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.

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Newscast
4:35 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

USGS: 80,000 N.H. Residents Could Be Drinking Contaminated Water

Credit Dennis Amith via Flickr CC

A new study from the US Geological Survey estimates that as many as 80,000 people in Southeastern New Hampshire could be drinking water from wells with unhealthy levels of contaminants.

The study finds nearly 50,000 people could be drinking elevated levels of arsenic, nearly 15,000 with manganese, and fewer than 10,000 could be consuming either high levels of uranium and lead.

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NH News
4:33 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

PSNH Energy Rates To Rise, Delivery Rates to Fall

Credit JP Stanley via Flickr CC

Customers of the state’s largest electric utility are set to get a tiny reprieve in their bills. Public Service of New Hampshire’s latest rate filing forecasts the average customer will save 31 cents a month, despite rising energy costs.

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NH News
4:33 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Safety Officials to Develop Flooding Master Plan

Credit CorpsNewEngland / Flickr CC

New Hampshire safety officials have announced a new project to beef up flood planning. A new database will look to maximize return on dollars invested in flood mitigation.

The problem is that data on where money has been spent to repair flood damages isn’t kept in one place: some is with the federal flood insurance program, some comes from FEMA disaster declarations, and still more is with local towns.

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Environment
4:38 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

"Bioblitz" Aims to Catalog All The Species In Two Square Miles In 24-Hours

Jan McClure and Chris Kane stand on top of an abandoned beaver dam, in a complex system of beaver impoundments an area the Nature Conservancy plans to purchase for preservation.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

One of the state’s biggest environmental organizations is finishing the fundraising for a 1,300 acre conservation deal in North Conway. Once it’s finished, the land will be added to the 4,000 existing acres of the Nature Conservancy’s Green Hills Preserve, where it will provide recreation for people, and habitat for plants and animals.

But before the conservancy closes the deal it wants to know what it’s getting, and to figure that out it assembled plant and wildlife experts from all over the state for a sort of naturalist marathon.

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Environment
2:34 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Following Proposed Carbon Regulations, RGGI Allowances Reach Another New High

After two years of trading at or near the floor price, the price of RGGI allowances - which represent the right to emit a ton of CO2 - have been on the rise since last year's announcement that the "cap" on emissions would be tightened.
Credit Data: RGGI.org / NHPR

In the latest quarterly auction of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, the cost for the right to emit a ton of carbon has again reached a new high. Speculation that more states could join RGGI could be driving interest in carbon allowances.

The announcement of the new EPA rules jazzed the latest RGGI auction. When the prices came out Friday morning, they were at $5.02 per ton of CO2, up from $4.00 in the last auction.

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Politics
1:17 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Jim Rubens Files His Papers For U.S. Senate

Jim Rubens stopped by the secretary of states office Thursday to file his candidacy for US Senate. The Hanover Republican used the opportunity to make the case that he’ll be the number one competitor to former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown in the primary.

Former state senator Jim Rubens is perhaps the most difficult Republican to pin down ideologically in the race for the Senate seat currently held by Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

Rubens, has trailed Scott Brown in early polls,

He’s been campaigning furiously on issues related to gun rights and veterans affairs.

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Education
5:21 am
Thu June 5, 2014

N.H. Student Data Privacy Law "One Of Most Comprehensive" In Nation

Credit US Army Corp of Engineers / Flickr CC

There’s a database in New Hampshire, nestled in hard-drives in the Department of Education, with all sorts of information about student test scores, graduation rates, and achievement. It shows how poor kids do on tests compared to rich kids, and how minorities do compared to whites, and whether schools are improving on those tests.

Whenever the data in it is accessed, it’s totally anonymous; only a handful of employees at the DOE can match these test-scores with student names.

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Environment
3:55 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Behind the Headlines: What New Carbon Rules Mean For New Hampshire

Credit SNL; http://www.snl.com/InteractiveX/Article.aspx?cdid=A-28272515-14375

A lot of reporters were distracted by the big number in yesterday's announcement of proposed reductions in carbon dioxide emissions: 30 percent by 2030. Indeed that was the lead sentence in almost every news story about the new rules. 

But the 30 percent figure is not how the Environmental Protection Agency will measure success of the new regulations. The figure is arbitrary, chosen to give some nationwide context to what the state-by-state goals would mean.

The goals the EPA actually set vary quite a lot from state to state. And, indeed, how the agency arrived at those figures is a good deal more complicated than just picking a nice, round number.

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Environment
4:54 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

N.H. Likely Has Proposed Carbon Limits 'In The Bag'

Credit Flkr Creative Commons / PSNH

Under a proposed rule out of the EPA Monday, New Hampshire will have to come up with its own plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. However, many of the building blocks for that plan are already in place.

The new EPA rule says that New Hampshire should emit 486 pounds of carbon per megawatt hour of electricity generated, and that, as of 2012, New Hampshire’s rate was 905 pounds per megawatt hour.

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Environment
5:37 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Is Climate Change To Thank For Dramatic Recovery Of Acid Rain's 'Canary In The Coal Mine'?

US Forest Service Researcher Paul Schaberg holds up a lush, healthy red Spruce branch for inspection
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Paul Schaberg marshals a small team of scientists, surveying a stand of red spruce in Colebrook for frost damage from last winter.

“So what are you guys seeing, are you seeing any injury yet?” he calls out.  

“We’re just seeing green needles,” hollers back one of his helpers.

“Happy, happy trees,” responds another.

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Environment
5:42 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Developer Pulls The Plug On Wind Farm Proposed For Newfound Lake Area

Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Spanish Wind Developer Iberdrola has pulled the plug on Wild Meadows, a controversial wind farm that was proposed for the towns of Alexandria and Danbury, the troubled project submitted an application for construction in December but put it on hold to deal with problems at another wind farm the next town over.

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NH News
3:11 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

New Hampshire Honors Its Veterans

Credit Aaron Knox / Flickr CC

Memorial Day means parades, wreathes laid on granite stone, and bugles playing in the distance. It’s a time when service men and women are on display in their communities and politicians come out to pay their respects.

“We live in the greatest country on earth but its greatness is forged through sacrifice,” Congresswoman Anne McLane Kuster told assembled veterans and parade-goers in Concord this morning. “May we honor and celebrate our soldiers, our sailors and our airmen.”

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Environment
4:47 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Fish And Game Seeking Information On "Loon Poachers"

Credit Flkr Creative Commons / KeithCarver

The Fish and Game Department wants the public’s help to find one or more loon poachers.

Two loons were shot this week, in different parts of the state. The first bird was shot in Dover, and was found near the Cocheco river. That loon survived and is expected to be released back into the wild. The second was shot in Gilford, near Varney point, and died.

The attacks were both reported on Tuesday.

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Education
12:39 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Law School Dean Broderick Stepping Down To Lead Rudman Center

Credit NHPR Staff

Former Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court, John Broderick, will step down as dean of the UNH law school.

Broderick will become the first executive director for the Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership and Public policy, which opened last year.

The Rudman Center, which is part of the UNH law school, seeks to provide leadership training and foment commitment to public service.

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Environment
5:30 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Pease Well Is Shut Down After Unregulated Contaminant Discovered

State officials have shut-down one of three drinking water wells that serve the Pease Tradeport. The well was contaminated with an unregulated chemical found in foams used by firefighters.

Perflourooctane Sulfonic Acid, or PFOS, was found in the well which serves the 250 businesses and 8,300 employees of the Pease Tradeport. It was detected in levels that exceed a “provisional health advisory” level set by the EPA.

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