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. 

He writes about science for The Beaker. 

Patrick's reporting has appeared 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.

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On a recent visit to Kenya, President Obama proposed changes to U.S. laws governing the sale of ivory. 

The measure is largely in response to a poaching crisis that's pushing elephants, rhinos, and other species to the brink of extinction.

Connecticut was once a hub for the global ivory trade, so musicians and museums are wondering what the future holds for their ivory-containing instruments, art, and antiques.

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White House officials hosted 13 of the largest companies from across the American economy on Monday to discuss ways business can help reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent over the next ten years. 

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Wildlife explorers are expected at the UConn Storrs campus this weekend for a 24-hour "BioBlitz."

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A Connecticut man who videotaped a homemade "drone" flying and firing a handgun in Clinton is now the subject of an FAA investigation.

The 14-second video shows a small hovering flying machine. It's black with four spinning propellers and there's a semiautomatic handgun strapped on top. As it hovers, it fires four shots into a wooded area before the video cuts out.

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Water-quality data about beaches on Long Island Sound has been publicly available for a while, but understanding it can be tricky. Now, a new online tool could help make that process easier.

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State sales tax will be added to the parking fees at three shoreline parks this weekend at Sherwood Island State Park, Hammonasset Beach State Park, and Rocky Neck State Park. That's thanks to a legislative change in the state budget which went into effect July 1st.

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On Tuesday night, astronomers got an encouraging signal from New Horizons -- after 21 hours of radio silence, the NASA probe reported it had safely made its way past Pluto. Now, scientists in Connecticut say the real work begins. 

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President Obama's agreement with Iran now heads to Congress. As part of the deal, Iran will curtail its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions. But the idea of lifting sanctions has rankled many, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the deal a "historic mistake." 

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In 1972, there were only seven active osprey nests in Connecticut. The birds were listed as endangered or threatened in many states -- due to the widespread use of the toxin DDT, which was banned that same year.

Wayback Burgers

Gillian Maffeo said it all started as an April Fool's Day joke. Wayback Burgers, a resturant chain headquartered in Cheshire with locations across the state and country, started advertising a new type of milkshake: one infused with protein, from bugs. 

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This month brings a few changes to bicycling laws in Connecticut, which will impact both cyclists and drivers. 

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Longer tractor trailers could soon be coming to highways in Connecticut. The bill, which has passed out of the U.S. House, would allow truckers to use double-trailers that are each 33 feet long. Right now, the feds cap these twin-trailers at 28 feet a piece. 

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Before Superstorm Sandy made landfall in 2012, several Connecticut towns received mandatory evacuation orders. But many chose to ignore them and ride out the storm. Now researchers at Yale University are trying to find out why. 

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As Earth's climate changes, mountain-dwelling animals have typically been viewed as universal losers. Warming temperatures force a species upward, it runs out of habitable space, and it dies off. But new research is complicating that notion, suggesting some mountain animals might actually benefit in the near term from climate change. 

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Friday's Supreme Court decision affirming a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage has been met with praise in Connecticut.

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The EPA has issued new guidelines for underground gasoline tanks, changes the agency hopes will beef up safety standards for containers underneath gas stations and convenience stores in Connecticut.

Department of Agriculture

The goats were taken in January from the Butterfield Farm Company in Cornwall. They were said to be malnourished with many suffering from a number of highly-transmissible diseases. Now, the state has announced a plan to manage the herd of 96 animals that fell into state care following an animal-cruelty investigation.

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As the summer hiking season kicks off, scientists say more ticks in Connecticut are testing positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. 

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Connecticut's medical examiner said the death of a Branford man who was shocked by a police a stun gun was a homicide. The case is now being investigated by state police.

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In a major environmental statement, Pope Francis said cap and trade programs aren't effective at solving global climate change. But New England has made cap and trade a big part of its environmental policy. 

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Pope Francis's highly anticipated statement on the environment says climate change is happening, but the question is whether or not rank-and-file Catholics will accept the Pope's idea.

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The idea that fishing for fun at your favorite lake could change how a fish evolves is relatively new, but Jan-Michael Hessenauer says it's real. He says fish seem to be developing slower metabolisms. That means they're less hungry, and less eager to take the bait from a fisherman.

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Handgun purchasing laws in Connecticut have resulted in a 40 percent drop in statewide gun deaths, according to a new study out of Johns Hopkins University. 

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Hunting with a bow and arrow on Sundays could soon be legal on private properties in Connecticut. The state says it's a necessary move to control deer populations, especially in Fairfield County.

Chion Wolf

Squaring growing demand for locally grown food with new national farm regulations has been a point of frustration for many in agriculture and farm officials from around the northeast are meeting in New Haven this week to talk about it.

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The Connecticut Senate voted on Wednesday night in favor of a two-year, $40.3 billion Democratic budget. The vote came about a half-hour before the midnight adjournment on Wednesday. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Legislators are weighing in on a proposal by Governor Dannel Malloy to cut funding from the Community Investment Act -- a program established years ago to fund open space and land preservation in the state.

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With a week left in the legislative session environmental watchdogs are keeping close tabs on budget dealings at the state capitol and say, for now at least, things aren't looking as bad as they did a few months ago.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

If you've ever moved, you know how tricky it can be to transport a mattress. They're bulky, tough to carry, and take up lots of space. They're also really hard to throw out.

Now Connecticut is looking to solve that problem by introducing the nation's first-ever mattress recycling program. The goal is to get old beds off the curb and into the renewable waste stream.

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Two graduates of the Yale School of Forestry are hoping to make it easier for residents to conserve land and open space. 

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