About the Staff
Joanne Elgart Jennings, Executive Producer
Joanne Elgart Jennings is executive producer for This Week in Northern California. She also oversees production of television news and current affairs specials, including collaborations with the Center for Investigative Reporting. She was co-executive producer of Sound Tracks: Music without Borders Episode 2, a PBS program which combined thought-provoking journalism and vibrant music from around the world. Much of her career in public broadcasting was spent at the PBS NewsHour, based in San Francisco, where she produced hundreds of documentary-style news stories on location in California and throughout the United States. International coverage spanned the globe, including destinations in the Middle East, the Balkans, Africa and Latin America. She also worked as a producer and reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the British Broadcasting Corporation and The Christian Science Monitor. In addition, she worked on the documentary films Have You Heard From Johannesburg and The Hermitage: A Russian Odyssey, both of which aired on PBS. Her work has been honored with numerous awards including a national Emmy nomination and several Cine Golden Eagle and New York Festivals awards.
Robin Epstein, Producer
This Week in Northern California producer Robin Epstein has been co-producer of KQEDs weekly current affairs program since 2007. She has worked on a wide range of productions at KQED since 1991. These include the restaurant review show Check, Please! Bay Area, the Bay Window series, which created local companion programs to air with national PBS shows, three seasons of the environmental series Green Means for national PBS, and the documentary Paul Ehrlich and the Population Bomb, which included travel and production in India and China. Prior to joining public television, Robin worked at PM Magazine. Her first television job was at KRON-TV, the local NBC affiliate. She also worked at ZDTV on 21st Century Home for the Home and Garden Channel, and on The Next Twenty Years, a national showcase and lecture series on the future of technology, featuring a panel of speakers and corporate sponsors in seven U.S. cities.
Monica Lam, Producer
Monica Lam is a documentary film and television producer who has traveled on five continents producing, reporting, and shooting for public television programs including the PBS NewsHour, Frontline and Independent Lens as well as HBO, Swiss National TV and MSNBC. Prior to joining KQED, she worked at the Center for Investigative Reporting where she produced investigative videos including the half-hour documentary America's Prison Problem for Al Jazeera English. As an independent filmmaker, she produced and shot the PBS documentary Journey of the Bonesetter's Daughter, a KQED co-production that followed the making of an opera written by best-selling Bay Area author Amy Tan. Monica has also followed the stories of sweatshop workers in China, mercury poisoning in the North Atlantic, social entrepreneurship in Paraguay, baseball in Cuba, Yanomami Indians in the Amazon rainforest, Native American gaming in Rohnert Park, CA, and crime prevention programs in Richmond, CA, among many other stories.
Louise Lo, Executive Producer, Art and Culture
Louise Lo has extensive experience in overseeing award-winning productions for local and national distribution. She served as the executive producer of the arts series Spark, which has covered more than 300 artists and arts organizations in the Bay Area. She supervised the 4-part PBS series China from the Inside and the one-hour PBS production Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. At KQED, she has also served as Director of Cultural Programming and producer of PBS programs about artists, including Julia Morgan: A Life by Design; Frida Kahlo: Portrait of an Artist; and A Piece of Cake about Pop artist Wayne Thiebaud. She worked as Director of Special Projects at Claypoint Productions, New York, in charge of developing television and interactive projects. She co-founded the Center for Asian American Media, which provides Asian American programming to public broadcasting, and has been active in the Bay Area independent film community, serving on the boards of the Bay Area Video Coalition, Film Arts Foundation, and the National Coalition of Independent Public Broadcasting Producers.
Michael Isip, Vice President, Television Content
Michael Isip oversees local and national television production for KQED, the most-watched public television station in the country. His production background includes more than a decade of award-winning work on national, statewide, and local programs. Michael is Executive in Charge of the PBS primetime HD series Jean Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures. In 2006, Michael's division co-produced the four part primetime series China From the Inside, as well as American Experience: Gold Rush. On the local front, Michael led an initiative to double local production to form a 7:30 weeknight strip which includes The Josh Kornbluth Show, Check, Please Bay Area!, Spark, Quest and This Week in Northern California.
Also on KQED.org this week ...
Drought Watch 2015: Record-Low Sierra Snowpack
The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which typically supplies nearly a third of California's water, is showing the lowest water content on record: 6 percent of the long-term average for April 1. That shatters last year's low-water mark of 25 percent (tied with 1977).
"Boomtown" History of the San Francisco Bay Area
KQED's "Boomtown" series will seek to identify what is happening in real time in the current boom, and also draw out the causes and possible solutions to the conflicts and pressures between the old and the new.