book cover: Best American Science & Nature Writing 2022Works by two NSWA members — Jane C. Hu and Julia Rosen — are in the 2022 edition of “The Best American Science and Nature Writing” series, out this month from HarperCollins. The book features nonfiction writing published in an American publication in 2021.

Hu’s (@jane_c_hu) featured piece, originally published in High Country News, showed how wind power projects in Wyoming provided much-needed funding to local governments as COVID-19 took a hit on the fossil-fuel industry and previously dependable royalties dried up. She explores local attitudes towards wind in an area where generations of families have worked in extractive industries and questions about how stable this new stream of funding will be for local economies.

Rosen’s (@1juliarosen) featured piece, first published in The Atlantic, is about “life’s bottleneck” — phosphorus — an element that is critical to life yet limited in its bio-availability. Throughout history, humans have found ways to recycle this nutrient, which is excreted in our waste and is valuable as fertilizer — until the mass movement of humanity to cities disrupted the cycle. Since then, the discovery of phosphate mining has allowed our populations to boom, with destructive consequences. What happens when those mines run out?