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

Cows on the Orr family's dairy farm, in Orwell, are pictured in this 2015 file photo. Anson Tebbetts, Vermont's agriculture secretary, spoke to VPR recently about Vermont's dairy industry and about challenges faced by the state's farmers.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR file

A Burlington-based company working on climate change solutions has won a federal grant to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Vermont farms. 

Sarina Jepsen / Courtesy Xerces Society

Data from a University of Vermont researcher is helping the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service make the case that the rusty patched bumblebee should go on the national endangered species list.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

The University of Vermont College of Medicine has announced that it’s receiving a $66 million gift, the largest ever made to a public university in New England.

A man was shot and killed Friday night in Winooski by a deputy with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.

Courtesy

Once called the unofficial poet-laureate of the Northeast Kingdom, poet Leland Kinsey has died at the age of 66. 

Kathleen Masterson / VPR file

When you shop for cleaning supplies, brightly colored bottles advertise stain-removing powers or "whiter whites." But it’s hard to get clear information about what the chemical ingredients could do to your health or the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping to change that.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Even as wind and solar energy have grown to nearly 10 percent of New England's energy mix, they're still not a reliable power source. Wind and sunshine can't simply be turned on and off with a switch. A new software company is hoping to use a simple appliance in your basement — your water heater — to store that sporadic renewable energy and transform the way the electricity grid works. 

carlotoffolo / iStock

The city of Burlington is stopping its use of a pesticide that harms bees, even before the official rules are written that could ban its use on municipal lands.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Long before guns were invented, humans developed other approaches to hunt wild prey. The art of falconry is believed to have originated in China some 4,000 years ago. For our "Summer School" series, we took a trip to the Green Mountain Falconry School in Manchester to learn about this ancient art of hunting for game using a hawk.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

The Public Service Board held a much-anticipated hearing Thursday on a Vermont Gas Systems effort to build a pipeline through a wetland area in Geprags Park in Hinesburg.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

A U.S. District Court judge in Burlington has ordered the Vermont Public Service Board to allow the public to attend Thursday's hearing on the Vermont Gas pipeline project.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

A Hinesburg citizens group opposing the Vermont Gas Systems pipeline filed a complaint Monday alleging that some town officials and company representatives violated Vermont's open meeting law. 

President Barack Obama signed the federal GMO labeling law on Friday. The national law mandates that food manufacturers label most foods with GMO ingredients. 

Angela Evancie / VPR

A new VPR poll finds that Secretary Hillary Clinton may have a tough time winning the last 30 percent of Sen. Bernie Sanders' supporters to her camp.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

President Obama is expected to sign a federal GMO labeling bill into law soon. This would nullify Vermont's labeling law, as well as laws passed by Connecticut and Maine that have not been enacted yet — effective immediately.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR file

Congress has passed a national GMO labeling bill that would nullify Vermont's labeling law, which went into effect July 1. 

Courtesy University of Vermont

Wetlands and floodplains along Otter Creek protected Middlebury from more than $1.8 million of flood damage during Tropical Storm Irene, according to a new study from the University of Vermont.

A collage of food labels
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Vermont’s GMO labeling law aims to provide consumers with more information, and yet it's just one of a growing number of food labels popping up on grocery shelves.

The state is allowing Vermont’s largest utility to continue accepting community-scale solar projects. Last fall Green Mountain Power hit the cap, maxing out how many of these types of solar projects can be hooked up to the grid.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR file

While the terms “GMO” and “genetic engineering” carry some stigma for certain audiences, to scientists simply agreeing on a definition of what counts as genetically engineered — and what doesn’t — isn’t so straightforward.  

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