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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 (154 archives)


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.

The California Report | Apr 11, 2014 4:30 PM
California Farmers Look to Oil Industry for Water

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 California Report | Apr 4, 2014 4:30 PM
Why Distant Dust Storms Matter to California Rainfall

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.

The California Report | Feb 28, 2014 4:30 PM
California Drought One More Setback for River That Runs Dry

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.

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