Jay Withgott has authored Environment: The Science Behind the Stories as well as its brief version, Essential Environment, since their inception. In dedicating himself to these books, he works to keep abreast of a diverse and rapidly changing field and continually seeks to develop new and better ways to help today’s students learn environmental science. As a researcher, Jay has published scientific papers in ecology, evolution, animal behavior, and conservation biology in journals ranging from Evolution to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. As an instructor, he has taught university lab courses in ecology and other disciplines. As a science writer, he has authored articles for numerous journals and magazines including Science, New Scientist, BioScience, Smithsonian, and Natural History. By combining his scientific training with prior experience as a newspaper reporter and editor, he strives to make science accessible and engaging for general audiences. Jay holds degrees from Yale University, the University of Arkansas, and the University of Arizona. Jay lives with his wife, biologist Susan Masta, in Portland, Oregon.
Matthew Laposata is a professor of environmental science at Kennesaw State University (KSU). He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in biology from Bowling Green State University, and a doctorate in ecology from The Pennsylvania State University. Matt is the coordinator of KSU’s two-semester general education science sequence titled Science, Society, and the Environment, which enrolls roughly 6000 students per year. He focuses exclusively on introductory environmental science courses and has enjoyed teaching and interacting with thousands of students during his nearly two decades in higher education. He is an active scholar in environmental science education and has received grants from state, federal, and private sources to develop innovative curricular materials. His scholarly work has received numerous awards, including the Georgia Board of Regents’ highest award for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Matt resides in suburban Atlanta with his wife, Lisa, and children, Lauren, Cameron, and Saffron.