Kathleen Masterson

New England News Collaborative Reporter

Kathleen Masterson is VPR's New England News Collaborative reporter. She covers energy, environment, infrastructure and labor issues for VPR and the collaborative. Kathleen comes 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

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.

Angela Evancie / VPR

If you drink Vermont milk, or eat Vermont apples or vegetables, it's likely that you have foreign workers to thank. But do you know any?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has delayed implementation of a federal rule that would make stricter standards governing organic egg production. 

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

In the northeast U.S., there is less than 1 percent of old growth forest left. A new University of Vermont study finds that harvesting trees in a way that mimics old growth forests not only restores critical habitat, but also stores a surprising amount of carbon.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Rain or shine, local scientists and supporters say they will be turning out in multiple locations in Vermont—and across the country— to speak up for science on Saturday.

courtesy of Lindsey Bumps

Sen. Sanders visited the Ben & Jerry's St. Albans plant Friday to hear about the company's efforts to increase jobs in Vermont and to talk with factory employees.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Protesters with Migrant Justice confronted Ben & Jerry's board members outside the South Burlington office Tuesday morning, aiming to pressure the company to wrap up negotiations on an agreement that would outline minimum wages and labor conditions for dairy workers.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR feil

The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided it will continue to hear a controversial case about which water bodies the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate, even after President Trump asked them to hold off. Vermont is one of eight states that has filed to defend the EPA rule.  

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Migrant Justice advocates staged a protest alongside the Ben & Jerry's "Free Cone Day" line in downtown Burlington Tuesday, demanding better working conditions for dairy farmworkers.

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