Joel Achenbach has been a staff writer for The Washington Post since 1990. He started the newsroom’s first online column in 1999 and the paper’s first blog, Achenblog, in 2005. Now assigned to the Post’s national desk, he writes on science and politics and helped cover the Deepwater Horizon story. His seventh book, A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea, an account of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and its aftermath, was published in 2011. Achenbach has been a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine since 1998, writing stories on such topics as dinosaurs, particle physics, earthquakes, extraterrestrial life, megafauna extinction, and the electrical grid. His syndicated column Why Things Are, which he began when he worked at The Miami Herald, ran from 1988 to 1996 and appeared in 50 newspapers. Ballantine Books published three collections of the column. He has taught journalism at Princeton University and Georgetown University.