Rebecca Hersher Rebecca Hersher is a reporter on NPR's Science Desk.
Rebecca Hersher at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., July 25, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley) (Square)
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Rebecca Hersher

Allison Shelley/NPR
Rebecca Hersher at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., July 25, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)
Allison Shelley/NPR

Rebecca Hersher

Reporter, Science Desk

Rebecca Hersher (she/her) 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.

Story Archive

How Climate Change Is Driving Extreme Weather

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A wind farm in Wyoming generates electricity for a region that used to be more dependent on coal-fired power plants. A new study finds that millions of lives could be saved this century by rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Matt Young/AP hide caption

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Matt Young/AP

Volunteers fight a wildfire in northeastern Siberia on July 17th. Heat waves in the Russian Arctic and boreal forests have fueled intense, widespread blazes that can damage trees and release enormous amounts of stored carbon dioxide from forests and permafrost. Ivan Nikiforov/AP hide caption

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Ivan Nikiforov/AP

Climate Scientists Meet As Floods, Fires, Droughts And Heat Waves Batter Countries

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Streets and homes flooded in Newport Beach, Calif., during a high tide in July 2020. So-called sunny day floods are getting more common in coastal cities and towns as sea levels rise due to climate change. Matt Hartman/AP hide caption

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Matt Hartman/AP

A reconstructed Neanderthal skeleton (right) and a modern-human version of a skeleton are displayed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York in 2003. A new study confirms that early humans who lived in colder places adapted to have larger bodies. Frank Franklin II/AP hide caption

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Frank Franklin II/AP

Once-thriving Black neighborhoods of Port Arthur, Texas, have steadily declined. Four hurricanes have hit the city in the last 15 years. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

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Ryan Kellman/NPR

The money Donnie Speight received from FEMA was not enough to cover the cost of repairs to her home after Hurricane Laura. She has lived with a hole in the bedroom ceiling for the better part of a year. Ryan Kellman hide caption

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Ryan Kellman

Lower-Income Survivors Are Less Likely To Get FEMA Aid After Disaster, Documents Show

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Timothy Dominique, 62, lives in a donated RV parked next door to the family home where he was staying when Hurricane Laura hit Lake Charles last year. He says he received nothing from FEMA because he does not own the home and didn't have a formal rental agreement. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

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Ryan Kellman/NPR

Why FEMA Aid Is Unavailable To Many Who Need It The Most

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Hurricane Irma damaged homes in the Florida Keys in 2017. A new study finds buildings in the contiguous U.S. are concentrated in disaster-prone areas. Matt McClain/AP hide caption

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Matt McClain/AP

More Than Half Of U.S. Buildings Are In Places Prone To Disaster, Study Finds

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Hurricanes, Drought And Fires: The U.S. Has An Intense Summer Ahead

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Firefighters battle a brush fire last week in Santa Barbara, Calif. Climate-driven droughts make large, destructive fires more likely around the world. Scientists warn that humans are on track to cause catastrophic global warming this century. Santa Barbara County, Calif., Fire Department via AP hide caption

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Santa Barbara County, Calif., Fire Department via AP

Refrigerators on sale in 2018 in Pennsylvania. The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to phase out the use of cooling chemicals that are powerful greenhouse gases. Keith Srakocic/AP hide caption

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Keith Srakocic/AP

Tia Tate is a computational biologist currently working in a postdoctoral position at a federal agency in North Carolina. Cornell Watson for NPR hide caption

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Cornell Watson for NPR

Why Having Diverse Government Scientists Is Key To Dealing With Climate Change

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