Ashley Ahearn

Environment Reporter

Ashley Ahearn 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.

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EarthFix Reports
10:07 am
Tue August 26, 2014

VIDEO: Rafting The Elwha Without Its Dams

Rafters enjoy Elwha River after it opened for exploration with the removal of the dams.
Credit 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.

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Environment
12:12 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Proposed Coal Terminals Denied Permit In Oregon

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.

EarthFix Report
9:12 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Oil Train Derailed In Interbay Rail Yard

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.

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Environmental Health
9:16 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Governor Inslee Proposes New Water Quality Standards

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 Reports
10:25 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Rail Workers Raise Doubts About Safety As Oil Trains Roll On

Tank cars, many of them placarded as holding crude oil and other hazardous materials, sit in a BNSF yard in Northwest Portland.
Credit 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.

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Local Wonder
7:49 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Why Are There So Few Mosquitos In Seattle?

Sharon Collman, an entomologist at Washington State University, hunts for mosquitos.
Credit 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.

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Emissions Reduction
10:45 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Federal Rules On CO2 Emissions To Bolster Action In The Northwest

The TransAlta Centralia Generation Plant has been burning coal since 1971. It is Washington's only coal-fired power plant. It was on track to be shuttered before the EPA's new rules came out calling for such plants to curb emissions 30 percent.
Pamela Gerber, 2009

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 8:57 am

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.

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EarthFix Reports
3:32 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Oso Highlights A Policy Challenge: Development Pressure Vs. Landslide Risk

Barbara Ingram stands in front of the site of a proposed development in her neighborhood. Snohomish County denied the permit for the development due to "slope stability and drainage issues" but the developer has reapplied.
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.

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EarthFix Reports
9:22 am
Tue May 13, 2014

New Study: Glacial Collapse In Antarctica 'Unstoppable'

Flickr Photo/goneforawander

New research from the University of Washington and other institutions provides detailed predictions for the collapse of an ice shelf in West Antarctica.

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EarthFix Reports
7:33 am
Wed May 7, 2014

'They Need To Go': The Environmental And Health Costs Of Portable Classrooms

The columns of the front entrance of Whatcom Middle School are just visible over the top of two portable classrooms the district placed on a lot across the street.
EarthFix Photo/Tony Schick

Teacher Billie Lane’s portable is a world apart from other classrooms at her school.

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EarthFix Reports
7:31 am
Wed April 30, 2014

New Study: Acidifying Ocean Destroying Sea Butterflies

A pteropod showing partially dissolved shell after exposure to elevated CO2 conditions in the lab.
Credit Courtesy of Nina Bednarsek

Tiny, delicate marine snails called pteropods are a key part of the marine food web. New research indicates they are dissolving to a greater extent than previously thought because of ocean acidification.

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Oso Mudslide
1:57 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

The Five Hardest Minutes Working The Mudslide

A group of young people from the Washington Conservation Corps worked 14 - 16 hour days trying to recover victims in the Oso mudslide.
Credit KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

The Oso mudslide drew hundreds of volunteers to the towns of Arlington and Darrington, Wash.

Mixed in among those responders were 50 young people in the Washington Conservation Corps between the ages of 18 and 25.

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EarthFix Reports
9:21 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Residents Voice Fear And Concern Over Grays Harbor Oil Terminals

Westway's Grays Harbor Terminal is located in the Port of Grays Harbor, Wash. According to Westway, the port is the only Pacific Coast deep water port north of San Francisco.
EarthFix Photo/Ashley Ahearn

HOQUIAM, Wash. — More than 100 people gathered at the local high school Thursday night with questions and concerns about proposals to build train-to-ship oil terminals in their community.

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EarthFix Reports
8:14 am
Tue April 22, 2014

New Study: Mercury Found In Sport Fish In Remote Northwest Lakes

New research from the U.S. Geological Survey shows some fish in the West's pristine, alpine lakes like Lake Solitude in Grand Teton National Park (pictured here) have high mercury levels.
Credit Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey/John Pritz

Some bad news for backcountry in the West: Some of the fish in the region’s wild alpine lakes contain unsafe levels of mercury, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Warnings From Oso
8:14 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Living In The Shadow Of Landslide Risk

"Maybe that hillside is a danger to me," says Ben Van Dusen, looking towards the steep foothills of Mt. Index less than a 1/4 mile from his home. "I didn’t think it was but maybe it is.”
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

The landslide in Oso, Wash., served as a devastating reminder of one fact of life in the Northwest: landslides happen.

In some places, it’s a risk people have learned to live with — places like the Mt. Index River Sites, a loose cluster of homes along the Skykomish River northeast of Seattle in the Cascade Mountains.

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