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Alec Cowan

Producer, Soundside


Alec Cowan is a producer for Soundside. His interests have brought many eclectic stories to the program, and his segments gravitate toward history, technology, art and design, and ecology. He's currently obsessed with exploring the history and changing nature of the American West.

Prior to joining Soundside, Alec wore many hats at KUOW. He was a producer for The Record with Bill Radke, and was the producer of Primed season two and three. He also reported and produced an episode of SoundQs detailing how prohibition forever changed Seattle policing and assisted with reporting a breakthrough cold case solved with the use of genetic genealogy.

Before joining KUOW Alec worked in NPR's Story Lab, where he helped pilot the Louder Than A Riot podcast on hip-hop and mass incarceration and assisted in producing a story on volunteerism in Iraq for Rough Translation. Originally from Grand Junction, Colorado, his roots in the Northwest originate in Eugene, where he studied English and philosophy at the University of Oregon and worked as a news reporter for member station KLCC. He is likely neglecting his saxophone, growing book collection, and expanding personal project list in favor of boosting his online Xbox ranking instead.

Location: Seattle

Languages Spoken: English

Pronouns: he/him/his


  • caption: In this photo taken Nov. 23, 2015, sophomores Kendra Mitchell, second left, and Katie Benmar, sit with other first-period students in a geography class at Roosevelt High School in Seattle.

    Despite decades of integration, Seattle schools are re-segregating

    In 1978, Seattle began an effort to desegregate its schools. Two decades after the landmark Brown V. Board of Education ruling, it was the first major city to voluntarily take on racial segregation in schools – the enduring legacy of racist policies like redlining. For 40 years, Seattle students were bussed to schools across town in an effort to put students and schools in different parts of town on equal footing. But then, in 2007, the district’s integration policies were challenged by white parents. And ultimately deemed unconstitutional.

  • caption: Driving along Hwy 7 through southern Pierce County, you can see "No Airport Here!" signs on gates, front yards, and street corners.

    Washington state hits the reset button on its search for a new airport site

    With the stroke of a pen last week, Governor Jay Inslee hit “reset” on years of work to decide where to build a new major airport in Western Washington. While pockets of Pierce and Thurston counties are breathing a big sigh of relief over the decision, many state leaders are scratching their heads about what’s next.

  • caption: Tree canopy over Seattle, Wash.

    After more than a decade, Seattle passes new rules to protect more city trees

    Seattle is known as the Emerald City, but over the past couple decades it’s been losing a lot of what makes it green. The city’s most recent tree canopy assessment, released in 2021, found that Seattle’s tree cover had dropped to 28.1 percent -- short of a goal set nearly 15 years earlier of getting canopy coverage to at least 30 percent. To protect more trees from development, many urban forest advocates have spent years asking for an update to rules for removing and replacing trees in Seattle. On Tuesday, those rules were finally updated.

  • Farewell Tour

    Hear it again: When WA was a country music capital — Stephanie Clifford's 'The Farewell Tour'

    When you think about country music, places like Texas, Appalachia and Nashville probably come to mind. Maybe you even know about The Bakersfield Sound, a sub-genre of country music that sprang from California. But the Pacific Northwest has a long country tradition, from honky tonks in Tacoma to radio shows in Walla Walla and dances at Whatcom County meeting halls.

  • caption: In this photo taken June 4, 2018, the downtown skyline is shown from the South Hill in Spokane, Wash.

    Spokane is closing Camp Hope, but for many the trauma of homelessness continues

    Camp Hope, a large homelessness encampment in Spokane, has become a battleground between city, county, and state officials. It’s also brought a lot of attention and scrutiny toward Spokane’s homelessness policies. Local officials want camp residents moved elsewhere, citing concerns with community safety and drug use. Both sides agree residents should be moved elsewhere — but just where, and when, has remained an open question.

  • caption: The Washington State Capitol in Olympia.

    Sponsor of WA bill on trans youth targeted by right-wing groups

    Last month, onlookers gathered at the state capitol to protest Senate Bill 5599. The bill recently cleared the Washington legislature recently, and extends emergency shelter options for youth seeking reproductive or gender-affirming healthcare. But despite its specificity, the bill has been swept into a larger battle over transgender rights.

  • caption: Kraken's J. Eberle celebrates with his team mates his goal at the Playoff game played in the Climate Pledge Arena, April 24th 2023

    How have the Kraken gone from underperforming to unstoppable?

    What a Game 7 it was in Denver. Kraken Right Wing Oliver Bjorkstrand slung a prayer of a shot and made one of the luckiest deflections you’ll ever see. The momentum from that goal led the Kraken to a 2-1 victory over the defending Stanley Cup Champions, The Colorado Avalanche.