EarthFix/KUOW reporter

Ashley Ahearn

Most of the time we don't know where Ashley is. That's because she's usually managed to get lost or to drop her means of communication into one waterbody or another. As a newcomer to the region, Ashley brings a healthy dose of incredulity about what goes on around here. "Wait, you truck fish around dams?" or "You grow fish in a hatchery and then set them free into rivers? Is that kind of like keeping chickens?" As a transplant from Los Angeles most recently (where she got her masters in science journalism at USC) she's tended to report on rivers that are nicely cemented in, so she's very excited about all the freerange waterways up here. Radio will always be Ashley's first love (she got her start working for the show Living on Earth on Public Radio International) but she's pretty excited about this whole "multimedia" thing everyone's talking about.

Ashley's been known to develop crushes on inanimate objects such as rivers, hip waders and reliable recording equipment. At scientific conferences she sneaks pictures of the highly fashionable forms of footwear on parade, with special attention to the combination of wool socks and tevas often sported by ecologists and biologists. She then tweets those pictures, so follow her on Twitter.

We like Ashley because we know that even though she's often MIA, she always comes back with a story.

Contact Ashley Ahearn

Recent Articles


BNSF Railway Could Face Big Fines After Hazardous Spills In Washington

KUOW | March 19, 2015 5:45 p.m.

Washington regulators say the region's biggest oil-train operator should be penalized after failing to comply with reporting requirements following 14 spills of hazardous materials, including crude oil.

Business | Environment | Climate change | Energy

Port Of Seattle Unswayed In Decision To Host Shell's Arctic Drilling Fleet

KUOW | March 11, 2015 9:45 a.m.

Environmentalists are suing, the mayor and city council have launched an investigation, and angry protesters packed the Port Commissioners' meeting, but the Port of Seattle is standing strong in its decision to host Shell Oil. 


Researchers Return From Open Waters With Baby Orca Video And More

KUOW | March 5, 2015 5:30 p.m.

The orcas commonly spotted in the waters of Puget Sound during the summer lead a much more mysterious life in the winter time. Researchers are back from an ocean cruise with clues to demystify the orcas' winter activities.


What a Record-Low Snowpack Means For Summer In The Northwest

KUOW | March 5, 2015 midnight

As any skier will attest, it’s been a bad year for snow. What’s that mean for the rest of us?

News | Environment

Tired Of Oil Trains? State Senator Wants To Consider Wash. Pipeline

KUOW | Feb. 26, 2015 10:22 a.m.

Tired of oil trains moving through the Northwest? How about a pipeline? New legislation could fund the study of a CascadiaXL pipeline to move oil from the middle of the country to the Washington coast. 

Environment | Energy

A Coastal Community In Washington Contemplates Oil Terminals

KUOW | Feb. 9, 2015 10:15 p.m.

What would hundreds of trains and ships filled with oil each year mean for jobs, the future of fishing, and the quality of life? Those are questions confronting a coastal community in Washington.

Environment | Energy

Feds Say More Details Needed From Tribe That Wants Coal Project Halted

KUOW | Feb. 4, 2015 1:15 p.m.

The review of a controversial coal export terminal near Bellingham, Washington, will continue despite a direct request from a nearby tribe to halt the process.

Environment | Energy

Legislation Would Mandate Bigger Crews On Oil Trains

KUOW | Feb. 3, 2015 3:25 p.m. | SEATTLE, Wash.

How many crew members should be required aboard an oil train? New legislation recommends more than there are currently.

Environment | Energy

More Oil Trains Could Roll Through Puget Sound To Shell Refinery

KUOW | Jan. 29, 2015 3:15 p.m.

Shell Oil wants to build more tracks at its refinery in Anacortes, Washington, to receive oil by rail. At a packed hearing in Skagit County on Thursday, more than 100 people turned up to comment on the proposal.


Groups Call On Port Of Seattle To Reconsider Lease To Shell Oil

KUOW | Jan. 28, 2015 3:12 p.m.

Environmental groups are asking the Port of Seattle to reconsider a controversial lease to Shell Oil for arctic drilling operations. 

Politics | Environment

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's Climate Legislation Gets A Hearing

KUOW | Jan. 28, 2015 11 a.m. | Olympia, Washington

Governor Jay Inslee has been pushing for a “polluters pay” carbon reduction plan for the majority of his time in office. Tuesday marked the first time that plan went before the state legislature. 

Climate change | Environment

A Republican And A Democrat Walk Into A Bar - To Talk Climate Change

KUOW | Jan. 23, 2015 1 a.m.

Two leading Washington state senators - a Republican and a Democrat - sit down to talk climate change, baby goats and Santa Claus. 

Environment | Water

SSA Terminals To Pay $215,000 For Clean Water Act Violations

KUOW | Jan. 20, 2015 1:15 p.m. | Seattle

The largest container terminal in the Northwest will pay a fine and reduce the amount of polluted runoff it discharges into Puget Sound. 

Flora and Fauna | Environment

Birders Report Population Gains For Many Puget Sound Seabirds

KUOW | Jan. 20, 2015 10:02 a.m. | Seattle

A new study, based on data collected by birders around Puget Sound, shows an increase in some key seabird species. 

Environment | Energy

Wash. Lawmakers Kick Off Session With Work On Oil-Train Safety

KUOW | Jan. 15, 2015 5 p.m. | OLYMPIA, Wash.

State senators waste little time this session before starting the debate over how best to respond to the rapid increase of oil train traffic in Washington.

Pacific Ocean | Flora and Fauna | Environment

Will Sonobuoys In The Pacific Help The Navy But Harm Whales?

KUOW | Jan. 13, 2015 5:30 p.m. | SEATTLE

The Navy also wants to deploy hundreds of sonobuoys off the coastline of Washington and Oregon. That's drawing criticism from environmentalists who say the risk of harm will increase for whales and other marine life.


Navy Seeks Permits To Expand Testing Off Northwest Coast

KUOW | Jan. 12, 2015 6:41 p.m.

The Navy begins a week's worth of meetings in the Northwest to make its case for expanding its permit to conduct training and testing in coastal waters. It wants to deploy more vessels and 700 more sonobuoys per year.

Environment | Energy

A Washington Biofuel Business That Can Hardly Make A Buck In Washington

KUOW | Jan. 12, 2015 1 a.m. | KUOW

John Plaza sold his motorcycle, took out a mortgage on his house and drained his 401(k) to build what’s now the second-largest biodiesel plant in the country. From there it's been a long struggle.

Flora and Fauna | Environment

New Orca Calf And Family To Make Grand Arrival Along Seattle Shores

KUOW | Jan. 9, 2015 2:19 p.m.

The J-pod of endangered orcas has a new calf - (it's a girl!) - and the family is heading out of Canadian waters towards Seattle.

Environment | Energy

Washington Tribe Wants Feds To Halt Coal Project

KUOW | Jan. 5, 2015 3:36 p.m.

The Lummi Nation presents the U.S. government with its objections to a proposed coal-shipping project on the shore of north Puget Sound, following its tribal council has voted to formally oppose the development.

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