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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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Crowdfunding Science
11:21 am
Tue August 19, 2014

To Stem Budget Cuts, UConn and Yale Scientists Turn to Crowdfunding

Andrea Suria, left, and Sarah McAnulty, are crowdfunding a project to continue their graduate work on the Hawaiian bobtail squid at the University of Connecticut.
Sarah McAnulty squidscientistas

For young scientists, finding money to support basic research can be difficult. Federal research budgets are shrinking, and grant applications can be a time sink, removing researchers from their lab or their graduate work.

Some young scientists are now forgoing traditional funding mechanisms, and turning to the power of the crowd.

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Air Quality
9:25 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Can More Money Solve Connecticut's Outdoor Wood Furnance Problem?

DEEP has allocated $345,000 for the removal or replacement of older, less-efficient outdoor wood burning furnaces.
Credit University of New Hampshire

Residents using outdoor wood burning furnaces to heat their homes and businesses could now be eligible for state money. A new program offers cash for the removal or replacement of old heating units.

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Election 2014
9:46 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Tom Foley Wins GOP Nod for Connecticut Governor

Tom Foley in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Connecticut Republicans have given Greenwich businessman Tom Foley a second chance to run against Governor Dannel Malloy. The former U.S. ambassador to Ireland defeated state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney by over ten percentage points Tuesday night.

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Herpetology
8:38 am
Tue August 12, 2014

An Atlas to Track Connecticut Critters That Slither, Hop, and Crawl

Spotted salamanders are common throughout Connecticut in deciduous forest.
Dennis Quinn Connecticut Herpetology

If you’ve found yourself out hiking Connecticut’s trails this summer, you may have encountered a snake or two. Would you be able to tell the difference, though, between a non-poisonous water snake and a poisonous northern Copperhead?

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Higher Education
11:56 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Senate Committee Calls For-Profit Colleges' Recruitment of Veterans Into Question

Credit J Colman / Creative Commons

A new Senate committee report analyzes the impact of the G.I. bill on "for profit" colleges in the United States.

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ISIS
1:49 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Sen. Murphy Urges Caution on U.S. Intervention in Iraq

Sen. Chris Murphy in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Pentagon said military strikes have begun against advancing Islamic militants operating near U.S. personnel in northern Iraq. That announcement comes after President Barack Obama authorized airstrikes and humanitarian aid in the region.

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Vision Quest
8:57 am
Mon August 4, 2014

How Do You Give an Eye Exam to a Fossil?

The fossil of Acutiramus cummingsi was remarkably well preserved, allowing scientists to gauge the vision of a creature that lived hundreds of millions of years ago.
Yale University

How do you give an eye exam to a creature that's been extinct for hundreds of millions of years? First, you need a fossil -- a really well-preserved fossil.

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Wrongful Conviction
4:27 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Man Wrongfully Imprisoned for 21 Years Seeks Damages From Connecticut

Kenneth Ireland spent 21 years imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit.
Credit Connecticut Innocence Project

Kenneth Ireland was released in 2009 after DNA tests exonerated him for a crime he didn't commit. Now the state of Connecticut is holding hearings about how much to compensate him.

When police questioned 17-year-old Kenneth Ireland for the rape and murder of a Wallingford woman in 1986, he thought it all would pass. "I figured they would figure this out and that it would just go away," he said. "I just went on with my life. I joined the National Guard to get the grant for college. I had gotten a decent job for my age. I was heading down this path where I was constructing a life."

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Beetle Invasion
11:30 am
Tue July 29, 2014

As Emerald Ash Borer Infestation Spreads, Scientists Turn to Wasps

This is the time of year when you might see adult emerald ash borer beetles.
USDAgov Flickr Creative Commons

The Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect first detected in the state in 2012, has now spread to 39 Connecticut towns. That's up from just five towns two years ago. The most recent addition? Bridgeport.

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Veterans Affairs
9:34 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Blumenthal Pushes Veterans Affairs Reform Bill

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Senator Richard Blumenthal spoke in Hartford about a bipartisan compromise to reform the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health program, which has been impacted by long patient wait times.

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Stacks of Smoke
4:45 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Capping Carbon Emissions Could Provide Economic Benefits, Study Finds

A new study quantifies the potential economic impact of a new federal plan to regulate carbon emissions.
Credit CandiceDawn/iStock / Thinkstock

Federal proposals to cap carbon emissions could actually benefit some states economically, according to a new study released on Thursday in Washington, D.C.

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Skeeters
9:49 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Staging a War Against West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis

The state announed mosquitoes trapped in East Haven on July 16, 2014 have tested positive for WNV.
Johnan J.Ingles-Le Nobel Flickr Creative Commons

Mosquitoes trapped in East Haven are the first this year to test positive for West Nile Virus.

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View From Up Here
8:16 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Monitoring Marine Life in the Atlantic, From Water and From Orbit

The Research Vessel Endeavor is the floating laboratory that scientists will use for the ocean-going portion of the SABOR field campaign this summer.
Tom Glennon University of Rhode Island

NASA has begun a new experiment to monitor plankton off the Atlantic coast using boats, airplanes, and satellites.

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Governor's Race
12:50 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Foley, McKinney Face Off in Republican Primary Debate

John McKinney, at left, and Tom Foley, at right, Republican candidates for Connecticut governor, as portrayed on their campaign websites.
mckinneyforgovernor.com/tomfoleyct.com

The two Republican candidates for Connecticut governor faced off in a primary debate on Thursday at The Hartford Courant

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Pollutants in the Water
12:23 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Nitrogen Pollution in Long Island Sound Continues to Decline

Nearly a week after Hurricane Irene drenched New England with rainfall in late August 2011, the Connecticut River was spewing muddy sediment into Long Island Sound.
NASA Goddard Photo and Video

A new report says nitrogen pollution discharged into Long Island Sound continues an overall decline. That's good news for marine life because too much nitrogen can fuel the growth of algae, which dies, settles on the ocean floor, and decays, using up oxygen in the process.

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Ancient Giants
9:06 am
Mon July 14, 2014

This Ancient Bird Had the Largest Wingspan Ever

Pelagornis sandersi was an ancient marine bird with a wingspan nearly twice as large as anything living today.
Reconstruction Art by Liz Bradford

An extinct species of bird just discovered may have had the largest wingspan ever. The animal lived 25 million years ago and was found buried at an airport.

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Clean Air
8:49 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Connecticut Still Waiting for Action on Federal Clean Air Plans

CandiceDawn/iStock Thinkstock

Connecticut has to wait for more federal action on cross-border pollution, according to a top environmental official who visited Hartford.

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Crime and Punishment
9:21 am
Wed July 9, 2014

New London CEO Guilty of Violating Clean Water Act

Credit Flickr Creative Commons / manoftaste.de

The former CEO of a New London company has pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Water Act. According to federal prosecutors, the infractions date back to 1986 and involve toxic discharges into the city's sewer system.

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Fast and Feathered
1:59 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Listen Closely: There's Something Hidden in This Hummingbird's Chirp

David~O Creative Commons

Here's the thing about hummingbirds: Almost nothing they do is like a regular bird. A hummingbird's heart beats about 1,200 times a minute while exercising. 

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Philanthropy
2:54 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Mysterious Donor Leaves Behind an $8 Million Gift

One of the few photographs of Peter Grayson Letz. The North Stonington Resident died last year and left $8 million to the CFECT.
CFECT Archives

A reclusive North Stonington resident who died in September has left an approximately $8 million donation to the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. According to the group, it's the largest gift it's ever received.

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Election 2014
4:54 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

For Pelto, Union Endorsements (and Conversations) Prove Elusive

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and Gov. Dannel Malloy accept the endorsement of the state's largest union, the SEIU. They represent more than 65,000 workers in the state. Malloy accepted the endorsement at the SEIU's New England Headquarters in Hartford.
Credit Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Connecticut's largest union announced it will support Governor Dannel Malloy in this fall's upcoming election. The Service Employees International Union represents more than 65,000 workers in the state, but those potential voters didn’t get to hear from another candidate running against Malloy.

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Wildfire
1:08 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

In Connecticut, a Crew to Respond to Wildfires Thousands of Miles Away

Chris Renshaw, above, with a drip torch. What he called "one of the most iconic tools in wildfire"
Jordanna Hertz

One year ago, 19 firefighters from the Granite Mountain Hotshots died battling a wildfire. While Connecticut isn't known for its forest fires, it is known for a surprisingly elite group of firefighters: the Connecticut Wildfire Crew. 

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Bats
10:25 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Feds Delay Listing a Connecticut Bat as Endangered

A northern long-earred bat with visible symptoms of White-Nose Syndrome.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a six-month delay on whether or not to list the Northern Long-eared Bat as endangered. The delay is so scientists can examine the impact of White-Nose Syndrome.

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Tough Jobs
11:54 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Listen: My Job is to Make People Cry

Bruno Passigatti/iStock Thinkstock

Have you wondered what work is like for the producer of a reality television show? Rebecca Hertz, based in Los Angeles, has worked on a number of shows, and to hear her describe it, sometimes the job is pretty harrowing.

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