Usha McFarling

Usha McFarling, a longtime science writer, was born in Germany. “I’m an Air Force brat, so I lived all over,” she said, noting that she did attend elementary school in Los Angeles, where she would later work for the hometown paper and earn a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on pollution in our oceans. Read more about her below.

Q. What is your favorite word?

A. Pumpernickel.

Q. What inspires you?

A. Nature.

Q. What is your favorite way to procrastinate?

A. Sleep.

Q. How would you describe yourself in five words or fewer?

A. Fun, friendly, unexpected, loving.

Q. If you could live in any time – past, present, or future – when would it be?

A. 1950s New York. It seemed innocent and sophisticated at the same time.

Q. What is your greatest extravagance?

A. Anything made out of alpaca.

Q. If you could take only one more journey, where would you go?

A. Greenland.

Q. What profession would you like to practice in your next life?

A. I always wanted to be a veterinarian.

Q. What is your fondest childhood memory?

A. Long walks with my golden retriever, who was named Aspen.

Q. What is your most prized material possession?

A. My wedding ring.

Q. What teacher or professor changed your life?

A. My journalism professor in college taught me there were so many ways to tell stories.

Q. Who is the one person living or dead you would most like to meet for dinner?

A. Mike Davis. I don’t think anyone can understand Los Angeles without reading City of Quartz.

To read more about McFarling’s panel on climate change in Los Angeles, click here.

*Photo by Aaron Salcido.