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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Environment
5:49 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

RGGI Prices Climb As States Institute Tighter Carbon Cap

While the blue line is price, the red line is demand (how many bids vs. how much available supply)
Credit RGGI Inc / NHPR

The  price power plants will pay to emit a ton of carbon reached a new high in the latest Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auction.

This quarter, it cost $4 to buy the right to emit a ton of carbon dioxide; previously, the highest price was $3.51, set in 2009.

In total New England power plant operators spent nearly $94 million to comply with  RGGI, funds which most states reinvest into energy efficiency programs.

The rising price is the result of a lower cap on carbon dioxide that the New England States enacted last year, and which took effect this auction.

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Environment
5:30 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Tension And Suspicion Between Wind Farm Host Towns And Neighbors

The view from Mario Rampino's driveway, which attracted the attention of local watchdogs.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

At town meeting this year, a handful of towns in the Newfound Lake region, and elsewhere, will take up questions related to wind farms. Many of these articles highlight the tensions between neighboring towns when one hosts a wind farm and its tax benefits, and the other just has to look at it. This dynamic often plays out in small town politics that may come to a head on town meeting day.

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Word of Mouth
1:09 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Sick Of Snow? Use It To Track Some Winter Wildlife!

Logan Shannon

While it may be March, it’s still very much wintertime. If you’ve been cursing the snow and ice and desperately longing for spring, you’re not alone. But let’s look at the bright side - all that frozen water offers certain opportunities that just aren’t available in the spring. And I’m not talking about expensive and time consuming snow-sports, I’m talking about wildlife tracking. To give you an introduction to tracking, We  headed for the woods of Barrington, New Hampshire with Dan Gardoqui, one of the founders and directors of White Pine Programs, a nature connection non-profit in Southern Maine.

Animal Tracking

Environment
9:43 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Cities, State "Hopeful" For Settlement On Great Bay Question

Credit Flikr Creative Commons / Rickpilot_2000

There is a hint of light at the end of a two-year-long legal battle over waste-water treatment plant upgrades on the Great Bay.

The towns of Portsmouth, Rochester and Dover have been arguing that regulators with the Department of Environmental Services and the EPA hadn’t proved that requiring millions of dollars of state-of-the-art wastewater plants would substantially improve water quality. But after a panel of independent scientists issued a sharp critique of the science used by the DES, a deal could be on the horizon.

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NH News
3:04 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Occupy New Hampshire Argues Park Eviction Before State Supreme Court

Credit Donna Moxley / NHPR

Nearly two and a half years after the city of Manchester evicted Occupy New Hampshire from Veteran’s Park, the group’s case was heard before the state Supreme Court Wednesday. The case hinges on whether the group was exercising free speech when it set up its camp community, among other things.

Occupy New Hampshire caught the wave of protests that swept the nation in October of 2011. The protesters had a city permit to protest during the day in the park, but after only two nights of camping out police removed them, arresting five.

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NH News
2:00 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Exports From N.H. Grow Faster Than Any Other State In 2013

Exports grew at 22 percent in 2013, marking the second time in 4 years that New Hampshire has led the country in export growth. The International Trade Association of New Hampshire says that Granite state businesses are now sending $4.3 billion dollars worth of goods out of the country annually.

In general, manufacturing industries drive exports; “electrical manufacturing, electrical machinery, industrial machinery, medical devices, aerospace and defense, and IT” are New Hampshire’s strong suits, according to Kim Kasim, Program director at the NH ITA.  

Environment
6:16 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Shaheen and Portman Reintroduce Stalled Energy Efficiency Bill

Credit NHPR Staff

  Thursday Senator Jeanne Shaheen reintroduced a wide-ranging energy bill that would promote energy efficiency buildings and appliances. But Shaheen and her co-sponsor, Ohio Republican Rob Portman, had to make some compromises to get the long-stalled legislation moving again.

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NH News
2:31 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

N.H. Reaches Largest Settlement In State History For 'Do Not Call List' Violations

New Hampshire regulators and a national investment brokerage firm have reached one of the largest settlements in the history of the national Do Not Call list. Edward Jones and Co. will pay $750,000 dollars after making illegal solicitation calls.

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