Nathan Gilles

Nathan Gilles

Nathan Gilles is a science writer and journalist based in Vancouver, Washington. Gilles specializes in writing about climate science and environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest. His writing has appeared in Columbia Insight, YES! Magazine, Indian Country Today, The Oregonian, The Columbian, The Register Guard, The Statesman Journal, The Portland Mercury, Oregon Quarterly, Oregon State University's Terra Magazine, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science Member Spotlight. Contact him at

Scientists study Douglas firs in Mount Hood National Forest

New finding: Lack of humidity, not rainfall, is bigger problem for trees

By: - March 28, 2023

From “Firmageddon” to Western red cedars, drought has been implicated in the death of multiple tree species across the Northwest. Yet, how exactly drought is stressing and killing the region’s trees has remained something of a scientific mystery. But that is changing. A recent study out of Oregon State University provides new light on drought’s ability […]

Western redcedar

New study sounds alarm, provides hope for Western red cedars

By: - March 24, 2023

Though no one realized it at the time, the beginning of the end for many Northwest Western red cedar trees began about a decade ago. Drought had come. Early on, the cedars did what trees do: they adapted to the dry conditions. They conserved water and grew less. This strategy had worked during past droughts. […]

The Pacific Northwest Region Aerial Survey is cataloging tree decline. (Daniel DePinte/USFS)

Massive die-off hits fir trees across the Northwest

By: - February 14, 2023

This story was originally published by Columbia Insight. Fir trees in Oregon and Washington died in record-breaking numbers in 2022, according to as-yet unpublished research conducted by the U.S. Forest Service. Called “Firmageddon” by researchers, the “significant and disturbing” mortality event is the largest die-off ever recorded for fir trees in the two states. In […]