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.

davejdoe / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

R0Ng / Creative Commons

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. 

Creative Commons

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.

David Wilson / Creative Commons

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.

DMAHENDRA / Creative Commons

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.

Flickr Creative Commons / Nanagyei

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

EyeLights/iStock / Thinkstock

Unexpected price spikes in home energy bills have been a focus for legislators this session, but a new study says even programs designed to lessen the impact of your monthly bill could still be impacting your wallet. 

kakissel / Creative Commons

Scientists and thinkers from around the state will gather in Hartford next month for a panel discussion on 3D printing. The idea is to foster better conversations between researchers and the public.

MarilynJane / Creative Commons

"Map of Life" has a simple premise: tell the app where you're located and it will tell you what kind of wildlife is there. 

Mystic Aquarium

Three beluga whales have been spotted off Rhode Island's coast in Narragansett Bay, a bizarre diversion for a species generally found much farther north. 

Nicholas A. Tonelli / Creative Commons

This year's cold winter killed off a high percentage of insects that target Connecticut's hemlock trees. That's good news for forests and for landowners in the state.

NASA, ESA, P. Oesch and I. Momcheva (Yale University), and the 3D-HST and HUDF09/XDF teams

The most distant galaxy ever measured is 13.1 billion light years away, according to a new study out of Yale University. 

Photo Phiend / Creative Commons

The state legislature has approved a bill aiming to protect the online privacy of employees and job applicants, but state analysts expect the law to impact fewer than ten people per year.

qmnonic / Creative Commons

Connecticut has begun the first mattress recycling program in the country, which means a $9.00 charge will now be added to any new mattress purchase in the state. 

Ryan King / WNPR

The state Department of Transportation is inviting the public to look at options for redesigning the way I-84 runs through the center of Hartford. All this week, it's holding an open forum in the auditorium of Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford.

Wikimedia Commons

A compromise has been worked out between the state's automotive dealers and electric-vehicle manufacturer Tesla. That's according to the co-chair of the state's transportation committee. 

NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team

The Hubble Space telescope shot into orbit 25 years ago on Friday. I spoke with a Connecticut engineer who worked on the project, which forever changed humanity's view of its place in the cosmos. 

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Five of New England's governors met in Hartford on Thursday to speak about energy issues facing the region. At the top of the agenda was the price of electricity.

Captain Kimo / Creative Commons

Greenhouse gas emissions have risen slightly from last year, according to a new analysis from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but the emissions are still down nine percent since 2005.

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Fishermen can be pretty clever with where they hide their illegally-captured fish.

"We've had people hide them in secret compartments in boats. We've had them hide them in vehicles, rocks, all kinds of places to prevent us from finding them," said Cpt. Ryan Healy of the state environmental conservation police.

Adriana Arango / Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

Asian Longhorned Beetles, Emerald Ash Borers, Hemlock Woolly Adelgids: all these bugs pose threats to trees in Connecticut. Now, you can add another bug to that list: the southern pine beetle.

Wikimedia Commons

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack spoke at Yale University on Tuesday and said he likes how social media is causing a change in the way big-business producers like McDonald's create their food.

Laura Hubers
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

When you think about plants, you probably picture individual trees or your favorite type of flower, but you probably don't think of them in a bigger way: as habitat.

Hyland House

Definitively dating an old house can be tricky. Today, we have things like photographs and land records, but how would you figure out a house's age without that kind of stuff? 

Tom Barnes / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Hike through any forest in Connecticut and you're bound to encounter a relic of the state's agricultural past: stone walls. Decades ago, the walls enclosed large tracts of open pasture and farmland, which was ideal habitat for animals like the New England cottontail rabbit.

But as farms were abandoned and that open space turned into mature forest, those rabbits disappeared. Now, federal efforts are underway to recreate some of that open space, and bring the New England cottontail back.

Sorin Popa/iStock / Thinkstock

The state has eliminated its sales tax on certain non-prescription medicines. The change will eliminate taxes on over-the-counter items like antacids, cough syrup, and pain medication. It also gets rid of the sales tax on dietary supplements and vitamins.

USFWS Headquarters / Creative Commons

The Northern Long-eared bat is now a protected animal under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the move on Wednesday, saying the designation will come with a special interim rule aimed at relieving regulatory burdens on local land owners and government agencies in the bat's range.

Pages