Ashley Ahearn

Environment Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 2011

Ashley is the environment reporter at KUOW and part of the award-winning regional multimedia collaborative project EarthFix. Before joining KUOW Ashley was a producer and reporter for Living on Earth, a nationally aired environment program from Public Radio International.

She has a master's degree in science journalism from the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California and has completed reporting fellowships with Vermont Law School, the Metcalf Institute at the University of Rhode Island and the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources. She also serves on the board of the Society of Environmental Journalists. In her spare time Ashley enjoys riding vintage motorcycles, snowboarding and hiking in the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges of the Northwest.

Ashley has completed reporting fellowships MIT with Vermont Law School, the Metcalf Institute at the University of Rhode Island, and the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources. Her work has received national and regional awards from the Online News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of Environmental Journalists and others. 

Ways To Connect

Northwest tribes took part in a national gathering Wednesday for native leaders in Washington, D.C., where top federal officials told them they stand together in opposing climate change and supporting treaty rights.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was among those who addressed the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference.

"There’s a saying: 'we don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.'" she said. "So that’s what climate change is all about. We have an earth that is in trouble."

Jewell’s comments were met with applause.

The EPA's final decision will cost the responsible parties $342 million and will cover 177 acres of the lower Duwamish River. 960,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment will be dredged from the bottom of the river, and 24 acres will be capped with clean sediment to lock away contaminants below the surface of the riverbed.

Washington state is home to more glaciers than any other state in the lower 48, and they're receding faster than ever before. That's a problem for the Pacific Northwest, where glaciers are crucial for drinking water, hydropower generation and salmon survival.

Earthfix Photo/Ryan Hashert

NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK, Wash. — Jon Riedel’s white hair and light blue eyes match the icy tint of the landscape he’s studied for more than 30 years.

He moved to Washington soon after finishing his PhD at the University of Wisconsin because he says the glaciers of the Northwest are still writing the landscape, still carving out curves and valleys.

Smoke stacks during a night scene in Tacoma, Wash. Election-night shifts in the Oregon state Senate moved it closer to a carbon tax. Washington might have distanced itself further.
Flickr Photo/Tom Collins (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Environmentalists spent more than $1.5 million in Oregon and Washington in bids to secure Democratic majorities in state legislatures — majorities they wanted for approving clean-fuel standards and a tax on carbon emissions.

The plan worked in Oregon. It didn’t in Washington.

EarthFix Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Environmental groups are among the biggest spenders in this year’s state elections in Washington and Oregon, pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into campaigns to ensure Democratic statehouse control.

We Are All To Blame For The Oso Slide

Sep 21, 2014
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KCTS Photo/Katie Campbell

As a geomorphologist, Dan Miller has extensively studied the land formations and landslide history of the Stillaguamish Valley and Steelhead Haven. Miller and other scientists knew it to be a hazardous place, long before the devastating slide occurred. 

KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

The waters of the Elwha River are clear right now, for a change.

For nearly three years, this glacier-fed river on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula has been sluicing millions of tons of sediment that were held back for a century by a pair of dams.

Ross Reynolds talks with KUOW reporter Ashley Ahearn about what the denial of a key permit for a coal terminal in Oregon means for Washington state.

KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Three tanker cars in an oil train from North Dakota derailed at a rail yard in Seattle early Thursday, but BNSF Railway says none of the oil spilled.

Marcie Sillman speaks with KUOW reporter Ashley Ahearn about the specifics of Governor Jay Inslee's long-awaited proposal for how to improve water quality in Washington.

EarthFix Photo/Tony Schick

Curtis Rookaird thinks BNSF Railway fired him because he took the time to test his train’s brakes.

The rail yard in Blaine, Washington, was on heightened security that day, he remembers, because of the 2010 Winter Olympics underway just across border in Vancouver, B.C.

KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

KUOW listener Nancy Beaudet had a question: Why are there so few mosquitos in Seattle?

As part of our Local Wonder series, we sent our environmental reporter, Ashley Ahearn, onto the muddy trails of the Washington Park Arboretum to find out why skeeters don’t plague Seattle summers.

SEATTLE — The Environmental Protection Agency's new rules requiring states to cut carbon emissions from power plants are likely to change the energy landscape in Northwest states, even though they have far fewer coal-fired power plants than most of the U.S.

KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Barbara Ingram furrows her brow as she peers into a patch of woods up the road from her house. Developers have had their eyes on this place, too.