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Lauren Sommer

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.

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Lauren Sommer's Latest Posts

California Drought One More Setback for River That Runs Dry

KQED Science | February 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

California Drought One More Setback for River That Runs Dry

Just as salmon are being returned to the San Joaquin River, the extreme drought is bringing political heat to one of the most ambitious environmental restoration efforts in the state.

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Drought Leads to Tough Tradeoffs for California Salmon

KQED Science | February 12, 2014 | 1 Comment

Drought Leads to Tough Tradeoffs for California Salmon

State officials are trying to do damage control to help endangered salmon during the drought, but helping some fish could hurt others.

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Record Drought Could Hurt Water Quality

KQED Science | February 11, 2014 | 1 Comment

Record Drought Could Hurt Water Quality

With low water levels in rivers, water quality could suffer, creating toxic algae blooms and causing concerns for water districts.

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California Drought Loosens Some Environmental Rules

KQED Science | January 20, 2014 | 4 Comments

California Drought Loosens Some Environmental Rules

Governor Jerry Brown's emergency drought declaration allows regulators to relax some water quality standards, as the state tries to balance the needs of wildlife and people.

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Icebergs and Green Paint: Lessons from California’s Big Droughts

KQED Science | January 16, 2014 | 1 Comment

Icebergs and Green Paint: Lessons from California’s Big Droughts

Importing an Arctic iceberg for freshwater? Painting brown lawns green? California has had some creative ideas for droughts in the past.

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Want to Save Water? Try Some Neighborly Competition

KQED Science | January 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

Want to Save Water? Try Some Neighborly Competition

Utilities find that nothing drives water savings quite like giving you a peek at your neighbors' habits.

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Money, Environmental Concerns Could Sink Governor’s Delta Water Plan

KQED Science | December 13, 2013 | 1 Comment

Money, Environmental Concerns Could Sink Governor’s Delta Water Plan

Governor Jerry Brown's Bay Delta Conservation Plan is now open for public comment. State officials say the water supply for 25 million Californians from the Bay Area to San Diego is at stake, as is the health of the largest estuary on the West Coast. But before it can move forward, the project needs money and buy-in from wary water district managers and skeptical federal regulators.

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With California’s Water Future at Stake, Delta Plan Inches Ahead

KQED Science | December 9, 2013 | 0 Comments

With California’s Water Future at Stake, Delta Plan Inches Ahead

California's $25 billion fix for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta depends on making wildlife groups and water users happy. With the latest release of the state's plan, it's looking harder to do both.

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What California’s New Fracking Rules Would Do (And Not Do)

KQED Science | November 15, 2013 | 6 Comments

What California’s New Fracking Rules Would Do (And Not Do)

The debate over hydraulic fracturing in California is heating up as oil and gas regulators release draft rules for the controversial oil extraction technique.

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Crab Season Kicks Off With New Limits for Fishermen

KQED Science | November 13, 2013 | 0 Comments

Crab Season Kicks Off With New Limits for Fishermen

A new cap on the number of crab traps could help Bay Area fishermen--and maybe keep fresh crab in your local market a bit longer.

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Silicon Valley in Race for Battery Breakthrough

KQED Science | November 1, 2013 | 4 Comments

Silicon Valley in Race for Battery Breakthrough

The global battery race is on and the Bay Area is in it to win.

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It’s Geek Week – Bay Area Science Festival Kicks Off

KQED Science | October 24, 2013 | 0 Comments

It’s Geek Week – Bay Area Science Festival Kicks Off

The Bay Area’s proving to be a trendsetter in yet another way: events that celebrate science. The annual Bay Area Science Festival is getting underway with 50 events over 10 days.

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<a href=http://science.kqed.org/quest/audio/road-kill-or-road-crossing-california-slow-to-protect-wildlife/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=road-kill-or-road-crossing-california-slow-to-protect-wildlife target=_blank >Road Kill or Road Crossing: California Slow to Protect Wildlife</a>

QUEST | October 18, 2013

Road Kill or Road Crossing: California Slow to Protect Wildlife

Drivers hit thousands of animals every year on California freeways, often killing the wildlife, and sometimes killing or injuring the human, too. Several western states have built fencing and other infrastructure to help wildlife cross freeways safely, and critics say California could be doing a lot more of the same.

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To Protect Wildlife, California Bans Hunting With Lead Bullets

KQED Science | October 11, 2013 | 3 Comments

To Protect Wildlife, California Bans Hunting With Lead Bullets

Governor Jerry Brown has approved the first statewide lead bullet ban for hunters, in the hope of helping endangered California condors.

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Drought Could Hamper Forest Recovery After Rim Fire

KQED Science | October 3, 2013 | 2 Comments

Drought Could Hamper Forest Recovery After Rim Fire

Ferns and new shoots from oak trees are already appearing in the ashes of the Rim Fire in Yosemite National Park. But fire ecologists say the long-term recovery of the forest could be hampered if California’s dry weather continues

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Can Renewable Energy Reduce California’s Fire Risk?

KQED Science | September 27, 2013 | 0 Comments

Can Renewable Energy Reduce California’s Fire Risk?

The Rim Fire is calling attention to a big problem: California’s forests are overloaded with fuel after a century of putting out fires. There’s a new push to use that fuel to make renewable energy, but it's sparked a heated debate.

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Video: Before and After Views of Forest Burned by the Rim Fire

KQED Science | September 10, 2013 | 0 Comments

Video: Before and After Views of Forest Burned by the Rim Fire

A team of federal scientists is surveying areas burned by the Rim Fire to identify where the worst erosion danger is. An environmental group says restoration could cost tens of millions of dollars.

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Warming Climate Could Transform Bay Area Parks and Open Space

KQED Science | September 9, 2013 | 0 Comments

Warming Climate Could Transform Bay Area Parks and Open Space

By the end of the century, the Bay Area's landscape could look more like Southern California's, raising tough questions for land managers trying to preserve parks and open space.

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Does Your Range Hood Suck? Cooking Spikes Indoor Air Pollution

KQED Science | July 26, 2013 | 9 Comments

Does Your Range Hood Suck? Cooking Spikes Indoor Air Pollution

When you're cooking dinner, the air inside your kitchen can sometimes be just as harmful as smog. Range hoods are designed to capture cooking fumes, but even some expensive models aren’t very effective. Researchers are trying to fix that.

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East Bay Building Demolition to Provide Rare Earthquake Insights

KQED Science | July 22, 2013 | 0 Comments

East Bay Building Demolition to Provide Rare Earthquake Insights

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey are looking for volunteers in the East Bay to help document a powerful seismic event in mid-August, when a 13-story building on the California State University, East Bay campus will come crashing down, making way for a new, seismically stable replacement.

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