My assignment work — writing, photography and publications editor — is varied, but mostly focuses on the environment, with humans as an integral part of that environment in one form or another. Here’s a sampling of the kinds of work I do for a variety of clients:

Magazine Features

Elk R Basin

Feature magazine articles have long been a major focus of my assignment work including stories on gray wolf recovery in the northern Rocky Mountains, endangered Selkirk caribou struggling to survive, the fight to remove Klamath River dams to restore salmon runs, conserving High Desert trout, protecting an Oregon wilderness and the impacts of wind energy development on wildlife to name just a few of the issues I have covered.

Click here to see some of my published feature magazine stories.


Local Journalism

Wizard Falls 02

Reporting for The Nugget, the local newspaper for the small western mountain town of Sisters where I live, is a great opportunity to delve into subjects and issues important to the residents of this small, tight-knit community, where my beat is the outdoors and natural resources.

Click here to see some of my local news stories.

Stream Stories – The Nature Conservancy

Planting Trees

A high school student plants trees along the Clackamas River near Portland, Oregon.

Over an eight year period, The Nature Conservancy sent me around the state of Oregon to write and photograph short articles about salmon habitat restoration projects to support their partnership with Portland General Electric and PacifiCorp, where revenue generated by renewable energy sources were awarded as grants to local organizations for various wildlife and fish conservation initiatives.

Into the Lion’s Den– Oregon State University

On a photography assignment for Oregon State University’s Terra Magazine, I accompanied wildlife researchers into the mountains of northeast Oregon to document their work studying mountain lions.

Cougar Kittens WEB

One-month-old mountain lion kittens in their den wearing radio collars as part of a research project.

Click here to see the cover story.

An Ocean on Acid – Terra Magazine

Assigned to write and photograph a feature article for Terra Magazine on an Oregon State University study to measure ocean acidification levels along the Oregon coast, my tasks included negotiating rocky nearshore environments and university laboratories to photograph and interview scientists collecting and analyzing data.

Ocean Acid 3

A researcher checks an ocean acidification sensor at Cascade Head Marine Reserve, Oregon.

Click here to see the story.

The Osprey, Advocate for Wild Salmon – The Conservation Angler

Published three times per year since 1987, The Osprey is a science and policy journal by a partnership of US and Canadian conservation organizations that advocates for the conservation of wild Pacific salmon and steelhead. Editor since 2001, I work with the editorial board, find authors, make writing assignments, edit manuscripts, conduct picture research, complete the layout for each issue and oversee its production through printing and mailing. The Osprey’s audience includes wild fish advocates, researchers, federal and state fisheries managers, lawmakers and anglers with an interest in conservation. In 2012, The Osprey won the Haig-Brown Award for excellence in fisheries conservation journalism and communications.

Click here to see a recent issue of The Osprey

Spawning Coho

Wild coho salmon spawn in a small Oregon coastal stream.

Creating a Community Forest - Deschutes Land Trust

Working towards a long-term goal of purchasing and creating a community forest to provide income, recreation and wildlife habitat on the outskirts of Bend, Oregon, the Deschutes Basin Land Trust sent me into the forest to photograph its many facets. Those photographs are being used with grant applications, presentations, web content and promoting the concept through the media.



Endangered Species Economy – Defenders of Wildlife

To show that protecting species can also be good for the economy, Defenders of Wildlife hired me to research and write a report on how business owners, communities and organizations around the country are finding that the Endangered Species Act also benefits the bottom line. A series of short stories tell how entrepreneurs run tour companies to help nature lovers see rare wildlife, civic groups organized endangered species themed events and communities that have branded themselves around iconic, protected species.

Click here to see the report.

Brown Pelican WEB

 Brown pelican along the Oregon coast

An Agency in Action – Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife


To enhance its database of photographs, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the agency that manages the state’s fish and wildlife resources, contracted me to travel to its wildlife areas and fish hatcheries over the course of a year to photograph its facilities, staff at work, and the habitat, and fish and wildlife it manages. The photographs are used on the agency’s website, for presentations, reports, and a variety of other public outreach materials and media.


Gorge Cover FINAL

Gorge Guide Revise – Globe Pequot Press

Book publisher Globe-Pequot Press assigned me to revise one of their flagship guidebooks — Hiking the Columbia River Gorge. Over the course of nearly two years, I explored the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in Oregon and Washington, updating trail information and photographing its landscapes to completely re-illustrate the new edition.


                                                                                                                                                                © Jim Yuskavitch 2023