Author

Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt has been a national radio producer focusing on education for American Public Media since 2017. She has reported from the Arctic to the Antarctic for national and international media, and from Minnesota and Oregon for The Washington Post. She previously worked in Iceland and Qatar and was a Fulbright scholar in Spain where she earned a master's degree in digital media. She's been a kayaking guide in Alaska, farmed on four continents and worked the night shift at several bakeries to support her reporting along the way.

Northeast Oregon farms, food industries to buy water filters for those with contaminated wells

By: - July 1, 2022

In response to the groundwater nitrate emergency in Morrow County, a coalition of food processors, an industrial dairy and an energy company working out of the Port of Morrow will pay for water filters for hundreds of people with contaminated wells. The Boardman Chamber of Commerce released a statement Friday saying Beef Northwest, Boardman Foods, […]

Supreme Court ruling limiting EPA authority will not impact Oregon climate targets, laws

By: - July 1, 2022

A Thursday ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court limiting the authority of the federal Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants will have little impact in Oregon, according to the state’s environmental director.  “Today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court limiting EPA’s authority to regulate emissions from power plants does not […]

As wells run dry, Oregon residents depend on a state program that trucks in water

By: - June 30, 2022

Rhonda Nyseth’s well dried up on Sept. 15, 2021, nine months after she bought her house in Klamath Falls.  “When it happened, I won’t lie, I started crying immediately,” Nyseth said.  She was familiar with the situation. She’s a social services emergency liaison for the Oregon Department of Human Services Office of Resilience and Emergency […]

Across regions, politics, Oregonians share concerns that the future will include more wildfires

By: - June 29, 2022

Despite an exceptionally wet spring, Oregonians surveyed in early June overwhelmingly expect a future of increased wildfires across the state, according to a recent survey. The Oregon Values and Belief Center, a nonpartisan public opinion research organization, received 1,500 responses to an online survey sent to adults across the state during the first week of […]

Planned Parenthood to open east Oregon clinic, rallies planned to protest Supreme Court decision

By: - June 24, 2022

Planned Parenthood is increasing staff at Oregon clinics, boosting telemedicine programs across the state and opening a clinic in Ontario in eastern Oregon, the organization announced Friday. Anne Udall, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette in Portland, said the measures respond to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to overturn Roe V. […]

Abortion protest in Texas in May 2021

Brown, state and U.S. lawmakers in Oregon widely condemn U.S. Supreme Court decision

By: and - June 24, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Friday to overturn nearly 50 years of abortion rights protections sparked an outpouring of condemnation in Oregon where reproductive rights are protected by law and Democrats hold the majority of state offices. Political leaders, from the state’s U.S. senators and representatives to legislators and candidates for office, called the decision […]

Scientists release hundreds of wasps to save Willamette Valley fruits

By: - June 24, 2022

In 2009, a berry grower in the Willamette Valley sent Oregon State University entomologists a sample of berries that were being attacked by what appeared to be common fruit or vinegar flies. But unlike a typical fruit fly interested in soft, rotting produce, something was getting into even hard and partially ripened berries, ruining them […]

Oregon’s Environmental Quality Department chief announces retirement

By: - June 22, 2022

Richard Whitman, the director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, announced Wednesday that he will retire at year’s end. The decision was not a sudden one, according to Harry Esteve, a department spokesperson.  “He’s 65, about to turn 66, and he’s been in state government for 25 years,” Esteve said. “He felt the time […]

Northeast Oregon food processors, dairy, offer to pay for water testing

By: - June 20, 2022

In response to the groundwater nitrate emergency in Morrow County, several food processors, an industrial farm and an Amazon data center have stepped up to pay for drinking water testing and water distribution for people who rely on wells drawing from a contaminated aquifer.  Amazon Web Services, Boardman Foods, Lamb Weston, Calbee North America, Tillamook […]

Port of Morrow continued to pollute after January fine, now faces $2.1 million fine, state says

By: - June 17, 2022

Following a record fine in January for illegally dumping wastewater, the Port of Morrow continued to pump nitrogen-rich water onto northeast Oregon farms, according to a revised penalty from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. On Friday, the department announced it is raising the port’s fine, to more than $2.1 million, for violations that took […]

Troubled by inaction, Morrow County commissioner makes safe water a top issue

By: - June 17, 2022

The first time Jim Doherty visited Boardman’s West Glen neighborhood to test people’s tap water, he had six plastic bottles from a lab in Umatilla and communicated with residents using broken Spanglish from his years working on farms and ranches. Most of the homes in the mostly Latino neighborhood in northeast Oregon are prefabricated, on […]

Oregon teens reporting ‘eco-anxiety’ from climate challenges, report finds

By: - June 14, 2022

The issue of global climate change became achingly apparent to 17-year old Ukiah Halloran-Steiner of Yamhill County during the 2020 Labor Day weekend wildfires. She was kayaking on the Rogue River in southern Oregon with her family when smoke and wind blew through. “Bats were flying in the middle of the day and my eyes […]