Dan Charles Dan Charles is NPR's food and agriculture correspondent.
Dan Charles
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Dan Charles

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Dan Charles
Maggie Starbard/NPR

Dan Charles

Correspondent, Food and Agriculture

Dan Charles is NPR's food and agriculture correspondent.

Primarily responsible for covering farming and the food industry, Charles focuses on the stories of culture, business, and the science behind what arrives on your dinner plate.

This is his second time working for NPR; from 1993 to 1999, Charles was a technology correspondent at NPR. He returned in 2011.

During his time away from NPR, Charles was an independent writer and radio producer and occasionally filled in at NPR on the Science and National desks, and at Weekend Edition. Over the course of his career Charles has reported on software engineers in India, fertilizer use in China, dengue fever in Peru, alternative medicine in Germany, and efforts to turn around a troubled school in Washington, DC.

In 2009-2010, he taught journalism in Ukraine through the Fulbright program. He has been guest researcher at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and a Knight Science Journalism fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

From 1990 to 1993, Charles was a U.S. correspondent for New Scientist, a major British science magazine.

The author of two books, Charles wrote Master Mind: The Rise and Fall of Fritz Haber, The Nobel Laureate Who Launched the Age of Chemical Warfare (Ecco, 2005) and Lords of the Harvest: Biotech, Big Money, and the Future of Food (Perseus, 2001) about the making of genetically engineered crops.

Charles graduated magna cum laude from American University with a degree in economics and international affairs. After graduation Charles spent a year studying in Bonn, which was then part of West Germany, through the German Academic Exchange Service.

Story Archive

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California's farmers are pumping billions of tons of extra water from underground aquifers this year because of the drought. But new restrictions on such pumping are coming into force. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Satellites reveal the secrets of water-guzzling farms in California

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Rick Cosyns, a farmer in Madera, Calif., relied on water from the aquifer in years of drought. In other years he could replenish the aquifer with water from the San Joaquin River. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

New protections for California's aquifers are reshaping the state's Central Valley

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Aaron Fukuda, general manager of Tulare Irrigation District, stands in a basin that's designed to capture floodwater so that it can replenish depleted aquifers. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Water is scarce in California. But farmers have found ways to store it underground

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Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement will require completely eliminating carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants like this one in Adamsville, Alabama ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

Left: A firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service battles the advancing Caldor Fire on Aug. 28, in Strawberry, Calif. Right: Marlon Maldonado helps his wife and child into a boat to travel to their home after it flooded during Hurricane Ida on Aug. 31, in Barataria, La. (Left) Karl Mondon/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images; (Right) Brandon Bell/Getty Images hide caption

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(Left) Karl Mondon/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images; (Right) Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Our Future On A Hotter Planet Means More Climate Disasters Happening Simultaneously

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Electrical workers check solar panels at a photovoltaic power station built in a fishpond in Haian in China's eastern Jiangsu province. STR/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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STR/AFP via Getty Images

Computer Models Of Civilization Offer Routes To Ending Global Warming

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Climate Scientists Have Announced A Landmark Warning About The Future Of The Planet

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A Drift-Prone Weedkiller Still Damages Crops And Trees, Despite Attempts To Stop It

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Overhead irrigation of this newly planted crop of carrots is putting pressure on the available groundwater supplies in Cuyama, California. Located in the northeastern corner of Santa Barbara County, the sparsely populated and extremely arid Cuyama Valley has become an important agricultural region, producing such diverse crops as carrots, pistachios, lettuce, and wine grapes. George Rose/Getty Images hide caption

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The Great California Groundwater Grab

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Well water is pumped into an irrigation system at a vineyard in Madera, California. California is suffering from drought, and farmers in the state's Central Valley are pumping more groundwater from their well to make up for a shortfall in water from the state's reservoirs. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Without Enough Water To Go Around, Farmers In California Are Exhausting Aquifers

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Aerial picture of a deforested area close to Sinop, Mato Grosso State, Brazil, taken on August 7, 2020. Mato Grosso is one of the leading producers of soybeans in the world. Florian Plaucheur/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Florian Plaucheur/AFP via Getty Images