Jennie Lay writes from her off-the-grid log cabin at the rural edge of Steamboat Springs, a Colorado mountain community where skiing cowboys and hot springs set an inevitable trap for ski bums more than a century ago. Soon after college, Jennie too was lured by these natural wonders and boundless year-round adventures. She arrived for one winter of telemark turns and never left.
Jennie has written and reported on energy, the environment, land conservation, sustainable living and eating, the nuclear West, wildlife, art and culture, outdoor adventure and far-flung travel. Her work appears in High Country News, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Scuba Diving, Yoga Journal, Wilderness, Ski Magazine, 5280 and other publications. She brings her talents as a writer and editor to our communications endeavors, including travel tales she shares on Good Nature, the official travel blog of Nat Hab and WWF.
On past assignments, Jennie scuba dived with sharks in Denver’s aquarium, raced go-karts against real-life race car drivers, learned to surf with female pros in Mexico, practiced yoga on the rooftops of Marrakech, skied the Great Sand Dunes, explored the reefs of Turks & Caicos and tracked reintroduced lynx through the Rockies. Off the clock, she has spent her honeymoon trekking in Nepal and Tibet, danced her heart out in Guinean villages, hiked Swiss high routes, explored tropical paradises from Honduras to Vietnam to Hawaii, and communed with a Bengal tiger in India.
Jennie grew up in Los Angeles and earned a B.A. in political science from the University of California Berkeley, then a master’s in journalism, plus a graduate interdisciplinary certificate in environmental policy, from the University of Colorado Boulder. She spent a decade editing for Steamboat Magazine, a beautiful publication that looks at the environment, culture, lifestyle and recreation in northwest Colorado. Before that, she covered arts, entertainment and county politics for her hometown newspaper. And before becoming a journalist, she worked as a land trust grant writer, radio DJ, concierge, camp counselor and
Jennie’s passion for adventure is matched by her deep sense of awe for wild landscapes. On the heels of transformative visits with Churchill’s magnificent polar bears, the Galapagos Islands' bounty of endemic species and the mighty grizzly bears that roam the Katmai coast, she revels in sharing the diverse stories of Nat Hab’s conservation-minded wildlife expeditions. After her journey to East Greenland, she ponders the possibility that the dictionary definition of wilderness should just say Greenland, and wonders how she'll ever amass fierce enough words to relay the commanding presence of all that ice. Newton, a handsome bright-orange retriever, is her snuggly office companion and trusty trailmate who promises to hang close through the entire creative process.