The Environmental Burden of Generation Z
Kids are growing up in a world defined by climate change, and they're rightly scared for their future. How can parents, teachers and doctors educate them to stay positive, even while acknowledging that their anxiety is real?
When Your Neighborhood Goes Boom
The town of Windsor, CO was rocked when a fracking site exploded one December night, and the reverberations of the blast are still being felt in a debate over fracking safety. Interviews with workers, first responders and experts paint a picture of what happened that night, and how close Windsor was to catastrophe. Written with Dan Glick of The Story Group.
Did Covid Lockdowns Really Clear the Air?
COVID lockdowns offered atmospheric researchers a unique natural experiment. What they found was surprising: getting cars off the road didn't automatically clear the air, and in some cases made it worse. What does that mean for our efforts to fight pollution?
A Colorado Valley Built a Post-Coal Economy. Now the BLM Is Pushing Drilling
Colorado's North Fork Valley has moved past its dependence on coal to build an artsy, outdoors-focused community rich with organic fruit and wine. Could the Trump administration's "energy dominance" agenda put that at risk?
As Anxiety Rises, Cities Adapt Mental Health Services On The Fly
Cities were already taking charge of offering mental health services to their residents. The COVID-19 pandemic threw those efforts into overdrive.
As Legal Pot Farms Expand, So Do Air Pollution Worries
Denver has more than 600 cannabis growing facilities within city limits. Scientists know they're sending off ozone-forming emissions, but restrictions on marijuana research mean they don't know how much. I look at how researchers have found off-beat ways to study the plants.
How Sidewalk Data Can Make Cities More Accessible
The only way to make a city truly accessible to disabled users is to make sure sidewalks are clean, clear and in good repair. Here's how some cities, startups and academics are gathering the data to make that happen.
In the Rural West: More Oil, More Gas, More Ozone
Areas like Grand Junction, CO are losing their reputation for crisp, clean air and healthy mountain lifestyles. The gas boom is part of the problem, so some citizen scientists are fighting back with a distinctly data-driven approach.
Under A Methane Cloud, Environmental Politics Roil A County Commission
La Plata County sits under the nation's highest concentration of methane, thanks to oil and gas drilling. But after one county commissioner went to Washington to fight for federal rules to stop the pollution, she could get voted out of office.
Is It Safe To Strike Up The Band During COVID?
The COVID-19 pandemic shut down orchestras and bands, and many feared it could be their last gasp. New research could help them reopen safely.
Piercing the Haze
Ammonia -- a notoriously hard-to-measure gas -- has been poorly understood. But new tools are helping scientists puzzle through its role in creating toxic smog in cities around the world.
Trump’s air pollution adviser: No proof cleaning up smog saves lives
You probably haven't heard of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, but its work reviewing the current science on air pollution guides the EPA's regulations that could save millions of lives. For Reveal, I investigated the Trump-appointed chair, who has questioned the very link between pollution and human health.
FDA Relaxes 'Blood Ban' For Gay Donors Amid COVID Shortages
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, blood banks reported shortages. In response, the FDA relaxed its long-derided ban on gay men donating. I examined the science behind the move and what advocates want to see next.
Grand Junction wants the federal government to move in. Should it?
Grand Junction felt the recession harder and longer than most cities. Officials saw a way to capture a new identity by recruiting the federal Bureau of Land Management to move its headquarters from DC to Grand Junction (which happened just a week after this story ran). What would bringin in bureaucrats do for Grand Junction's identity...and what would it do to the BLM's mission?
Cheap Sensors Are Democratizing Air-Quality Data
Community groups, environmental justice advocates and regular people concerned about pollution are embracing low-cost sensors that can give more localized information about air quality.
Why This Colorado Town Elected Its First Mayor In Six Decades
After decades of economic decline, Pueblo, CO decided the solution was to bring back a position most cities take for granted: the mayor. Read why Pueblo thought a mayor could change their fortunes and what it takes to completely reshape a city government.
Insects Could Be The Food of the Future -- If You Can Handle Them
I dove headfirst into the world of insect cuisine, complete with cricket salad, grasshopper tacos and a mealworm breakfast pie.
Can The Government Turn Down The Noise?
The government used to regulate noise as a pollutant, but stopped under the Reagan administration. Now neighborhoods dealing with deafening airplanes want the EPA to resume its noise pollution work.
As Congress Probes Concussions, NFL Launches A Campaign Cash Blitz
Amid attention from Washington on player health issues, the NFL is donating more than ever to the legislators overseeing the league.
Podcast: The Chirping Farm of the Future
The farm of the future is tucked in a shipping container, where the animals are fed on baby carrots and spent brewing grains and kept hydrated with spray bottles of water. I profiled Colorado's first insect farm for Undark. Segment starts at 26:20.
The Conspiracy Theory Coming To Your Congressman's Twitter Feed
It's a great app that could connect people to the politicians representing them. So why is it all about chemtrails?
As Louisiana Wrangles, Its Coast Is Swept Out To Sea
Louisiana's coastline is eroding rapidly, but who should fix it? In 2014, I looked at the debate over whether oil and gas companies should be liable -- and the lawmakers who are fighting to protect the industry.
What Brings Hunters and Hikers Together? Fighting Trump
Despite the size of the industry, outdoorsmen aren't known for their unity or their political prowess. But that's changing under the Trump administration.
Brazil's Dangerous Climate Spiral Is Feeding A Deadly Drought
Brazil's record-breaking drought in 2014 was attributed in part to climate change. It was also making climate change worse, leading to threats of even worse droughts. Some of my reporting from Brazil, sponsored by the International Reporting Project.
Brazil Can't Keep Its Big Environmental Promises For The Olympics
Brazil promised the world the greenest games when it won the 2016 Summer Olympics bid. I looked at why that just wasn't possible.
The Confederate Flag Blew Up The House Floor. Then It Vanished
A debate over the confederate flag stopped the appropriations process in its tracks in the summer of 2015. Then the issue disappeared.
Fight Looms Over Mixed Martial Arts Regulations
Markwayne Mullin has gone from MMA fighter to Congress -- now he's in the middle of a debate over how to protect fighters outside of the octagon.
How On Earth: Toxic Air's Health Risks
I co-hosted KGNU's science show, How On Earth, with Susan Moran, about air pollution both on the Front Range and abroad. Our guests were Beth Gardiner, author of "Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution," and Frank Flocke, an atmospheric scientist at NCAR.
The Safety Agency At War With Itself
The first part of my investigation into what was going wrong at the Chemical Safety Agency. My reporting helped lead to the removal of senior management at the agency.