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

Ways to Connect

See what it's like to run a public radio station. Volunteer during UPR's Fall Pledge Drive and enjoy the good life hanging out in volunteer central eating amazing donated food, watching the antics in the control room, and hopefully answering the phones and talking to our friendly new members.

Sign up for an hour or two between October 10 - 17.

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Correction: On August 31, 2012, we erroneously reported that the Brigham City temple would help take some of the pressure off the nearby Logan and Pocatello temples. There is no LDS temple currently in Pocatello. The corrected version of the story is below:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it’s sticking with its friends this election, and Democratic Utah Congressman Jim Matheson is one of them. Matheson received the chamber’s endorsement at the Grand America Hotel Tuesday morning.

Rob Engstrom, its national political director, says endorsements are based on voting records: “If you’re an incumbent member and you vote with the U.S. Chamber 70% of the time at a minimum, you’re automatically endorsed. In this case Matheson is nearly 80% with us.”

Mackinzie Hamilton

Jennifer is determined to escape Utah's bad air through a good old-fashioned health holiday -- if only in her mind.

When President Obama flew over Western Colorado yesterday on his way to Grand Junction in Air Force One, he was greeted by a giant message carved into a nearby field.

The message was designed by world-renowned crop artist Stan Herd and is a project of Protect the Flows, a coalition of more than 500 Western businesses that depend on the river. It occupies about one acre, each letter is 30 feet from top to bottom and the entire message is about 360 feet long, equal to the height of a 36 story building.

Even though Jennifer's ancestors came to Ellis Island from Greece and England, then West in a station wagon in the 1960s, she shares how Utah's history of pioneers is one that resonates. 


"The story of the settling of Utah by the Mormons, though, is one of the greatest stories in American history. Really. It's mind blowing. It is an amazing immigration, a diaspora, a vision, an epic adventure."


State Forester Dick Buehler  says a ban on target shooting to take effect on Wednesday is the first-ever of its kind.
The ban covers specific target shooting sites on public or private land in Cache, Davis, Summit, and Utah Counties.


Clear skies over Utah this summer have meant hot days and little rainfall, but on the bright side, summer stargazing has been especially delightful.

After receiving numerous requests for help from livestock owners, Governor Herbert and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food have announced a emergency program called "Feed the Animals."

Donations made to the program will be used to purchase food and other animals needs for livestock whose rangeland has been destroyed by the unprecedented string of wildfires burning in the state. UDAF Commissioner, Leonard Blackham, estimates that 20,000 head of sheep and cattle have lost their food source in the past week.

Last week, Governor Herbert announced a ban on fireworks in unincorporated areas of Utah and left it up to cities to regulate their communities.

In Cache Valley, authorities have declared restrictions on specific areas in the cities of Logan, Providence, North Logan, Hyde Park, River Heights, Smithfield, Richmond, Hyrum, Millville, Nibley, Wellsville, Paradise, and Lewiston. The boundaries of these restricted areas are described here.

Besides dominating the news over the past 2 weeks, the wildfires that are consuming thousands of acres across the state are taking their toll on Utahns' mental health. When confronted with natural disaster and personal tragedy, a range of stress, anxiety, and depression are common.

The national Disaster Distress Helpline is available to provide counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the wildfires in Utah.

The Wood Hollow Fire, near the town of Fountain Green in Sanpete County started Saturday afternoon.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the communities of Indian Ridge, Elk Ridge, Big hollow, and Oaker Hills are under mandatory evacuation. A number of structures have been lost in the fire, some full-time residences and some seasonal vacation homes.

At least one life has been claimed by the Wood Hollow Fire. Sanpete County Sheriff's deputies and Sanpete County Search & Rescue members found an unidentified body during an assessment of the evacuation area Tuesday morning.

The fire is only 15% contained and portions of Highway 89 remain closed.

There is a Red Cross emergency shelter at North Sanpete High School (309 E 700 S in Mt. Pleasant).

Jennifer Pemberton discovered that not only could she eat pickled fish after living in Sweden for 2 years, but she could eat it for dessert.

The 26th Annual Bike MS Utah, nicknamed "Harmons Best Dam Bike Ride", takes place in and around Logan June 23 - 24.

The ride is the largest fundraiser of the year for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Utah-Southern Idaho Chapter with the funds going toward helping Utahns impacted by the disease improve their quality of life and ultimately to the goal of eradicating the disease.

A world-class piano competition is going on this week and next in Salt Lake City featuring some of the most talented young people in the world.

In order to compete in the Gina Bachauer Junior & Young Artist Piano Competitions, contestants auditioned in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Moscow, Venice, Hamburg, and New York City. The best of the best earned a place at the competition in Salt Lake.

To encourage safe cycling and to promote road respect throughout the state, bicyclists in Utah are taking to the roads this week.

The 2012 Road Respect Tour commenced in Beaver on Monday morning and the tour made it through Cedar City and St. George by the day's end. The tour is moving through Panguitch and Richfield and will continue through Saturday with the final stop in Logan, where a Road Rally at the historic Logan Court House will allow the public to celebrate the riders.

In the basement of the Franklin County Courthouse, where we would be safe from any form of severe weather, people from northern Utah and southeast Idaho are training to become weather spotters. Weather-wise it's a calm night in Preston and a little stuffy in the basement meeting room where John Keyes, from the National Weather Service office in Pocatello, is explaining what kinds of weather conditions should be reported by the volunteer spotters:

Keep your eclipse glasses handy, Utah, because there's more solar blockage coming our way this summer. The transit of Venus across the sun on June 5 will be visible from all points in Utah.

Patrick Wiggins, NASA's Ambassador to Utah, explains that this relatively rare event has been "seen by humans only 7 times since the invention of the telescope in the early 1600s."

This week's solar eclipse in Utah had all the makings of a good holiday. Jennifer Pemberton tells us why something that hasn't happened in 18 years is definitely worth celebrating.

Show your support for Utah Public Radio this summer. When you're out and about in the state look for fellow UPR listeners. You'll recognize them by their "I Listen to UPR" window stickers. Snap a photo (preferably at a stop light, or better yet, have a passenger take the photo), post it to our Facebook page and we'll enter you in a drawing for a UPR prize.

Utah is the place to be for this weekend's annular solar eclipse. While the moon casts its massive shadow over the U.S. for the first time in 18 years, Utah's dark skies and natural settings will be ideal for viewing the eclipse Sunday night, May 20, around sunset.

UPR listeners, please join us in wishing strength and peace for our Moab correspondent, Vicki Barker, as she faces a very immediate battle with cancer. She has brought Moab to life for us on the airwaves and the void of her voice will not soon be filled.

Commentator and former poet, Jennifer Pemberton, wants to remind listeners that April is National Poetry Month and you don't have to be a poet -- or even look like one -- to celebrate poetry in America.

These are the poems that nearly bring her out of retirement every time she reads them:

Musee Des Beaux Arts by W.H. Auden

A Display of Mackerel by Mark Doty

Friday and Sunday on From the Top, we'll hear the sounds of young musicians from Utah. This edition was recorded in March at Weber State University, and will play at 2 p.m on Friday, and 9 p.m. Sunday. Can't wait to listen? Watch the From the Top Video Scrapbook and then tune in!

Utah Department of Transportation officials say drivers should be prepared to be inconvenienced by its plans to complete more than 200 projects this year, mainly to improve roadways and streets.