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
8:30 am
Sun January 11, 2015

EPA Pushes Back Deadline For Carbon Rules

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received four million comments for its trio of federal rules proposing to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. This is why the EPA will miss a deadline this month to finalize one of those plans. Now the agency will finalize those rules all at once in the mid-summer.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management submitted comments, encouraging the EPA to continue recognizing existing efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

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Environment
5:00 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Learning To Reduce Food Waste

David Rocheleau co-leads a workshop that teaches people how to reduce their food waste. The Rhode Island Food Policy Council, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, offered this program called "Food: Too Good To Waste."
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

We throw away a lot of food over the holidays. More than usual. We generate about 25 percent more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Food that ends up in the trash can not only hurts our wallets, but also fills up landfills, sending off noxious gases. The Rhode Island Food Policy Council launched a pilot program earlier this year, teaching people how to cut down the amount of food they throw away. Our environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza gave it a try and has this story.

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Environment
5:00 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Aprendiendo A Reducir El Desperdicio De Alimentos

David Rochelau conduce un taller en el cual le ensena a la gente como redicir el desperdicio de alimentos. El Consejo de Politicas Alimentarias de Rhode Island, en asociacion con la Agencia de Proteccion Ambiental de Estados Unidos ofrecio este taller.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Nosotros tiramos un montón de comida durante los días festivos. Más de lo habitual. La comida que termina en la basura no sólo perjudica nuestros bolsillos, pero también llena los vertederos, o rellenos sanitarios, despidiendo gases nocivos.

El Consejo de Políticas Alimentarias de Rhode Island (en ingles: Rhode Island Food Policy Council) lanzó un programa piloto a principios de este año, enseñando a la gente a reducir la cantidad de comida que tiran. Nuestra reportera ambiental Ambar Espinoza ensayo con el programa y tiene esta historia.

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Science
8:00 am
Thu December 25, 2014

Brown University Researcher Dives Deep Into Ocean Floor

What happens in the deep seafloor, west of Costa Rica, may unlock some mysteries about what happens in Narragansett Bay.

A biology professor at Brown University recently dove in the submersible Alvin, operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and owned by the U.S. Navy, to collect samples of microbes from openings in the Pacific sea floor, from where heated water flows. These seafloor openings are known as hydrothermal vents.

Jeremy Rich said he wants to better understand how fast microbes grow here.

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Science
5:58 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Brown University Scientist Uses Time-Lapse Photography To Study Change In Antarctica

A field photo of this year’s first time-lapse station of the season, which Dickson installed earlier this week, showing the southern wall of Taylor Valley with its dense concentrations of "water tracks," the dark streaks flowing down the slope.
Jay Dickson Brown University/University of Texas/National Science Foundation

Monitoring how the climate is changing in Antarctica’s most stable environments, the desert valleys, is very difficult. But that’s what Jay Dickson, a staff scientist at Brown University’s Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, is trying to do, using time-lapse photography.

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RI News
4:00 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

PUC Approves National Grid Electricity Rate Increase

Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Public Utilities Commission approved a 14 percent rate increase in National Grid electricity rates. The vote was met with anger by residents who attended this  morning's public hearing.

Angry residents repeatedly asked the PUC not to approve the electricity rate hike. Warren resident Joyce Katzberg said she wants publicly-owned utilities that aren’t beholden to corporate interests.

“And for those utilities to be brought to us through clean, safe, and renewable sources, not fracking, not mountaintop removal, and not nuclear power plants,” said Katzberg.

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Environment
5:00 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

EPA's Proposed Ozone Rule Would Benefit Rhode Island

Asthma rates in Rhode Island are above the national average, according to a Brown University professor who testified before a Senate subcommittee hearing focused on air quality standards. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza has more details.

The hearing focused on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to strengthen the air quality standard for ozone, the main pollutant in smog linked to asthma, heart disease, and premature death, from the present standard of 75 parts per million down to a range of 65 to 70 parts per million.  

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Battle With The Sea
7:47 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Battle With The Sea: Protecting Wastewater Treatment Plants

Historic rains flooded the Pawtuxet River in 2010, overtopping the earthen levee built to protect the Warwick Sewer Authority.
Photo Courtesy of Janine Burke

Here’s an effect of climate change you might not have thought of: heavy rains flood wastewater treatment plants. These intense rain storms are one result of warming temperatures. As part of our ongoing series, Battle With The Sea, Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza has a report from a wastewater treatment plant in Warwick.

The Warwick Sewer Authority is located on the banks of the Pawtuxet River, next to what is called an oxbow, the U-shape curve in a river. The river wants to fill in the land next to the oxbow each time it floods. 

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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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