Gwen Gray Schwartz This blog's author
Gwen Gray Schwartz
This blog’s author

I’m a writing professor at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio.  In our writing major, I teach creative nonfiction and science writing, as well as fieldwork as research for writers, rhetorical grammar, and an intro course in creative writing.

This blog’s purpose is to capture research moments on a 6-month sabbatical journey I’m taking with my family across the U.S. and Canada, examining the complexities between energy progress and land preservation, so that others interested in or concerned about energy developments and/or the process of writing nonfiction can learn with me and share their own research.

I’ll be talking to people who are affiliated with the energy industry: officials, rig workers, trench diggers, flaggers, union hires, engineers, land “men” and so on. I’ll also be talking to people who live and work in the affected areas and have things to say about this “progress”–both pro-development and pro-preservation.  These folks might be local diner staff and patrons, bookstore owners, residents, city officials, librarians, biologists, joggers, rangers, soccer moms and dads, and so forth.

At Grand Teton NP, Summer 2014. Photo Credit: Julia Schwartz
At Grand Teton NP, Summer 2014. Photo Credit: Julia Schwartz

I’m not an environmental scientist, nor an engineer, nor an energy official. I do have a good ear and a brain willing to learn.  I’m a writer who’s collecting stories and perspective for a series of essays on the complexity behind energy developments.  While you’ll have to wait for the essays, I hope you find the raw footage entertaining and educational.

This site is for anyone who is interested in how one writer’s nonfiction research works. Fieldwork is messy and fun and scary–and it’s just the first step in a long process that leads to an essay or a book.  But what’s fun about fieldwork is that the stories just appear if you let them.  I try to model this attitude to the college students who take science writing or creative nonfiction with me, and this blog is for anyone who’s interested in writing and/or energy issues.

My family has the fun travel/camping/adventure blog: nationalparksadventure.wordpress.com–where we’re writing in with some of the interesting things we encounter along the way.  Check it out if you’d like.

A note about images: I’ll be posting pictures I take along the way and images from some of the published research I find. When I post an image that I did not create, I’ll include a caption and the site where I found it, as I respect the energy required to create art of all sorts. I will not provide any attribution for my own photos, but I do ask that if you re-post any of them, please provide a photo credit to me.

I’d love your feedback if you read some of my posts.

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