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Elizabeth Shogren 2010

Elizabeth Shogren

Elizabeth Shogren is an NPR News Science Desk correspondent focused on covering environment and energy issues and news.

Since she came to NPR in 2005, Shogren's reporting has covered everything from the damage caused by the BP oil spill on the ecology of the Gulf Coast, to the persistence of industrial toxic air pollution as seen by the legacy of Tonawanda Coke near Buffalo, to the impact of climate change on American icons like grizzly bears.

Prior to NPR, Shogren spent 14 years as a reporter on a variety of beats at The Los Angeles Times, including four years reporting on environmental issues in Washington, D.C., and across the country. While working from the paper's Washington bureau, from 1993-2000, Shogren covered the White House, Congress, social policy, money and politics, and presidential campaigns. During that time, Shogren was given the opportunity to travel abroad on short-term foreign reporting assignments, including the Kosovo crisis in 1999, the Bosnian war in 1996, and Russian elections in 1993 and 1996. Before joining the Washington bureau, Shogren was based in Moscow where she covered the breakup of the Soviet Union and the rise of democracy in Russia for the newspaper.

Beginning in 1988, Shogren worked as a freelance reporter based in Moscow, publishing in a variety of newspapers and magazines, including Newsweek, The Dallas Morning News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Washington Post. During that time, she covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and the peaceful revolution in Prague.

Shogren's career in journalism began in the wire services. She worked for the Associated Press in Chicago and at United Press International in Albany, NY.

Throughout Shogren's career she has received numerous awards and honors including as a finalist for the 2011 Goldsmith Prize for investigative reporting, the National Wildlife Federation National Conservation Achievement Award, the Meade Prize for coverage of air pollution and she was an IRE finalist. She is a member of Sigma Delta Chi and the Society of Professional Journalist.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Russian studies at the University of Virginia, Shogren went on to receive a Master of Science in journalism from Columbia University.

  • More than half of the nation's pipelines were built before 1970. In fact, ExxonMobil's Pegasus pipeline, which burst Friday in Mayflower, Ark., is 65 years old. According to federal statistics, pipelines have on average 280 significant spills a year. Most aren't big enough to make headlines.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency is tightening the standard for how much soot in the air is safe to breathe. Fine particles come from the combustion of fossil fuels by cars and industrial facilities. They're linked to all kinds of health problems, including heart attacks and lung ailments like asthma. States will be required to clean up their air to the level specified by the new standard.
  • NASA may have retired its shuttles, but it has its sights on sending astronauts deeper into space than ever before. The agency wants to set foot on asteroids, but the first step is a soggy one.
  • For the first time, a government study has tied contamination in drinking water to an advanced drilling technique commonly known as "fracking." EPA scientists found high levels of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing in the ground water of a small Wyoming town.
  • After Tonawanda's residents got sick, they vowed to fight high levels of hazardous chemicals emitting from a dilapidated plant. In doing so, they found weaknesses in how EPA regulates air pollution.
  • There's an unusual bi-partisan effort to get the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to release information about certain Superfund cleanup sites, pieces of land that have been deemed too toxic for development. The EPA says sharing some information about the sites could discourage companies from cleaning up their environmental messes.
  • The National Marine Fisheries Service is proposing a speed limit for ships entering ports along the eastern seaboard. The goal is to save right whales from being struck and killed. Shipping companies say there is no proof that slowing their vessels will help the endangered mammals.
  • A vast chain of remote Hawaiian islands, teeming with endangered sea life, has become the nation's newest national monument -- and the largest patch of protected ocean on earth.
  • Ocean ports are among the last major unregulated sources of concentrated pollution in the country. The biggest are the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. But there's a new man in charge. Tough-talking David Freeman, who helped establish the Environmental Protection Agency says he's going to slash pollution at Southern California's ports by 80 percent.
  • Today's expensive gasoline is making people look for alternatives. That has opened doors of opportunity for entrepreneurs like Andrew Perlman, who is betting that the newest fuel will be made from one of humanity's oldest: coal.