Antarctica Research

Diane McKnight, a professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, talks with How On Earth contributor Brian Calvert about scientific discoveries from Antarctica. During the temporary government shutdown theUnited States Antarctic Program, which facilitates government-funded scientific research in Antarctica, was unplugged. Several expeditions were cancelled. Her research on the McMurdo…

Wildfires Threaten Water Supplies

The wildfire burning in and around Yosemite National Park is now the fourth-largest in California’s history. Covering nearly 350 square miles, the Rim Fire is threatening the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which supplies residents in the San Francisco Bay Area with most of their water and power. It’s a lot like the 2012 High Park Fire—which…

A new way of predicting California’s water supply

For KCRW’s Independent Producer Project: The water you put in your coffee maker every morning probably started out as snow high up in the Sierras. But figuring out just how much water Californians are going to have each year has always been a tricky business…and changes in weather patterns are only making it harder. But one…

Desert beauty: artists dig up inspiration in the Mojave

For KCRW, via their Independent Producer Project: You might think of the Mojave Desert as empty and inhospitable. But homesteaders and miners began living in this dry, vast space east of Los Angeles in the early 20th Century. And it’s always called to outsiders and artists like Noah Purifoy, an Angeleno who lived in Joshua…

The Rest Is Silence

For KCRW’s UnFictional, from Los Angeles. Amanda McDonough is a 22-year-old graduate of Cal Poly Pomona. All her life, she’s had hearing problems. She wore hearing aids and hid the fact from everyone she knew. Mostly she got by. But then, last year, everything changed.

Bochan: A Cambodian-American Idol

For Studio 360, from Oakland. In the cliché version of the immigrant story, the hardworking parents want their first-generation kids to become doctors, engineers, lawyers — to have a more comfortable life and social prestige. Chhan Huy fled Cambodia during its horrific civil war in the 1970s, and settled with his family in California. He…