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

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.

In February, the Trump White House directed immigration enforcement to begin detaining and deporting all unauthorized immigrants. This marked a change from Obama-era directives, telling agents to prioritize deporting individuals convicted of serious crimes.

But how do immigration agents find undocumented but otherwise law-abiding immigrants? New England News Collaborative Executive Editor John spoke with reporters Kathleen Masterson from VPR and Emily Corwin of NHPR about big differences between how the states approach working with Federal Immigration officials.

Jesse Costa / WBUR

Two Vermont immigration rights' activists who were arrested by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents were released on bail Tuesday and are back in Vermont. A third was denied bail by a federal immigration judge in a Boston court Monday.

Jesse Costa / WBUR

Two Vermont immigration rights' activists arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents earlier this month were released on bail by a federal immigration judge in a Boston court Monday. A third was denied bail because of a DUI charge, which the state of Vermont had dismissed.

Emotional abuse during childhood is linked to misuse of opioids in adulthood, according to a recent University of Vermont study.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Many recent immigrants living in the U.S. are scared that their claims for asylum won't have a fair hearing by the Trump administration. Hundreds of those people are fleeing to Canada — and for one man, the journey through the frigid, snowy woods nearly killed him.  

Courtesy of Migrant Justice

Leaders of the advocacy group Migrant Justice say ICE agents arrested a former Vermont dairy farmworker and another advocate in Burlington Friday afternoon.

Courtesy Migrant Justice

A local advocacy group says federal immigration agents arrested a Vermont dairy worker in Burlington Wednesday morning. Representatives from Migrant Justice say Alex Carrillo, 23, was stopped by agents in plainclothes as he and his wife were parking near the Chittenden County courthouse.  

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Many refugees who arrive on U.S. soil finally feel safe after decades of war or torture or loss of family members. But just because they're removed from physical harm, it doesn't mean the pain is over. 

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

On Town Meeting Day, local politics went national as a number of Vermont towns weighed in on presidential campaign ethics. 

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Sen. Patrick Leahy denounced the president's budget priorities, which would cut funding to environment and health research programs in order to increase defense spending. Leahy says budget cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency would have a direct impact in Vermont.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

As high volumes of migrants flee the United States to apply for asylum in Canada, one popular route into Quebec is just west of Lake Champlain. To get to the snowy illegal crossing, many are calling a cab.

But there's a catch: Some of those cabbies are coordinating with U.S. Border Patrol, and that practice has some civil liberties advocates concerned.  

New deportation rules issued by President Donald Trump's administration aim to significantly increase deportations, as well as enlist local police officers as enforcers. The Mexican general consulate of New England is now working to educate Mexican nationals about their rights. 

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