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.

Poll: Oregonians unsure or unconvinced their school boards represent their values

By: - April 21, 2022

A survey of more than 1,500 Oregonians found nearly 40% did not feel their values and beliefs were represented by their local school boards and more than a quarter were unsure.  In March, the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, an independent nonprofit research group, sent the online survey to Oregonians ages 18 and up.  School […]

Last year saw highest number of wolf kills in Oregon since their return to the state

By: - April 20, 2022

More wolves were killed by humans during 2021 than any year since 2009, when wolves re-established themselves in the state, according to the latest Annual Wolf Report from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Oregon’s known wolf population grew by just two in 2021, from 173 in 2020 to 175. That’s the lowest annual […]

Lamb Weston’s Hermiston Plant found to have polluted groundwater with tons of excess nitrate

By: - April 19, 2022

Lamb Weston’s French fry production plant in Hermiston has been discharging too much nitrate-loaded water onto area farms, according to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.  The wastewater flowing from the plant has contaminated the groundwater, causing nitrate levels in some nearby wells to measure four to seven times the safe limit set by the […]

Public comment sought on water permit for Port of Morrow after million-dollar violations

By: - April 15, 2022

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is asking the public to weigh in on a revised water permit for the Port of Morrow, after it violated its existing permit more than 1,100 times. From 2018 to 2021, the state’s second largest port dumped wastewater on farmland containing 165 tons more nitrate than allowed. In January, […]

Tuition up at nearly all Oregon public universities this fall

By: - April 15, 2022

Incoming freshmen at nearly all of Oregon’s public universities will pay more for tuition this fall as schools struggle with inflation and budget deficits and face uncertain enrollment with Covid still lingering. Rate hikes range from 2% to 7% for Oregon residents across the state’s seven public universities. Oregon Tech has proposed the largest increase, […]

State leaders hope new behavioral health graduates can fill persistent gaps in Oregon schools

By: - April 14, 2022

The University of Oregon will launch a new bachelor’s degree and certification program in children’s behavioral health to meet growing needs in state and regional schools.  When it comes to school psychologists, Oregon has about one per 1,400 students, according to the National Association of School Psychologists. It recommends one per 500 students.  The new […]

Sunset on Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon

Bureau of Reclamation gives Klamath Basin one of its lowest water allotments

By: - April 12, 2022

Farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Basin will have to endure the dry summer months with relatively little water – again.  On Monday, the federal Bureau of Reclamation announced it was allocating 50,000 acre feet, or about 16.3 billion gallons, of water from the Klamath Project irrigation system for the 2022 summer season, which opens […]

Welcome at airport for Afghan family

Oregon leader will use her own refugee experience to guide changes in state programs

By: - April 11, 2022

Toc Soneoulay-Gillespie has lived through the missed opportunities when communications break down between state agencies and immigrants and refugees. The new director of the recently-formed state Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement didn’t know much about the health care her or her parents were entitled to when they arrived in the U.S. as refugees from […]

Despite more money than ever for summer school, teacher shortages limit possibilities

By: - April 8, 2022

Oregon school districts may struggle to make use of millions of dollars set aside to expand summer school and help thousands of students catch up on their education, according to interviews and state records. Schools in the state have access to more money than ever for summer school due to an influx of state and […]

Despite ambitious targets, Oregon climate policies must go further to meet global calls to action

By: - April 7, 2022

Oregon’s top climate experts agree with the conclusions of a new international report that global greenhouse gas emissions must be practically eliminated by the year 2050.  The state is moving faster than most others in the U.S. when it comes to policies that encourage, and demand, a transition away from the burning of fossil fuels […]

More flooding, mudslides in Oregon as extreme fires to be followed by extreme rains

By: - April 5, 2022

Oregon will face more mudslides and flooding during the next 80 years as a result of extreme wildfires followed by extreme rains, according to scientists in Colorado, California and Washington.  The findings, published in Science Advances – the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science – show that extreme wildfire events across […]

Oregon to join most states in compensating the wrongfully convicted

By: - April 1, 2022

Wrongfully convicted Oregonians will now be eligible for financial compensation for time of false imprisonment.  On March 24, Gov. Kate Brown signed the Oregon Justice for Exonerees Act, which allows compensation for wrongful convictions. Victims will be able to receive money, housing assistance, counseling, a sealing of their records and a clear name.  Previously, Oregon […]