KQED Radio Staff
Science and Environment Reporter
Lauren is a radio reporter for KQED Science, specializing in water, energy and the environment. As part of her day job, she has scaled Sierra Nevada peaks, run from charging elephant seals and desperately tried to get her sea legs - all in pursuit of good radio. She has been recognized by the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Edward R. Murrow Awards and is a recipient of the Harold Gilliam Award for Excellence in Environmental Reporting. Lauren has a degree from Cornell University and is originally from the Bay Area. She is also a regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
Stories (160 archives)
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 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.
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.
The state's historic drought means many Central Valley farmers are still struggling to keep their crops alive while reservoirs and wells run dry. We find out how farmers in Bakersfield are getting extra water from an unlikely source: the oil industry.
The recent rainstorms were welcome relief from the dry winter weather but they didn't come close to saving California from a serious drought this year. And the window is quickly closing on this year's rainy season. But scientists are trying to understand why some storms unload lots of rain and snow in California -- and others don't. As KQED science reporter Lauren Sommer tells us, they're finding it could be linked to dust storms thousands of miles away.