KQED Radio Staff
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 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.
Despite concerns about mudslides in Southern California, this weekend's rain is welcome relief from the drought. Among other things, the state's tight water supplies have put environmental restoration projects in the spotlight, especially the effort to bring salmon back to the state's second longest river, the San Joaquin. Republican House Speaker John Boehner is pushing a bill to kill that project. KQED Science reporter Lauren Sommer looks at how this lack of rain is affecting one of the most ambitious restoration efforts in the state.
Governor Jerry Brown's emergency drought declaration allows for easing some environmental rules in the face of low water supplies. That makes environmentalists, and fishing groups, nervous about water being held upstream.
With California's snow pack at just 17 percent of normal, Governor Brown is under growing pressure to declare an official statewide drought. As he noted this week, "governors can't make it rain." But governors can propose massive public works projects -- and the Brown administration is pushing a $25 billion water plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Officials say it would help secure the state?s water supply. But even in a dry year with little rain, finding the money for it is no sure thing.