Barbra Rodriguez

Website: https://www.linkedin/in/VitalWordplay

Professional Experience

Barbra Rodriguez is an award-winning writer with extensive experience covering the life sciences, medicine, the environment and other areas. She has worked with outlets such as AARP magazines, Diabetes Self-Management and a Sunday newspaper supplement. Barbra spent 19 years covering university research advances while managing and writing magazines, digital newsletters and more. The last eight years focused on covering sustainable landscape design. Since switching to full-time freelancing in 2016, Barbra has published articles in international science journals, in university magazines and on non-profit websites. She has also fact checked, proofread and edited books, edited medical education web modules and engineering research summaries, and served as a conference correspondent. She is completing an editing certificate program with UC, San Diego that includes digital editing.


22 Years
Copy Editor
19 Years


22 Years
14 Years
Environment & Nature
12 Years


Pr/marketing - all
19 Years
Academia - all
19 Years
Newspaper - National
1 Year

Total Media Industry Experience

22 Years

Media Client List (# assignments last 2 yrs)

Nature journal (3-5), AARP magazine or - Latino focus (6-10), VISTA newspaper supplement - Latino focus (3-5), Every Second Counts, National Safety Council (1-2), (1-2), Science journal (1-2), Texas Co-op Power magazine (1-2)

Corporate Client List (# assignments last 2 yrs)

Jackson School of Geosciences magazine, UT Austin (3-5), Focal Spot, radiology dept. magazine, Wash. Univ. (3-5), Institute for Computational Engr and Sciences website, UT Austin (3-5), Cockrell School of Engr website, UT Austin (1-2), Univ. of Calif., Santa Cruz magazine (1-2), Southwestern University magazine (1-2), Lawrence Berkeley Natl Lab, ecosystem science division (1-2)

Other Work History

Three years of clinical laboratory experience; seven years of biomedical research laboratory experience.

Foreign Language Skills

Moderate fluency in Spanish. Traveled in Japan before teaching at a martial arts workshop in Tokyo. (Third-degree belt; Seidokan Aikido Japanese self-defense art, 1994-present)

Computer Skills

Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat


Available upon request.


Diversity Travel Fellowship, World Conference of Science Journalists, 2018; Travel Grant, Ecological Society of America Conference, 2017; Best of Texas Feature Writing Merit Award, Texas Public Relations Assoc., 2010; National Mature Media, and National Health Information awards, 2006.


Editorial Freelancers Association, 2018-present; National Association of Science Writers, 1997-present; Writers League of Texas, 2014-present.



Research revealed that urban parks alongside busy roads can trap polluted air, increasing air pollution beyond the levels of lawns. Pitched to Science based on an ecological society meeting presentation.
Feature I pitched to Nature careers section about how climate change was impacting the ability of ecologists to conduct outdoor studies on birds and such. Required interviewing scientists globally, as was true for other features for Nature, one of the top two general science journals internationally.
About the first detailed computer simulations of how to improve bioprosthetic heart valves’ durability. Other stories developed for UT Austin's computational and engineering sciences institute covered 3-D modeling of cancer, AI, and research on turbulence that impacts airplanes and other vehicles.
Overview of the mixed support for science journalists in Uruguay and other Spanish-speaking countries, based on talks at the 2018 World Conference on Science Journalism.
A UC, Santa Cruz feature about research suggesting that whales and other deep sea mammals may strand on beaches after being startled by sounds while undergoing challenging dive conditions, resulting in potential brain damage. As is often true, I obtained and did the initial cull of images, and provided the headline, subheads and photo captions.