When you think of a tree, you probably think of the trunk and all those parts you see above ground. But thereâ€™s a whole lot more going on under the soil than meets the eye. Scientists are now digging into the hidden world of tree roots in an effort to illuminate some unexplained mysteries.
Â State officials are predicting another challenging wildfire season this year. Fighting those fires may be more difficult due to the federal sequester, which slashed nearly 8 percent from the Forest Serviceâ€™s budget. Ross Reynolds interviews Washington Stateâ€™s Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.
The federal government has pushed back the possible threatened listing of two rare plants that could affect farmers in southeast Washington. Umtanum desert buckwheat and the White Bluffs bladderpod have become very controversial, because part of the plantsâ€™ habitat spans valuable crop ground.
Itâ€™s a big topic of conversation at the Country Mercantile restaurant where many Franklin County farmers lunch. Ami MacHugh is an area cherry and horse farmer whose land could be affected by the possible federal protections.
Crowdfunding campaigns are popular ways to raise money for fledgling businesses and independent projects â€” and now scientific research. As state and federal agencies begin the environmental review process for the largest coal export terminals on the West Coast, some scientists are turning to the public for help with research of their own.
Voters in Portland, Oregon have decide not to add fluoride to their municipal drinking water. Seattle and most other large cities in the US added the chemical decades ago to prevent cavities in children.
The people overseeing the cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster are learning some valuable lessons from the long-running cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. A Japanese government delegation recently toured some of the southeast Washington site.
In Japan, workers in gloves and masks are grinding down sidewalks and roads, wiping down rooftops and bagging contaminated soil. Now, the problem is where to put all that radioactive waste from Fukushima.
Â Â Washington state ranks number one in the nation for our use of renewable energy sources according to an analysis by Slate Magazine. The ranking includes hydroelectric powerÂ but the stateâ€™s own 2020 renewable energy goals do not. Ross Reynolds speaks with Jessica Finn Coven, the director of Climate Solutions, about whether Washingtonâ€™s on track to meet our 2020 renewable energy goals.
Most of us walk around on the surface of the earth, thinking that's all there is. But divers know better. There's just as much going on under the water as there is on land. We hear how dipping below the surface completely changed one diver's perspective.
This unusual interview comes from the podcast Here Be Monsters. Its creator, Jeff Emtman, is one of the recipients of KUOW's Program Venture Fund. He'll be moving to Seattle to do some reporting for us this summer.
The automaker Nissan says sales of its fully electric Leaf compact surpassed all other Nissan models at dealers in the Seattle and Portland areas this spring. The announcement Wednesday runs counter to the prevailing wisdom that adoption of plug-in cars has been sluggish.
At Nissan USA headquarters, electric vehicle marketing & sales director Erik Gottfried says he's scrambling to ship enough Leafs to meet demand in the Pacific Northwest. The car maker juiced its plug-in sales by slashing the sticker price and offering low-cost leases.
Federal regulators say the Northwestâ€™s only commercial nuclear power plant is now back on course after an 11-year safety miscalculation. The new designation means the Columbia Generating Station in southeast Washington gets a more relaxed inspection and oversight status.
Between 2000 and 2011, workers at the nuclear plant used faulty estimates for how much radiation could escape during a crisis. That mistake and others were found in an inspection just last year.
Cleanup of a hazardous chemical called hexavalent chromium in the groundwater at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington is going faster than expected.
Hexavalent chromium is the nasty stuff that made Erin Brockovich famous down in California. The chemical was used to inhibit rust in coolant water in Hanfordâ€™s reactors. But that water was dumped into the desert, and now the cancer-causer is making its way toward the Columbia River in large groundwater plumes.
A centuryâ€™s worth of contamination in Seattle's only river is about to get a $305 million cleanup. Before finalizing a decision on the proposed plan, the Environmental Protection Agency is asking the public to weigh in.