Erik Olsen on Muck Rack

Erik Olsen

Los Angeles, CA
West Coast Video Correspondent — Quartz
Covers:  Science, environment, extreme sports, national news, breaking news

West Coast Video Correspondent for @qz, based in Los Angeles. @nytimes alum. Drone pilot, kayaker. Follow me on Instagram @olsentropy.

Erik Olsen is the West Coast Video Correspondent for Quartz. He shoots, writes, edits and narrates video stories about interesting stuff...but mostly about science.

Before Quartz. he spent over a decade at The New York Times, including two years at the Times Sr. Video Journalist in Europe, station in Berlin.

He's an avid photographer, writer, scuba diver and drone pilot. He lives in Los Angeles.

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How to Pitch Erik Olsen

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What was your first job as a journalist?

Intern for the Seattle Weekly

How is social media changing news?

Massive aggregation and presentation of news by niche audiences.

What's your favorite drink?

Vitamin water

Drone busters are developing different ways to knock drones out of the sky. — About as long as hobbyist drones have been popular, there have been people who want to knock them out of the sky. Maybe the drones were flown over brush fires, disrupting fire fighting efforts. Others are sometimes flown near airports, causing alarm and, occasionally, grounding flights.

The Gifford family quit the rat race to sail the open ocean and explore the world. For eight years. — Quartz — Behan Gifford and her husband Jamie had it all. Three young children, a lovely home on an island near Seattle and two well-paying professional jobs. So why did the couple leave it all behind and decide to live aboard a sailboat for eight years? "It's just so easy to be caught up in the pattern...

A ship elevator at the Three Gorges Dam in China is an engineering marvel — Quartz — Where elevators are concerned, this new ship lift is an engineering marvel. Built to carry cargo ships over the controversial Three Gorges Dam on China's Yangtze River, the elevator knocks down the travel time past the dam to 40 minutes from the three hours or so it took previously via five stages of locks.

The Minitaur robot from Ghost Robotics can scale fences and open doors. — In the video above, a new robot called the Minitaur looks at first like a cute, gamboling puppy. Then it climbs a fence. And opens a door. By itself. The Minitaur is the brainchild of Ghost Robotics, founded by several engineers from the University of Pennsylvania.

Scientists have built an autonomous drone that can figure out how to fly through windows without a human pilot. — Drones do amazing things. Today, they are racing, surveying crops and performing inspections. In the near future, they may be delivering stuff right to your home. But most of the time, they need someone to fly them. Drones that fly themselves, or autonomous drones, are another story.

The Last Word: Edward Albee — Edward Albee was one of America's most important and influential playwrights. In this never-before-seen Last Word interview, he discusses his life and work.

Obama creates Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument — On Thursday, President Obama declared the creation of a new national marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean. It's called the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument and lies about 150 miles southeast of the coast of Cape Cod, and contains over 4,900 square-miles of ocean.

Hawaiian crows teach themselves how to use tools, offering insight into the evolution of tool use by animals. — For years we have known that the New Caledonian crow used sticks as tools to pry insects and grubs from hard to reach spots. But a recent study of captive Hawaiian crows shows that the skill may not only be more common than previously thought, but also that it may be genetic rather than learned.

The Nautilus expedition discovered a lost WWII aircraft carrier off the coast of California — The scientific expedition Nautilus, led by the famous explorer Robert Ballard, has had an eventful year. Besides plying the seas around Canada, they have confronted a sperm whale and filmed several little-known species, including a purple, googly-eyed cuttlefish that looked like a Pac-Man ghost.

Meet Bo Slyapitch, the rattlesnake wrangler to the rich and famous — Ever since Hollywood celebrities began building mansions in the chaparral hills above Los Angeles they've had to contend with two pests: paparazzi and rattlesnakes. When it comes to the deadly reptiles, they often call one man: Bo Slyapitch, rattlesnake wrangler to the rich and famous.
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Oct 23, 2016

Maritime archaeologists accidentally discovered 40 ancient shipwrecks at the bottom of the Black Sea - Quartz 

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