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.

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

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.


Wind Energy
6:11 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Oregon Man Sues Wind Farm Developer

After years of complaints, one Northwest man is suing an energy company that built a wind farm near his home. Residents have complained that noise from the turbines is affecting their health.

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Pacific Lamprey eels
6:37 am
Fri July 26, 2013

How Pacific Lamprey Could Help Nourish Streams

Eva Carl with a dead Pacific Lamprey eel, which has been attracting the attention macro-invertebrates to Northwest Streams. These macro-invertebrates are essential to algae growth in the stream, which will help keep the creeks healthy.
Credit Courtney Flatt

Pacific lamprey are toothy eels that were once plentiful in the Northwest. Many considered them trash fish, but they are an important staple to Native American diets and ceremonies. Lamprey numbers have greatly declined in the past few decades. Now there is a push to understand more about the eels, so more can be harvested for tribal tables.

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Environmental Policy
5:06 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Hastings, Jewell Face Off At Committee Hearing

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
Credit Northwest News Network

Washington State is home to two key players when it comes to national environmental policy. Sally Jewell is the Interior Secretary and a Seattle resident. Doc Hastings is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and a Republican from Pasco. They faced off for the first time on Capitol Hill.

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Coal Exports
5:14 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Coal Export Public Hearings Scheduled For Hermiston, Portland

The Morrow Pacific Project calls for coal to be transported by rail from the Powder River Basin to Boardman, Ore.
Credit Decumanus / Wikimedia Commons

Crowds have turned up throughout the Northwest to voice their opinions about proposed coal export terminals. At times the public hearings have been confrontational.

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Northwest News
7:04 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Baby Eagles Hatch At Hanford

For the first time in more than 50 years, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is now home to two baby bald eagles. Wildlife biologists say this is a good sign for bald eagles and for the area.
Credit Justin Wilde, Mission Support Alliance

For the first time in more than 50 years, the Hanford nuclear reservation is now home to two baby bald eagles. Wildlife biologists say this is a good sign for bald eagles and for the area.

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Wind Power Batteries
5:20 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Northwest Laboratories Develop Wind Power Storage

Credit Courtney Flatt / Northwest Public Radio

Wind isn’t always a reliable source of power. Sometimes the wind blows when there is already too much power on the grid. And sometimes there is no wind when energy is needed.

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Air Conditioning
5:45 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

How Offices Could Be More Comfortable With Less AC

Michael Brambley (left) and Guopeng Liu in Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Building Controls Lab. New research at the lab has found a way to keep you more comfortable and keep office costs down.
Credit Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

If you’ve ever shivered through a meeting in a conference room when it’s warm outside, you may have wondered: “Why don’t they just turn off the air-conditioning?” New research has found a way to keep you more comfortable and keep office costs down.

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Climate Care
7:26 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Obama Highlights Carbon Storage, Northwest Researchers Hope For More Funding

One of the less-talked-about points in President Barack Obama’s climate change plan is capturing and storing carbon before it’s released from power plants. Research is taking place in the Northwest to keep carbon out of the atmosphere by injecting it permanently underground.For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Wheat Investigation
5:57 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Inspectors Take Wheat Seed Samples From Wash. Distributors

Federal inspectors have taken seed samples from a distributor in Walla Walla, Wash., as part of their investigation to find out how genetically modified wheat wound up in an Oregon field. That’s according to a news report published by the Capital Press.

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GMO Wheat
5:27 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

How GMO Crops Could Affect Weeds

Jointed goatgrass is a weed that mingles with wheat in fields across the Northwest.
Credit Matt Lavin / Wikimedia Commons

After unauthorized, genetically modified wheat was found in an Oregon field, scientists have been trying to figure out what that means for wheat crops. Beyond farmers’ fields, a few pesky plants could also benefit as more genetically modified crops come into play.

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