Nikk Ogasa is a staff writer who focuses on the physical sciences for Science News, based in Brooklyn, New York. He has a master's degree in geology from McGill University, where he studied how ancient earthquakes helped form large gold deposits. He earned another master's degree in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His stories have been published in ScienceScientific American, Mongabay and the Mercury News, and he was the summer 2021 science writing intern at Science News.

All Stories by Nikk Ogasa

  1. Environment

    A new approach to fighting wildfires combines local knowledge and AI

    Land managers in the western United States are using potential operational delineations, or PODS, to prepare for — and take advantage of — wildfires.

  2. Climate

    Three reasons why the ocean’s record-breaking hot streak is devastating

    Ocean warming enhances hurricane activity, bleaches coral reefs and melts Antarctic sea ice. That warming has been off the charts for the past year.

  3. Health & Medicine

    A new U.S. tool maps where heat will be dangerous for your health

    The daily updated HeatRisk map uses color coding to show where the health threat from heat is highest and offers tips on how to stay safe.

  4. Planetary Science

    Our picture of habitability on Europa, a top contender for hosting life, is changing

    The moon of Jupiter is considered one of the most promising places to look for life, but its subsurface ocean may be less habitable than once thought.

  5. Planetary Science

    Jupiter’s moon Io may have been volcanically active ever since it was born

    An analysis of the moon’s atmospheric composition suggests that it has been spewing sulfur for roughly 4.6 billion years.

  6. Planetary Science

    Titan’s dark dunes could be made from comets

    Saturn’s largest moon could have gotten its sands from an ancient reshuffling of the solar system. If true, that would solve a long-standing mystery.

  7. Agriculture

    Mixing up root microbes can boost tea’s flavor

    Inoculating tea plant roots with nitrogen-metabolizing bacteria enhances synthesis of theanine, an amino acid that gives tea its savoriness.

  8. Earth

    Where are U.S. earthquakes most likely? A new map shows the hazard risks

    Updates to the National Seismic Hazard Model have elevated the average ground shaking hazard across the country.

  9. Paleontology

    The oldest known fossilized skin shows how life adapted to land

    The nearly 290 million-year-old cast belonged to a species of amniotes, four-legged vertebrates that today comprises all reptiles, birds and mammals.

  10. Planetary Science

    A toxic gas that could help spawn life has been found on Enceladus

    Cassini data indicate that hydrogen cyanide, a key building block for life, exists on Saturn’s icy moon. A snakelike NASA robot might test for sure.

  11. Earth

    Speed bumps under Thwaites Glacier could help slow its flow to the sea

    A seismic survey of Thwaites’ icy underbelly shows the Antarctica glacier may be snagging on tall rises in land. That could help slow global sea level rise.

  12. Climate

    Here’s how 2023 became the hottest year on record

    The effects of climate change were on clear display in 2023 as records not only broke, but did so by surprising amounts.