Lauren is a radio reporter covering environment, water, and energy for KQED Science. As part of her day job, she has scaled Sierra Nevada peaks, run from charging elephant seals, and desperately tried to get her sea legs - all in pursuit of good radio. Her work has appeared on Marketplace, Living on Earth, and NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. You can find her on Twitter at @lesommer.
Lauren Sommer's Latest Posts
Ever wonder how a major league baseball player hits a 90-mph fastball? Ask some researchers at UC Berkeley, who have identified an area of the brain that makes it possible. Look at the numbers alone and hitting a home run seems next to impossible. A fastball takes .4 seconds to reach home plate after it […]
This won’t come as a surprise to Bay Area residents: the region is still growing. By one estimate, the Bay Area will add two million people by 2040, a 30 percent increase over today’s population of about seven million. More people means more housing and more traffic. But regional planning agencies have another target to […]
Through a unique history crowdsourcing project called “Year of the Bay,” the California Historical Society is hoping the public will help uncover the story behind many historical pictures of the San Francisco Bay.
This month, new details have emerged about Gov. Jerry Brown’s $23 billion plan to build new plumbing in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It could be the state’s largest water project in a generation, consisting of two massive, 40-foot-wide tunnels and thousands of acres of habitat restoration. On Wednesday, state water officials will release new studies […]
Governor Jerry Brown’s plan for two massive tunnels in the Delta is getting a lot of attention, but a different state agency is making the tough water decisions.
A groundbreaking network of marine reserves off the California coast are showing promising results, according to scientists meeting in Monterey this week. The results come five years after the state set up the first group of “marine protected areas”—zones where fishing is either limited or banned all together. Several fish species seem to be rebounding […]
Battles have been brewing in various states over the controversial oil and gas technique known as hydraulic fracturing, but regulators in California are just starting to grapple with it. Those regulators got a grilling in Sacramento on Tuesday as state lawmakers questioned whether newly proposed rules were strong enough to safely regulate the technique, which […]
California will attempt to launch an honest-to-goodness carbon market on Wednesday, officially kicking off the state’s cap and trade program. It’s part of the landmark global warming bill, AB 32, signed back in 2006 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. This won’t be first cap-and-trade program in the world — Europe’s been trading carbon allowances for a […]
Bay Area drivers have some notoriously bad daily commutes, but if you’re looking for the stretch of freeway with top bragging rights, look no further than the Interstate 80 corridor through Richmond and Berkeley. Caltrans ranks it as the worst traffic in the Bay Area. Now, Caltrans and regional transportation groups are kicking off an […]
The U.S. Forest Service says hundreds of thousands of oak trees have died over the last year due to the plant disease known as Sudden Oak Death. Scientists still don’t have a reliable way to control the epidemic. The spike in tree deaths, more than 300,000 in California this past year, is due to the […]