John Nielsen covers environmental issues for NPR. His reports air regularly on NPR's award-winning news magazines, All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition. He also prepares documentaries for the NPR/National Geographic Radio Expeditions series, which is heard regularly on Morning Edition. Nielsen also occasionally serves as the substitute host for several NPR News programs.
During his years with NPR, Nielsen has reported on a wide range of topics, including the environmental records of the last three U.S. presidents; changing world population trends; repeated attempts to limit suburban sprawl; socially divisive water shortages in the Middle East; allegations of "toxic racism" in the United States; rhinoceros relocation efforts in the lowland forests of Nepal; and attempts to track and cope with the West Nile virus, toxic algal blooms, environmental problems related to economic globalization, and the causes of global climate change.
Before joining NPR in 1990, Nielsen was a Knight Fellow in the Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to that, he worked for the Los Angeles Times, The Orange County Register, and the Salisbury (North Carolina) Evening Post.
Nielsen's Condor: To the Brink and Back--The Life and Times of One Giant Bird (HarperCollins) was published in 2006 and is out in paperback in March 2007. The book focuses on the long-running fight to save the California condor, a giant rare vulture that used to be common near his childhood home, the tiny town of Piru, California.
Nielsen's freelance work has been published in a variety of newspapers and magazines. He has lectured at the University of Utah, Princeton University, and Yale University. In 2005 he was awarded the Science Journalism Award for Excellence in Radio Reporting by the American Association fo the Advnacement of Science.
He is a graduate of Stanford University, where he studied Shakespeare. Nielsen has three children and lives in Washington, DC.