"Back to Nature NYC" is a multimedia master’s project produced by Gianna Palmer and Yardena Schwartz, digital media students at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

After six months of research and reporting— and taking video equipment on the occasional houseboat— this website launched in March 2011.

Questions about the project? Comments? Feedback? Email back.to.nature.nyc@gmail.com.

Gianna Palmer was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in English and sociology in 2010. Gianna has reported for print, online and radio news outlets. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s Hire Education blog, the New York Daily News, the Oregonian online and Preservation Magazine. Gianna credits her Pacific Northwest roots for inspiring this project.

Yardena Schwartz is a multimedia journalist from Parsippany, New Jersey. She graduated from the University of Delaware in 2008 and has since worked in news production at ABC News and NBC’s Today Show. Her stories have been featured in The New York Times, The Forward, Bronx Ink and The Brooklyn Paper. Yardena would like to think that her childhood summers spent in a cabin on Lake Placid with no running water or electricity prepared her to go back to nature in NYC.