Patrick Skahill

Reporter

Patrick Skahill is a reporter at WNPR. He covers science with an emphasis on health care and the environment. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009 and won a PRNDI award in 2011. Patrick's reporting has appeared in The New York Times and on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He worked for two years as a print reporter at Stonebridge Press in Massachusetts where he covered crime and education. 

A graduate of Villanova University, Patrick holds a bachelor's degree in history with a concentration in Arab & Islamic Studies and a minor in Classical Studies. He holds a master's degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. He knows way too much about Seinfeld and is a devoted fan of comedian Hannibal Burress.

He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@wnpr.org.

Pages

Election 2014
8:35 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Elizabeth Esty and Mark Greenberg Meet in Second Debate

Elizabeth Esty and Mark Greenberg debated in Waterbury on Tuesday.
File Photo

Democrat Elizabeth Esty and her republican challenger, Mark Greenberg, touched on a wide array of issues during their second debate: the economy, transit, climate, and Social Security. That last topic has been a point of contention among the two candidates following a controversial television ad from the Esty campaign.

Read more
Conservation
10:01 am
Tue October 21, 2014

A Plan to Prioritize and Manage Troubled State Wildlife

The Northern long-eared bat is one of several threatened species in the state that has not yet qualified for federal EDA protection.
Steven Thomas / NPS

The state's wildlife action plan aims to provide management options for animals and plants that don't quite qualify for federal protection. Take for instance the Northern Long-eared bat or New England Cottontail rabbit. They're not listed on federal endangered species lists, but their numbers have dropped in recent years due to things like disease and habitat loss.

Read more
Election 2014
2:53 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Connecticut Gubernatorial Race Is Most Negative in Nation, Study Finds

A clip from an attack ad against incumbent Governor Dannel Malloy.
YouTube

A new report from the Wesleyan Media Project says Connecticut's gubernatorial contest is now the most negative race in the nation.

Read more
Homecoming
4:56 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

EPA Head Gina McCarthy Tours Connecticut

Gina McCarthy, at left, visiting the Sound School in New Haven with Rep. Rosa DeLauro.
Patrick Skahill WNPR

Gina McCarthy, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, visited Connecticut on Tuesday.

It was a homecoming of sorts for McCarthy, who was commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection from 2004 to 2009. 

Read more
Parakeets
3:04 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

An Unusual, Non-Lethal Idea to Deal With Connecticut's Pesky Monk Parakeets

Monk Parakeets get their name from the distinctive cowl over their heads. They're also known as "Quaker Parrots."
Kevin Burgio

Kevin Burgio remembered the first time he saw monk parakeets. He was out bird watching "and I ran across this puddle that had like five or six monk parakeets drinking from it," he said. "I'm like, what the hell is that? Did someone lose, like, five parrots? I didn't know there were parrots here."

Read more
Natural Gas
4:32 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Connecticut Oil Dealers Sue DEEP Over Energy Policy

Flickr Creative Commons / kennymatic

The Connecticut Energy Marketers Association is a trade group representing about 600 heating oil and propane dealers. In a complaint, it alleges the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection didn't adequately assess the environmental impact of Governor Dannel Malloy's Comprehensive Energy Strategy, which plans to add 900 miles of natural gas pipelines in the state.

Read more
Drones
11:31 am
Fri October 10, 2014

If Police in Connecticut Use Drones for Surveillance, Do They Need a Warrant?

Don McCullough Flickr Creative Commons

Experts on remotely piloted aircraft, also known as drones, convened at the Connecticut state capitol this week to discuss requiring police to obtain a warrant before using a drone for surveillance. The state has no laws governing drone use, which means if law enforcement uses the technology, they don't need to get anyone else's approval.

Read more
Science
12:24 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Jackson Labs' Director of Science Aims for "Real Impacts" in Connecticut

Charles Lee, Jackson's director of science in Farmington, Conn., was shortlisted last month for a Nobel Prize in medicine.
Credit Jackson Laboratory

Charles Lee, director of science at the Jackson Laboratory, said he's been pretty tired lately. Between the grand opening of Jackson's Farmington facility and working on this week's first-ever science conference, he's had a lot on his plate.

Read more
Trees, Please
1:36 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Think Cutting Back Forests for Power Lines in Connecticut Is Always Bad? Think Again.

Ken Metzler, left, with David Wagner at a power line corridor in South Windsor. The pair co-authored a paper on how power lines impact plant and animal life.
Patrick Skahill / WNPR

When you think of environmentally beneficial landscapes, the land beneath power lines might not be at the top of your list, but new research is highlighting this habitat's importance in conserving a wide array of plant and insect life.

Read more
Stockin' Trout
12:09 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

A Good Year for Connecticut's Fishermen, Thanks to "Survivor Strain" Trout

From left, Rob Castrogiovanni, Brian Eltz, Alan Rousseau, and Bob, a volunteer from Trout Unlimited, worked to stock about 3,300 trout into the Housatonic River.
Patrick Skahill / WNPR

It's the fall trout-stocking season for Connecticut's rivers and streams. I met up with a team of scientists and volunteers to learn more about the journey trout take from hatchery to stream.

Read more
The Pollinators
8:10 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Should Neonicotinoids Be Banned to Protect Honeybees?

Neonicotinoids, a class of pesticide, thought to be linked to decling bee numbers, have been temporarily banned in Europe.
d o w n s t r e a m Flickr Creative Commons

Members of Congress, including three from Connecticut, have signed a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency to better regulate a controversial class of pesticide called neonicotinoids.

Read more
Clean Water Act
2:33 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Clearing Up Murkiness in the Clean Water Act

Curt Spalding, regional administrator for EPA in New England, right, accepts a box full of comments on the proposed update to the Clean Water Act.
Credit Patrick Skahill / WNPR

A proposed rule change seeks to better define what waters are protected by the Clean Water Act, the law regulating pollution discharges into American water.

As written, the Clean Water Act currently applies to waters with a "significant nexus" to "navigable waters," a bit of legalese that's made it tough for regulators to crack down on pollution in some small tributaries.

Read more
Zoning the Morning Star
5:38 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Developer Withdraws Request to Rezone "Satan's Kingdom"

A plan to turn a 60 acre plot in "Satan's Kingdom" into an industrial park hit a snag on Thursday, when the developer pulled the plug.
Wikimedia Commons

Allan Borghesi wanted to rezone about 60 acres in New Hartford and Canton from "residential" to "industrial" and, earlier this summer, it looked like the deal was a sure bet. New Hartford signed off on the proposal in June, but opposition in Canton grew in the interim -- organizing itself on Facebook and through petitions. Now, Borghesi has withdrawn his request.

Read more
Cleaning Up the Sound
12:13 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

New Plan Makes Climate Change Essential Factor in Long Island Sound Conservation

Long Island Sound.
GNY Creative Commons

Twenty years ago, public perceptions of Long Island Sound weren't good. Mark Tedesco is director of the EPA's LIS office, and during a recent public hearing, he recapped some editorial cartoons from that time.

Read more
Genetics
11:08 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Who Should Get a Genetic Test for Breast Cancer?

Credit Huntstock / Thinkstock

Historically, doctors recommended genetic screenings in certain women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer. This month, Mary-Claire King, an influential the geneticist who discovered links between a gene called BRCA1 and breast cancer, said doctors need to offer genetic tests to all women 30 and older.

Read more
Capping Gas
8:11 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Senate Bill Looks to Regulate Atmospheric "Super Pollutants"

A new U.S. Senate bill is looking to establish more regulations for non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions.
why 137 Creative Commons

Last weekend's climate change march brought thousands of protesters to New York City. A new bill now making its way through the U.S. Senate is also aiming to reduce the impact of so-called atmospheric "super pollutants."

Read more
Zoning the Morning Star
1:15 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Environmental Worries Pepper Zoning Debate in "Satan's Kingdom"

A proposed industrial development could rezone nearly 60 acres in Canton and New Hartford's Satan's Kingdom.
Wikimedia Commons

A proposed industrial development on 60 acres near the Farmington River is generating pushback from residents in New Hartford and Canton.

Read more
Grant Funding
2:53 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Host of Science Friday Settles on Allegations of Federal Grant Misuse

Ira Flatow will pay nearly $150,000 to settle allegations he and his program misused funds from the National Science Foundation.
Credit Science Friday

Ira Flatow, public radio host of the popular Science Friday program, and his for-profit corporation, will pay $145,531 to resolve allegations his company misused grant money from the National Science Foundation.

The settlement stems from a 2009 National Science Foundation award of nearly $1 million to Flatow's privately-owned company, ScienceFriday, Inc., for the purposes of "extending the impact of its weekly radio program to a new and younger audience through the use of cyber-space platforms and interactive tools such as Facebook and Twitter."

Read more
Warehouse Fire
2:56 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Bridgeport Fire Leads to Environmental Damage

No serious injuries have been reported in the fire at a Bridgeport industrial building.
Titus YouTube

A fishing ban has been imposed on all commercial and recreational fishing from Norwalk to Milford until the environmental impact of a massive overnight fire in Bridgeport can be evaluated. The fire has also forced evacuation of residents and cut electrical power.

Read more
Medical Education
11:32 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Mentoring Program Works to Attract More Young, Black Nurses

A mentoring program in Connecticut aims to attract more young African Americans to nursing. Pictured is College of DuPage Nursing student Monashay Pertee.
College of DuPage

A mentoring program in Northern Connecticut is working to get more African Americans interested in nursing.

Read more
Election 2014
1:10 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Q-Poll: Foley Leads Malloy By Six Points

A new Quinnipiac Poll is released less than two months before the 2014 election for governor.
Credit Connecticut State Capitol / Wikimedia Commons

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday gives Tom Foley, the Republican challenger in the governor’s race, a six-point lead over incumbent Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy. This news comes less than eight weeks before Election Day.

Read more
LOBSTAH
10:37 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Connecticut Lobstermen See End to Catches in Long Island Sound

Lobster traps in Mystic.
Richard Taylor Creative Commons

Fishermen in Long Island Sound won't be allowed to catch lobster for the next three months because of a fishing ban aimed at increasing population numbers.

Read more
Giant Tracts of Panel
8:20 am
Fri September 5, 2014

A Hartford Eyesore Turned Solar Oasis

The solar array is on top of 10 million tons of capped-off waste in Hartford's north end.
Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority

A new solar array in Hartford is the first solar-energy project to be built atop a closed landfill in the state. At peak capacity, it's expected to power about 1,000 homes per day.

Read more
Ebola
8:11 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Connecticut Doctor Fighting Ebola Outbreak: "It's a Terrible Way to Die"

A 19 year old woman fully recovered from Ebola kisses her baby outside a Doctors Without Borders Clinic in Sierra Leone.
P.K. Lee Medecins Sans Frontieres

A doctor from Southern Connecticut State University is sharing what he saw while spending time in Africa fighting the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.

Read more
Hospitals
2:25 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Examining the Rise in Emergency Room Stays for Children in Connecticut

Spotmatik/iStock Thinkstock

Children with mental health problems are spending more time in emergency rooms, according to a report from the Connecticut Health Investigative Team. In 2010, 40 children spent multiple nights in the emergency room for mental health issues. By the end of this year, C-HIT says that number is expected to rise to 500.

Read more
Brownfields
8:17 am
Mon September 1, 2014

State Announces $27 Million in Redevelopment Money

Included in the grants and loans is money for several housing development projects in the state.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / kylewbrown

The state has announced a total of $27 million in grants and loans for 20 environmental remediation and redevelopment projects in Connecticut.

Read more
Juno the Whale
2:25 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Watch: Charismatic Beluga in Mystic Entertains Kids, Highlights Research

Juno, a 12-year-old beluga at Mystic Aquarium, is drawing attention to the aquarium's field research.
Mystic Aquarium

A new viral video depicting a juvenile beluga whale playing peek-a-boo with a child is drawing attention to Mystic Aquarium's arctic animals.

Read more
UConn Research
4:01 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

What's the Best Way to Manage a Pesticide-Free Athletic Field?

Julie Campbell and Jason Henderson stand in front of 24 managed grass plots. They're comparing how grass responds to different organic and non-organic treatments.
Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Researchers at UConn are investigating the feasibility of managing grade school athletic fields without pesticides. It's science that could one day inform state law. 

Read more
Huge Piles of Compost
10:11 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Citizen Science Project at Trinity College Taps Trained Eyes of Veterans

A coyote checks out a compost pile in this infrared shot from Smedley's remote camera.
Scott Smedley Trinity College

Researchers at Trinity College are snapping pictures of animals at compost piles as part of an ongoing biology project. They've been getting lots of pictures, and they're now hoping a new group can help analyze them: veterans. 

Read more
Child Health
9:52 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Federal Legislators Want Liquid Nicotine Bottles to Have Safety Caps

An assortment of liquid nicotine bottles.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / lindsay-fox

A dozen Senate Democrats are pushing federal legislation that would require child-proof bottles for the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes.

Read more

Pages