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Lauren Sommer

Lauren Sommer
Science and Environment Reporter

Lauren covers environment and science as a reporter with QUEST - KQED's multiplatform science and environmental series. As part of her day job, she has scaled Sierra Nevada peaks, hunted for newts in the rain, and desperately tried to get her sea legs - all in pursuit of good radio. Originally from the Bay Area, Lauren attended Cornell University and has a background in environmental policy. Before joining KQED, she cruised bunny slopes as a ski instructor in Tahoe, California and ate croissants in France as a travel writer for Frommer's. Her work has appeared on Marketplace, Living on Earth, and NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Stories (152 archives)


The California Report | Aug 25, 2014 8:50 AM
Dead Trees Left by Rim Fire Spark Logging Debate

Last year's Rim Fire burned 257,000 acres in and around Yosemite. It was one of the largest fires in California history, and it left a lot of dead trees. Later this week, the U.S. Forest Service is expected to announce it will let logging companies cut down some of those trees. But the decision is controversial.

The California Report | Aug 5, 2014 8:50 AM
Excessive Water Pumping Leaves Aquifers Vulnerable to Pollution

As reservoir levels dwindle, many regions are pumping water from underground. On the Central Coast, that's causing ocean water to pollute underground aquifers. The seawater is making groundwater unusable for crops like strawberries.

The California Report | Jul 18, 2014 4:30 PM
Anti-Fracking Activists in California Take Fight to County Ballots

Opponents of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have pushed for a statewide moratorium on the controversial oil production technique. But those efforts haven't gotten far, so now, activists are taking the fight to the local level. KQED Science reporter Lauren Sommer tells us about several California counties where voters will decide the future of fracking in November

The California Report | Jul 11, 2014 4:30 PM
As Water Prices Soar, Some Profit From State's Drought

The drought is putting a lot of California's farmers in crisis this year. But for those who have water, it can be a windfall. Prices for water are soaring, and some growers are pumping out their groundwater and selling it. Some call it "groundwater mining" -- and fights are breaking out over concerns that it might threaten California's already stressed aquifers.

The California Report | Apr 23, 2014 8:50 AM
In Drought, Desperate Officials Consider Running Water Uphill

If desperate times call for desperate measures, then California's severe drought is sure to inspire some unusual efforts. Water districts in the San Joaquin Valley are proposing something that's never been tried before during a drought: they want to reverse the state's plumbing by running the California Aqueduct backwards.

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