Michael Anft ("Outreach on the Street,"), formerly the magazine's senior science writer, writes for several publications, including AARP: The Magazine and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He is developing a television series based on sex trafficking.

Rick Dahms ("Sending a Message," photograph) is a freelance photographer based in Seattle. He lives in a century-old farmhouse on an island in Puget Sound with his wife, two dogs, two cats, goats, chickens, and horses.

Tang Yau Hoong ("Keeping an Eye on North Korea," illustration) is a self-taught artist who makes conceptual illustrations ranging from editorial to advertising and apparel to posters.

Katharine Reece ("Sending a Message,") is a freelance writer, editor, and photographer. She divides her time between Brooklyn, New York, and Kalispell, Montana.

Mark Smith ("The End of the End of the Line," illustrations) has been living his second life as an illustrator for the last six years. His work has been recognized by the New York Society of Illustrators, the LA Society of Illustrators, and the 3X3 ProShow.

Lisa Watts ("Numbers Games,") is a writer and editor in Durham, North Carolina. She serves as communications director for the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.

On the cover

Kathryn Edin has for years found herself at the intersection of qualitative and quantitative data, wading through statistics and census figures to tell the stories of the poorest of the poor. Her latest book, $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, looks into the subset of Americans who manage to survive with almost no cash income. (Read the cover story.) Baltimore-based photographer Matt Roth captured this issue's cover image of Edin. His other clients include The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education.