Ambar Espinoza

Environmental Reporter

Ambar Espinoza’s roots in environmental journalism started in Rhode Island a few years ago as an environmental reporting fellow at the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting. She worked as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio for a few years covering several beats, including the environment and changing demographics. Her journalism experience includes working as production and editorial assistant at National Public Radio, and as a researcher at APM’s Marketplace.

Espinoza joins Rhode Island Public Radio most recently from Seattle, WA, where she earned a master of education with a focus on science education from the University of Washington. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from American University in Washington, D.C. Espinoza was born in El Salvador and raised in Los Angeles, CA.

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Environment
11:38 am
Mon December 15, 2014

New Online Tools Available To Assess Flood Risks Along Shorelines

Coastal planners now have access to new statewide maps with information about projected storm surges, seal level rise, and other coastal changes in Rhode Island.
Screenshot of STORMTOOLS

The University of Rhode Island, in partnership with the Coastal Resources Management Council, has developed new tools to plan for future climate change threats. New maps with projected storm surge and sea level rise are now available online.

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Battle With The Sea
6:30 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Battle With The Sea: What We Know And How We Know It

The relationship between global temperatures and carbon dioxide emissions is strong. When the temperature is high, Co2 is also high. Sources: Temp. Data from Zachos et al., 2001 Transformed as in Hansen & Sato, 2012; Co2 Data: Luthi et al., 2008
Courtesy of Sara Harris University of British Columbia

For the past three weeks, we've brought you stories about how climate change is already affecting Rhode Island. Narragansett Bay is getting warmer. Seas are rapidly rising. Shorelines are eroding. And we're experiencing more severe weather events. As part of our new ongoing series, Battle With The Sea, we take a step back this week to look at the science of how we know these changes are happening.

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Battle With The Sea
8:00 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Businesses Plan For Rising Sea And Extreme Weather

More than 100 people will gather in Newport today to learn how to minimize impacts to waterfront businesses from sea level rise and other severe weather at the 13th Annual Baird Symposium. The one-day conference called, "Staying Afloat: Adapting Waterfront Businesses to Rising Seas and Extreme Storms," kicked off its symposium last night with a public lecture, featuring John Englander, author of High Tide on Main Street: Rising Sea Levels and the Coming Coastal Crisis

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RI News
9:09 am
Mon December 8, 2014

D.E.M. Seeks Public Input On The State's Wildlife Action Plan

The Department of Environmental Management wants the public to have a role in shaping the state’s wildlife conservation efforts. The DEM will hold the first of four public meetings tonight to discuss the state's wildlife action plan. 

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Battle With The Sea
6:30 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Battle With The Sea: In Westerly, Beach Town Still Shoring Up For Future Storms

Tom Retano's three-bedroom house in Misquamicut is temporarily elevated off its original foundation, as work to permanently elevate the house 15 feet above sea level began this summer.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Within four years, the town of Westerly experienced four major storms: the Great Flood of 2010, Hurricane Irene in 2011, Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and the February 2013 Nor’easter. Like many coastal cities and towns around the state, Westerly is also vulnerable to high tides that flood roads even without storms.

As part of our new ongoing series we’re calling “Battle With The Sea,” Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza looks at how the town of Westerly is wrestling to shore up homes and businesses for future climate change threats.

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Environment
6:00 am
Mon December 1, 2014

For Brown Students, Hands-On Learning At UN Climate Talks In Peru

Brown University students head to Peru for international climate change talks.
Credit RIPR FILE

A Brown University class focused on international climate change policy will culminate the semester this month with hands-on learning in Lima, Peru. That’s where two weeks of U.N. climate negotiations begin today.  More than 150 countries will get together to continue drafting agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Timmons Roberts, Ittleson Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at Brown University, has attended U.N. climate talks since 2003, helping think tanks and developing countries with research.

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Environment
2:53 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Coat Drive Protests Black Friday

The 18th annual “Buy Nothing Winter Coat Exchange” collected hundreds of coats across 11 different sites for people in need.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

While some people shopped early on Black Friday at the Providence Place Mall, others combed coat racks across the street on the Statehouse lawn. The 18th annual “Buy Nothing Winter Coat Exchange” collected hundreds of coats across 11 different sites for people in need.

It was a busy intersection on the Statehouse lawn, as people lined up with their cars to drop off bags of coats. Joyce Melton of Warwick was one of those coat donors.

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Environment
6:00 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Christmas Trees Ready At Local Farms

A Christmas tree farm.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

With the holiday season underway, the Department of Environmental Management encourages residents to buy local Christmas trees. Twenty-five Christmas tree farms are open throughout the state.

Trees begin to dry up shortly after they’re cut, cautions Ken Ayars, the DEM’s chief of the agriculture division.

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Environment
8:38 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Winter Farmers' Markets Abound With Local Products

Summer may be gone, but locally grown food still abounds with eight winter farmers’ markets open throughout the state. A year-round local food system continues to grow in the Ocean State, as more and more farmers use greenhouses and other tools to extend the growing seasons.

Farmers’ markets these days sell an array of local offerings, not just produce, said Ken Ayars, the Department of Environmental Management’s agriculture chief.

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Battle With The Sea
8:16 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Battle With The Sea: Change Is Here (Part 2)

Matunuck residents Kevin McCloskey, Nancy Thoresen (middle), and Christa Thoresen share a photo opp with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Last week, we brought you the story of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s visit to Rhode Island. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse brought the Democratic senator, a strong coal advocate, to witness how climate change is wearing away the landscape here. Manchin learned from fishermen what challenges they’re facing in a changing ocean. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza brings you the second part of this story, when Manchin sees the effects climate change is having on land. 

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