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 (145 archives)
The future of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" in California begins to unfold today as oil and gas regulators release draft rules for the controversial oil extraction technique. There's still a long road ahead before final rules are set.
California has a long history of preserving its open lands. In the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, about a quarter of the nine-county region is permanently protected from development. But what might those parks and open spaces look like decades from now, as climate change transforms the landscape? KQED Science reporter Lauren Sommer says scientists and land managers are grappling with how to plan for a Bay Area that one day could look more like Southern California.
The thought of air pollution may conjure up images of a hazy skyline. But believe it or not, the air inside your kitchen can sometimes be just as harmful. Cooking fumes from your stove are supposed to be captured by a hood over the range -- but even some expensive models just aren't that effective. As KQED Science reporter Lauren Sommer tells us, that's something scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab are trying to fix.
Political celebrities are gathering for the 17th annual Lake Tahoe Summit. Former Vice President Al Gore, Senator Dianne Feinstein and Governor Jerry Brown join others for the meeting on Monday. The Summit's focus is reviewing restoration efforts in the region. The first Lake Tahoe Summit of 1997 led to a long-range plan that has collected $1.7 billion of federal, state and local money to protect the lake.
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.