Erikasummerheadshot2-1024x681.jpg
 

ABOUT ERIKA

Storytelling is looking someone in the eye and making a human connection. And then another, and another. And another. It is the best way I know to feel a little less alone in this world, and I strive as a journalist, a yoga teacher and human to build more of those connections. 

I've spent most of my career as a reporter on the East Coast, but my heart has always been in the West. In 2017, I returned to my home state of Oregon, after my father was diagnosed with dementia. I now live in Portland, Ore., with my husband and our dog, Mojie, in a 118-year-old foursquare house with a bright pink door. 

I'm currently writing Windfall, a narrative nonfiction memoir set on the prairies of North Dakota. Windfall starts with a mysterious email that arrives from my mother shortly before her death, saying she'd inherited mineral rights. I set out at the height of the oil boom to unearth the story behind the bequest, still grieving my mother’s death and trying to have a child of my own.

When I'm not reporting or writing, you'll find me on my yoga mat or teaching a yoga class. To me, yoga and journalism are both about spreading light, shifting perspective and above all, making human connections.  

A little more about me….

I most recently wrote about climate change adaptation in the United States for E&E’s Climatewire. I traveled the country covering the intersection of politics, science, business and culture, with an emphasis on how people across America are coping with climate change in their neighborhoods. 

Before that, I was a reporter in the McClatchy Washington Bureau, where I wrote about environmental issues and served as the Washington correspondent for the Miami Herald. I also spent four years in the bureau covering Washington for the Anchorage Daily News and the Idaho Statesman. My work on the Larry Craig scandal for the Statesman was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news.

I'll always have a fond spot for news from Florida, where I was a reporter at the Miami Herald for seven years. There, I covered politics, the state legislature, local government and hurricanes — including Hurricane Katrina from New Orleans. I learned my craft from patient editors at the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C., and The Item in Sumter, S.C.