Don is an award-winning writer and editor who has authored dozens of feature stories during his 25-year career at National Geographic. While his specialty is writing about culture – places and people, and the geopolitical trends that are shaping our world – he’s also covered environmental science, climate change, Muslim and Arab history, and growing threats to the world’s water supply. A selection of his recent work is linked below.
A Huge Boost for America’s National Parks
Pew Trust, Fall 2020
Our national parks, forests, and public lands will receive billions in critical repairs thanks to the passing of the Great American Outdoors Act.
At Waters’ Edge
Pew Trust, Summer 2017
Flooded and rebuilt, then flooded and rebuilt again—and again—one American city is
seeking new approaches for the future. A visit to Norfolk, Virginia, a city at waters’ edge.
Rejuvenating the National Parks
Pew Trust, Winter 2017
Starved of funding, our national parks have fallen into grave disrepair over the past few decades,
with a maintenance backlog that now exceeds $12 billion. The dawning of the
National Park Service’s second century presents us with an urgent challenge:
to rejuvenate America’s “best idea.”
The Wild Heart of Sweden
National Geographic, October 2015
Trekking north of the Arctic Circle through Europe’s largest wilderness, travelers are on their own.
America’s Common Ground: The Wilderness Act at 50
Trust Magazine, September 2014
Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into law, it remains one of the nation’s most effective tools for preserving America’s natural treasures.
The Urban Clan of Genghis Khan
National Geographic, October 2011
An influx of nomads has turned Mongolia’s capital upside down.
The Coming Storm: Bangladesh
National Geographic, May 2011
The people of Bangladesh have much to teach us about how a crowded planet can best adapt to rising sea levels. For them, that future is now.
Parting the Waters: the Jordan River
National Geographic, April 2010
A source of conflict between Israel and its neighbors for decades, the Jordan River is now depleted by drought, pollution, and overuse. Could the fight to save it forge a path toward peace?
The Holy Land Today
National Geographic, December 2009
Geographic overview of a land still in turmoil.
National Geographic, November 2009
Poised to play a pivotal new role in the Middle East, Syria struggles to escape its dark past.
The Forgotten Faithful
National Geographic, June 2009
Followers of Jesus for nearly 2,000 years, Arab Christians today are disappearing from the land where their faith was born.
India’s Fast Lane to the Future
National Geographic, October 2008
A new superhighway linking its four major ciites is bringing old and new India into jarring proximity.
Struggle for the Soul of Pakistan
National Geographic, September 2007
Sixty years after its founding as a homeland for India’s Muslims, Pakistan straddles the fault line between moderate and militant Islam. Its dilemma is a cautionary tale for the post-9/11 world.
A Geographic Life
National Geographic, August 2006
Some people dream of exotic adventures with National Geographic. Thomas J. Abercrombie lived that dream.
Lawrence of Arabia: A Hero’s Journey
National Geographic, January 1999
Leading a personal crusade for Arab independence, British scholar and intelligence officer T.E. Lawrence altered the course of history and helped to shape the modern Middle East. Though an enigma to himself and others, Lawrence was lionized during World War I as the “uncrowned king of Arabia.”
Created for a series of Writing Workshops at the Chautauqua Institution, these eBooks draw from Don’s National Geographic articles as examples of two general types of assignments: Reporting on Water and Environmental Issues and Reporting from Conflict Zones.
Wet Boots, Dry Notebook: Jordan River; Bangladesh; Russian Arctic science; Petra; Russia’s Lake Baikal; Baja California; the Chattooga River.
Fault Lines & Field Notes: Pakistan; Syria; Arab Christians; India; Israel’s Galilee.