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
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 […]
Marine scientists from around the world are gathering in Monterey this week to discuss what is sometimes a little-noticed climate change problem: ocean acidification. The oceans have become about 30 percent more acidic since the start of the Industrial Revolution – the result of soaking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Today, oceans absorb about […]
On Wednesday, Governor Jerry Brown and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar are expected to announce a multi-billion dollar plan designed to fix California’s longstanding water war in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Their proposal for a 35-mile water tunnel is set to reignite the fight over how water is exported from the Delta. The announcement comes just […]
Water battles in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have been fought over a basic question: as the state’s thirsty cities and farms demand more Delta water, is there enough left for endangered fish like the Delta smelt and chinook salmon? In a report released today from the Bay Institute, environmentalists argue that the damage being done […]
After a two-month jaunt in Northern California, the lone wolf known as OR7 is now hanging out near the state border with Oregon. The two-year-old male wolf, California’s first in almost 90 years, has stirred both fascination and concern. OR7 has also prompted state officials to consider how to manage a growing wolf population. In […]