This is a small selection of links to news, features, documentaries, full publications, and other works I've done. I've been a journalist, historian, photographer, musician, and media producer throughout my career, and that is reflected in my work.
In addition to the links below, please use this website to review additional works, from full issues of Southwest Stories magazine, to the Southwest Stories television series, and the partial archives of The Sun Runner magazine. Within each, you can find my writing, production work, photography and video work, as well as my advertising design, layout, and more.
You may also browse the archived websites for The Sun Runner magazine and Mojave Watch for additional work. My personal blog is migrating to a new hosting platform, but stories from that site are still available here.
More content will be added to the portfolio for some of my older work that isn't available online.
History & Change on the Old Spanish Trail
I was the grant narrative writer, writer, line producer, and producer for this documentary, produced in partnership with the Amargosa Conservancy and the Oregon-California Trails Association with funding from California Humanities. The documentary is being broadcast on various PBS stations and on the FNX (First Nations Experience) network, nationally.
On the Butterfield Overland Trail...
I was the writer and producer for this short historical trails video on the Butterfield Overland Trail between Calexico and Oak Grove, produced in partnership with the Oregon-California Trails Association.
Hi Jolly - Uncle Sam's Camel Captain
I researched and wrote this story for AramcoWorld magazine in 2021. Hi Jolly and the story of the U.S. Army's experiment with camels in the West, is a fascinating look at mid-19th century pre-Civil War history, westward expansion, and one of the first Muslims to emigrate to America. I lecture on Hi Jolly and the use of camels in the West and hopes to turn this story into a book project or documentary.
Read the story HERE.
Mexican Travel Stories
There's always something fascinating to find when we head south of the border. Here are two stories I wrote from my excursions to Los Algodones and Tijuana.
Los Algdones is best known for providing snowbirds with high quality, low cost dental work. Where else can you wait for your implant with a margarita in-hand? But it's also where the Colorado River goes to die. Here's the cover story I wrote for The Sun Runner magazine.
We really wanted to view Trump's border wall prototypes, and it turned out that the best way to do that was to cross the border and see it from the Tijuana side, over the existing border wall. We joined Turista Libre for a day-long private visit to some of Tijuana's least known, yet endearing, attractions - including a kitty cafe!
In the Box
I spent a day photographing an Army unit from North Carolina as they began their intensive two-week combat simulation training prior to being deployed overseas. As they rolled into the Iraqi village, all hell broke loose...
In the Box turned into a gallery show of my photographs, in Joshua Tree, one of three I've done so far at galleries in the area. The other two were Cinco de Chaio (Thailand), and Sawtooth (photos of the devastating 2006 wildfire).
Environmental reporting has been part of my career for the past 25 years. Whether I've been interviewing Julia Butterfly Hill from her perch 100 feet or more up a redwood during a standoff with Pacific Lumber and Maxxam, or trying to stop the construction of the world's largest garbage dump on the border of Joshua Tree National Park, I've always prioritized objective, in-depth reporting on the multitude of threats to the environment and stewardship of our public lands.
For many more desert environmental stories and action alerts, please visit: https://shanghaibrown.wixsite.com/mojavewatch
I've been in love with traveling as long as I can remember. My parents took us on endless road trips, and the summer after graduation from high school, my World History teacher took us on a crazy romp around Europe where we got to see for ourselves where history took place. Ever since, I've been fascinated by what's over the horizon, down that arroyo, around the next bend, or over that distant mountain range.
I've traveled to, and written about, destinations from Bangkok to the North York Moors, Maui to Belize, and of course, the American Southwest. I've also served as president of the official destination marketing organization and state tourism partner for the Desert Region in California, promoted desert travel at the largest travel show in the country for nine years, and created, wrote, produced, and hosted a regional travel show for PBS here in Southern California. There are stories everywhere, and I love the mix of history, culture, natural beauty, and personalities that are part of travel writing and media.
Arts & Culture
I've always had my hard news side - investigative journalism, and reporting on politics, crime, business, economic development, and social justice issues.
But I've also been involved in feature writing and writing about the arts and culture, whether it's celebrity interviews (Blake Shelton shared his marital woes with me for an hour-and-a-half, much to the chagrin of his publicist), protecting Native American culture and history, the creative genius of the incredible African American artist Noah Purifoy, or some of the strange and funny things that transpire within our culture. Whenever possible - and appropriate - I try to have some fun with it, and I find I often cover stories I don't see elsewhere. It's a strange journey we're all on, and this planet has all the tragedy - and comedy - we could want. I do what I can to help document some of it before it's washed away in the rush of time, like a desert flash flood cleaning out whatever's before it.
More about me...
While I'm usually doing the writing and interviewing, occasionally someone gets me on the other side of the equation.
Here's a column by Tacoma tech entrepreneur, Scott Bourne, written upon my departure for the Mojave Desert.
Not long ago, I was invited to spend some time on the Giant Rock Podcast for a freewheeling interview. You can listen HERE.