Fund journalists directly

Fund your favorite writers

Beacon empowers writers by letting you fund their work directly. That means you, the reader, decide which writers and stories get published instead of advertisers.

Support journalism around the world

There are hundreds of projects on Beacon that you can fund directly. We’ve made it easy to browse and search for topics you’ll love. With Beacon, you can enable journalism all around the world.

Pledge on your own terms

It’s easy to enable great journalism through one-time pledges or ongoing subscriptions. You can pay by credit card and cancel your subscriptions at any time.

Enjoy a clean, ad-free reading experience

Beacon was designed from the ground up to be a clean and simple reading experience that looks and feels great on any screen. It wasn’t easy, but trust us, it was worth it.

Wolves are reclaiming North America and Western Europe, but humans and wolves are still learning how to co-exist. Back me, and you’ll help me find out what wildness means in the 21st century.

Back this work
*This project was successfully funded.
★ DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT ★ A backer will match every dollar you pledge, up to $5,000 in total.

When you subscribe, you’ll get:

✓ Advance access to chapters of a book as I write them on the tension between managing wolves in humanized landscapes and our desire to keep them wild.

✓ Bonus materials that won’t appear in the book.

✓ Breaking news about wolves and wolf policy.

✓ Dispatches, photography and video from the field as I report on wolves in the wilderness and in developed lands.

✓ Access to every story, by every writer on Beacon.


Wolves are beginning to expand across landscapes where they have been gone for decades.

But the world changed while they were away. Today, wild wolves are bumping up against the tame landscape we’ve built in their absence, and scientists are just figuring out how much to let them cross boundaries.

How should wolves be kept away from livestock? What should be done if wolves mate with domestic dogs? How many wolves, if any, should we collar or otherwise track? Can wolves live near or even in cities?

My stories – which I will turn into a book – will use this tension to explore why and how humans continue to value wildness so highly in a world increasingly tamed, managed and humanized.

One wolf tracker I interviewed says, “I am not sure there is a place for the wolf except in the back of beyond. They are Pleistocene beasts. They will never be a crow or even a coyote, at home rustling through human trash at the edge of town.” What I want to know, what I still don’t know, is whether this is truth or legend talking. After all, from myth to fairy tales, the wolf is a potent and complex presence in human culture.

I plan to travel to visit wolves and the scientists who study them in Michigan, the Rockies, Canada, Europe and here in Oregon, where I live.


My main character will be a wolf: OR7.

OR7 became famous in 2011 when he left his pack in northeastern Oregon and walked over 1,000 miles to California, becoming the first wild wolf in the state since 1923. We know of his journey because government scientists had fitted him with a GPS-tracking collar as a young wolf. His long jaunt became a spectator sport and he became an unwitting celebrity. Recently, he found a mate and had pups, becoming Alpha male of the first wolf pack on the West Coast.

Collared but free, protected by humans but unaware of them, famous but hidden, this pack contains all the contradictions of the 21st century wild wolf.


As a backer, you will help me:

✓ Visit field sites where wolf research is underway and report on those projects from the ground.

✓ Attend conferences where experts share the latest findings in wolf biology, ecology, and policy.

✓ Carve out time to focus on the project and put the weekly freelance hustle on hold.

✓ Purchase a video camera.

(Image sources, from top to bottom: Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, ODFW, USFWS and Flickr/Bob Wick, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, California)

Back this project →

Olive Heffernan

Anastasia Green

Janette Marie Hursh

Brandon Keim

Andrew Case

Brandon Keim

Anne Wenzel

Dan Mullen

Jennifer Welchman

Thomas Johnston

Fabiana Fonseca-Galea

Kathlyn Lamoure

Craig Briscoe

Pat Kennedy

Bradford McKee

katherine mechling

Håkon B. Stokland

Helen McCauslin

Joseph Heffernan

Arthur Middleton

Kate Gammon

Chris Luecke

Lindsey Davis

Emily Sohn

Alison Fromme

Heidi Ledford

David Cyranoski

Kendall Powell

Dmitri Cherniak

Richard Van Noorden

Oliver Morton

Amanda Mascarelli

Abhijit Bhelande

Hiddo Huitzing

Jessica Marshall

anne sasso

Grzegorz Mikusinski

Timothy John Barlow

Jon Geselle

Shayna Rohwer

Jon Turney

Michelle Nijhuis

Lindsay Borthwick

Rachael Seevers

Lidia del Rio

Valeria Salvatori

Susannah Sayler

James Scott

Eric Higgs

Suzanne Fouty

Bill Loftus

Larry Perez

Bo Kim-Kopec

Adam Barclay

Bryn Nelson

Douglas Corbin

Megan Draheim

Paul Voosen

Apoorva Mandavilli Easdon

Thomas Levenson

Matthew Kauffman

tom sparks

Emily Tracy-Smith

Hallie Neupert

T. DeLene Beeland

Ned Hettinger

Nathanael Johnson

Claudine Wallace

Catherine Marie Simpson

Matt Barker

Nick Wenner

Mary Colwell-Hector

Lon Ingram

joseph fitzsimons

Finn Arne Jørgensen

Meredith Cornett

Patrick Dwyer

Sean Gerrity

Noah Theriault

Adam Aston

Nik Janos

Mary Ann Crayton

daniel j tomascheski

M. E. Braun

Bill Allen

Mary Perkins

Roland (Rocky) Barker

Joan Blaustein

Julie Fechner

Richard Hobbs

Harry Greene

Neil LaRubbio

Sarah Webb

Cameron Walker

Jeanne Erdmann

Emiko Paul

Susan Moran

Kit Stolz

Ruchira Shah

Catherine Bohn

Plus 35 others who want to read stories about Wild Wolves in the 21st Century

Thanks so much for helping me get to 100%!

July 31, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Dear Backers,

Thanks so much everyone, for subscribing to this project. I know some of you very well; others of you are new to me. I hope you’ll enjoy my work. Please feel free to comment on stories and contact me directly about what you’d like to know more about or with other feedback. I am really looking forward to the interactivity of this model of journalism and I hope we can create a community and together explore ideas about wildness, wildlife and the meaning of the wolf in contemporary culture. I’ll be in touch more on how to get directly in touch with me to talk about my stories and provide me with feedback.

Now that I’ve been funded, my work will also reach the rest of Beacon’s readers, no matter to whom they initially subscribed. (You’ll have access to the rest of Beacon’s content as well.) And my stories need not stay isolated. If you share them on social media, those who click through will be able to read them in their entirety. So do feel free to share widely!

My first story will be an essay that will serve as an introduction to my current thinking about the paradox of “wildlife management.” This should be posted in about a week. Then I’ll launch into reporting on new science and social developments, Q&A’s with experts and short bulletins on breaking wolf news.

Thanks so much again for joining me on this journey and making it possible!



2 days to go!

July 29, 2014 at 1:39 am

Hi everyone,

Thanks again for continuing to support and share ‘Wild Wolves in the 21st Century.’ Emma is so close to meeting her goal and cannot move forward with this project unless it is 100% funded.

With just 2 days left in the campaign, if you could share the project page (http://www.beaconreader.com/projects/wild-wolves-in-the-21st-century) with just one other interested family member or friend, she can meet her goal and pursue this reporting.

This means so much to us and to Emma as well. We appreciate you and your support!


The Beacon Team

8 days to go and almost there!

July 23, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your continued support of Wild Wolves of the 21st Century. The Beacon Team cannot wait to see the work that Emma is putting together for this extraordinary project.

Emma is so close to meeting her goal but can’t do it without your help! If you could share the project page (http://www.beaconreader.com/projects/wild-wolves-in-the-21st-century) with just one other interested family member or friend, she can meet her goal in the next 8 days.

Thanks for your association with Beacon, we appreciate you supporting the talented writers on our site.


The Beacon Team

We are off to a great start!

July 14, 2014 at 5:39 am

Hi everyone,

Wow, we are off to such a great start as we are more than halfway to our $5,000 goal. I really appreciate all the support and kind words.

As we continue the momentum on the campaign, it would help me so much if you could share the page with interested family and friends. A little help goes a long way and the more you share, the more people can find out about Wild Wolves in the 21st Century.

I’ll be in touch throughout the next month and I can’t wait to share my work with you!



When you back something on Beacon, you also get access to every story by every other writer.
$5per month
Monthly subscription
Monthly subscription to my work and to Beacon. You’ll get the opportunity to read exclusive stories I write, and every story by every writer on Beacon. You can cancel at any time.
48 claimed
$10per month
Monthly super subscription
Thanks for your added support and for paying a bit more to make these stories possible. You’ll get a special badge on your Beacon profile, noting your added support for my work. You can cancel at any time.
7 claimed
$15per quarter
Three-month subscription
Three-month subscription to my work and to Beacon. Your subscription renews every quarter. You can cancel at any time.
9 claimed
Six-month subscription
Six-month subscription to my work and to Beacon. Your subscription expires after six months.
25 claimed
$55per year
One-year subscription
Save $5! Year-long subscription to my work and to Beacon. Your subscription will automatically renew after a year. You can cancel at any time.
5 claimed
One-year subscription
Year-long subscription to my work and to Beacon. Your subscription expires after one year.
17 claimed
Share with a friend
You’ll get a year-long subscription to my work AND an additional year-long gift subscription to share with a friend. We’ll be in touch to send your gift as soon as this project successfully finishes. Both subscriptions expire after one year.
3 claimed
One-year subscription + book
One-year subscription to my work on Beacon, plus a copy of my upcoming book (either from a trade publisher or bound by the author). Your subscription expires after one year.
15 claimed
One-year subscription + signed book
A one-year subscription to my work on Beacon, plus a signed copy of my upcoming book (see above). Your subscription expires after one year.
5 claimed
One-year subscription + signed book + acknowledgments
A one-year subscription to my work on Beacon, plus a signed copy of my upcoming book (see above) and your name in the acknowledgements section. Your subscription expires after one year.
1 claimed
Book-club backer
A one-year subscription to my work on Beacon, plus a signed copy of my upcoming book (see above), your name in the acknowledgements section AND I will Skype in for a discussion with you and your book club or a group of interested friends. Your subscription expires after one year.
Claim this
Note: All pledges are in USD. If you'd like to pledge at a level that isn't listed here, please get in touch.


I am an environmental writer and reporter. I have written for, among others, Slate, National Geographic, The New York Times and the scientific journal Nature, where I was on staff for about five years.

I have a Master’s in Science Writing from Johns Hopkins University. In 2011, I published my first book, Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World. The book highlights alternative conservation strategies that do not focus on holding or returning land to a historical baseline. From managed relocation of species threatened by climate change to the embrace of so-called novel ecosystems, I champion a blurring of the lines between nature and people, and a conscious and humble care of our humanized planet.

I grew up in Seattle and live in Klamath Falls, OR, with my husband and two children.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is Beacon?

    Beacon lets you back original reporting by experienced writers around the world. By backing one writer you get access to their stories as well as every story by every writer on Beacon.

  • How does Beacon work?

    You pay a monthly or one-time fee that directly supports a writer of your choice. They use that money to find and publish new and exclusive stories that you want to read. You get access to their stories so long as you back their work.

  • How do I read the stories?

    You'll get an e-mail update whenever the writer you back posts a new story. You can read them online or on mobile through this site. We'll also send you a weekly e-mail newsletter, with the best stories across Beacon.

  • Do I need a recurring subscription?

    Although a recurring subscription is the best way to support a project, you can also pay upfront for a fixed-length subscription. You can cancel a recurring subscription at any time.

  • Is this different than crowdfunding?

    It is a new form of crowdfunding. Traditional crowdfunding isn't well suited to journalism because it requires on going support. Beacon helps make crowdfunded journalism more sustainable.

  • How can I help this project succeed?

    Tell a friend. Sharing this page by email is best, but sharing on Facebook and Twitter can help spread the word and make sure the project is fully funded.

Stories about Wild Wolves in the 21st Century need to be told

Help Emma Marris bring them to BEACON. At $10,000, Emma Marris can provide sustainable reporting on the topic you won't get anywhere else.

Back this work