Jennifer Pemberton

Reporter / Host

Jennifer Pemberton reports on community and the environment for Utah Public Radio. She also hosts the monthly program, The Source, and can sometimes be heard hosting Morning Edition or All Things Considered. Jennifer produced our special series on Utah water, Five Billion Gallons, and managed 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. Listen to her audio essays at RadioCalendar.org.

Ways To Connect

There are many indications of autumn's arrival besides the changing color of the leaves. Jennifer Pemberton declares that Fall is the new Spring in this month's commentary.

"There are plants all over the world that bloom in the fall, when the heat breaks, when the rains fall, when the winds start blowing, when the ground threatens to freeze. There are crocuses in my neighborhood; the same flower that is first to crack the ice and blossom in the snow, breaks through the mud and leaf litter to show off its delicate lavender petals amid the harvest browns and reds."

Matt Jensen

The water cycle in communities across Utah is pretty straightforward. Water comes out of creeks and reservoirs, serves some purpose, and is put back into the chain further downstream. But as Matt Jensen explains, as the state’s population continues to rise, what we put back into the chain often comes with more than just water.

Jennifer Pemberton

The trees in Utah's forests suck up water like sponges, and leave a record in their growth rings of when there was a lot of water in the region and when there was very little. Researchers are learning to decode the tree ring record and reconstruct what Utah's watersheds have been through over the past millennium. Today on the program, we bring you the story of how Utah's water past can help us plan for Utah's water future.

Special thanks for help with this episode to Western Water Assessment, Wasatch Dendroclimatology Research Group (WADR), and the Utah Climate Center.

Today on Five Billion Gallons we introduce Utah's water cycle, from rain to lawn, and when it doesn't rain for awhile, which it often doesn't,  there are quite a few steps in between. It turns out that those five billion gallons we use every day in Utah are only accounting for residential water -- the water we use to wash our clothes and our dishes and our hair and also the water we use to water our lawns and backyard gardens. Our per capita use of water is nearly the highest in the nation, just behind Nevada and Idaho. So why are we personally using so much water? According to the state Division of Water Resources, there is a pretty simple answer: it's our legacy. Utah's founders decreed that the desert should be made to blossom as a rose, and it did. It still does. But at what cost?

It’s the end of August and the sky is falling. Jennifer Pemberton tells us why the Perseids meteor shower always brings change.

Cache Anglers

Logan was the last stop for a series of Town Hall meetings soliciting public input on Utah’s Water Future. Jennifer Pemberton and Matt Jensen from UPR's Five Billion Gallons program were there to get to know all the stakeholders in Utah's Water Future.

Argus Observer

While it’s not exactly a time to celebrate, fire season can be a time of reflection for those of us who live in the West.

Utah Water Watch

The U.S. Geological Survey took a five percent pay cut this year as part of federal sequestration. As a result the agency has to pull the plug on hundreds of stream gauges throughout the West. A new water quality monitoring program in Utah is powered by volunteers who collect stream data while they’re out enjoying the great outdoors. Jennifer Pemberton has this report on the Utah Water Watch.


Jennifer Pemberton

This is my mushroom story. I used to love mushrooms as a kid. Those veggie and dip trays with the raw button mushrooms on them? Those ones. I loved those ones. When I was 4 years old, I found what I thought were some of those ones growing in my friend’s front yard. My mom picked me up later that day and asked about my play date. I told her we’d had a mushroom party. A mushroom party? Yes, a mushroom party. A pretend mushroom party? No, a real mushroom party with real mushrooms.

For Air Quality Awareness Week, Jennifer Pemberton has been asking local experts to help explain Cache Valley’s air pollution problem to residents. In today’s report, she tours a lab on the campus of Utah State University, where the effects of particulate pollution on human health are easy to see -- with the right equipment.

Creative Commons

This week is Air Quality Awareness Week. Today Jennifer Pemberton  takes us on a summarized visit to the Cache Valley Air Quality Summit in Logan to hear air pollution epidemiologist, Dr. C. Arden Pope tell the story of how we’ve cleaned up the air in the U.S. in the past 50 years and how much further we still have to go.
 

The EPA has designated this week Air Quality Awareness Week. As part of UPR’s community engagement project, Jennifer Pemberton has been talking to Cache County residents about the experience of living with some of the nation’s worst air pollution. This week, she’s taking their questions and comments to local experts. In today’s report, she enlists Dr. Randy Martin to define Red Air by the numbers.
 

April Ashland

These are some of the voices from our Bad Air Story booth at Logan’s Earth Day Downtown Street Festival. With a background of various local musicians and speakers, we set up a table and microphone to ask Cache Valley residents to tell us their Bad Air stories. Have you ever had a bad air day? How do you know when it’s a bad air day? What do you do about it? 

Utah Public Radio has partnered with the Public Insight Network to report on public health effects of air pollution in Cache Valley. Listeners and other members of the community here have been telling us their experiences with air pollution through an online form. Jennifer Pemberton has been listening to these stories and has this update on public concerns:

If you haven’t filled out our form about air pollution yet, you now have the chance to come tell us about it in person at our Bad Air Story Booth.

This Saturday, April 20, from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. members of the Utah Public Radio staff will be collecting your air quality stories at Logan’s Earth Day Downtown Street Festival.

ThinkQuest.org

The battle for spring began on March 1. Jennifer Pemberton tells us why this month we're fighting against a Bulgarian grandmother with weapons made of string.

It's Americans at their most superstitious. Saturday, February 2, is Groundhog Day. Jennifer Pemberton talks about Pennsylvania's rodent prophet with Logan's self-proclaimed Groundhog Day expert, Mary Fugate.

Jennifer Pemberton

Six years ago, Jennifer Pemberton watched a fledgling albatross take flight for the very first time. There's a reason why she's thinking about that particular bird this week and she tells us about it in this commentary.

Jennifer Pemberton

How many birds do you see in a given day? How many sparrows or hawks or owls do you think live in your neighborhood? Jennifer Pemberton spent an entire day with Logan's Bridgerland Audubon Society compiling their annual bird census.

Women's roller derby has had a resurgence since the early 2000s. What once had the reputation as a spectacle akin to professional wrestling is now seen as a respectable competitive sport. But it's not for everyone. Jennifer Pemberton sends us this report from team try-outs for the Junction City Roller Dolls in Ogden.

Ray Foster / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

It's the time of year when birds start flying south for the winter, leaving humans behind to deal with the change in weather in other ways. Jennifer Pemberton wonders if maybe the birds have the right idea.

It's web pledge day at Utah Public Radio, meaning we're taking a break from answering the phones, but we're happy to take your pledge online right here, right now.

>>MAKE PLEDGE<<

Everyone who completes our online pledge form today will be entered into 2 drawings:

- A 2-night stay at the Shooting Star Drive-In in Escalante

- A Polk Audio iSonic Digital Audio System

Help us make our fall fund drive a success. Thanks in advance for your support your favorite public radio station .

I don’t drive much, so I don’t have driveway moments. I have the opposite. I listen to so much public radio at home that it’s a wonder I ever get out of the house. I have been late to work more than once because I was standing in the kitchen finishing a story and completely lost track of time.

I’m a bike commuter and it is absolutely unsafe to listen to podcasts while riding a bike, so unlike most listeners, I actually go without my public radio fix while I commute.

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