Molly Peterson Environment Correspondent

Molly Peterson
Contact Molly Peterson

Molly Peterson is an award-winning environment correspondent at Southern California Public Radio.

Molly has reported, edited, directed programs, and produced stories for NPR and NPR shows including "Day to Day" and KQED's "California Report." She was a contributing producer for Nick Spitzer's weekly music program, "American Routes," and reported for "Living on Earth" in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricanes Katrina & Rita. Prior to joining KPCC, she produced a nationally-distributed radio documentary about New Orleans called "Finding Solid Ground."

A former LA Press Club radio journalist of the year, Molly reported on the faulty pumps installed at New Orleans canals after Hurricane Katrina. That project was a finalist for an Investigative Reporters and Editors award.

Molly worked for NPR American legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg during the Clinton Impeachment.

She studied international politics at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, and graduated from UC Hastings College of the Law. She is an inactive member of the State Bar of California.

Molly was lucky enough to grow up climbing northern California trees and fishing eastern Sierra waters.


Stories by Molly Peterson

Stop finger point, PPIC study says about California water

It's not all your fault, Southern Californians. A new study from the Public Policy Institute of California argues that lush lawns aren't to blame for the state's water crisis. The authors aim to debunk that and other popular misunderstandings about water use.

Greenhouse gas "endangerment" ruling could spur Waxman-Markey, says Boxer

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has declared six greenhouse gases to be a danger to human health. The EPA says that means they should be regulated. The pronouncement could have consequences in Congress.

Catchin' up with debris basins

Nick Roman, our editor, loves storm season. When he says "storm watch," you know he means StormWatch. Or even STORMWATCH!. I'm, as with many things I cover, awestruck by it.

California plans to adapt to climate, not just slow warming

Political and environmental leaders from around the world will meet in Denmark next week, where the United Nations will sponsor talks on climate change policy. This week, California released its plans for adapting to a warming world.

Adapting to a warming (political) climate

California has made a monster climate adaptation strategy. It's no small thing. In point of fact, it's a 200 page thing, covering public health, biodiversity and habitat, ocean and coastal resources, water management, agriculture, forestry, and transportation and energy infrastructure.

Dr. Wellbee and the Thanksgiving visit to the CDC

Somewhat appropriately, I got sick after I visited my cousin for Thanksgiving: she works at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. I’m still catching up on California. Meanwhile, I got a look around at the CDC while I was there, including this Global Health Odyssey exhibit they have in the lobby for visitors.

Santa Barbara family describes preparations for Jesusita fire's assault

The Jesusita fire in Santa Barbara destroyed dozens of homes in May. But not the one at the very top of Mission Canyon. The Lindemann family stayed behind during the fire. KPCC’s Molly Peterson has the story of the way the Lindemanns prepared to help defend their home.

In May's Jesusita fire, one Santa Barbara family who stayed behind

Six months ago, the Jesusita fire destroyed 80 houses in Santa Barbara. Dozens of homeowners in an area called Mission Canyon are still rebuilding. Not Albert Lindemann. The retired history professor and his family helped to defend their home during the fire – but they say staying behind isn’t for everyone. KPCC’s Molly Peterson visited the family at the top of Santa Barbara’s Tunnel Road.

Cradle to grave, port to plate: the carbon footprint of fishing

I got interested in Ecotrust's study on which I report today for a seemingly unrelated reason - a book published a ways back about the way we make things.

Salmon 'life cycle assessment' finds fish with varied global warming impact

“Going local” has been a mantra for people who want to make environmentally responsible choices about what they eat. But where food’s from might matter the most when calculating its carbon footprint. Researchers from Sweden, Canada, and the U.S. have looked at a new way to measure the climate impact of one food. They ended up with some surprising results.

Hillside Astronomy in Griffith Park

My trip to Griffith Park coincided with those of dozens more people Saturday in the late afternoon - there was a Public Star Party that night, a monthly occurrence. It's sponsored by the Los Angeles Astronomical Society.

1 clean truck program, 2 ports, and now 2 strategies

A year after the Clean Trucks program began at the harbor complex, the two ports in San Pedro Harbor are headed in divergent directions. The port of Los Angeles continues to fight challenges to pollution controls in court. In Long Beach, harbor commissioners are trying to end the same lawsuit.

Long Beach officials, environmentalists seek to unsettle port settlement with trucking industry

In Long Beach, public officials and environmental activists are challenging a plan by the harbor commission to settle a lawsuit with the trucking industry.

Empty debris basins wait for Station Fire's winter impact

Three months after the Station Fire ignited in dry brush in the Angeles National Forest, fire officials still consider it active. But cold weather and the possibility of rain have Los Angeles county public works crews ready for the fire’s winter flood fallout.

Tom Graff, Water Guy

AN UPDATE: The New York Times gave Mr. Graff his due with a very nice obituary Sunday. I wish I had know about his free-throw scorekeeping.