Rebecca Hersher Rebecca Hersher is a reporter on NPR's Science Desk.
Danny Hajek/NPR
Rebecca Hersher
Danny Hajek/NPR

Rebecca Hersher

Reporter, Science Desk

Rebecca Hersher is a reporter on NPR's Science Desk, where she reports on outbreaks, natural disasters, and environmental and health research. Since coming to NPR in 2011, she has covered the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, embedded with the Afghan army after the American combat mission ended, and reported on floods and hurricanes in the U.S. She's also reported on research about puppies. Before her work on the Science Desk, she was a producer for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered in Los Angeles.

Hersher was part of the NPR team that won a Peabody award for coverage of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and produced a story from Liberia that won an Edward R. Murrow award for use of sound. She was a finalist for the 2017 Daniel Schorr prize; a 2017 Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting fellow, reporting on sanitation in Haiti; and a 2015 NPR Above the Fray fellow, investigating the causes of the suicide epidemic in Greenland.

Prior to working at NPR, Hersher reported on biomedical research and pharmaceutical news for Nature Medicine.

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Story Archive

The northern white-cheeked gibbon is a critically endangered ape native to China, Vietnam and Laos. Scientists have discovered a new species of gibbon, now extinct, that lived in China as recently as 2,200 years ago. Joachim S. Müller/Flickr hide caption

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Joachim S. Müller/Flickr

A fire at the Husky Oil Refinery on April 26, in Superior, Wis. The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to rescind regulations that would require refineries and chemical manufacturers to disclose information about emergency plans and the root causes of disasters. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images hide caption

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Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Debris and cars clog the Patapsco River in Ellicott City, Md., after flooding on May 27 that killed one person and destroyed much of the town's Main Street. David McFadden/AP hide caption

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David McFadden/AP

More Rain, More Development Spell Disaster For Some U.S. Cities

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After Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast in August 2017, the storm stalled over Houston and dumped as much as 60 inches of rain on some parts of the region. Katie Hayes Luke for NPR hide caption

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Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Hurricanes Are Moving More Slowly, Which Means More Damage

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Sam Oozevaseuk Schimmel, 18, has grown up in both Alaska and Washington state. He is an advocate for Alaska Native youth. Kiliii Yuyan for NPR hide caption

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Kiliii Yuyan for NPR

The Conflicting Educations Of Sam Schimmel

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Mike Stone, left, and Andy Sherman in the pumping station for Hannibal, Mo., during a flood in 1993. The city is protected by a flood wall, and flood managers have built up levees to protect against flooding. But scientists warn those structures are making flooding worse. Cliff Schiappa/AP hide caption

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Cliff Schiappa/AP

Levees Make Mississippi River Floods Worse, But We Keep Building Them

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A CT-scan image of the skull of an ancient bird shows how one of the earliest bird beaks worked as a pincer, in the way beaks of modern birds do, but also had teeth left over from dinosaur ancestors. The animal, called Ichthyornis, lived around 100 million years ago in what is now North America. Michael Hanson and Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar/Nature Publishing Group hide caption

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Michael Hanson and Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar/Nature Publishing Group

How Did Birds Lose Their Teeth And Get Their Beaks? Study Offers Clues

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Eddies behind an A. salina shrimp swimming Isabel Houghton / J.R. Strickler /courtesy of Stanford / University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee hide caption

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Isabel Houghton / J.R. Strickler /courtesy of Stanford / University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Swarms Of Tiny Sea Creatures Are Powerful Enough To Mix Oceans, Study Finds

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Floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey ripped apart fences and flooded Interstate 10 east of Houston last year. The San Jacinto Waste Pits Superfund site is on the other side of the road. Rebecca Hersher/NPR hide caption

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After Raising Concerns About Scott Pruitt, A Number Of EPA Officials Were Demoted

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Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is facing investigations into his use of taxpayer funds for security and travel along with scrutiny of his ties to industry lobbyists. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption

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Andrew Harnik/AP

A female Scandinavian brown bear with her cub. Mother bears take care of their young for a year longer, likely due to hunting regulations that protect bears with cubs. Ilpo Kojola/Nature hide caption

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Ilpo Kojola/Nature

Mother Bears Are Staying With Their Cubs Longer, Study Finds

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Andrew Wheeler during his November 2017 Senate confirmation hearing to be deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Alex Edelman/picture-alliance/dpa/AP hide caption

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Alex Edelman/picture-alliance/dpa/AP