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KUOW/EarthFix 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


Critics Say Whales Put At Risk By Navy Testing Plan

KUOW/EarthFix | Oct. 2, 2015 5 p.m. | Seattle

The Navy released the final environmental review Friday for its proposed sonar and explosives training practices in waters off the coast of the Northwest.

Environment | Energy

EPA Sets Tougher Pollution Standards For Oil Refineries

KUOW/EarthFix | Sept. 29, 2015 4:45 p.m.

The Environmental Protection Agency releases new rules requiring better monitoring and control of air emissions from  oil refineries, including  five operating in Washington.


My Grandfather And The Plane That Changed Seattle

KUOW/EarthFix | Sept. 27, 2015 9 a.m. | Seattle

A reporter explores the connections between Seattle's polluted river, her grandfather's wartime experiences and the airplane that changed the city.

Environment | News | Energy | Pacific Ocean

Draft Environmental Review Released For Oil Terminals On Washington Coast

KUOW/EarthFix | Aug. 31, 2015 3:22 p.m.

The public has until Oct. 29 to comment on the draft environmental review for two controversial oil terminals on the Washington coast.

Environment | Water | Fish & Wildlife | Pacific Ocean

Marine Life Struggles In Hood Canal's Low-Oxygen Waters

KUOW/EarthFix | Aug. 31, 2015 3:02 p.m. | Hoodsport, Washington

It’s common during the summer for fish to struggle for oxygen in Washington's Hood Canal. But the lack of oxygen is at record lows, researchers say, forcing fish up out of the depths, gasping for air.


Parched Olympic Peninsula Eyes New Reservoir

KUOW/EarthFix | Aug. 31, 2015 midnight

The Northwest's drought and the threat of climate change are giving new momentum to a decades-old proposal for a new reservoir in Western Washington. 

Environment | Water | Energy

How Smoke Shut Down A Northwest Utility's Power Generation

KUOW/EarthFix | Aug. 25, 2015 8 a.m. | Seattle

A wildfire in the North Cascades has damaged transmission lines, leading Seattle City Light to shut down power generation at three dams on the Skagit River.

Environment | Water | Fish & Wildlife

NW Fish Survival Tested By Warm Waters And Low Stream Flows

KUOW/EarthFix | July 21, 2015 11:48 a.m. | Port Angeles, Wash.

As river levels drop and water temperatures rise, Northwest states are limiting fishing in the hopes that will help more wild salmon and trout survive the summer drought.

Environment | Forestry

Burning Olympic Rainforest Poses Firefighting Challenge

KUOW/EarthFix | July 19, 2015 3 p.m. | Port Angeles, Wash.

The Northwest’s historic drought has brought wildfire to a rainforest in Washington’s Olympic National Park, where dry, hot weather could allow the fire to burn until the fall rains.

Flora and Fauna | Science | Pacific Ocean | Health | Environment | Economy | Fish & Wildlife

Coastal Algae Bloom Is Proving Toxic For Washington Crabbers' Bottom Line

KUOW/EarthFix | June 25, 2015 4:15 p.m. | Tokeland, Washington

Harvesting Dungeness crab and razor clams is a major economic driver in coastal communities in the Northwest. What happens when it’s shut down because of toxic algae?

Environment | Pacific Ocean | Climate change

West Coast Shellfish Hit By Giant Toxic Algae Bloom

KUOW/EarthFix | June 16, 2015 5:52 p.m.

The West Coast is experiencing the largest bloom of toxic algae in more than a decade, prompting wide-ranging closures of commercial crab and shellfish harvesting and causing some very weird behavior in wildlife.


Feds To Make $110M Available To States Coping With Drought

KUOW/EarthFix | June 15, 2015 8:21 a.m.

The White House says it will make $110 million available to help Western states suffering from the effects of drought.

Environment | Energy

Growing Oil Train Traffic Is Shrouded In Secrecy

KUOW/EarthFix | June 13, 2015 midnight | Everett, Washington

Railroads share little information about oil train traffic with Washington state. So a former NSA employee has decided to monitor oil trains in his community, noting each one on a website he built.

Environment | Water

The Olympic Peninsula Faces A Summer Without Snowmelt

KUOW/EarthFix | May 28, 2015 4:48 p.m.

The peaks of the Olympic Mountains are a familiar sight on the western horizon for people in the Puget Sound region. Well into summer, those mountains are usually snowy white. But not this year.

Environment | Flora and Fauna | News | Fish & Wildlife | Pacific Ocean | Wildlife Detectives: A Special Report

Can A Treasured Sea Snail Come Back After Being Poached To Near Extinction?

KUOW/EarthFix | May 16, 2015 5:30 p.m. | MUKILTEO, Wash. --

Pinto abalone  were near extinction by the end of the 1990s in Puget Sound. But with a little help from science, their wild populations are slowly rising.

Environment | Fish & Wildlife | Science

Using Fish Ear Bones To Track Salmon

KUOW/EarthFix | May 15, 2015 11 a.m.

Ever heard of an otolith? Find out how scientists are using salmon ear bones to figure out where the fish hang out.


Region's Tribal Leaders Gather In Seattle To Fight Coal Terminal

KUOW | May 14, 2015 6 p.m.

Tribal leaders from British Columbia, Montana and all over Washington state gathered in Seattle Thursday  to demand that the federal government deny permits for the largest coal export terminal in the U.S.

Environment | Water

More Northwest Mountains Are Snow-Free Already As Drought Deepens

KUOW | May 11, 2015 4:30 p.m.

Water managers had hoped late snows or heavy spring rains would help fill reservoirs and streams after a largely snow-free winter in the Northwest. But that’s not how things turned out.


Seattle City Resolution Would Urge Reconsideration Of Oil Fleet Deal

KUOW | May 5, 2015 6:15 p.m.

Seattle City Council members take testimony on a resolution urging the Port of Seattle to reconsider its controversial decision to host Shell Oil’s Arctic drill rigs.


Oil Train Safety Legislation Passes In Washington

KUOW | April 24, 2015 6:30 p.m.

Washington lawmakers approve a plan to tax oil that arrives by rail and requires more transparency from rail companies.