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 (141 archives)
Sometime in the next few weeks, the largest solar power plant of its kind -- anywhere -- will open in California's Mojave Desert. Electricity from the Ivanpah solar project will find its way to people throughout the state, moving us closer to California's ambitious renewable energy goal. But the project was no slam-dunk. It was slowed down by controversy over an elusive herbivore. And as KQED science reporter Lauren Sommer explains, if this renewable energy revolution is to really happen, conservationists and solar companies need to agree on a way forward.
California's multi-billion-dollar biotech industry is taking in Thursday's landmark Supreme Court ruling on human genes. In short, naturally occurring genes are not patentable. It's a major shift for biotech companies -- but it's one they're prepared for.
California is home to more than half of all rooftop solar projects in the United States. But as more and more Californians generate their own power, the state's big utilities are getting worried.
California Governor Jerry Brown's administration has put a price tag on its major new water plan: $24 billion for a pair of tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Officials say Californians would be buying a more reliable water supply, but there are questions about who benefits the most.
California biotech companies had their eye on the U.S. Supreme Court this week as it heard arguments on a key question: can you patent a human gene? The court's ruling could mean millions of dollars to biotech companies and universities.