Heather Goldstone

Science Editor and Host of Living Lab

Heather Goldstone is science editor at WCAI and host of Living Lab on The Point, a weekly show exploring how science gets done and makes its way into our daily lives. Goldstone holds a Ph.D. in ocean science from M.I.T. and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and spent a decade as researcher before leaving the lab to pursue journalism. She has reported extensively on Woods Hole’s unique scientific community and key environmental issues on Cape Cod. Her stories have appeared in outlets ranging from Cape Cod Times and Commercial Fishery News to NPR and PBS News Hour. Most recently, Goldstone hosted Climatide.org, an NPR-sponsored blog exploring present-day impacts of climate change on coastal life.

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NOAA's fishery service can't catch a break. The agency is facing two lawsuits - one claiming its groundfish regulations are too harsh, and one claiming they're too lax.

A pouch full of resin soaks up chemicals produced by phytoplankton. Those chemicals will be tested for their ability to treat cystic fibrosis.
Tom Kleindinst / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Chances are, when you think about bacteria, you think about getting sick. But some marine microbes may hold potential treatments for human diseases.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley today announced a federal lawsuit against NOAA.
Sarah Birnbaum / WGBH

Two new developments today in New England groundfishermen's fight for their livelihoods:

  • Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced this afternoon that her office has filed a federal lawsuit against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the agency that oversees commercial fishing. According to a press release from the Attorney General's office, the lawsuit alleges that federal regulators "used flawed science to over-restrict the Massachusetts fishing industry" and "ignored the devastating economic impact" of severe cuts in cod catch quotas aimed at ending overfishing.

The Climate Prediction Center is calling for an active to extremely active hurricane season.
NASA/NOAA GOES Project

Memorial Day has come and gone, marking the unofficial start of summer. Here's what experts say is in store for the season.

2010, 2011, and 2012 were the hottest three consecutive summers in over a century, and each year tied with two earlier years for third most named storms in a season. We may be poised to continue those streaks.

Courtesy of Emily Monosson

It's long been a mantra of the feminist movement that women can have it all - a happy family and a successful career. In reality, there are always tradeoffs.

Fish and fishermen usually take top billing when it comes to the conversation about New England's fisheries. Now it's your turn in the limelight.

Fishing is far more than a revenue stream. It's a hobby; it's New England's cultural heritage; it's a source of healthy, local food. As we begin our own conversation about the future of New England's fisheries, we'd like to know what that phrase means to you. Whether you're a seafood lover, an occasional fisherman, or Deadliest Catch watcher, please take a moment to share your outlook on fishing.

Heather Goldstone / WCAI

This summer, we’re taking an in-depth look at the current state and future prospects of New England’s fisheries. Here’s why, and what you can do to help.

Opponents of decommissioning the turbines focused on the economic costs, while those in favor of the measure focused on the need for a quick end to the divisive controversy.
Heather Goldstone / WCAI

Falmouth voters went to the polls in force yesterday, and delivered a mandate: do NOT take down the wind turbines.

A whopping 41% of registered voters turned out for town elections. And the vast majority voted not to appropriate funds for the removal of Wind-1 and Wind-2, the two town-owned wind turbines at the center of a controversy that pits clean energy advocates against neighbors who say their health is impacted by the turbines. The margin on Question 2 was 2:1, with 6,001 votes against the measure and 2,940 voting for it.

Plastic debris found in the stomach of a juvenile green turtle accidentally captured in Bahía Samborombón, Argentina.
Victoria González Carman / seaturtle.org

Recent research suggests the tiniest pieces of plastic debris may pose some of the greatest risks for ocean ecosystems - and us.

Each year, tons of plastic find their way from our picnics and recycling bins into the ocean. We've all seen heartbreaking photos of sea turtles disfigured by six-pack rings or seals caught in fishing line. And we've all heard that plastic never goes away.

By the 2050's, shrubs and trees could be growing hundreds of miles north of the current tree line in the Arctic.
Woods Hole Research Center

"Green" has become synonymous with "good" in many circles. Not inside the Arctic circle.

Two recent studies - one projecting into the future, and one reconstructing the ancient past - both lead to the same conclusion: The Arctic of the near future will be warmer, wetter, and dramatically greener, with more trees and less snow and ice.

North Atlantic right whale, Wart, with her weeks-old calf in January, 2013.
Allison Henry / NEFSC under Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies NOAA permit #14603

In another sign of the season, the right whales have come and gone. At the height of things, about ten days ago, 113 North Atlantic right whales - fully a quarter of the estimated 470 existing individuals - were sighted in Cape Cod Bay. A week later, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies posted on Facebook:

Not a single right whale spotted in Cape Cod Bay...

Lars Plougmann / Flickr

Welcome to the first of what we hope will become a regular feature here on Living Lab. We’re calling it From the Director’s Chair, and it’s a chance to check in with the heads of local research institutions about the news and issues that are on their minds.

On the docket this time:

Courtesy of Emily Monosson

Later this month on Living Lab, we’ll be talking about Motherhood: The Elephant in the Laboratory. Do you have a story to share?

Usually, there's an audio player at the top of these posts. This one is different. That's a recorder up there. Here's why (and what you should do with it).

Female scientists are a species subject to serious attrition. Women make up more than half of all undergraduate science majors. Approximately 40% of doctoral degree recipients in science and engineering fields are women. At each successive career benchmark, the proportion of women drops. Less than 30% of full-time, tenured or tenure-track scientists are female.

Why? One major factor is motherhood.

A New Bedford fishing boat.
Heather Goldstone / WCAI

Today marks the opening of the 2013 groundfish season. It's a year that could go down in history as the end of New England's oldest fishery - cod.

The groundfish industry is no stranger to cutbacks and hard times. The fleet has been shrinking for over a decade. But cod fishermen are facing drastic reductions in catch limits this season - a 77% reduction in Gulf of Maine quotas, and greater than 50% reduction in Georges Bank allotments. And since cod is usually caught in conjunction with other groundfish, such as haddock or pollock, the restrictions on cod catches could curtail the entire groundfish season.

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