Alison Pearce Stevens

Freelance Writer

Alison Pearce Stevens is a former duck wrangler, beekeeper and forever science geek who specializes in writing about science and nature for kids. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, their two kids and a small menagerie of cuddly (and not-so cuddly) critters. She writes for Science News for Students, Highlights, ASK (Arts and Sciences for Kids) magazine and National Geographic Kids' Books. Her next book, Uncovering Ashfall, comes out in 2021. She is also an avid gardener who can often be found in her yard, checking out the critters that call it home.

All Stories by Alison Pearce Stevens

  1. Environment

    Nano air pollutants strike a blow to the brain

    Most people think that air pollution poses the biggest risk to our lungs. In fact, pollution hits the brain too, sometimes by traveling a direct route — through our noses. These tiny pollutants can harm IQ and more.

  2. Animals

    Tiny — but mighty — food-cleanup crews

    Discarded food wastes can turn city spaces into food courts for disease-carrying rats and pigeons. But a new study shows tiny cleanup crews — especially pavement ants — are doing their best to eliminate such wastes. This, in turn, makes cities less attractive to bigger pests.

  3. Microbes

    Germs help each other fend off antibiotics

    Drug-resistant bacteria can cause persistent infections. A new study finds these germs fight drugs in different ways. And they can swap various compounds, increasing their neighbors’ chances of overcoming the drugs meant to kill them.

  4. Earth

    How people have been shaping the Earth

    We are the dominant force of change on Earth. Some experts propose naming our current time period the ‘Anthropocene’ to reflect our impact.

  5. Earth

    Coming: The sixth mass extinction?

    Species are dying off at such a rapid rate — faster than at any other time in human existence — that many resources on which we depend may disappear.

  6. Brain

    The distracted teenage brain

    Teens often show poor judgment in decision-making. Scientists have long blamed this on the fact that their brains are still developing. A new study offers another explanation: distractions form rewarding behaviors — ones that persist even after the reward itself has disappeared.

  7. Earth

    Solved: Mystery of the ‘sailing’ rocks

    Rocks and boulders periodically move across the Racetrack Playa in Death Valley, leaving tell-tale tracks in their wake. Using advanced technology, scientists have finally solved the mystery of how this happens.

  8. Brain

    Mistakes: A key to learning

    This man uses a robotic arm to move a cursor across a computer screen. The screen blocks his view of his hand and arm. This focuses his attention on any errors he makes as he tries to move a cursor to a target location.

  9. Brain

    Learning rewires the brain

    Brain cells actually change shape as we learn. It’s one way we cement new knowledge. And much of the action happens as we sleep.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Starchy foods may cut meaty risks

    Eating red meat can increase the risk of certain types of cancer. But scientists have discovered that eating potatoes and other foods containing 'resistant' starch can help limit those risks.