Kathleen Masterson

New England News Collaborative Reporter

Kathleen Masterson as VPR's New England News Collaborative reporter. She covered energy, environment, infrastructure and labor issues for VPR and the collaborative. Kathleen came to Vermont having worked as a producer for NPR’s science desk and as a beat reporter covering agriculture and the environment.

Kathleen covered food production for Harvest Public Media while based at Iowa Public Radio in Ames, Iowa. She wrote stories ranging from the risks of antibiotic use in livestock feed to how hedge fund managers visit corn fields to bet on the commodities market to how the fracking boom has spurred sand mining in Iowa. As a digital producer for NPR for several years, Kathleen reported science and health stories and produced multimedia series for NPR.org. She covered topics that ranged from human evolution to swine flu to the Affordable Care Act to plastic chemicals BPA and phthalates.

Kathleen has contributed work to NPR, Marketplace, Grist, and NPR-affiliates including KQED and WGBH. She also worked as a digital producer for PBS NOVA, a science writer for University of California, San Francisco and the Morning Edition producer/reporter for VPR.

Ways to Connect

The Swanton sector of U.S. Border Patrol covers nearly 300 miles of the U.S.-Canada border, including parts of New York and all of Vermont and New Hampshire.
Ryan Caron King / New England News Collaborative

Some civil rights advocates have raised concerns that U.S. Border Patrol may be infringing on people's civil rights as it carries out stops in its vast jurisdiction.

Migrant Justice activists gather to celebrate the signing an agreement with Ben & Jerry's that took two years to negotiate.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Ben & Jerry's and Vermont dairy farmworkers have come to an agreement on a program they say will ensure "just and dignified working conditions" on the Vermont farms that supply milk for the ice cream company.

This plant is commonly call self-heals, and it refers to plants in the genus Prunella. Herbalist Stephanie Cohen says it can treat skin and digestive issues.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

To prevent their collective cultural knowledge about medicinal plants from disappearing, some Vermont tribal nations are sharing their expertise with those outside the native communities.

A federal decision made Friday could drastically drive up the cost of solar panels and threaten energy jobs in Vermont. 

Canadian police have set up a tent to process all the asylum-seekers crossing illegally on this rural road connecting Champlain, New York to Hemmingford, Quebec.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Canada is trying to get the word out that walking into the country isn't necessarily a ticket to citizenship.

Built about 150 years ago, Mill Pond Dam in Colchester, Vt., is currently breached, but still creating a small swamp upstream.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Unlike large hydropower dams, where there's often serious political and emotional resistance to removal, conservationists are finding many landowners of small dams are happy to have them removed.

Juan Conde, a first-year medical student at UVM, speaks to reporters about how the DACA program allowed him to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Speaking at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont on Monday, Congressman Peter Welch said it was critical that Congress find a way to continue DACA— Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. 

Canadian police are using moving trucks to transport the myriad suitcases of so many asylum-seekers crossing into Canada along a rural road in New York state.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

The number of asylum-seekers fleeing the U.S. into Canada is rising precipitously this summer; July saw nearly four times as many people crossing the border as the previous month. 

A Canadian police officer warns a young man from Yemen that if he illegally crosses into Canada in between checkpoints he will be arrested. If he proves to not be a threat to the public, the officers will help him fill out the asylum request paperwork.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

The number of asylum-seekers fleeing the U.S. into Canada is surging this summer, with nearly 800 people illegally walking into Quebec in June alone.

Shown here in 1976, the year Montreal hosted the summer Olympics, this stadium will house the overflow of asylum-seekers.
AP

Quebec continues to be inundated with asylum-seekers fleeing the U.S. to reach Canada. In order to house the influx of people, the government has opened the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

Catamount Solar is installing an 8.7 kilowatt system in a homeowner's yard in East Montpelier. Kestrel Marcel of Catamount Solar is connecting the optimizers, which are a converter technology that helps maximize the energy harvested from the panels.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

After years of encouraging solar development, Vermont seems to be attracting the attention of national solar companies.

Men panning for gold in an 1887 photograph from the Plymouth Historical Society.
E. G. Davis / Plymouth Historical Society, courtesy

You've probably heard about the California gold rush of 1849 — but did you know that Vermont had its own mini-gold rush beginning around that same time?

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

A new study led by a University of Vermont researcher finds that the majority of farmers say the cost of health insurance is a top concern for the viability of their business.

Courtesy Ryan McDevitt

For many scientists, turning the results of their research into tools, products or patents means navigating the challenging — and often foreign — world of business. However, a "Shark Tank"-like effort at the University of Vermont that connects research scientists with industry leaders may offer a solution.

In the 1850s, a small but vibrant community grew up around a gold mining operation in the Plymouth-Bridgewater area. Called Plymouth Five Corners, it had a hotel, a school and a dance hall.
E.G. Davis / Plymouth Historical Society

This month on Brave Little State, we’re doing things a little differently. Instead of taking on one of your questions about Vermont, we’re taking on three — in a kind of local history lightning round.

Juan De La Cruz comforts his youngest daughter, Isabella, at their home in Vergennes.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

A Vergennes father of six is facing deportation to Mexico in a case that highlights shifting federal immigration enforcement priorities.

Abel Luna leads protestors in a chant outside the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility where one of the dairy workers is being held.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Activists gathered outside the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility Monday morning to protest the arrest of two Vermont dairy farmworkers originally from Mexico.

Lucas Benitez stands with other Coalition of Immokalee Workers members at the People's Root Cause March in 2004. Vermont advocates hope to use a strategy similar to the Coalition's to improve pay and working conditions for migrant dairy workers.
Courtesy / Coalition of Imokalee Workers

Migrant Justice and other advocates for Vermont dairy workers plan to march in protest on Saturday in an effort to pressure Ben & Jerry's to come to an agreement on wage negotiations. 

In recent months, the number of refugees fleeing the U.S. for Canada has increased.  The majority of the illegal crossings are people traveling through rural New York State — and occasionally Vermont — into Quebec. 

Students from Lynda Siegel's ESL class are learning water safety through a free course at the Greater Burlington YMCA.
Doug Bishop/Greater Burlington YMCA, courtesy

For many Vermonters, swimming is learned early and central to summer fun. But for children who are new to the United States and still learning English, swimming can be a completely foreign concept.

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