Lauren Sommer

Lauren is a radio reporter covering environment, water, and energy for KQED Science. As part of her day job, she has scaled Sierra Nevada peaks, run from charging elephant seals, and desperately tried to get her sea legs - all in pursuit of good radio. Her work has appeared on Marketplace, Living on Earth, and NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. You can find her on Twitter at @lesommer.

How Can Anyone Hit a 90 mph Fastball? Science Explains!

Ever wonder how a major league baseball player hits a 90-mph fastball? Ask some researchers at UC Berkeley, who have identified an area of the brain that makes it possible. Look at the numbers alone and hitting a home run seems next to impossible. A fastball takes .4 seconds to reach home plate after it … Continue reading How Can Anyone Hit a 90 mph Fastball? Science Explains! →

Planning for Climate Change in a Growing Bay Area

This won’t come as a surprise to Bay Area residents: the region is still growing. By one estimate, the Bay Area will add two million people by 2040, a 30 percent increase over today’s population of about seven million. More people means more housing and more traffic. But regional planning agencies have another target to … Continue reading Planning for Climate Change in a Growing Bay Area →

Key State Report to Show How Water Tunnels Will Impact Endangered Fish

This month, new details have emerged about Gov. Jerry Brown’s $23 billion plan to build new plumbing in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It could be the state’s largest water project in a generation, consisting of two massive, 40-foot-wide tunnels and thousands of acres of habitat restoration. On Wednesday, state water officials will release new studies … Continue reading Key State Report to Show How Water Tunnels Will Impact Endangered Fish →

California Ocean Reserves Show Promising Results for Marine Life

A groundbreaking network of marine reserves off the California coast are showing promising results, according to scientists meeting in Monterey this week. The results come five years after the state set up the first group of “marine protected areas”—zones where fishing is either limited or banned all together. Several fish species seem to be rebounding … Continue reading California Ocean Reserves Show Promising Results for Marine Life →

California Lawmakers Ask If New Fracking Regulations Are Enough

Battles have been brewing in various states over the controversial oil and gas technique known as hydraulic fracturing, but regulators in California are just starting to grapple with it. Those regulators got a grilling in Sacramento on Tuesday as state lawmakers questioned whether newly proposed rules were strong enough to safely regulate the technique, which … Continue reading California Lawmakers Ask If New Fracking Regulations Are Enough →

Five Reasons You Should Care about California’s Cap-and-Trade Carbon Market

California will attempt to launch an honest-to-goodness carbon market on Wednesday, officially kicking off the state’s cap and trade program. It’s part of the landmark global warming bill, AB 32, signed back in 2006 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. This won’t be first cap-and-trade program in the world — Europe’s been trading carbon allowances for a … Continue reading Five Reasons You Should Care about California’s Cap-and-Trade Carbon Market →