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
6:25 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

RIPTA Ends Free Ridership On Poor Air Quality Days

Credit RIPR File Photo

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority will no longer offer free bus rides on days with poor air quality. RIPTA is ending the program, because the agency doesn’t have money to support it this year.

RIPTA has offered free rides on days with poor air quality since 1995, according to Amy Pettine, the agency’s director of planning and marketing. It has been a longtime partner with the departments of health, transportation, and environmental management in issuing alerts for poor air quality days.

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Science
10:31 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Brown Student Group To Host A Panel Discussion About Women In Science

A student group at Brown University will host a panel discussion about women in science this evening. It’s open to the public. The panelists will talk about the rewards and challenges of navigating a career in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM for short.

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Environment
5:41 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

U.S. Senators To Speak All Night To Urge Climate Change Action

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse will co-lead nearly 30 U.S. Democratic senators on the Senate floor as they deliver speeches urging climate change action during an all-night session.
Credit Courtesy of U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

Climate change is real, but solvable. That’s the message Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and nearly 30 other  U.S. Democratic senators want to send to Congress as they pull an all-night session on the Senate floor tonight.

In a teleconference, the president of the League of Conservation Voters said gathering nearly 30 senators from at least 20 states to talk about climate change is unprecedented. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse added that tonight’s speeches are a sign Congress can pass a climate bill, but there’s more work to do.

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Environment
1:53 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

RISD, Brown Team Up To Build A Solar House

Students from RISD, Brown, and the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt in Germany are building a solar house using existing materials in new ways to create a soft enclosure. This is a rendering of the solar house.
Courtesy of Team Inside Out

Leave it to a team of the brightest students in Rhode Island to design a solar-powered house made almost entirely out of high-quality fabrics. Students from Brown, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt in Germany are competing as one team, called Team Inside Out, in the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe, taking place in Versailles, France in July.

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Environment
10:02 am
Fri February 28, 2014

New England Fishermen To Receive Nearly $33 Million In Disaster Relief

Credit August Linnman / Creative Commons

Nearly $33 million in disaster relief money will soon flow to help New England fishermen hurting from declining fish stocks and tighter fishing limits. The federal government declared a fisheries disaster last year in Rhode Island. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline joined other congressional leaders to include $74 million in fisheries disaster in the fiscal year 2014 appropriations bill.

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Environment
8:16 am
Thu February 27, 2014

CRMC Subcommittee To Hold Last Public Hearing For Deepwater Wind

The CRMC hold one last meeting on the proposal to install a wind farm off the coast of Block Island.
Credit Bradley Campbell / RIPR

A subcommittee of the Coastal Resources Management Council set the final public hearing to discuss Deepwater Wind’s proposed ocean wind farm for today. 

The subcommittee in charge of these hearings has set aside six hours for public comments.  They may also ask Deepwater Wind some final questions to help them decide whether to recommend the project to the CRMC for approval.

The full council will consider these hearings, the subcommittee’s recommendation, and staff report before it votes on the project.

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Environment
2:35 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Sen. Whitehouse Introduces Legislation To Continue National Estuary Program

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
Credit RIPR File

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has introduced legislation to re-authorize the National Estuary Program, which would benefit Narragansett Bay.

The program was first established in 1987 by the late Republican Senator John Chafee. It aimed to protect and restore estuaries from pollution and overdevelopment. An estuary is the area where fresh water meets the ocean.

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Environment
9:18 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Brown, Health Department To Screen Documentary "Shored Up"

A still of the documentary "Shored Up," by Ben Kalina

The critically-acclaimed documentary “Shored Up” will be playing at Brown University this evening.

The school’s Center for Environmental Studies and the Rhode Island Department of Health are sponsoring the movie screening and a panel discussion after the movie.

The documentary looks at how different coastal communities along the eastern seaboard are trying to deal with rising sea levels.

Policy and environmental science experts will sit on the panel, including the town planner of Westerly, where four natural disasters have hit in the past four years.

Environment
11:17 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Deer Culling On Block Island Postponed Until Next Year

Virginia white-tailed deer.
Credit Forest Wander / Creative Commons

The deer culling scheduled to begin this week on Block Island has been postponed until next year. The sharpshooting company hired to cull the deer recommended to postpone the project.

With no natural predators on the island, the Virginia white tailed deer population has grown out of control.
The deer have damaged the island’s ecosystem and spread Lyme disease.

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Environment
9:40 am
Mon February 24, 2014

New Website Helps People Learn About And Plan For Climate Change

University of Rhode Island
Credit RIPR FILE

A team at the University of Rhode Island has launched a website about climate change and its impacts to our state. The website, Rhode Island's Climate Change: Waves of Change, is designed for a range of people: from high school students to parents to business people.

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