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Energy and Infrastructure

The United Nations has a new fundraising strategy: You. An unusual crowdfunding campaign aims to avert an oil spill in the Red Sea.
LISTEN at Marketplace

America’s 50,000 water utilities struggle to make ends meet. How the pandemic has plunged the nation’s water systems into further disrepair – and what to do about it.
LISTEN at NPR’s Morning Edition

In shuttered buildings, stagnant water can turn dangerous. Run those taps, folks.
LISTEN at Marketplace


Ukrainian doctors get a crash course in lung transplant. The Russian invasion has devastated Ukraine’s healthcare budget. A transplant training program in Boston aims to fill in the gaps.
LISTEN and READ at NPR’s Weekend Edition.

‘We’ve been failed down here’: Somerset residents urge state to shutter scrap metal operation. Residents near Brayton Point were promised a clean energy terminal for offshore wind. They got metal dust and 24-hour noise instead.

Design and Culture

A Whale-Oiled Machine. How our modern mechanical world was built in part by the brutal, long-defunct New Bedford whaling industry.
LISTEN at 99% Invisible

Artistic License. The bizarre and contentious history of the American license plate.
LISTEN at 99% Invisible

Inside computers and spacecraft, a legacy of New Bedford’s whaling days lives on. Highly engineered grease, produced by New Bedford’s Nye Lubricants, has kept machinery running smoothly from the seafaring age to the space age. This story won first place for Best Audio Script from the Public Media Journalists Association awards in 2022.

Wine making, a centuries-old Portuguese tradition, lives on in New Bedford. Once a year, the garage at Luzo’s Auto Body transforms into an Azorean adega. This story won first place for Best Use of Sound from the Public Media Journalists Association awards in 2022.

Climate Change and Ecology

The city inside a glacier. How an unlikely team of researchers unlocked the hidden history of Earth’s climate.
LISTEN at Outside/In

Signs of trouble ahead for Lake Superior’s historic herring fishery. How climate change could spell trouble for gefilte fish – and what it means for commercial fishers in Minnesota.
READ and LISTEN at Minnesota Public Radio

Experts question UN climate group leadership amid violence and environmental damage. Nicaragua’s human rights record raises alarm about its key position at the Green Climate Fund.
READ at Scientific American

Western Mass. blaze serves as reminder of state’s ‘rich history’ of wildfire. The Northeast could see more wildfire as the climate changes.

Ancient life awakens amid thawing ice caps and permafrost. Scientists discover long-dormant organisms in a warming Arctic.
READ at The Washington Post

New Bedford’s harbor is a billion dollars cleaner, but long-term impacts remain. The EPA has spent decades removing PCB-laden sediment from the country’s oldest marine superfund site. But experts say trace amounts of PCBs could linger, impacting the health of the ecosystem for years to come.

Deep Seabed Mining

Should We Mine the Deep-Sea? A deep dive into the science and ethics of deep-sea mining, which could provide metals for the energy transition but could come at a cost to ocean health.
LISTEN at How to Save a Planet

What to think about deep-sea mining for clean energy minerals. I unpack the geopolitics, technology and environmental tradeoffs of deep-sea mining with David Roberts.
LISTEN at Volts

Deep sea mining could provide materials to help us quit fossil fuels – but at a cost. My coverage of the International Seabed Authority’s 2022 assembly in Kingston, Jamaica.
LISTEN at NPR’s All Things Considered

More clips:

Tire makers test-drive new plant-based rubber sources
Marketplace Morning Report – 5/6/2021
Industry looks to tap desert shrubs and dandelions for rubber.

The Peregrine Falcons of Boston
BirdNote – 11/7/2020
Once wiped out from the East Coast, the species is thriving in big cities.

Western Mass. Blaze Serves As Reminder Of State’s ‘Rich History’ Of Wildfire
Morning Edition, WGBH News – 9/8/20
A forest fire in Leverett burned for more than a month, thanks in part to this summer’s drought.

The deep-sea is about to open for business
Scientific American – 8/31/2020
As deep-sea metals mining becomes a reality, scientists probe potential harms

What sewage can tell us about the spread of COVID-19
Marketplace Tech – 8/18/2020
Wastewater data can help cities plan a lockdown or decide on in-person schooling

In Deep
American Public Media
Daniel produced this podcast that asks: Do you know where your water’s been?

Aging oil tanker raises concern about catastrophe in Red Sea
Marketplace Morning Report – 7/23/2020
The ship—a ‘pawn’ in Yemen’s civil war—is deteriorating and could cause an oil spill

America’s 50,000 water utilities struggle to make ends meet
Morning Edition, National Public Radio – 6/24/2020
Some utilities may go out of business⁠—but customers could benefit

In shuttered buildings, stagnant water can turn dangerous
Marketplace Morning Report – 5/27/2020
Flushing toilets is essential to safeguard plumbing systems from harmful bacteria

COVID-19 Halted Arctic Refuge Bird Research, but Oil Leasing May Continue
Audubon – 5/18/2020
What the pandemic means for conservation prospects in Northern Alaska

Somerville Startup Scours Sewage for Coronavirus
Morning Edition, WGBH News – 4/14/2020
Biobot Analytics uses “wastewater epidemiology” to address testing shortage

COVID-19 stories for Business Insider
Ongoing science and news coverage of the pandemic

The unnatural history of Minnesota’s freshwater mussels
Morning Edition, Minnesota Public Radio News – 11/26/2019
Part II of series on native freshwater mussels. Listen to part I and part III.

Signs of trouble ahead for Lake Superior’s historic lake herring fishery
Morning Edition, Minnesota Public Radio News – 11/18/2019
Minnesota’s most valuable commercial fish species is on the decline

Hennepin County begins project to assess sinkhole risk
All Things Considered, Minnesota Public Radio News – 9/27/2019
Downtown Minneapolis may not be standing on completely solid ground

Robots help humans save water as climate change makes every drop count
Marketplace Tech – 8/15/2019
Startups are building robots that detect pipe leaks and monitor the oceans

[Part of How We Survive, a series on climate adaptation that Daniel helped produce for Marketplace]

Ancient life awakens amid thawing icecaps and permafrost
Washington Post – 7/9/2019
In Earth’s icy fringes, bacteria, moss and nematodes are bearing life anew

As algae blooms spread, more Minn. lakes get chemical treatment
Morning Edition, Minnesota Public Radio News – 7/5/2019
Lake managers wage chemical warfare against harmful algae blooms across Minnesota

Diving for Free Food
American Public Media – April 2019
Daniel reported this story as part of a radio special he produced, which aired on public radio stations throughout the U.S.

How to clean up a polluted lake? Just add aluminum.
National Geographic – 10/27/2018
Lake managers turn to aluminum sulfate to fight algae blooms

Heading off injury
Scientific American – October 2018
Soccer headers cause more brain damage in female players

Experts question UN climate group leadership amid violence and environmental damage
Scientific American investigative report – 8/27/2018
Nicaraguan government’s actions raise alarm about its position on the Green Climate Fund

Visiting a national park this summer? Hold your breath.
PBS NewsHour – 7/18/2018
Popular parks suffer as much ozone pollution as major U.S. cities

A lost summer for Greenland’s shorebirds
Scientific American – 7/13/2018
Ground-nesting birds failed to breed this year along the Arctic island’s east coast due to record snow cover

Reading history in the trees
Pacific Standard – 1/18/2018
To understand California’s past climate, scientists study the ring patterns in 500-year-old oaks

We can save individual species. But can we save entire ecosystems?
Ensia – 2/23/2016
Efforts to save grasslands illustrate the importance —and challenge — of protecting whole systems as well as their parts.

More stories appearing in Scientific American