What is Dave Lawrence?
I am a bit difficult to describe. I am a journalist, author of two books (Upheaval from the Abyss: Ocean Floor Mapping and the Earth Science Revolution, published by Rutgers University Press in 2002; and Huntington's Disease, published by Chelsea House in 2009), and scientist. My education is diverse, ranging from biology, ecology, and geography to journalism. I have taught biology, geography, and related subjects at several colleges in the Richmond, Va., area; now I teach journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University.
My journalistic specialties are a rather odd combination of science and sports writing. In addition to my book, my writing has appeared in publications such as The Science of Dune: An Unauthorized Exploration into the Real Science Behind Frank Herbert’s Fictional Universe and The Science of Michael Crichton: An Unauthorized Exploration into the Real Science behind the Fictional Worlds of Michael Crichton (both published by BenBella Books in 2008), the magazines Geotimes (now Earth), The Lancet, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Mercator's World (sadly, no longer with us), and Vegetarian Times; in encyclopedias such as the Encyclopedia of the Developing World, the Encyclopedia of Genetics, the International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Magill's Encyclopedia of Science: Plant Life, Magill's Medical Guide, and the World History Encyclopedia; in newspapers such as The (Charlottesville, Va.) Daily Progress, The (Newport News, Va.) Daily Press, the Miami Herald, the (Parsippany, N.J.) Daily Record, the (Petersburg, Va.) Progress-Index, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, The (Shreveport, La.) Times, The Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat, and the (Norfolk, Va.) Virginian-Pilot; and on radio programs Our Ocean World and MicrobeWorld.
For several years I have worked to promote literacy and literature in the Richmond, Va., metropolitan area. I have served as a member of the board of directors of James River Writers, a non-profit organization that has organized the annual James River Writers Conference at the Library of Virginia. James River Writers is involved in other activities in which aspiring writers get to mix with professional writers and performers to learn the craft of writing, as well as to practice it (if they dare).
As a scientist, my interests began primarily in biogeography and forest ecology, with an emphasis on using tree-ring analysis to tackle questions regarding the distribution and environmental history of tree species. I have since added freshwater and marine ecology to my interests. Over the years I have worked as a consultant to the Environmental Protection Agency and the USDA Forest Service, and as a staff member of Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. My academic writing has appeared in the Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, the Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Tree-Ring Research, and the Virginia Journal of Science.
Personally, I'm more than a bit of a flake. My private interests are as diverse as my professional ones, including music (pretty much anything but elevator music), writing (of course, just don't ask me how far I've come with my screenplays or novel), photography, fishing (I've finally learned to fly fish), scuba diving, hiking, genealogy, and more other things than any sensible person could cram into one lifetime.