Patty Winter
Magazine Articles

I've had dozens of articles published in magazines and newspapers,
many of them accompanied by my own photos. Some of my articles
are described on this page. Please write to
for further information.

Jump to: Space Shuttles | Astronomy | Amateur Radio | Travel

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Surveying and Geocaching

As someone who has long been interested in techy activities (both professionally and in my spare time), I have enthusiastically embraced the capabilities of GPS receivers. I've been involved in geocaching and benchmark hunting for the past several years, and have written several articles about those activities and related topics.

Surveying at Walt Disney World
I was fortunate enough to get the cover story in the September, 2007 issue of The American Surveyor. My article "Mapping the World"--an outgrowth of my interest in Disney survey marks--explored the history of surveying at the Walt Disney World resort.

Geocaching in Yosemite
"A New Way to Experience Yosemite," which appeared in the quarterly journal of the Yosemite Association, introduced readers to the hobby of geocaching, and told them how to find "virtual geocaches" that would help them better appreciate the geological and historical features of California's premier national park.

Caching Now
As the contributing editor of Caching Now, I write, ghostwrite, or edit the magazine's articles about GPS-based activities such as geocaching and benchmark hunting. I am also responsible for press releases, and involved in planning and developing future articles for the magazine.

Space Shuttles

One of the benefits of being a writer is getting the opportunity to attend history-making events. I was at the first shuttle landing in 1981, and have since seen two launches and four other landings.

Shuttle 'Discovery' Rollout photos
When Rockwell International delivered the shuttle Discovery to NASA, I was there. My photos from that day--ranging from predawn pictures inside the assembly hangar in Palmdale, Calif. to the shuttle's late-afternoon arrival at Edwards Air Force Base--were featured in Odyssey, an astronomy magazine for children. One of my photos was used on the cover.

Computers on the Space Shuttle
In the payload bay during the STS-9 mission was an Apple II computer running a plant-growth experiment. My article about these new horizons for computers, "Apple Rides the Space Shuttle," appeared in A+.

(Much to the gratification of my ego, I got the cover story in that issue--while the introduction of the Macintosh got only a snipe in the corner! I suspect that happened because of uncertainty about the Mac's announcement date when the magazine went to press. But I prefer to think it was because A+ found my article more compelling than the debut of the Mac. :-) )


Astronomy caught my interest when I was only nine years old. Although I'm not very active in it these days, I do try to catch important astronomical events, and occasionally I write astronomy-related articles.

Computers in Astronomy
"Astro-Apple," which appeared in Apple Magazine, described how Apple II and Apple /// computers were being used for everything from analyzing data to teaching astronomy. (That's aircraft/spacecraft designer extraordinaire Burt Rutan on the cover.)

10-meter Telescope
When the huge Keck telescope now in operation in Hawaii was still in the planning stages, I interviewed Dr. Sandra Faber of the University of California (Santa Cruz) about the project for Astronomy magazine.

Quadruple Conjunction photo
My photo of a beautiful twilight arrangement of the moon, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter above palm trees was published in the 50th anniversary issue of Sky & Telescope. (Ansel Adams got the inside spread. :-) )

Venus/Halley Mission
Astronomy carried my article about a joint project between France and the Soviet Union to send a spacecraft to study Venus and Halley's Comet.

Light Pollution
As cities have grown--and expanded into once uninhabited areas--they have caused serious light-pollution problems for observatories. "Lick Licks Light Pollution," which appeared in Astronomy, discussed a solution worked out between Lick Observatory and the city of San Jose to preserve the observatory's ability to do good science.

Solar Eclipse photo
A photo I took in Kenya of the February, 1980, total solar eclipse appeared in Star & Sky. The following year, Astronomy carried my report and photo from the total eclipse near Hawaii.

Amateur Radio

I've been an amateur radio operator since 1979, and over the years I've written a number of articles on various facets of the hobby. In the following sampling of those articles, you'll notice that many of them relate to my other interests, such as the space shuttle and computers.

Amateur Radio on the Space Shuttle
"Hello from the Space Shuttle Columbia" shared the excitement of chats between shuttle astronaut Ron Parise and several schoolchildren. It ran in the children's astronomy magazine Odyssey. Companion articles told kids more about amateur radio on the shuttle and how they could hear shuttle/ham communications at home.

"A Gift for Teaching" was a profile of high-school teacher Bob Maurais, who makes industrial arts classes come alive for students in Yarmouth, Maine. Amateur radio is just one of the tools that Maurais uses to interest his students in many aspects of technology. The article appeared in QST .

Public Service Communications
Amateur radio operators frequently provide backup emergency communications at large-scale public events. QST magazine has carried my articles "Amateurs at the Stanford Olympics" and "Packet Radio in Emergency Communications," among others.

My humorous articles about using an aluminum porch awning as an amateur radio antenna have appeared in 73 (U.S.), Amateur Radio Action (Australia), and The CQ Buyer's Guide (U.S.).

Remotely Controlled Station
Tech-savvy amateur radio operators have put personal computers to use in many different ways. My article "Remote Operation Comes Home," which appeared in QST, described how one ham runs a transmitter and antenna that are 15 miles from his house.


My travel articles often reflect my interest in nature, although others are about human activities, such as the holiday tradition Bracebridge Dinner in Yosemite National Park.

"Making Tracks Across Alaska," an article and photos about a train trip from Anchorage to Fairbanks, ran in Reno Air's Excursions magazine.

Eastern Sierra
"The Other Side of the Sierra" describes the volcanic craters, lava formations, ghost towns, and other fascinating sights in California's
Mono County, just east of Yosemite National Park. It has appeared
in newspapers in the U.S. and Canada along with my own photos.

Baja Eclipse Trip
"In the Shadow of the Moon," a story about the total solar eclipse of July, 1991, appeared in Motor Club News, with my photos.

Bracebridge Dinner
Set in one of the most stunning locations imaginable --the Ahwahnee hotel in Yosemite--this re-creation of an 18th-century English Christmas dinner is a three-hour extravaganza of food and song. A short Bracebridge article ran in Reno Air's Approach. Please contact me if you'd like a full-length story.

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Text and photos (c) 1997-2009 Patricia F. Winter, except as noted.
Last updated 5/31/09