Patrick Skahill

Patrick Skahill is a reporter at WNPR. He covers science with an emphasis on health care and the environment. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009 and won a PRNDI award in 2011.
 
 

Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He worked for two years as a print reporter at Stonebridge Press in Massachusetts where he covered crime and education and has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report.

 

A graduate of Villanova University, Patrick holds a bachelor's degree in history with a concentration in Arab & Islamic Studies and a minor in Classical Studies. He holds a master's degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. He knows way too much about Seinfeld and is a devoted fan of comedian Hannibal Burress.

He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@wnpr.org.

Earlier this week, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty said she will not seek re-election to a fourth term. Esty announced the decision following criticism over how she handled a workplace harassment case involving her former chief of staff.

Esty’s office eventually terminated the employee, but not before both parties signed a detailed confidentiality agreement. But in today’s #MeToo moment, those contracts are getting increased scrutiny.

Thumb on the scale, loading the dice -- the English language is full of idioms for people who cheat the system.

If you’ve ever wondered why so many of those expressions invoke images of weights and measures, a good “rule of thumb” is to look back at New England’s colonial history, when standardizing the way we define our world today was a priority.

Every morning, Mary Hollis follows a routine. Breakfast is oatmeal with granola, coffee, and maybe some yogurt or applesauce to help wash down her medication.

During the winter, the retiree says she “shivers” through the meal.

The head of the group responsible for running New England’s power grid testified before the U.S. Senate this week. At issue was cold winter days and grid reliability.

At twilight in late fall, thousands of crows take wing above highways running through Hartford. These crow “commuters” are headed home to roost, but where, exactly, do they go?

A giant, miles-long tunnel is about to be drilled hundreds of feet beneath Connecticut’s capital. This subterranean project will take years, cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and the hope is, result in cleaner water for the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound.

Connecticut’s monarch butterflies are now making their annual migration thousands of miles south to Mexico. 

As Kevin Sullivan slowly rumbles his pickup truck across his 60 acres of property near the Connecticut-Massachusetts border, he leans in and asks a question: What’s farmland?

Honey bees have been having a tough time lately. Pests and disease have plagued many hives, killing off the pollinators and forcing people looking to save the bees to get creative.

In New England, all states except for Rhode Island and New Hampshire have bottle bills. Those are recycling programs built around a system of deposits and refunds, aimed at reducing litter and protecting the environment. But when it comes to old aluminum, it’s not just environmentalists who want to see more recycling -- there’s a real business case to be made for it, too.

President Donald Trump this week ordered a review of the U.S. Antiquities Act. The move could impact the Atlantic Ocean's first-ever marine national monument, created last fall.

Millions of river herring used to return to New England's fresh waterways to spawn, but at some collection spots today, populations have dropped into the dozens. 

Twenty-first century technology has made its way onto a 19th-century building in Hamden. WNPR recently visited the headquarters of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, which just installed solar panels on its office.

A report analyzing nearly 1,000 fatal police shootings that happened in 2015 claims evidence of racial bias. Researchers hope the study will strengthen a call for a national database on police use of force.

As natural gas gets diverted for home and other heating this winter, the head of New England's electricity grid is warning about possible future risks to the region's power.

Snow and rain have been falling in New England, which means the region's drought isn't getting any worse. But it isn't getting much better either.

The number of deaths from heroin and synthetic opioids continues to rise in New England, according to data just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Plastic today is everywhere: in our bottles and cell phones, our grocery bags, and our trash. Some plastic garbage is so small, it's impossible to see with the naked eye: tiny microbeads, which have been banned from some products because of their environmental impact. WNPR met up with a group of scientists who are looking for them, in an effort to determine how many are in the water off Connecticut's coast.

President Barack Obama has signed an order protecting a section of underwater mountains and canyons off New England's coast. It's the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean.

For some patients looking to break their addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers, there's a drug out there that works. It’s called Suboxone, but government regulations and individual doctors have made it difficult to get, which is leading many to buy it illegally. 

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