I'm developed and taught the first Massive Open Online Class (MOOC) at UMass Amherst in 2013.

mooc illustration

Building a Basic Website ran during the Summer of 2013 and covered basic design principles, HTML5, CSS, modifying templates, working with images, adding jQuery plugins and more. The custom syllabus and course design and production came from my experience developing and teaching Web Design for Journalists at UMass Amherst as well as my professional experience as a visual journalist and a web developer.

Philosophically, I loved creating a free, user-friendly depot for some basic skills that diverse groups of people want to know. As a journalist I talk big about open information and public education, and so I wanted to back it up with an open, high-quality course.

The illustration above is by Kim Rosen, and was commissioned for the MOOC. You can read more about the class in the Boston Globe's list of "most interesting" regional MOOCs and in the Hampshire Gazette's front page story.

I worked as a photojournalist in New York City, Montana, Pittsburgh and elsewhere.

  • farmers

    Starting in 2011, I have been photographing the culture of local farmers under 30. At left is a lunch break at Many Hands Farm in Amherst, and at right is the head of a cardinal killed by a cat at Brookfield Farm. An earlier version of the project had a gallery show at the Northampton Center for the Arts.

  • montana love

    Montana Love was my master's degree project at the University of Montana, and remains my favorite project I've ever done. It featured eighteen stories about love, relationships and sexuality in the Montana. The project won a national NPPA clip award for a multimedia project.

  • mt love 2

    Another photograph from Montana Love, this one from a story about a single rancher living alone on 40,000 acres.

  • borris

    This image is from a larger photo story about the Borris family in Ronan, Montana, in the wake of multiple suicides in their family. This is 9-year-old Kodi at a memorial service. Montana has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation. These images, along with a three part story I wrote, were published in New West.

  • borris

    Two more images from a three-part story on Suicide in the West published in New West.

  • sports

    At left is Ambridge's Brian Blum during a playoff loss, and at right is Jerome Bettis. Both sports pictures were shot for The Beaver County (Pa.) Times.

  • economy

    A picture shot for and published in the New York Daily News just after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

  • nesmith

    Images from a larger photo story for The Beaver County Times about a soldier returning from duty in the Iraq war while his brother was still serving. At left is his first moment home, at right a hug from a friend.

  • samten

    A portrait of Samten, a Tibetan refugee in New York City, taken for the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture.

  • window

    Workers install a stained glass window in the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan. Shot for the New York Daily News.

  • dixmont

    The Dixmont project was a yearlong photo essay on the past and present of an abandoned mental institution that ran in three parts in the Beaver County (Pa.) Times, my first employer. The essay won a first place regional NPPA clip.

I'm a journalist and I write about journalism.

As a journalist, my focus has been primarily visual, but I have written for many publications as part of a multimedia package. Those outlets include Quartz Magazine, where I published a piece in September 2013 making the practical case for better media design. I've also written and produced multimedia packages for the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Since 2007, I have written extensively about photojournalism. I've reported and written a piece for the NPPA on the Top Five Photojournalism Stories of 2012, and written pieces for News Photographer on subjects from 2008 election photojournalism to new approaches to photography online to the ethics and law of using visuals taken from social media.

Over the past few years I've written on other journalism subjects, too. They include Face Recognition Software, Visual Journalism and a Wary Public, An Ad Buyer's S.E.O. Advice for Online News Publishers, What the 'Ground Zero Mosque' Flap Says About the State of Journalism, and Can Bottled Water Save Journalism Online?

I teach at UMass Amherst and am the co-director of our Online Journalism Program.

My focus is visual storytelling, and I'm lucky to work with talented and enthusiastic students. Since joining the journalism faculty full-time in 2009, I've developed and taught courses in data journalism and visualization, web design and development, advanced photojournalism and video journalism. I've also taught sections of Introduction to Journalism, Introduction to Multimedia Reporting and Introduction to Digital Photojournalism. I designed and maintain the Journalism Department's website. On the first day of every semester I wear a tie, which my colleagues think is pretty funny.

Other teaching forays include working as a faculty member of ieiMedia's Perpignan Project in 2011, where additionally I built the study abroad program's website. In late 2010 I helped the National Press Photographers Association restart their Student Quarterly Clip Contest, which I have chaired ever since.

During the summer of 2013, I produced and taught the first MOOC at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Since 2006 I have been photographing Saturday Nights.

In January 2013, Flying Object hosted a solo gallery show of the project, curated by Soft Spot. You can hear a New England Public Radio story about it, and see a series of portraits I took opening night. The project is casually ongoing.

Stop by if you're ever in Northampton, Massachusetts. Otherwise, you can reach me by email.