MY NAME IS DAVID J. UNGER, and I am a Chicago-based journalist. I write about technology, energy, the environment, the Midwest, and everything else.

My work has appeared in The GuardianUndark, The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor and other publications. My essay “Fail Again” for The Point Magazine was awarded a Pushcart Prize and was a notable essay in Best American Essays 2016.

Email me: david [at]


A selection of my favorite
reports, features and essays.


American Reams

Three days at Paper2017


Saving America’s Broken Prairie

Scientists call the American prairie one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet. Will it disappear forever?


Can a North Dakota Oil Town Break the Boom-Bust Cycle?

After oil prices plummeted, Williston residents were left wondering if their city could turn short-term gains into long-term growth.


The Summit

After two decades of work, the world got its first truly international plan to address climate change.


Fail Again

The Failure Festival in Boulder, Colorado tries to confront failure on its own terms.