Marissa Fessenden is a freelance science journalist and illustrator. They gravitate toward stories about genes, wildlife and places large and small, as well as times when art gets science-y or science gets artsy. Their work has appeared in Nature, Scientific American, Smithsonian Magazine, The Scientist magazine, online at Spectrum News, the Daily Dot, ScienceNOW, the SETI Institute’s podcast “Big Picture Science,” and other places. They wrote for Smithsonian.com’s SmartNews and regularly contribute to the site’s “Art Meets Science” series.
Marissa’s pronouns are they/them/theirs. In their free time, they hike, hunt, fish, sketch, climb trees and rocks and grow food. They live in Bozeman, Montana, near Yellowstone National Park’s northern entrance. In this photo they are hiking across the Beartooth Plateau in Northwestern Wyoming, packing out sections of ancient whitebark pine trees during a reporting trip. Photo credit goes to Sarah Jane Keller.