Biography

Thomas Conuel is the author of the never-out-of print nonfiction work, Quabbin: The Accidental Wilderness (University of Massachusetts Press, 1991), the story of how four towns and six villages in the Swift River Valley of Massachusetts were leveled and flooded to make way for Quabbin Reservoir, the water supply for Boston and 43 other cities and towns.

He is also the co-author with Chris Leahy and John Hanson Mitchell of The Nature of Massachusetts (1998), (illustrated by the internationally-recognized Swedish painter Lars Jonsson), and Field Editor of the award-winning magazine, Sanctuary, published by the Massachusetts Audubon Society. He has published over 80 articles in Sanctuary magazine.

He taught nonfiction magazine writing at Boston University’s College of Communication for ten years (1998—2008). During that time, he developed a magazine writing class that set forth the principles of good nonfiction writing. The course, a workshop for graduate students, stressed critical reading of current magazines and online sites as well as practical experience, interviewing skills, and good nonfiction writing techniques.

In conjunction with the New England Aquarium and the Knight Center for Science and Medical Journalism at Boston University, he organized two Environmental Writers Conferences featuring prominent scientists and writers discussing topics such as “Coastal Sprawl: The Last Best Place on Earth,” and “The Water Wars: Controlling the World’s Fresh Water.”

Thomas Conuel served as the Acquisitions Editor for the Massachusetts Audubon Society and led their efforts to republish a classic from the Rivers of America series, The Connecticut, by Walter Hard, (May 1999, Massachusetts Audubon Publications).

He continues his work as a contributor to the National Library of Medicine (one of the institutes at the National Institutes of Health) for the online publication NLM in Focus (http://infocus.nlm.nih.gov/).

His other work for the NLM includes selections from the NLM Native American exhibition and a series of short biographical profiles of women physicians nominated for inclusion in the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) Local Legends of Medicine project (www.nlm.nih.gov/locallegends).  These profiles are part of the National Library of Medicine’s permanent online exhibit.

Thomas Conuel has worked as a newspaper reporter and editor, and a technical writer. In his younger days, he served as the founding editor of the West Boylston Banner (1979), a weekly published by Coulter Press in Clinton, MA. The newspaper expanded its coverage changing its name to The Banner, and continues publishing to this day.

Conuel is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and holds an M.S. in Journalism from Boston University.