Jonathan Wilson | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 Contributors

Jonathan Wilson

Environment Reporter

Wilson spent five years working as a local television reporter at stations in Indiana and Arkansas. After growing tired of local TV news, he arrived in the WAMU Newsroom in 2008 as volunteer and quickly realized that working as a public radio reporter was his dream job. Luckily, the bosses at WAMU decided not to crush his dreams and gave him a chance. Now he won’t leave.

Wilson is a graduate of Middlebury College, and received his Masters’ from the Medill School of Journalism. He is a native of Arlington, Virginia, and lives there now with his wife and his daughter.


Articles Written by Jonathan Wilson

WAMU 88.5
Virginia Tech entomologist Ames Herbert is leading me into a soybean field outside the tiny town of Emporia. He reaches down to examine the stems of the 2-foot-tall plants, looking for clusters of the Asian kudzu bug. But at the moment, it's another insect that has him regretting his decision to wear shorts. "I tell you what, you got some healthy mosquitoes out here," he says....
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One family in Sterling, Virginia is still dealing with the effects of yesterday's severe weather. Here on White Oak Drive in Sterling, large oak trees toppled by strong winds landed on two neighboring homes. People were inside both houses when the trees fell, but no one was injured. One of the homes has been declared uninhabitable by Loudoun County officials. Anjel...
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The Wildlife Center of Virginia has been rehabilitating injured native animals for decades, and for the past 12 years a non-releasable great horned owl has been helping out. Papa G'Ho, as he's known, has acted as a surrogate parent for more than two dozen owlets that have come through the center. "He is a rather large Great Horned Owl with a lot of attitude," says Amanda Nich...
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You might think of College Park as a basketball town. You could also make a case for women's lacrosse — that program has won ten national championships. Associate professor of soil science, Brian Needelman, is a bit of a contrarian, however. "Let me tell you: this is a soil judging town," Needelman says. "When I was student at Penn State we also won a national soil judging c...
WAMU 88.5
Marie Arana is the former editor-in-chief of the Washington Post Book World, and is a literary fixture in the D.C. region. During her 17 years at the Post, Arana shaped the city's bookworm tendencies. She has also helped plan literary events for the Kennedy Center, organized the National Book Festival, and written a memoir and a couple of novels of her own. Her latest work is a biogra...
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Robert T. Brown eases his 42-foot, bay-built fishing boat away from his property along St. Patrick's Creek in St. Mary's County. The 63-year-old Brown, or Robert T., as his friends call him, is headed about five miles out toward the mouth of the Potomac River, to check on one of his fishing nets. And if you think 63 sounds a little old for a commercial fisherman, you'...
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Deep within the bowels of the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History, scientists at the Feather ID Lab have spent the past four decades studying what happens when humans and birds compete for the same airspace... it's the often messy science of bird-plane collisions, or birdstrikes. The lab has no shortage of work helping the military and civilian airports determine which bir...
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Three groups are vying for the chance to open a casino in Prince George's County. Penn National Gaming and Greenwood Racing both submitted proposals before Friday's deadline with the state. A subsidiary of MGM Resorts International submitted its own proposal last week for an $800 million casino at National Harbor. Penn National is proposing building a $700 million casino at t...
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The winner of next week's "American Idol" will perform the national anthem for the National Memorial Day Concert on the Capitol Lawn in Washington. Actors Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise will host the Memorial Day festivities again this year. The concert will be televised May 26 on PBS. The lineup of entertainers will include actor Ed Harris, "Dancing with the Stars...
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Visitors to the National Zoo see animals from around the world, but behind the scenes, zoo veterinarians are dealing with diseases from around the world. Scientists say 75 percent of human diseases mutated from "zoonotic" or animal counterparts, meaning zoo veterinarians are playing an increasingly important role on the front lines of pandemic prevention. Jonathan Wilson talked to D...
WAMU 88.5
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley says he will sign legislation to promote the recycling of oyster shells. The bill provides a dollar a bushel tax credit for empty oyster shells, up to $750 a year. Oyster shells collected from processors, restaurants and others are needed for restoration efforts because young oysters raised in hatcheries prefer to attach to adult oyster shell...
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The Chesapeake Bay Program says states in the bay watershed are more than a quarter of the way toward meeting goals for cutting the bay's three main pollutants by 2025. The new federally led restoration strategy calls for cuts in nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment. The bay program says its models show that between 2009 and 2012, nitrogen pollution was cut 25 percent, phosphorus...
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Chemistry can sometimes seem like an abstract science, especially to students toiling through Chem 101 in college. But chemistry is anything but abstract for Professor Joseph Fortunak and his students. Fortunak teaches chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences at Howard University, and is working to make life-saving medicines more available and sustainable for countries in Africa. Many of...
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The Chesapeake Bay Trust is asking the public to help decide what to name the heron on its Treasure the Chesapeake license plates. The nonprofit organization says it has narrowed the possibilities down to finalists Hattie the Heron, Seemore D. Bay, and Wade. Voting began last Friday and ends this Friday, April 26. The heron i...
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Maryland and Virginia legislative sessions wrapped up the year with progress on many environmental policy changes. Legislators in Maryland wait it out on fracking, while those in Virginia do away with utility incentives for renewable energy. Environment reporter Jonathan Wilson joins Metro Connection's Rebecca Sheir to recap some of the biggest environmental stories that came out of b...
WAMU 88.5
"Sandy" is being retired from the list of tropical storm names because of the catastrophic damage its massive size and strength caused along the east coast last year. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials say the name Sara will take its place. ...
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Dave Jones manages the Wheelabrator Waste-to-Energy plant in Baltimore. "Our first stop will be the elevator lobby of the fifth floor," he says on a recent tour. Jones explains that from there, we'll be able to look out over the refuse storage pit. Once there, he opens one of the windows looking out onto the pit as a mechanical claw scoops trash out of the main pile and lifts ...
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Maryland's oyster population and reproduction rates are up again, according to the state's Department of Natural Resources. Fall oyster survey results in Maryland show increases for the second straight year. The survey also found that Dermo and MSX, the two diseases that have decimated Maryland oysters, remained far below long-term averages. DNR Sec. John Griffin ...
WAMU 88.5
Virginia's Marine Resources Commission says the commonwealth will begin its largest-ever oyster replenishment initiative in May. The initiative will use $2 million in state funds to provide habitat on public oyster grounds in the James, York and Rappahannock rivers and elsewhere in the Chesapeake Bay. The Marine Resources Commission says the summer-long replenishment ...
WAMU 88.5
The National Hurricane Center is changing the way it issues hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings after being criticized over its handling of Superstorm Sandy. During Sandy, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami stopped issuing advisories and hurricane warnings because the storm lost its tropical characteristics and mutated into a hybrid storm as...