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

Whale Fiesta at Cabrillo Aquarium heralds migration season

In Long Beach, the Cabrillo Aquarium hosts a whale fiesta Sunday. KPCC's Molly Peterson reports it's timed to coincide with the appearance of annual visitors off southern California's coast.

Add another shelf to our trophy case

I'm really proud of my KPCC colleagues who won awards from the Radio Television News Association of Southern California this weekend. So I'm linking to their stories. At least, the ones I can find.

Mudslides, earthquakes, hazard and risk

My friend and colleague Amy Walters - an NPR producer - is coming home from Haiti now; another friend and colleague, Tamara Keith, is on her way. Fellow Angeleno Carrie Kahn has been in Port-au-Prince too, sleeping on lawns and the like.

NTSB places Metrolink Chatsworth crash blame on texting engineer

The National Transportation Safety Board's final report on the Metrolink train crash in Chatsworth blames an engineer sending text messages for the deadliest crash in the commuter rail line's 18-year history. KPCC's Kitty Felde covered the hearing in Washington, D.C. KPCC's Molly Peterson spoke with Metrolink officials in Los Angeles.

Public works crews observe and report at debris basins

A fourth day of storms will test the network of debris basins that Los Angeles County operates in the foothill cities. Those basins are collecting - and so far, holding - the mud and rocks tumbling down from the Station Fire burn area. KPCC's Molly Peterson went to check the flood system with a public works crew.

Native plant-ing with local groups and Ilsa

Susan Valot recently did a story on a group in Orange County dedicated to the cause of native plants. I'm glad she's helping pick up the slack. When she was in this chair, Ilsa Setziol more than covered natives and native planting; Ilsa remains to this day a native planting champion, a deep ecologist, a deep encyclopedia of southern California's ecology.

Finally, the Crazy Heart soundtrack arrives

It took these fools long enough. The soundtrack to Crazy Heart is out today from New West records. I've been wanting it since Alex Cohen and I saw that movie. Also, T-Bone Burnett & Ryan Bingham picked up a Golden Globe the other night, so maybe they're on a roll now.

New journal "Urban Coast" launches at LMU

The great Marantz meltdown of 2010 last week yielded technical difficulties massed to the point where I wasn't able to catch up. Now I am.

Foothill communities get ready for mudflow threat

This week, Los Angeles County emergency teams are working to protect homes from heavy rains and mudslides in the foothill communities. In La Canada Flintridge, KPCC's Molly Peterson talked with emergency responders and a foothill resident about the busy week ahead.

Debris basins catch my attention

Oh man, do I love infrastructure. So much of the story of southern California is about how infrastructure expresses human ambitions. How can you not find it fascinating?

Martin Luther King's words inspire viola player's music

Eighty-one years after his birth, Martin Luther King Junior’s work resonates beyond his original goals. One Southern California musician says King’s words inspire her environmentalism and her songs.

What she's playing, it's not a violin

Tomorrow I'll have a story on about a woman named Christen Lien. I met her over Twitter at the Governor's Global Climate Summit - she was one of the few people talking about the summit who wasn't working for a major utility, a government, or a company selling something.

A conversation with Majora Carter

At the State of the Bay conference the other day, Majora Carter gave the keynote address.

San Pedro harbor complex cautiously hopeful after cargo uptick

The ports of Long Beach and the port of Los Angeles are reporting some gains in December's cargo traffic. KPCC's Molly Peterson reports that harbor officials say the uptick could signal recovery after a difficult year.

Latest Santa Monica Bay report cites better water quality monitoring

A state commission tasked with improving the waters off Santa Monica and the South Bay coastline finds some key habitats protected and some beaches safer for swimming. KPCC's Molly Peterson reports that for those silver linings, the group's findings include some lingering clouds.