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
California water districts are eyeing a potential new source of water: trees. After a century of fire suppression, Sierra Nevada forests are more dense than ever before. And those pine trees are taking up a lot of water that might otherwise run off into California rivers.
One of the key fisheries on the West Coast is coming back after years of decline.
The era of unlimited groundwater pumping in California could be ending. A package of bills would require local agencies to restore over-pumped aquifers.
Later this week, the U.S. Forest Service will release plans to allow logging companies to harvest some of the dead trees. Some environmental groups say it would destroy important wildlife habitat.
Reforestation is common after large fires in the West, but some scientists say it’s time to rethink how forests are replanted.
Stanford launches a major investigation of the state's dwindling groundwater resources and finds "alarming" gaps.
Activists are hoping local residents will do what state legislators haven’t done -- shut down the controversial oil production technique known as hydraulic fracturing.
State lawmakers approved the delay in late June, and at the same time tightened up the environmental review process for fracking permits.
Marbled murrelets are rare seabirds that lay just one egg a year, and those eggs are a favorite food item for another bird: Steller’s jays. Scientists are hoping to trick the jays into avoiding the murrelet eggs using decoy eggs with a rude surprise inside.
Fights are breaking out over controversial water sales. Some farmers say they need the water to keep trees alive, while others say groundwater pumping depletes supplies for neighboring farms, and could threaten California's already-stressed aquifers.
Two competing camps have emerged about how to boost California's water supplies during dry times: conserve more water or build more water storage.
Though there are no wild wolves in California, state officials, expecting them to get here eventually, voted to protect them.
There's more than meets the eye to the reported reassessment of the state's next big oil play.
San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences opens a skull exhibit this week, featuring the work of Ray Bandar, a man who has devoted 60 years to cleaning the skulls and bones of some of California's most beloved animals.
A citizen science group is asking hikers to use their smartphones help study how Mt. Diablo State Park is recovering from last year's Morgan Fire.
A 47-mile section of the California Aqueduct, the main artery of the state's water system, could be engineered to flow backward this summer.
Water managers are walking a tightrope this year, balancing three competing needs: how much water to deliver to people and agriculture, how much to provide for wildlife and how much to save for next year, in case it’s just as dry.
The drought is putting a spotlight on water use around California, including for hydraulic fracturing. How much water does fracking use and will it increase as companies tap into the Monterey Shale, estimated to be the largest oil resource in country?