For about page
Elizabeth McGowan receives Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2013; New York City.

Welcome readers. I’ve devoted most of my reporting career delving into energy, environmental and conservation topics at the local, national and international level. These days, I dedicate much of my freelance reporting time to the Energy News Network, where I cover the transition to clean energy.

More recently, I opted to “step out from behind the notebook” and tell a personal story that began taking shape after I bicycled and camped across the country during three months in the year 2000. The result? My book, Outpedaling ‘The Big C’: My Healing Cycle Across America, released in late 2020 by Bancroft Press in Baltimore.

Initially, I organized the solo trek I named “Heals on Wheels” to celebrate being five years cancer-free and raise money for melanoma research. However, it evolved into a force far beyond a mere tour of the nation’s blue highways.

That prompted me to take scary leap of transforming the journals from my adventure into a memoir. It  chronicles not only the landscapes I pedaled through and the array of characters that inhabit them, but also my 11-year escapade with melanoma treatments and how riding gave me the courage to rediscover my complex and explosive father. He died of melanoma when I was just 15.   

The only other book I had published was an e-book that packaged my groundbreaking dispatches from Kalamazoo, Mich., as a staff writer for a then-tiny digital news startup, InsideClimate News. “The Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You Never Heard Of” won the Rachel Carson Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists.

My original on-the-ground reporting, published as a series of InsideClimate News articles, won a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.

I began my career at daily newspapers and have been a staff writer for numerous publications. My freelance articles have appeared in the pages of: Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, Yale Environment 360, Grist, E/The Environmental Magazine; Washingtonian magazine; Intelligent Utility magazine; the journal Appalachia; Nature Conservancy magazine, and many other outlets.

When I’m not hovering over a keyboard, I’m usually exploring the outdoors as a bicyclist, backpacker, day hiker or amateur ecologist. One of my rewarding joys is removing invasive plant species from preserves and parks to clear the way for native trees and vegetation to reclaim their space.

I grew up in New England and have lived in a handful of states since graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. Washington, D.C. has been my home since 2001.