Jennifer Pemberton

Reporter / Commentator

Jennifer Pemberton produces a monthly commentary series called Radio Calendar for UPR and can sometimes be heard hosting Morning Edition or anchoring the 5:30 Utah News. She produced our special series on Utah water, Five Billion Gallons, and manages our community engagement reporting project on air pollution in Cache County: Having a Bad Air Day?

She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama and an MBA from Lund University in Sweden. A former ex-patriate living in Europe and Asia, Jennifer is happy to call the West home again. She is a fervent public radio fan and loves to hike in the summer and knit through the winter.


Air Quality
7:00 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Locally Roasted Coffee, Now with 95 Percent Less Air Pollution

The rocket ship shaped afterburner is really an exhaust scrubber that reduces pollution from Caffe Ibis's coffee roasters by 95 percent.
Credit Jennifer Pemberton

Utah Governor Gary Herbert was in Cache Valley this week to hand deliver a check to the owner of Logan’s Caffe Ibis Coffee Roasting Company. The money will partially cover the cost of a piece of equipment that reduces the roaster’s emissions by 95 percent. Despite a tragic setback, the company’s efforts to clean up the air are proceeding at full speed.

When we think of things that produce air pollution, we think of things like cars and oil refineries. We don’t necessarily think of the giant oven that bakes goldfish-shaped crackers or the small cabinet shop on the edge of town or the local organic coffee roaster. But anything that burns creates particulate pollution -- so any effort to reduce air pollution in a community has to address individual contributions from our homes and our vehicles and the contributions of factories big and small.

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Air Quality
9:00 am
Mon June 2, 2014

BLM And USU Put Heads Together For Uintah Basin Ozone Problem

Air quality expert Seth Lyman explains how ozone forms in cold weather in the Uintah Basin.
Credit Jennifer Pemberton

On Friday, the Bureau of Land Management and Utah State University signed an agreement to share research on air quality in the Uintah Basin. UPR’s Jennifer Pemberton traveled to Vernal to see how this agreement might make life easier for researchers trying to understand the mystery of wintertime ozone in the rural West. 

Ozone is associated with summer air pollution in populated places. Today in northeastern Utah, even within the city limits of Vernal, the air is clean. But almost everything about air pollution here is backwards.

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4:40 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

March Is For Melting In The Arctic

Davis Strait sea ice from 38,000 feet.
Credit Jennifer Pemberton

You're probably not thinking about the Arctic now that spring is here, but March is the month when the sea ice is at its maximum. UPR's Jennifer Pemberton flew over the Arctic this month and has this reflection on the season's melt and the more serious melt.

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Art & Environment
3:08 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Blue Skies Still Inspire Pollution Artists Visiting Utah

For his living gallery project, Beijing artist Huang Xu is painting a kind of sci-fi solution of a city-wide air purifier. It’s not a practical solution, but for Huang Xu a solution created with brushstrokes is just as satisfying.
Credit Beijing-SLC Connect

Utah’s winter air pollution often entices comparisons to Beijing, a city notorious for having off-the-chart smog levels, which is why a delegation of artists from China and Taiwan are in Salt Lake City this month to let Utah’s inversion inspire them. The project called “Beijing-SLC Connect” invites the artists to compare the pollution problems of these two cities through art.

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Utah Legislature
4:02 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

No Vote from Senate on "Stricter Than EPA" Air Quality Bill

Credit April Ashland

The clean air community had high hopes for SB 164, which did not pass out of the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment committee on Tuesday. Jennifer Pemberton has more on the bill’s short life.

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Utah Legislature
5:19 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Air Pollution on Lawmakers' Minds Inside the Capitol

Air pollution was hanging around Salt Lake City today and was on the minds of many legislators on the opening day of the Utah Legislative General Session.
Credit April Ashland

Two days ago the Capitol steps were full of protesters demanding that the legislature do something to clean up Utah’s air. Today the commotion was inside the chambers as the general legislature session opened. When asked what they’re hearing from constituents, majority and minority leaders in both the house and the senate said "air quality".

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Utah Politics
6:01 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

Thousands Rally for Clean Air Legislation

Thousands of Utahns showed up on the steps of the Capitol for the "Clean Air, No Excuses" rally.
Credit Jennifer Pemberton

Thousands of protesters turned up at the Utah State Capitol over the weekend for the “Clean Air, No Excuses” rally. UPR’s Jennifer Pemberton tells us why voters and activists are targeting lawmakers two days before the start of the general legislative session.

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8:45 am
Fri January 17, 2014

More Than A Mitten: Knitting In A Changing Utah

A Latvian woman in traditional dress...including her mittens, which we now know are more than just mittens.

When is a mitten not just a mitten? When UPR commentator Jennifer Pemberton is knitting it in the wake of the changing definition of legal marriage in Utah.

"Latvian women knitted hundreds of pairs of mittens and her dowry included an entire chestful of mittens to be distributed to her husband’s family, given not just to her new in-laws, but also to her husband’s family’s cows and pigs, the fruit trees, and even to inanimate objects like doorknobs and stables. A bride and groom even ate their wedding meal with their mittens on. Many a folk song tells of the foolish man who chooses a pretty hand over a warm one."

Utah Politics
3:02 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Women Win Elections in Utah...But They Have to Run First

Twenty-seven-year-old Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson participated in a panel discussion at Real Women Run.
Credit Jennifer Pemberton

Dozens of women with political ambition or at least curiosity, turned up at the Real Women Run training in Sandy over the weekend.

Real Women Run is a nonpartisan advocacy group that encourages women to run for public office in Utah. Because statistics show that women win elections at the same rate as men, but very few women run for office in the first place, especially in Utah, where they make up only 15 percent of the state legislature.

Gender isn’t the only way these women don’t fit the mold in Utah politics. Maile Wilson probably exemplifies this best.

Wilson was elected last November as the first female and youngest mayor ever of Cedar City.

“I was 26 when I filed. There had never been anyone under mid- to late-fifties…I’m still in a small conservative community, not married, being a female, not having children, all the stereotypical roles,” Wilson said.

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5:33 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Oh Tamarack, Oh Tamarack, How Empty Are Your Branches

Credit Hélène Halliday / Fletcher Wildlife Garden

Did you hear the one about the Californians who moved to Washington and cut down their first wild Christmas tree? Jennifer Pemberton has the punchline in this story about Christmas in the Evergreen State.

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