Kim O’Connell

Kim OConnell Head Shot Square.jpg

Kim O’Connell

Based in Arlington, Virginia, Kim writes about conservation, restoration, sustainability, history, design, education and parenting, and other topics. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Ladies Home Journal, Babble, National Parks, and National Wildlife, among other publications and literary journals. She has been selected as an artist-in-residence for Acadia National Park and Shenandoah National Park and has received both a grant and research fellowship from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. She teaches in the Johns Hopkins University Master’s in Science Writing program.

Some of Kim O’Connell’s Work

Science to Design

Landscape Architecture

This is a profile of Biohabitats, a Baltimore-based ecological restoration firm doing important work around the country. I traveled to five cities to report on this story, which took me from a revitalized former dredge dumping ground along Lake Erie to a reclaimed landfill in New York City to a once-dead wastewater treatment lagoon in Portland that is now a haven for migrating birds.

The Perfume of the Dying

Ars Medica: A Journal of Medicine, The Arts and Humanities

This personal essay details my experience of being with my aunt as she was dying, and how the sensory aspects of the experience opened a door to greater understanding and appreciation for my long and sometimes difficult relationship with her.

A 3-year-old suddenly stopped talking. How mom helped him find his voice.

The Washington Post

This is a reported essay about my son’s experience with selective mutism, a rare childhood anxiety disorder, and how it was treated. The piece includes research and interviews with a specialist in selective mutism and another parent whose child has the condition. The print edition of the story appeared “above the fold” on the front page of the Post’s Health and Science section.

Light That Protects the Night


This design and technology publication often runs articles related to science. This piece details how scientists and lighting experts are working together to influence the building industry to choose products that are better for people and animals and limit light pollution.

More samples of Kim’s work can be found at

Kim O’Connell