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

Yakima Diary Farm's
5:57 am
Fri September 28, 2012

A Report Links Yakima Valley Nitrates to Dairies

Photo of dairy cows.
Photo Credit: Andre Engels

GRANGER, Wash. – A federal agency has concluded that dairies in the Yakima Valley are likely contaminating residential wells. Scientists and other officials presented the information this week to local residents.

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Wave Research Grant
6:04 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Grant Funds Largest Wave Research Site In US

Oregon will soon be home to the first large-scale wave research site in the United States. A $4 million grant from the Department of Energy is helping fund the facility.

The project will be connected to the electrical grid on-shore so that researchers can test how much power the buoys convert into electricity. Belinda Batten is with Oregon State University and will direct the facility. She says the project will help developers make wave energy more commercially available with large-scale technology.

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BPA's Effect On Female Reproduction
4:42 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Study Confirms BPA Damages Reproductive Systems

Research in the Northwest is finding new evidence that a chemical used to harden plastics can damage female reproductive systems.

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Washington Wind Tower
6:41 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Wind Tower Manufacture To Close Plants

Photo Credit: Paul Anderson/Wiki Commons

A wind tower manufacturer in Richland, Wash. says it’s closing plants in Washington and Nebraska.

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Yakima Basin Plan
6:27 am
Thu September 13, 2012

Yakima Basin Plan Could Flood Shoreline Community

Central Washington's Bumping Lake.
Photo by Courtney Flatt EarthFix

A plan to manage central Washington’s water is not sitting well with some cabin owners. The water plan aims to enlarge a lake that would flood a small, shoreline community. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt takes a look at how environmental planners balance the wish of some against the need of many.

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Wind Tower Producer Closing Plants
5:45 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Wind Tower Manufacturer To Close Plants

Wind tower manufacturer Katana Summit is closing its plants in Washington and Nebraska.
Annawjacbos Wikimedia Commons

A wind tower manufacturer says it’s closing plants in Washington and Nebraska. Manufacturing company Katana Summit is looking for a buyer for its operations in the two states. If that doesn’t happen by November 1, the plants will shut down.

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Energy Efficient Lighting
5:11 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

LEDs: The Light Bulb of the Future?

A new study says that LED bulbs are becoming the best environmental choice for lighting.
Energy.gov

Light bulbs that rely on LED technology may soon be the best way to light your home. Courtney Flatt checked into a study that says LED light bulbs are becoming the best environmental choice.

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Gillnet Ban
6:43 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Tribes Oppose Oregon Measure to Ban Gillnetting

Columbia River Indian tribes are opposing a ballot measure that would ban commercial gillnet fishing in Oregon. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Green Home Building
6:39 am
Mon August 27, 2012

New Windows Could Cut Your Energy Costs

Photo by Wikimedia user: Nieuw Wikimedia Commons

Upgrading your windows may be one way to significantly lower your energy bill. Researchers in Richland, Washington, are comparing two homes to find out how much you can save. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has this report.

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Wind Industry Layoffs
5:31 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

PTC Uncertainty Prompts More Wind Industry Layoffs

A wind company with operations in the Pacific Northwest has announced more layoffs this year as the industry prepares for the expiration of tax credits at the end of the year.

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