Sam Evans-Brown

Environment and Education Reporter

 

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for  New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. His work has won several local broadcast journalism awards, and he was a 2013 Steinbrenner Institute Environmental Media Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.

Contact

Pages

Environment
5:17 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Wood-Energy Group To Provide "Coaches" For Wood-Boiler Installs

Pellets being bulk delivered to a home with an automatic feed pellet boiler.
Credit Pellergy / Flickr CC

Thanks to a $250,000 dollar federal grant a new group is working to promote the burning of wood for heating in high-efficiency boilers in the Granite state

The New Hampshire Wood Energy Council consists of nearly fifty biomass supporters from state agencies, non-profit organizations, and industry representatives. Those representatives will serve as ambassadors for using wood-pellet and wood-chip boilers.

Read more
Environment
5:30 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Has New Hampshire Become A 'Dumping Ground' For Wolf Dogs?

Tanner Brewer, manager of NEWARC, gives Emerald, a high-content wolf-dog hybrid, some scratches.
Credit Aubrey Nelson / NHPR

New Hampshire wildlife officials are wrestling with a proposal that would put them in charge of wolf-hybrids; those are wolves that have been bred with domesticated dogs. These sometimes dangerous animals are often abandoned because they can be unmanageable as pets.

And a population of abandoned wolf-dogs prompted New Hampshire officials to take another look at this animal that falls squarely in the grey area between wild and tame.

Read more
NH News
8:55 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Spring Skiing In Tuckerman Is Best It's Been In Decades

A racer on the headwall in 1934 American Inferno, a race from the top of Mt. Washington to bottom passing through the ravine.
New England Ski Museum

It’s a given: on spring weekends, if there’s good weather forecast, by 7 am the Tuckerman’s Ravine parking lot will be overflowing with hundreds of cars.

Tuckerman’s is one of the most storied backcountry ski slopes in the country, and every spring thousands of skiers brave avalanches and ice-falls to test themselves against the steep slope. On a crowded day, there are estimates that as many as 3,000 people make the trek up to the bowl.

Read more
NH News
4:42 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Groton Wind And State Reach Agreement On Turbine Fire Safety

Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

A 24 turbine wind-farm in Groton has reached a settlement with the state Fire Marshal in a dispute over fire codes.

The office of the fire marshal says once the snow has melted and the ground is dry, Iberdrola has agreed it will shut down any wind turbines that don’t have fire suppression already installed. If the Spanish wind-farm developer doesn’t want to shut it’s windmills down, it has the option of paying to set up a 24/7 fire watch on each unprotected turbine.

Read more
Education
4:38 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Scholarship Tax Credit Attracts A Crowd To N.H. Supreme Court

Credit NHPR Staff

 A program that allows businesses to claim an 85% tax credit for donations made to private school  scholarship organizations had its day before the State Supreme Court Wednesday.

A lower court ruled last year that it would be unconstitutional for the program to give scholarships to private schools, because the tax credits amount to public dollars.

Read more
Education
5:45 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Education Tax Credit Challenge To Be Heard In N.H. Supreme Court

N.H. Supreme Court building in Concord
Credit Ben McCleod via Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Supreme Court will hear arguments today on whether it’s constitutional to give tax credits to businesses that donate to private scholarship funds. The program in question has been hamstrung by a lower court ruling.

Read more
Environment
4:33 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

A Glimpse At Your Future Electric Bill? N.H. Utility Experiments Encourage Conservation

Home Energy reports like this one are being sent out to as many as 25,000 customers as part of a PSNH pilot program.
Credit Opower

New Hampshire’s two largest electric utilities are piloting new billing programs, aimed at getting people to save electricity. These programs could be part of a sea change in the way we are billed for electricity, aimed at encouraging efficiency and conservation.  And while convincing Americans to use less energy has always been a bit of a slog, these two pilot programs in New Hampshire hope to change that. One uses the brunt force of economics and the other uses the subtle science of psychology.

Read more
NH News
7:24 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Report: PSNH Plants Would Be Worth Little On Open Market

LaCapra estimates that compared to a $500 million "book value" Merrimack station would sell for somewhere around $10 million, or 2% of it's value. Schiller Station could see a similar mark down, at 6.5% of it's value.
Credit LaCapra Associates

An independent assessment commissioned by electrical regulators has released a preliminary report that finds some of Public Service of New Hampshire’s fossil-fired plants hold little market value. The report agrees with what staff at the Public Utilities Commission said last year.

Read more
Environment
5:33 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

99 Percent Mortality Found In Some N.H. Caves Infected With White Nose

White nose is so-called because on most hibernating bats, the fungus is most easily seen on the nose, though it penetrates many of the bat's tissues
Credit USFWS Headquarters / Flikr Creative Commons

New Hampshire’s Bat Population is still sliding – fast – thanks to the invasive fungus, White Nose Syndrome.

White Nose syndrome has been present in Europe for a while, but it was first found in New Hampshire in 2009. It didn’t take long to start doing harm

“In 2010 we had some huge losses. It was really quite scary,” says Emily Preston, a biologist Fish and Game.

Read more
Environment
5:30 am
Fri March 28, 2014

UNH Students' "Urine Diversion" Program Cleans Water, Fertilizes Farms

The UNH "Pee Bus" in all its glory. The bus will be active for four weekends, and the urine gathered will be pasteurized and redistributed to farmers as fertilizer.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

There are many challenges to a good town-gown relationship in college towns, but here’s one that doesn’t get a great deal of press: urine overloads.

On certain nights of the week, partying UNH students in Durham can overwhelm the town’s wastewater treatment plant, but a group of UNH students have teamed up with the town to get some of that nitrogen-rich urine out of the water. They plan to take that pee, and put it somewhere that it could do good.

Read more
Education
5:06 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Few Changes Thus Far In Manchester Common Core Rewrite, Critics and Proponents Unmoved

Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Schools all around the state are currently working to “tweak” a set-of academic standards that have been adopted by nearly the entire country: the Common Core. The highest profile example of that tweaking is going on in Manchester, where critics of the standards claimed a political victory last fall when the city announced it would create its own standards. Reactions to the revisions in Manchester show that no set of standards is going to please everyone.

Read more
Environment
5:40 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Cold Weather To Boost PSNH Bid To Hang On To Power Plants

PSNH says Merrimack station has contributed to 2/3 of the $115 million the utility saved by running its own power plants.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

This winter’s cold weather has proven a boon to Public Service of New Hampshire and its customers. Spikes in the price of natural gas have lifted regional electric prices, making PSNH’s rates competitive again.

PSNH says during most of the winter it was able to more cheaply produce electricity using its fleet of power plants than buying it on the open market and this saved the company $115 million dollars, savings which will be passed on to customers.

Read more
Environment
5:43 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

'Solarize' Effort Aims To Double Solar Power In Upper Valley Towns

Credit Rob_ / Flickr CC

There’s an experiment beginning in the Upper Valley: three communities are in the midst of a blitz attempting to double the number of solar panels in their towns. It’s called Solarize Upper Valley, and it’s being kicked off this week.

Plainfield and Cornish, combined, have fewer than 4,000 residents, but a pretty sizable number of them are considering forking over around eighteen grand to put solar panels on their roofs. The night of the kickoff event, the main street of Plainfield, was on lined both sides, for about as far as you could see.

Read more
Environment
5:30 am
Thu March 13, 2014

N.H. Senate Set To Vote On Bevy of Energy Bills

Lawmakers in the Senate are scheduled to take up a series of much-anticipated energy bills today. There are four energy bills on the docket today, three of which are responses to controversial energy projects.

One would create state-owned rights of way for any new transmission line not needed to keep the lights on as determined by the regional grid operator. If passed developers would have to bury power lines, unless they could prove that isn’t feasible.

Read more
Environment
12:47 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Newfound Area Voters Again Show Distaste For Wind Power At Town Meeting

Credit Donna Hiltz / NHPR

For the second year in a row, voters in the Newfound region have used town-meeting day to voice their disapproval of proposed wind development in the area. Ordinances and resolutions restricting wind development passed by wide margins. Alexandria, Danbury, Hebron and Ashland all passed wind related warrant articles by as much as five to one.

There were a wide variety of measures.

Read more

Pages