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

Hi – My name is Michelle Baker, and I’m the Conservation Writing Pro.

I earned my PhD from the Catholic University of America in 2008 in post-modern British literature, a fact that is almost completely irrelevant to much of the work I do today, with one exception –

I love language.

That’s why it breaks my heart to see so many skilled professionals struggling with it. Language shouldn’t be a barrier between you and the work you do. It should be a vehicle. Like a shiny red sports car, it should take you where you need to go, effortlessly and with style.

In 2007, I started contracting with the National Conservation Training Center, the campus for Fish and Wildlife Service scientists near my home in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Nestled between the Potomac River and the Blue Ridge mountains of my youth, there at the NCTC I discovered that I had a gift for making the writing process clear to subject matter experts.

So I applied the training I received as a teaching assistant at the Catholic University of America and the work I did as an adjunct instructor at Shepherd University, developed courses–like Argument for Scientists, Writing with Clarity, and Keys to Effective Editing–wrote a book (Writing in the Environmental Sciences: A Seven-Step Guide, Cambridge UP, 2017), and Conservation Writing Pro was born.

I work primarily as a trainer, offering courses to government agencies and non-governmental organizations who want to write stronger, more defensible documents, and who want to develop a community of practice that will nurture and celebrate their writers. I also work as a freelance editor. In fact, in the past 3 years, I’ve edited more than 500 journal articles! And I continue to write. I’m currently working on my second book, Argument for Environmental Scientists.

I still read avidly. I love football–both the NFL and the real kind.  I’m an amateur birder with a tiny little life list (I’ll get to 200 one day soon), and I love my rescue dog Amelia, a collie-German shepherd mix who has a story all her own!

And you? What is it about you that I need to know? What are your needs, problems, or questions? Let me know, because I’m here to help!

All my best –

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