a selection of published papers, essays, and other short works


Sandra’s collected EcoWatch columns are here.

Sandra’s Orion Magazine pieces are here.

Sandra’s Huffington Post articles are here.


Coffee in Jail

September 15th, 2013

“THERE IS NO COFFEE in the Chemung County Jail.

There used to be coffee. Also parenting classes, drug counseling, and the opportunity to purchase, from the jailhouse commissary, packages of new underwear—as a private alternative to the holey, bloodstained, ratty-ass drawers that are standard issue.” Read the ORION article

Guest Viewpoint: Pa. County Shows Possible Dangers of Fracking

September 6th, 2013

Co-founders of Concerned Health Professionals of New York, Steingraber and Dr. Kathleen Nolan discuss early results from a Washington County, PA on-the-ground health assessment. Read the Article

Illinois, Say No to Fracking

May 23rd, 2013

In this piece in the State Journal-Register, Steingraber says, “Illinois, find your voice. Your soil, rivers and underground aquifers are worth so much more than the fossilized vapors in your rocks, which, if cashed out, will bring temporary riches for a few and risk permanent ruin for many.” Read the Article

The Discontent of Our Winter

May 15th, 2013

“MY CHILDREN have snow anxiety. For the record, this started in the winter of 2011–12 when no snow fell—at all—and sleds, saucers, skis, and snowball makers sat dejectedly on the porch, unused, next to the irrelevant and despondent snow shovel. Week after week, month after month, Faith and Elijah scanned the skies and studied the forecast. When June-like temperatures hit in March, the sight of the toboggan filled them with so much despair that they wordlessly dragged it back to the barn and put it in storage.” Read the ORION article and listen to special audio

Washington Post Letter to the Editor, in Response to “A Breakthrough on Fracking”

March 31st, 2013

Together with Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, Steingraber writes, “The suggestion that environmental groups should ‘accept that the country is fracking’ and give up on resisting this highly toxic method of drilling for natural gas is like accepting tobacco and offering smokers filtered cigarettes.” Read the article

The Silence of Science

January 15th, 2013

“The last time I thought about the possible crimes of a Methodist minister, I was a teenager. The minister in question was the one who sent shivers of Holy Spirit zinging through the pews of our church every Sunday. The accusation: adultery. More or less simultaneously, charges were leveled at my school principal over an incident involving an undercover drug agent, and the president of the United States was revealed to be surrounded by burglars and plumbers. Thus were the heads of my church, school, and country laid low.” Read the ORION article

No Compromise on NY Fracking Health Impact Assessment

October 3rd, 2012

Steingraber and Dr. Kathleen Nolan of Catskill Mountainkeeper outline the case for a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to determine what high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing would mean for the health of New Yorkers. Read the Article

The Fracking of Rachel Carson

September 15th, 2012

“Rachel Carson, the ecologist who kicked the hornet’s nest, wrote a book that needed no subtitle. Published fifty years ago this September, Silent Spring rocketed to the top of the bestseller list, prompted a meeting with the president’s science advisers, occasioned congressional hearings, and circled her neck with medals of honor. It also let loose swarms of invective from the pesticide industry. Throughout it all, Carson remained calm. Friends and foes alike praised her graceful comportment and gentle voice. Also, her stylish suits and trim figure. Nevertheless, her various publicity photos (with microscope; in the woods; outside her summer cottage in Maine; at home in Maryland) look as if the same thought bubble hovers above them all: I hate this.” Read the ORION article

Sand County, the Sequel

May 15th, 2012

“ALDO LEOPOLD was a righteous man—in a midwestern sort of way. When it came to nature, he disapproved of “tinkerings,” as when domestic species are substituted for wild ones, and he advised against “readjustments” of the land’s circulatory system. In fact, he insisted calmly, the land should be appraised not as a commodity but as a living community that commands our respect because it is the source of both human culture and human freedom.” Read the ORION article

Household Tips from Warrior Mom!

September 15th, 2011

“A DECADE AGO, I published a book about the links between chemical exposures and cancer. The research for it required four years, two postdoctoral fellowships, and fluency with Freedom of Information Act requests. I attended workshops on cluster analysis and taught myself molecular epidemiology. I made field trips to cancer laboratories, studied tumor patterns among wildlife populations, and rode a cable down a three-hundred-foot shaft to look at groundwater. When the writing was all done, I helped prepare the publicity materials, which, among other things, claimed that my book was the first to bring together data on toxic releases with data from U.S. cancer registries. No one had attempted that before. It was a big book.” Read the ORION article