Rachel Waldholz, Alaska's Energy Desk - Anchorage

Rachel Waldholz, Alaska's Energy Desk - Anchorage
Rachel Waldholz covers energy and the environment for Alaska's Energy Desk, a collaboration between Alaska Public Media, KTOO in Juneau and KUCB in Unalaska. Before coming to Anchorage, she spent two years reporting for Raven Radio in Sitka. Rachel studied documentary production at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and her short film, A Confused War won several awards. Her work has appeared on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Marketplace, among other outlets.
rwaldholz (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8432 | About Rachel

Decades-old federal policy placed Newtok in the path of climate change

Some advocates say it’s largely because of federal policy that some of these villages are so vulnerable to climate change in the first place. Listen now

The Village | The Big Thaw: Ep. 1

The Alaska Native village of Newtok is disappearing. It’s rapidly losing ground to a combination of thawing permafrost and coastal erosion and residents worry their traditional way of life could disappear with the land.

What should Alaska do about climate change? Now’s your chance to weigh in.

The Walker Administration is asking for public input as it develops a sweeping new climate policy for the state. The public has until June 4 to weigh in online. Listen now

Can courts force action on climate change? Sixteen young Alaskans hope so.

An Anchorage judge heard arguments today in a lawsuit brought by 16 young Alaskans who are suing the state over climate change. Listen now

At crucial moment, Denali Commission faces leadership gap

The top job at the federal agency tasked with coordinating help for Alaska villages threatened by climate change will soon be vacant. Listen now

Draft Walker climate policy urges Alaska to transition away from fossil fuels

The first recommendations from Gov. Bill Walker’s climate task force run the gamut — from putting a price on carbon to supporting a more diversified economy and improving how climate change is taught in schools. Listen now

Newtok to Congress: thank you for saving our village

The $15 million in this year’s spending bill is just a fraction of what Newtok needs to fund its relocation. But village leaders say it’s crucial seed money that will make everything else possible. Listen now

What should an Alaska climate change policy look like?

Alaska is on the front lines of climate change. A recent report found that we are living through the warmest period “in the history of modern civilization” - and in Alaska, we’re warming twice as fast as the global average. So what should we do about it? LISTEN HERE

Congress poised to approve $15M for village relocation in Alaska

The spending bill would double the budget of the Denali Commission, which funds infrastructure in rural Alaska. The commission says virtually all the new money will go to relocating the eroding village of Newtok. Listen now

Feds approve $1.7M to buy out homes in Newtok

A state official said the grant program is crucial because the erosion in Newtok and other Alaska villages does not qualify for traditional disaster relief. Listen now

In Western Alaska, there’s water where there should be ice

Last week, social media across Western Alaska lit up as residents posted photos and videos of open water where, normally, there's ice. Listen now

Video: The oceans are changing. Can crabs adapt?

Researchers in Kodiak are working to understand whether crabs can adapt to ocean acidification.

Tsunami warning prompts hundreds of Alaskans to evacuate to higher ground

Alaskans across the state woke up to the shaking and an emergency alert buzzing their cell phones, warning them to move away from the coast. Listen now

State report details potential health impacts of climate change

How will climate change affect health in Alaska? Dangerous travel conditions could cause more accidents, warmer temperatures could spread new diseases and the topsy-turvy weather could worsen mental health. Those are some conclusions from a new state report released Monday.Listen now
A yellow rig leaves a harbor under snow-covered mountains

Trump’s offshore drilling plans rattle coastal communities across Alaska

The Trump administration has proposed opening almost all Alaska waters to oil and gas leasing, including areas that have never seen drilling, and it’s raising concerns in Alaska’s coastal communities. Listen now

Climate task force begins work — and push-back begins, too

Gov. Bill Walker's climate change task force met for the first time Monday. But the team is facing questions before it even begins work. Listen now

Scientists warn Arctic “refrigerator” is failing, with global consequences

Still melting – and melting fast. That’s the basic take-away from the federal government’s annual Arctic Report Card. It finds that Arctic ocean temperatures are increasing and sea ice is declining at the fastest rate in at least 1500 years. Listen now

To house a village, Newtok looks to unlikely source: army surplus

Village leaders think they might have found a solution for the eroding village of Newtok’s relocation problem. And it comes from an unexpected place: an Anchorage military base. Listen now

How do you get people to care about climate change? Maybe with a drone

Dennis Davis started using a drone about three years ago to document the changes in Shishmaref. "I feel that if I don't do this, we're basically out of sight, out of mind," he says. Listen now

A village on the edge looks to Congress for help

Newtok’s 400 people have been trying to relocate for years. And for years, the main obstacle has been the same: money. Now, they're almost out of time. And residents and officials say, at this point, moving Newtok may take an act of Congress. Listen now