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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Overfishing - of cod, and many other species - began well before modern technology.
Peabody Essex Museum

As long as there have been fishermen, there has been overfishing. Breaking that cycle is the central challenge facing fishermen, fishery scientists and regulators, and anyone who likes to eat fish or have fishermen as neighbors.

Coastal flooding and erosion are expected to become more frequent and severe as the climate warms.
Heather Goldstone / WCAI

Coastal counties in the United States are home to nearly half the nation's total population, and contributed more than 8 trillion dollars to the nation's economy in 2010. As the weather events of the past six months have made evident, coastal communities are increasingly vulnerable to the forces of nature.

Winning times for the Boston Marathon are slower when it's hotter.
Chase Elliott Clark / Flickr

New research points to some of the subtle ways climate change can affect daily (or not-so-daily, as the case may be) life.

A right whale skim feeding at the surface.
Courtesy of Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies

Add this to the list of what makes Cape Cod special: Cape Cod Bay may well be the place where the fate of endangered North Atlantic right whales is decided.

There are only about 470 North Atlantic right whales in existence. They were hunted to the brink of extinction, and their future remains precarious. They face a barage of threats - ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, increasing noise levels in the ocean, and climate change.

Sophie-Marie Van Parijs of the Northeast Fishery Science Center listens in on underwater sounds.
Courtesy of NOAA

Here's your science factoid of the day: male Atlantic cod grunt during spawning season. It may sound like useless trivia, but that behavior could help fishery managers better protect cod stocks.

Underwater microphones - hydrophones - installed along the shipping channels leading into Boston already listen for right whales and automatically alert nearby vessels in real time. In fact, you can even get that information on your iPhone.

Caribou crossing Top of the World Highway in Alaska.
Arthur Chapman / Flickr

Being charged by a grizzly bear. Standing in the midst of a herd of caribou. Listening to your breath freeze as it leaves your mouth. Learning firsthand that kerosene freezes at -53 degrees Fahrenheit. You can't make this stuff up.

Ever wanted to hear what it sounds like on radio when somebody get stuck in the mud? Here's your chance. And never say we won't do what it takes to bring you great science stories.

A satellite image shows a large plume of aerosol moving eastward over the North Atlantic Ocean.
Courtesy of NASA EOS Project Science Office

Humans have been watching clouds since the dawn of time. Still, clouds remain one of the most poorly understood aspects of climate and, thus, climate change. Some of the most vehement scientific debates about climate change center around the role of clouds. As a result, they're one of the largest sources of discrepancies between climate models.

A year-long research project based at Cape Cod National Seashore aims to change that.

President Obama talked with Samantha Garvey, 18, of Bay Shore, N.Y., about her environmental sciences project at the second White House science fair.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Science fair winners may not enjoy the celebrity and wealth of Super Bowl champions, as President Obama has quipped they should, but science fairs can yield lucrative scholarships and prizes, not to mention invaluable learning experiences for those who participate.

Historical Print by Jonathan Couch

At least 7000 Americans suffer spinal cord injuries each year.  Often the result is permanent paralysis. On Living Lab, Heather Goldstone sits down with Jennifer Morgan, Marine Biological Laboratory Assistant Scientist, to discuss understanding nerve cell communication and repair in sea lampreys, and what that means for people suffering from spinal cord injury.

This program is a rebroadcast.  It originally aired on July 9, 2012,

  Late Friday night, President Obama signed an order calling for $85 billion in federal budget cuts collectively known as sequestration. There’s been a lot of speculation about the impact of cuts on the military and entitlement programs like MediCare and Social Security. But the cuts will affect every aspect of the federal budget, including funding for science.

Is your rice laced with arsenic? Recent studies have shown high levels of the toxin in some rice products.
Calgary Reviews / Flickr

Arsenic is a heavy metal that is considered a known carcinogen, or cancer causing agent. It is also associated with a range of other adverse health effects. But there is no federal standard for arsenic in food or beverages other than water.

Last year, two studies by Consumer Reports found what they called 'worrisome' levels of arsenic, first in apple and grape juice and then in rice products. A significant number of the products tested by Consumer Reports exceeded the federal drinking water standard for arsenic. The reports prompted calls for expansion of federal standards for arsenic, and also warnings that people should limit their intake of rice and fruit juice.

Credit Woods Hole Research Center

Freshwater ecosystems in the Amazon are highly vulnerable to environmental degradation. On Living Lab, Heather Goldstone talks with Dr. Leandro Castello with the Woods Hole Research Center about a new study showing that Amazon waters are being increasingly degraded by deforestation, pollution, construction of dams and waterways, and over-harvesting of plant and animal species.

Snow weighs down tree branches in Falmouth.
Alecia J. O. Lebeda

After a weekend that brought hurricane-force winds (over 90 mph on Nantucket!) and more than a foot of snow to most of the Cape and Islands, rain may seem like no big deal. Or it may seem like the straw that broke the camel's back. Either way, that's what's in the forecast for this afternoon.

NStar spokesperson says the rain will complicate efforts to restore power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses in southeastern Massachusetts.

Erosion underway at Cold Storage Beach in Dennis on Saturday, February 9th.
Greg Berman / Woods Hole Sea Grant

The Nor'easter that slammed New England this weekend packed hurricane-force winds and dumped as much as three feet of snow in some places. In addition to knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses around southeastern Massachusetts, the storm reworked coastlines around the region. Twenty to thirty foot waves and a four foot storm surge piled on top of astronomically high tides to produce widespread coastal flooding and erosion.