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.

Four Oregon districts get $20 million to hire school mental health staff

By: - January 6, 2023

Three Oregon school districts and an education service district have received $20 million from the U.S. Department of Education to hire more mental health staff. The Douglas Education Service District, which serves 13 school districts in Douglas County in southwest Oregon, will get more than $6.8 million, the largest of the grants. Portland Public Schools, […]

Kotek announces new education adviser, leader for statewide education initiatives

By: - January 6, 2023

Two women focused on improving K-12 student outcomes and boosting early learning around the state will serve in Gov.-Elect Tina Kotek’s office. Kotek announced her new education leadership staff in a statement on Friday, along with several other new appointments to key leadership positions. In the announcement, she also included news of Oregon Department of […]

Oregonians express mixed feelings about benefits of logging, survey says

By: - January 4, 2023

More than 40% of Oregon adults say the state’s forests are overlogged, but most also believe that harvesting timber is part of maintaining healthy forests, according to a recent survey.  In November, the nonprofit, nonpartisan group Oregon Values and Beliefs Center sent an online survey to residents statewide to learn about their attitudes toward logging […]

The team behind Measure 112 celebrates Anthony Pickens' release from the Oregon State Penitentiary

How ‘a bunch of kids and people the state gave up on’ rid slavery from Oregon’s constitution

By: - December 28, 2022

Willamette University Professor Melissa Buis Michaux was supposed to be at an election night party, but decided to skip it when the results started to roll in.  “I felt so nervous I stayed at home,” she said.  Her former students Niki Kates and Riley Burton watched eagerly online from Riley’s apartment in California as votes […]

Oregon’s largest electric utilities missing climate benchmarks, report says

By: - December 28, 2022

Oregon’s largest private electricity providers are dragging their feet when it comes to transitioning to renewable energy sources, a recent Sierra Club report found.  Its latest Dirty Truth report analyzed decarbonization plans and awarded grades to 77 of the country’s biggest electric utilities, including Portland General Electric, or PGE, Idaho Power and PacifiCorp, which owns […]

A misty forest in Oregon

2022 brought Oregon less wildfire, more drought and major clean energy investments

By: - December 27, 2022

For Oregon and the nation, 2022 was a historic year for legislation and funding to combat climate change.  The Inflation Reduction Act passed by Congress in August directed $385 billion toward efforts to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, largely through tax incentives, rebates and grants for renewable energy projects from the corporate to household […]

Farmworker in spinach field

Laws protecting workers from heat and smoke will not be overturned, judge rules

By: - December 22, 2022

A lawsuit attempting to block enforcement of new worker protections in extreme heat and smoke events has been dismissed by a federal court. The heat and smoke rules require employers to provide respirator masks in exceptionally smoky conditions and water and shade breaks in high heat. The rules were developed by the Oregon Occupational Safety […]

Alexis Taylor at her Senate Confirmation Hearing

Oregon’s former agriculture director confirmed to lead foreign trade for USDA

By: - December 21, 2022

The former head of the Oregon Department of Agriculture was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday to oversee foreign trade in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. President Joe Biden appointed Alexis Taylor as undersecretary for trade and foreign agriculture affairs in May. The position has been vacant since Biden took office.  Taylor will be […]

Warm Springs

Warm Springs gets $24 million for reliable water treatment plant after years of issues

By: - December 21, 2022

A federal and tribal agreement will give the Warm Springs Reservation in north-central Oregon a functional and reliable water treatment facility for the first time in several years. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Indian Health Authority have combined nearly $24 million in funds under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed in November 2021 […]

Three steelhead trout travel in the Columbia Basin

Some Oregon trout withstand rising water temperatures, study finds

By: - December 21, 2022

In Sept. 2020, the Archie Creek fire near Roseburg burned all 5,000 acres of the Hinkle Creek watershed, home to rainbow, cutthroat and steelhead trout.  Oregon State University scientists who had been studying the fish for years figured the loss of tree cover would mean warmer stream temperatures that would stress, and ultimately kill, many […]

More oversight needed of community colleges after performance and enrollment declines, audit finds

By: - December 20, 2022

The commission tasked with overseeing Oregon’s 17 community colleges must do more to increase student performance, achievement and access, according to an audit by the Secretary of State’s Office.  In its report published Monday, auditors said the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, or HECC, had done a good job of helping to narrow equity gaps in […]

To combat climate change, Oregon bans sale of new, 100% gasoline-powered cars by 2035

By: - December 19, 2022

All new cars sold in Oregon by 2035 must be considered zero-emissions vehicles. On Monday, Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission voted unanimously to adopt the Advanced Clean Cars II Rule, requiring auto manufacturers to begin producing and delivering a growing number of zero-emission vehicles to Oregon beginning in 2026, so that they make up 100% of […]