addition to my board membering at NSWA in 2023, I’ve dived into podcasting for Scientific American’s Science, Quickly pod (including recording my own original sounds), and now I’m audio-obsessed. I also published a personal essay about being raised by my grandma, wrote about biosensors for Grow magazine and frequency-comb technology for Scientific American, covered new research into mammalian body dimorphism for New Scientist. and penned another essay about the genetics of being the end of my family line for Aeon’s Psyche. I’m also currently at work on a book about women’s physical strength, which will be published in 2025 by Basic Books, an imprint of Hachette.

I’ve been a full-time freelance science journalist for over 10 years now, and have published in National Geographic, CNN, Slate, the Washington Post, Hakai, and many more. I live on Bainbridge Island with my partner Simon and our two tabby rescue kittens who I’m leash-training this winter so they can become Adventure Cats by spring. I’m also a tralirunner, ecstatic dancer, mediocre gardener, newbie weightlifter, and in year 3 of my ceramics practice. I have a BS in geology from Syracuse University and an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University.

I hope to continue bringing my energy, enthusiasm and expertise to NSWA in the coming year as VP!


Bryn Nelson

I’m a Seattle-based freelance writer, author of the book Flush, and a current NSWA board member. After seven years of covering the life sciences for the science desk at Newsday in New York, I returned to Seattle in 2008 as a science, medical, and environmental writer and have written for a wide variety of publications since then. I’m running for NSWA treasurer because I’ve really enjoyed my time on the board so far and I’d like to continue learning and giving back to an organization that has long supported me and other science writers and contributed so much toward a vibrant community of science communicators throughout the Pacific Northwest.

In 2023, I organized a local team for the international City Nature Challenge (we did a very fun bioblitz in Seward Park), helped represent NSWA at the Portland Book Festival, led the effort to update the organization’s Code of Conduct, and served on the committee for the Best of the Northwest Awards. In 2024, I hope to help organize some fun outings, hands-on workshops for aspiring authors, and other networking and development events to continue supporting freelance writers and other members. As NSWA treasurer, I also hope to help ensure that the organization remains on sound financial footing.


Jenny Morber

I am a freelance science journalist on Bainbridge Island, perhaps best known for poo and sperm stories, but am now focused on solutions journalism, especially stories that touch on health, environment, and science policy. It is especially exciting when those solutions involve poo. I also enjoy writing about research in the physical sciences and mathematics for kids.

Before my freelance career, I earned BS and PhD degrees in Materials Science and Engineering with a focus on building tools to enable localized cancer therapies, and later worked as a staff writer for the journal PNAS in Washington DC.

When I moved to the PNW, I was thrilled to find the local NSWA community. My first event was a perfect introduction—a tour of the science and history of Seattle—and I was happy to find a fascinating and inviting group of people. It has always been a welcome respite to travel across the Puget Sound to attend events and meet writers who get as excited as I do about things like whale butts and leeches, and to share stories and tips about how to do this thing we do better.

This would be my third year on the NSWA Board. I have enjoyed my time and think I would like to do it again. I have some ideas for cool programs and look forward to working with the other Board members, experienced and new, to continue to help area writers find peers, friends, support, and resources to help them thrive.

At-Large Members

Ian Rose

I am a freelance science and nature writer based in Corvallis, Oregon, and a relatively new member of NSWA. 2023 was my first year on the board. My major project this year was setting up and running our first booth at the Portland Book Festival in November, something I would like to make an annual event on our schedule. In a more general sense, my goal on the NSWA board is to increase our visibility and membership here in Oregon, with more events and meetups to help make this a truly region-wide organization. If elected back to the board in 2024, I would like to continue that work and extend it to Idaho as well, including working to recruit a new board member from Idaho for 2025. I am also interested in growing our virtual events and resources accessible to all members across the region.

James Gaines

I’m a freelance science journalist and fact-checker here in Seattle and, as of this writing, the current NSWA president. I’ve been on the board since 2020 and have helped organize our career and writing awards, mentorship programs, and events like a fact-checking panel. In this coming year I’d like to step back from leadership and return to being an at-large member. This’d let me focus on doing some more back-end work, like sprucing up the website, as well as personally organizing a few more events (we should do another trivia night soon).


By-laws Amendments

As part of a standard review process this year, the NSWA Board has determined that a few parts of its bylaws are in need of updating in order to match the wording of peer institutions. The board voted unanimously to send three proposed amendments to the full membership for a vote. All three pertain to Article 3, Section 2 of the bylaws, which outlines the procedures for suspension or termination of membership. For reference, the current NSWA by-laws can be found at https://nwscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/NSWA-Bylaws-June-2018.pdf

Bracketed/strikethrough material to be deleted; underlined material to be added

Amendment 1

Should any three one or more members find the conduct of a member to be substantially prejudicial to the best interests of the Association, they may deliver a signed complaint to any officer or board member.

Explanation of Proposed Bylaws Change: This amendment will bring NSWA’s bylaws into agreement with those of NASW, and lower the onus for complainants.

Amendment 2

The board or committee shall provide the accused member with all evidence to be presented to the board or committee at least 10 days before the hearing on the complaint.

Explanation of Proposed Bylaws Change: This change adds text to correct a typo and clarify the sentence.

Amendment 3

No individual shall participate in processing or reviewing a complaint if he or she is they are a complainant or the accused member, or if he or she has they have a conflict of interest involving complainants or the accused member.

Explanation of Proposed Bylaws Change: This amendment will bring the bylaws into agreement with NSWA’s policy of inclusivity.

As a reminder, amendments may be proposed at any time by the NSWA board or by a written petition to the president signed by no fewer than 10 members.