Véronique LaCapra

Science Reporter

Science reporter Véronique LaCapra first caught the radio bug writing commentaries for NPR affiliate WAMU in Washington, D.C. After producing her first audio documentaries at the Duke Center for Documentary Studies in N.C., she was hooked! She has done ecological research in the Brazilian Pantanal; regulated pesticides for the Environmental Protection Agency in Arlington, Va.; been a freelance writer and volunteer in South Africa; and contributed radio features to the Voice of America in Washington, D.C. She earned a Ph.D. in ecosystem ecology from the University of California in Santa Barbara, and a B.A. in environmental policy and biology from Cornell. LaCapra grew up in Cambridge, Mass., and in her mother’s home town of Auxerre, France.

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Science Blogging
6:35 am
Mon August 1, 2011

St. Louis blogger helps inner city youth find "on-ramp" to science

Danielle Lee has been blogging about science since 2006.
(Alecia Hoyt Photography - www.aleciahoyt.com)

The text that follows is a condensed version of a longer interview, which you can listen to above.

Science blogger Danielle Lee is on a roll.

The Memphis native recently got her Ph.D. in animal behavior at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

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Forensic Science
4:23 pm
Mon July 25, 2011

SLU conference investigates criminal deaths, forensic science

(via flickr/alancleaver_2000)

Saint Louis University is hosting a conference this week on advances in criminal death investigation and forensic science.

Conference organizer and SLU pathologist Dr. Mary Case is the chief medical examiner for St. Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin counties. Case says that this year, the biennial event has drawn about 200 participants from across the country.

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Air Pollution - Children's Health
5:01 pm
Fri July 22, 2011

SLU to study effects of air pollution on pregnant women in China

Wuhan, China.
(via Flickr/Toehk)

The Saint Louis University School of Public Health is launching a study to look at the effects of urban air pollution on pregnant women in China.

SLU epidemiologist Zhengmin Qian says the research will track the pregnancies of 100,000 women in Wuhan, a city of nine million people in central China.

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Health-Breast Cancer
4:44 pm
Thu July 14, 2011

New project aims to decrease breast cancer deaths in north St. Louis

A woman performs a breast self-examination (BSE) to check for tumors.
(National Cancer Institute/Bill Branson)

A new project in north St. Louis aims to lower breast cancer death rates for women of color.

Washington University sociologist Sarah Gehlert says even though nationwide white women are more likely to get breast cancer, black women are about 35 percent more likely to die of the disease.

She says in St. Louis that number is closer to 60 percent.

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Ameren / Lawsuit
5:29 pm
Wed July 13, 2011

Lawsuit filed against Ameren by St. Louis County plumbing company

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

A St. Louis County plumbing contractor has filed a lawsuit against the utility company Ameren. The suit alleges the plumbing company lost its contract because it repeatedly informed Ameren of environmental, health, and safety violations.

According to the lawsuit, those violations ranged from failing to fix broken plumbing systems to illegally discharging oil to soils and sewers.

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Missouri River - flooding
5:00 am
Mon July 11, 2011

Senators seek to improve flood control on Missouri River

Water from the Missouri River overtops a levee in Atchison County, Mo., on June 19.
(flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Carlos J. Lazo)

The Missouri River Working Group is holding its first meeting on Wednesday to come up with a policy on flood control.

Missouri Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill launched the group with senators from North Dakota to look for ways to improve flood control along the Missouri River and keep this year’s flooding from happening again.

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EPA / Air Pollution
4:51 pm
Thu July 7, 2011

EPA sets new air pollution limits for coal-fired power plants

A preview of the EPA's interactive map showing how air pollution moves between states. See a link to the full map in the story below.
(EPA.gov website)

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced new limits on air pollution from coal-fired power plants. The rule aims to lower emissions from power plants in 27 states including Missouri and Illinois.

The goal is to reduce soot (fine particulates) and smog (ground-level ozone) and improve air quality downwind. (Check out this map from the EPA, a preview of which is above, to see how the new limits affect your state).

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Mosquitoes - West Nile Virus
10:15 am
Thu June 23, 2011

Mosquitoes in St. Louis Co. test positive for West Nile Virus

(via Flickr/John Tann)

The Saint Louis County Health Department has found the first mosquitoes of the season carrying West Nile Virus.

Mosquitoes testing positive for the virus have been found in St. Louis Co. communities including Clayton, Florissant, Hanley Hills, Lemay, Manchester, Mehlville, Richmond Heights.

No human cases have been reported.

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Missouri River - Mississippi River - flooding
3:14 pm
Wed June 22, 2011

Corps of Engineers expects no major flooding near St. Louis

Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers' St. Louis District, Col. Tom O’Hara.
(Screen capture via YouTube/TeamSaintLouis)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will release even more water from the Gavins Point Dam this week. But in spite of these record high flows on the Missouri River, the Corps does not expect major flooding in the St. Louis area this summer.

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Pollution - Oil Refinery
11:52 pm
Tue June 21, 2011

Illinois EPA holds public meetings in Roxana to discuss oil refinery contamination

Shell Oil has been testing for toxic vapors in and under homes in this Roxana neighborhood adjacent to the Wood River Refinery.
(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

The Illinois EPA held public meetings in Roxana on Tuesday to discuss what Shell Oil is doing to address historic contamination from the Wood River Refinery.

A consultant for Shell has found high levels of cancer-causing benzene and other toxic petroleum products in Roxana’s groundwater.

Chris Cahnovsky of the Illinois EPA says toxic, potentially explosive vapors have also been detected in the soils under several homes.

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