Selected Works

Blog for PBS website Next Avenue, August 14, 2014
Article BioScience, June 2011
Biography (young readers)
"Breaking down obstacles for women, this born adventurer spends her life exploring and studying marine habitats."
--School Library Journal, April 2002

Available now! To order, see links on left.
Winner of the Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Prize from Vanderbilt University Press.

“Verdict: The audience for this must-read book is boomers—and everyone else.” Cynthia Fox, Library Journal Xpress Reviews

"Beth Baker courageously and empathetically asks the question many Baby Boomers avoid: How will we make it through our aging years with dignity, independence and pleasure? The answers she receives from folks around the US, straight and LGBT, reassure us that there are already promising paths being carved."
-----Michele Kort, Senior Editor, Ms. Magazine

"Every Baby Boomer who wants to 'age in place' should read this book. So should their children."
-----Howard Gleckman, author of Caring for Our Parents


Beth Baker is a long-time freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers, including the Washington Post, Washingtonian, Ms., Preservation, CQ Researcher, Kaiser Health News, and Nature Conservancy. She has written extensively on medical research and aging issues for the AARP Bulletin and has been a frequent contributor to the Washington Post Health section. She is the Features Editor of BioScience, the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, where she is also a frequent contributor.

Her nonfiction book on alternative nursing homes, Old Age in a New Age, was published in May, 2007, by Vanderbilt University Press (click on link above to learn more). Linda Aufderhaar, president of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, calls it "An insightful, inspiring, well-researched book that poignantly describes the lessons of how a person-centered approach and culture change is possible." Wayne Clark, Ph.D., Director for Congregational Stewardship Services, Unitarian Universalists of America, calls it "a beautiful and important book." And Ruth Dempsey, publisher of Aging Horizons Bulletin, writes: "I have just finished reading Old Age in a New Age, which I absolutely loved. The book is deeply inspiring and brimming with high quality information."

Her biography for young people, Sylvia Earle: Guardian of the Sea (Lerner Publishing 2001), was chosen for Bank Street College Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2002, and was designated an Honor Book by the Society of School Librarians International. The book was reissued in 2006 for older youth, through the publisher's Just the Facts series.

Among the honors Beth has received for feature writing are a 2004 Media Fellowship, presented by Case Western Reserve University, for a program on “The Golden Years: How Will We Care for Our Elderly?”; the Gold Award by the 1998 and 2006 National Mature Media Awards; and first place for best feature writing by the Cooperative Communicators Association in 1992, for a story on how a hazardous waste site divided a rural community.

She also is an experienced editor of public interest newsletters and reports and of books. Author and editor Sara Mansfield Taber says, "Beth was of immeasurable help in cutting down my unwieldy manuscript. She could see straight to the heart of my book, and was expert at discerning the difference between the extraneous and the essential. Her editing suggestions were sensitive and on the mark. I recommend her to anyone with a book that needs a fresh eye, or wants help with reducing a manuscript."

Through the Washington Ethical Society, Beth was the producer and interviewer for a documentary video, Coming of Age--the Path to Adulthood, which won a Gold Award in 2004 by the Aurora Awards, an international competition honoring excellence in film and video.

Before becoming a writer and editor, she was a dialysis technician, hospital ward clerk, assembly line worker, secretary, and peace activist.

She is certified in Natural History through the Audubon Naturalist Society and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School and is a hospice volunteer.

She and her husband live in Takoma Park, Maryland, and have two grown children and a granddaughter.