Alison Gillespie


Washington, DC

Alison Gillespie

As a freelance reporter, writer and editor I will happily cover almost anything, although I specialize in biology, environmental science and chemistry. I really like to make complicated topics accessible and easy-to-read. My award-winning book, Hives in the City, tells the story of urban beekeepers struggling to keep their bees alive in the Mid-Atlantic.


Native Ground Bees: Helpful, not Hurtful

Experts say rather than reaching for insecticide, growers should be grateful when these native bees arrive.
Modern Farmer Link to Story

Giga-Gobbledygook: Overcoming Customer Confusion About Gig Services

Rural telecom companies discuss educating customers about their choices.
Rural Telecom magazine Link to Story

There's a Secret World Under the Snow, and It's In Trouble »

How do animals survive under the snow? We're only beginning to understand—just as climate change may rewrite everything
Smithsonian Link to Story

These Creative Wind Turbines Will Have You Rethinking What You Know About Wind Power

Wind turbines don't have to all look the same. Here are some that are helping cities go green—and look like art in the process
Smithsonian Link to Story

What’s the Final Verdict on the Wildly Popular Flow Hive?

Jason Allen-Rouman was excited when he learned he’d be one of the first people in North America to receive a Flow Hive for his backyard. He’d been dreaming about getting an apiary set up for years, and a recent move from downtown San Francisco to a house in Washington, D.C., meant he could finally make his fantasy a reality.
Modern Farmer Link to Story

Inner City Farmers May Have Toxic Soils on Their Hands

Lead is a particular risk as people try to turn potentially contaminated urban sites into productive and sustainable farms
Smithsonian Link to Story

An insider's view of walkability in the District

By many people’s accounting, D.C. remains one of the most walkable cities in the United States. Contributors to travel websites, for example, regularly remark on how easy it is for visitors to get from one sightseeing location to another without the need for a car. Walk Score has given the city a score of 74 (out of a possible 100) for being “very walkable” because most errands in many neighborhoods can be accomplished on foot.
ElevationDC Link to Story

The Race to Save the World’s Great Trees by Cloning Them

A nonprofit dedicated to preserving old, iconic trees is cloning them in hopes of preserving them for the future
Smithsonian Link to Story

Getting to Know Benjamin Banneker Better at his Park

There is a little-known museum and park in Maryland where you can learn about a man whose story deserves telling. Benjamin Banneker, an African-American astronomer who helped survey the boundaries of Washington, DC, and once implored Thomas Jefferson to change his views on race, made his home at this Baltimore County site near present-day Catonsville on the Patuxent River.
Bay Journal Link to Story

Bats in Paradise

For many in the Western world, the necklace of 27,000 islands stretching from the south of Asia eastward across the warm, sunny Pacific is the stuff of fantasy and escape, and the very definition of tropical paradise. Although often very small in size, these islands play a huge role in the realm of bats.
BATS magazine Link to Story

Back-to-School With Native Bees

Over the summer, a group of volunteers worked long hours in the hot sun to build some new housing at the University of Maryland College Park – not for students, but for native bees. Their structure – a 24-foot-long orange wall, called “Dwelling: Paint Branch Creek” — serves as both an educational exhibit and a place to conduct scientific research.
Greening the City Link to Story

Turning the tables: Chef gives back to farmers with "Table to Farm"

When Ryan Gordon opened the Queen Vic on H Street NE, he wasn’t trying to be part of the locavore food movement. He was simply trying to satisfy his British wife, who longed for a good local pub like the places she knew in her home country. The idea was to provide D.C. with tasty food, good European ales and stouts on tap, and a fun place to watch soccer with others who call the sport “football.”.
ElevationDC Link to Story


Alison Gillespie

I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC.

In addition to writing about science and the environment for various publications, I sometimes write copy for non-profit groups and a few select trade organizations.

My non-fiction book about urban beekeepers and their bees was published in 2014 and is for sale online and in select bookstores. You can find more details at the book's website:

Before going freelance I worked for several non-profit organizations, writing newsletter articles, annual reports, and press releases. I also maintained press databases and pitched stories to editors.

When not at my computer writing, I like to hike and explore the streams of Maryland. I am a passionate gardener who likes to watch the bees land on flower tops in the summer and the birds find berries in the winter. My ultimate gardening dream is to attract frogs and toads to my urban pond.

I'm eager to take on new freelance assignments, and available to give talks about my book.