Michelle Baker, the Conservation Writing Pro–teaching, writing, and editing so environmental scientists can communicate more clearly!

Hello and welcome, to the place where you the writer are nurtured and celebrated, even if you’ve never thought of yourself as a writer.

I understand that you’re an environmental scientist. But you write, a LOT. And as a writer, you face a host of seemingly insurmountable challenges. First you must condense reams of technical data into a few paragraphs of language that can be easily digested by a lay audience. Then there is the multitude of audiences to consider – solicitors, legislators, economists, NGOs – and that’s oftentimes after the document passes through layers of internal review from managers who all seem to want something different.

Michelle Baker is an amazing writing instructor and her love of scientific writing is simply infectious. Even if you don’t have an inner grammar-geek, Michelle will be sure to make you laugh as you learn the difference between affect and effect. Since completing two classes with Michelle (Arguments for Scientists and Keys to Effective Editing), I feel more confident in my writing, my writing assignments are more easily managed and I’m able to produce more informative documents with fewer reviews. I highly recommend her classes and only wish I had taken them earlier in my career.

~MJ Mazurek, Brown Treesnake Program Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Office


You have to work within the confines of templates and regulations that feel like they’re working against the data, not with it. Climate change is a perpetual, thorny topic. And the Plain Writing Act of 2010 ironically adds another layer of complexity to the process.

Finally, you weren’t trained for this. You’re a scientist, not a writer. You may not know a dangling modifier from a restrictive clause. But increasingly, you find yourself wrestling sentences instead of critters.

That’s where I come in.

My name is Michelle Baker, and I’m the Conservation Writing Pro. I’m here to offer you the training you require to excel in your chosen profession. And I’m here to help you share resources with other professional writers like you.

My English PhD from the Catholic University of America included training in classical and modern rhetoric, composition theory, and the pedagogy of composition. That means I know how language works from the inside out.

I thought Michelle was fantastic … Fun, engaging, relatable, inspiring. I’m not sure the class would be the same without her. … Michelle has a talent for relating to and inspiring students.

From 2000 to 2010, I taught college students how to write, both as a teaching assistant at the Catholic University of America and as an adjunct instructor at Shepherd University. But perhaps more importantly, in 2007 I helped instructors with the Fish and Wildlife Service design a class called Critical Writing Critical Thinking.

As soon as I met you, I realized how my training and experience could best be used. I understand your plight. And I can help you de-mystify the writing process with tools and steps for every challenge you face.

You’re here because you realize that communication is key. I’m here to help. So where do you want to start?

Learn more about the training I offer.

 Check out my book!
Writing in the Environmental Sciences: A Seven-Step Guide

See the resources I recommend.

And please, feel free to contact me directly. I look forward to helping you solve some of the challenges you face as a writer.

L. Michelle Baker, PhD
The Conservation Writing Pro
~Communication, the key to conservation~
304 283 4573

Here are a few of the government agencies I have worked with:

Hoopa Valley Tribe

Hoopa Valley Tribe


West Virginia Department of Natural Resources


United States Fish and Wildlife Service


United States Department of Agriculture – Animal Plant and Health Inspection Services


United States Coast Guard


National Wildlife Refuge System


National Park Service


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


General Services Administration


Environmental Protection Agency


United States Department of the Interior


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation


Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora


United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation


Bureau of Land Management

Alaska DNR

Alaska Department of Natural Resources


Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission


Wyoming State Engineer’s Office


United States Geological Survey