Courtney Flatt

Multimedia Journalist - Based in Richland, WA

Courtney Flatt began her journalism career at The Dallas Morning News as a neighbors editor. There, she also wrote articles for the Metro section, where she reported on community issues ranging from water security to the arts. Courtney earned her master’s in convergence journalism at the University of Missouri and developed a love for radio and documentary film. As a producer at KBIA-FM she hosted a weekly business show, reported and produced talk shows on community and international issues. Her work took her from the unemployment lines, to a Methamphetamine bust, to the tornado damage aftermath in Joplin, Mo.

What I cover
Energy, climate change and the Columbia Basin

Soon to be favorite outdoor activity
Having never lived so close to mountains before, I am determined to learn to snowboard this winter.

A funny thing happened one day in the field...
It was an icy winter morning, and I was trying to get some ambient sound of the Missouri River, which seemed easy enough. I had to make it over a pile of cement rocks to reach this one sandbar. (And if you know me, you know I’m a walking example of Murphy’s Law.)

Realizing this, I securely attached every piece of equipment to my body. Everything except my extra mic. I had climbed halfway across the cement pile when, woosh! My mic fell through a small hole covered by leaves. The mound was probably 10 feet tall.

As I peered down, a fisherman wandered by. He helped me lift a few of the blocks – they probably weighed 50 pounds each. But the mic wasn’t anywhere near the top. Every time I saw the pile after that day, I wondered where my mic wound up.

Likes
Farmers markets, traveling, tea and painting (though I’m pretty bad at it)

Dislikes
There’s not much… Maybe traffic?

If I weren't a journalist, I would be...
Working on an organic farm in Spain. I actually joined the WOOF program right before graduation. Then I got a job.

Pages

Stinkbug Invasion
6:57 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Something Smells: Invasion Of The Stink Bugs!

Originally from Asia, the brown marmorated stink bug first appeared in Pennsylvania in 1998. It has since made its way across the United States.
Credit Lildobe

Northwest researchers are teaming up to stop an invasion of stink bugs moving across the region. The bugs, which can smell like dirty gym socks, ruin tree fruit and grape vines. Those crops are vital to Northwest agriculture.

Read more
Lamprey Dams
7:02 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Swim, Lamprey, Swim!

The Lamprey is a jawless fish which has a toothy, funnel-like mouth.
Credit USFWS Pacific

An eel-like fish native to the Northwest can now more easily make it up the Columbia River. Managers at the Columbia’s McNary Dam have installed a new passage system for Pacific lamprey – the first of its kind for the toothy fish.

Read more
Climate Change
7:18 am
Mon February 24, 2014

What Does Climate Change Mean For Ice Climbing?

Whitman College freshman Laura Rey makes her way up the Weeping Wall, outside Dayton, Wash. This was Rey's first ice climbing trip.
Courtney Flatt

Ice climbers are a lot like snowboarders and skiers – they count on winter weather to create the right conditions for their sport. But here’s a big difference: mountain resorts can manufacture snow; no one has invented a machine to freeze waterfalls. And as winter temperatures rise, outdoor recreationalists worry that climate change could threaten some ice climbing destinations.

Read more
Magma Research
7:47 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Volcanic Eruptions Could Be More Rare Than You Think

Researchers studying Mount Hood have found that magma is often too cold to move around so much.
Credit Greg Harness/Flickr

Right before a volcano erupts, molten rock, known as magma, is moving around underneath the surface. New research suggests this liquid magma is very rare. That’s an important finding for researchers trying to predict when a volcano may erupt.

Read more
Pacific Lamprey
6:03 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Creating A Northwest Lamprey Hatchery

Northwest researchers are trying to develop a lamprey hatchery – the first of its kind in the world.
Courtney Flatt

Pacific lamprey numbers are quickly declining throughout Northwestern waters. Tribal elders remember times when the Columbia River was black with the eel-like fish. Now, Northwest researchers are trying to develop a lamprey hatchery – the first of its kind in the world. But, there are challenges ahead.

Read more
Triple-paned Windows
6:16 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Triple-Paned Windows: Are They Worth The Cost?

The windows are expensive and could take 20 to 50 years to start paying you back.
Credit Courtney Flatt

If you’re looking to keep out the winter cold, triple-paned windows will do the trick. But Northwest researchers have found have found it can take decades before savings from these highly insulated windows pay you back.

Read more
Wind Farms Killing Bats
7:19 am
Thu November 14, 2013

600,000 Bats Killed At Wind Farms In 2012

A new study has found that more than 600,000 bats – possibly up to 900,000 – died at wind farms in the continental U.S. last year.
Credit Lee Carson

Researchers are getting a better sense of just many bats are dying because of spinning wind turbine blades. A new study says more than 600,000 bats may have been killed at wind farms last year.

Read more
Climate Change Task Force
6:32 am
Mon November 4, 2013

WA Governor Inslee Appointed to Climate Change Task Force

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will soon help advise the White House on how to respond to the effects of climate change. President Barack Obama Friday appointed Inslee to a task force that includes governors, mayors and tribal officials.

Read more
GMO Labeling
6:01 am
Fri October 18, 2013

GMO Labeling Initiative Raises Environmental Concerns

If you’ve turned on your TV in Washington over the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard countless commercials for Initiative 522. The ballot measure proposes to label genetically modified foods sold in the state. But behind all the campaign rhetoric, researchers have raised environmental questions about genetically modified crops.

Read more
Government Shutdown
6:58 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Thru-Hikers Reach An Impasse From Government Shutdown

For months hikers have been traversing the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail passes through desert and mountain landscapes from Mexico to Canada. Now, these long distance hikers are facing a trip cut short as they near the end of their journey. And it’s because of the government shutdown.

Read more

Pages