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


Shell Arctic Drilling Rig Expected In Port Angeles

KUOW | April 16, 2015 1:15 p.m.

Port Angeles could offer Shell's Arctic drilling rig will make its first Washington stop in Port Angeles. The city on the Olympic Peninsula could offer a warmer welcome than it's expected to receive in Seattle.

Transportation | Environment | Energy

Washington Oil Train And Pipeline Safety Bill Advances

KUOW | April 14, 2015 5:45 p.m.

The Washington House gives its approval to a bill that would set higher oil train safety standards.


Orcas Are Shouting Over Boat Noise – And It Might Be Making Them Hungry

KUOW | April 14, 2015 7 a.m.

New research details how increased vessel traffic noise could make life harder for endangered marine mammals.


NW Forestland Could Be Leased For Geothermal Development

KUOW | April 13, 2015 1 a.m.

Leases on federal forestland in Washington could provide key access to companies wanting to tap the earth’s heat for electricity generation.


Puget Sound Tribe's Lawsuit Aims To Keep Oil Trains Off Its Reservation

KUOW | April 7, 2015 1:15 p.m. | Seattle

The Swinomish Tribe has filed a lawsuit against BNSF Railway to stop oil trains from moving through reservation lands in Washington's Skagit County.

Environment | Climate change

Climate Group Launches Initiative For A Carbon Tax In Washington

KUOW | April 6, 2015 10:30 a.m.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has been pushing for limits on carbon emissions, but his cap-and-trade legislation has faced an uphill battle. Now one group says it’s time to take the issue to the voters.


Could Seattle's Tunnel Deliver Salmon Salvation?

KUOW | April 1, 2015 12:02 a.m. | Seattle

Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct Tunnel project is more than a year behind schedule. As local frustration mounts, one engineering firm has a fresh idea that could mean good news for urban salmon recovery.


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.

Environment | Energy | Climate change | Business

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. 

Environment | Politics

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. 

Environment | Climate change

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. 

Water | Environment

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.