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.

Ways to Connect

It's been turning the rumor mill for months. Now it's official. MBL and University of Chicago have agreed to form an affiliation.

Kindergarteners learned about insects at a 2006 BioBlitz event in Woods Hole. BioBlitzes are intensive biodiversity surveys powered by volunteers.
Jennifer Junker / WCAI

One couldn't dream up a more perfect topic for citizen science than biodiversity. It happens anywhere and everywhere, scientists need more data points than they could ever possibly gather on their own, and you can see (at least some of) it with your own two eyes.

Here are just a few ways you could get involved:

Edward Hicks, Garden of Praise, Philadelphia Museum of Art


It’s estimated there are 8.7 million species alive on planet Earth today. But scientists have only named and cataloged about fifteen percent of that number and there’s increasing concern about the rate at which species are going extinct.

Gray seals (Halichoerus grypus) and harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) hauled out on the beach at Jeremy Point in Wellfleet, Mass.
Meghann Murray / NEFSC/NOAA

The Magnuson-Stevens Act that governs U.S. fisheries management calls for regulations to be based on "best available science" - a fuzzy and moving target. New technologies and new research are constantly reworking our understanding of ocean ecosystems and the fisheries they support.

Here are three new or pending initiatives that could shape fishery regulations of the future:

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.

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...