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

Mine Water Quality Violations
4:49 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Wash. Mine Fined For Water Quality Violations

Washington's Department of Ecology has fined a gold mine in northeastern Washington for water quality violations.
Northwest News Network

The Department of Ecology has fined a gold mine in northeastern Washington for water quality violations. The company plans to appeal the fines. The mine has faced numerous penalties over the past five years.

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Oregon Gillnet Ban
6:21 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Oregon Gillnet Ban Proposal Makes November Ballot

A proposal to ban commercial gillnet fishing will be put before Oregon voters in November.
Chris Doley NOAA Restoration Center

Oregon voters will decide whether to ban commercial gillnet fishing this November.

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Northwest Water Quality
4:59 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Poll Finds Water Quality NW Residents Top Concern

60 percent of people in the Northwest say they worry about the quality of drinking water.
Benutzer:Alex Anlicker Wikimedia Commons

A new public opinion poll finds that water quality ranks as Northwesterners’ top environmental concern.

DHM Research asked 1,200 residents in Washington, Idaho and Oregon about their environmental concerns. 60 percent said they worried about drinking water, and 54 percent said they were concerned about local lakes, rivers and streams. That result tracks with previous polls.

People said they were happy, overall, with the water that comes out of their tap.

DHM Research’s John Horvick says most survey respondents thought that water quality has not improved since the implementation of the Clean Water Act 40 years ago. He says that finding surprised him.

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Coal Terminal
6:04 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Coal Export Study Warns of Train Congestion

A new study has found that increased coal train traffic could adversely affect Pacific Northwest communities. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Washington Coal Terminals
5:53 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Columbia River Towns May Team Up To Export Coal

Only one of the Northwest’s various coal export proposals would rely on two different ports. That has residents in a pair of Columbia River towns in wondering if coal will be good for their communities. EarthFix reporter Courtney Flatt has the first part of our story in Boardman.

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Water Pollution
6:39 am
Mon July 2, 2012

High Bacteria Levels in WA Waters, Not Found In OR, ID

Environmental regulators have detected high levels of fecal coliform in one of the Northwest's most important areas for growing food. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Spring Salmon Numbers
6:05 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Spring Chinook Numbers Lower Than Expected

The salmon run on the Columbia River this spring was not as strong as expected.
Riccardo Rossi Wikimedia Commons

You might remember predictions of really high spring Chinook runs this year. But, turns outs, after spring salmon runs wrapped up, the numbers were not as high as everyone had hoped.

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Wheat Straw Energy
6:20 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Creating Power From Wheat Straw

Since 1978, one eastern Washington county has out-produced all other wheat-growing counties in the U.S. But what to do with all the leftover straw? Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt explains a group of students at Washington State University has found a way to provide power from farmers’ scraps.

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Fuel Cells
6:26 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Fuel Cells Could Power Your Neighborhood

Researchers have developed a fuel cell that could one day power your neighborhood. From EarthFix, Courtney Flatt explains, this new system is much more efficient than power plants.

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Pygmy Rabbit Breeding
6:51 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Pygmy Rabbits Successful Breeding A Step Forward

Pygmy rabbits are the smallest rabbits in North America.
Photo courtesy Oregon Zoo

It’s been a decade-long struggle for Washington’s pygmy rabbits. The palm-sized bunnies have been all but wiped out from the state. And efforts to breed them in captivity were failing. So, biologists are now attempting to breed the rabbits in their natural habitat. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt explains, the pygmy rabbits are finally doing what rabbits are supposed to do.

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