GroundTruth announces new environmental reporting fellows

Scituate homes are being raised 16 to 20 feet above sea level to comply with the ‘100-year-storm flood marker,’ a level that fluctuates depending on location. The town offers select grants to homeowners to adapt their homes for flooding through the Federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Financial assistance can provide up to 75 percent of the total cost of the climate mitigation project. (Lauren Owens Lambert/GroundTruth)

Two journalists have been named environmental reporting fellows with The GroundTruth Project, to be based at WCAI, the local NPR member station for the Cape, Islands and South Coast of Massachusetts, and a WGBH affiliate.

Samantha Fields and Pien Huang will join the WCAI newsroom this month in a new six-month-long fellowship that will explore how individuals and communities are coping with the realities of climate change.

GroundTruth supports a new generation of journalists to tell the most important stories of their generation. This fellowship is providing these two emerging journalists the opportunity to report in WCAI’s newsroom and bolster its environmental radio and digital coverage.

“We are thrilled to have Samantha and Pien join our team as reporting fellows,” said Charles Sennott, founder and executive director of The GroundTruth Project, a non-profit organization based at the flagship PBS station, WGBH, in Boston. “They come to the fellowship with a strong background in audio reporting and new energy for covering environmental issues. We look forward to working with them and WCAI.”

Fields comes to the fellowship from the NPR Politics Podcast. She is a former producer for NPR’s Here & Now. Huang is a freelance journalist who has reported for NPR, BBC, PRI and PRX. She is a former staff producer for On Point, produced by WBUR for NPR.

WCAI news director Steve Junker says the Cape, Islands and South Coast are uniquely positioned to tell stories from the leading edge of environmental science.

“Not only do our towns face head-on issues of coastal resilience and changing environmental balance, but we have some of the world’s foremost environmental scientist working right here,” Junker said. “Questions of environmental policy have direct and immediate consequence for coastal communities, affecting the homes and lives of all of us. The GroundTruth fellowship is exciting because it will allow us to explore these stories in much greater depth.”

Heather Goldstone, science correspondent and host of Living Lab Radio, says this is an incredibly important beat that touches everyone, regardless of where they stand on the issue.

“Climate change affects every part of our lives — food, energy, transportation, jobs, tourism. We are excited to have two fellows dedicated to this important beat, exploring creative and innovative ways to tell deeply human stories about how climate change is impacting our region.”

Pien Huang

Pien Huang
Pien Huang

Pien Huang is an audio producer and reporter. Her freelance stories on art, environment and culture have been featured on NPR, the BBC, PRI and PRX.

She’s a former staff producer for the NPR show On Point, and executive producer of “Data Made to Matter,” a podcast from MIT Sloan School of Management.

She has worked with Helmick Sculpture and Stoltze Design to tell visual stories through public art and graphic design.

She has a degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard, and has traveled with scientists looking for signs of environmental change in the frogs of Cameroon, the plants of Panama, and the ocean water off the coast of Antarctica.

Samantha Fields

Samantha Fields
Samantha Fields

Samantha Fields is an award-winning public radio producer and reporter. Most recently, she produced the NPR Politics Podcast in Washington, D.C.

She got her start in journalism as a reporter for a community paper, The Wellesley Townsman, and her start in radio as an intern and freelance producer at The Takeaway at WNYC.

Since then, she has worked at Vermont Public Radio, Maine Public Radio and NPR’s midday show, Here & Now. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.