Susan West Welcomed as Executive Editor

The Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERNnews) is pleased to announce Susan West as its new Executive Editor. Since 1995, West’s consulting company, West Gold Editorial, has helped launch and improve publications and websites including Dwell, Cooking Light,, and Discovery Communications. West has been the founding editor in chief of travel magazine Afar, executive editor of Smithsonian, and a co-founder of Health.

To date, West has served on FERNnews’ editorial board and edited several stories, including As Common As Dirt, an investigation into farm labor contracting – a ubiquitous, but relatively unknown, practice – which often blatantly disregards labor laws governing wages, safety and health, and Milk and Water Don’t Mix, a deep dive into dairy pollution and water quality in New Mexico. She most recently edited Michelle’s Moves, which examines first lady Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign.

“FERN is lucky to have West as part of our team,” said Sam Fromartz, FERNnews’ Editor-in-Chief. “She’s a seasoned editor who has worked with several of our up-and-coming reporters. She brings a wealth of experience to our tasks of story development, editing and building out our editorial organization.”

A longtime science writer, West started her career covering geology and geophysics, climate change, the environment, and health topics at Science News and Science 80 magazines. Her work as an editor has earned four National Magazine Awards and a gold for best magazine from the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism awards.