Editorial Staff Bios
Mark Ohrenschall is Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of NewsData LLC. He oversees the company's editorial content and services, as well as strategic planning, business development and client/external communications. He also plays a leading role in marketing, subscription and other issues. Mark previously served as Executive Editor/Associate Publisher, and before that, as Editor of NewsData's Con.WEB and Conservation Monitor newsletters. Prior to moving to the Northwest and joining NewsData in 1991, Mark worked as an award-winning editor and reporter for several Colorado newspapers, after graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in history. A resident of suburban Seattle, Mark enjoys family time with his wife Janice, daughter Rachel and son Willie; serving on the Kenmore Planning Commission; reading; novice birding; golf; and other sports and recreation pursuits.
Steve Ernst has been covering energy policy and resource development in the Pacific Northwest since 1999. In 2003, he joined Energy NewsData, for which he currently edits Clearing Up and previously edited Energy Prospects West until its completion in 2014. Prior to his tenure with NewsData, Steve covered venture capital, technology, energy and sports business for the Puget Sound Business Journal in Seattle. His work has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists and has appeared in MSNBC.com, Seattle Weekly and the Associated Press. In 2000, he was a fellow with the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources. He has also moderated panels on regional and national energy policy, and has been a guest speaker on local radio stations. Steve lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.
Rick Adair has been news editor for Clearing Up since 2003. His duties include making sense of dozens of complex utility and court cases in play during any given week, and helping to maintain Clearing Up's high editorial standards. His prior experience includes covering the utility, science and environment beats of a biweekly newspaper at Lake Tahoe, where his work won several Nevada statewide awards. Before turning to journalism, Rick earned geophysics degrees from the University of California, Berkeley (B.A.) and University of California, San Diego (Ph.D.). His research and engineering work touched on earthquakes, geothermal prospects, oil/gas hydraulic fracturing, advanced sonar, and processing Mars and lunar images. He has written and edited elementary and high school science-reference books.
K.C. Mehaffey came to Clearing Up in February 2018, jumping at the opportunity to delve into fish- and environment-related topics. She spent the previous 20 years at a small, independent daily newspaper--The Wenatchee World--where she covered the environment, health and many other beats. She grew up in New Hampshire and spent a year in Ireland before finding her way to Indiana University, Bloomington, where she got a B.A. in journalism and minored in biological sciences. Thirty years into her career, an opening at Clearing Up gave her the chance to come back to her science background. K.C. lives and works from her home in Twisp. When she's not working, she thoroughly enjoys hiking and snowshoeing; reading and relaxing; yoga and meditation; and the company of her family--her adult children Samantha and Joe, and her husband, Jim.
Dan Catchpole joined Clearing Up in 2017, where he covers Montana, Idaho, the Mid-C utilities, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, energy storage, and myriad other subjects. He has been hooked on journalism ever since he interviewed Muhammad Ali for his high school newspaper. He comes to NewsData with more than a decade of experience as a journalist, mostly working in daily newsrooms. Prior to joining Clearing Up, he covered Boeing and the aerospace industry for The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington. He also has worked overseas as a stringer for the Christian Science Monitor and The Washington (D.C.) Times, and did a stint with the Associated Press. Catchpole grew up just outside Boston. He earned his B.A. degree in international studies from the University of Washington. Now, he lives in Seattle with his wife and three children. With three young kids, he does not remember what hobbies he likes.
Interim Editor Jason Fordney is a veteran energy journalist, focused on the California ISO and emerging Western energy markets. He has more than 20 years of experience at leading global and national publishers and is a former editor and reporter at McGraw-Hill/Platts, Argus Media, RTO Insider, IO Energy and The Energy Daily. Born in Southeast Asia to parents working for the U.S. State Department, he grew up at too many overseas posts to mention. Jason graduated from James Madison University in Virginia and then felt the gravitational pull of Washington, D.C. Now settled in Northern California, he enjoys exploring the Sierra Nevada mountains with his wife and young daughter, studying U.S. history, cycling, music and photography.
Kavya Balaraman covers the California Public Utilities Commission and PG&E Corp. for California Energy Markets. Prior to this, she was a reporting fellow with E&E News in Washington, D.C., where she wrote about climate change-related policy, impacts and scientific research. She graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and has spent four years researching and reporting on environmental issues like water scarcity and waste management in Bangalore, India.
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