Stephanie Paige Ogburn


Stephanie Paige Ogburn has been reporting from Colorado for over five years, primarily from the Western Slope.

She was previously a reporter at ClimateWire, an editor at High Country News and a reporter at the Cortez Journal. Now based in Denver, Stephanie is enjoying the many amenities of city life, and getting used to traffic. When not reporting, she enjoys backpacking, mountain biking, growing food, cooking, and spending time with her family. 



Tue October 21, 2014

To Reduce Lyme Disease In Humans, Fort Collins Researcher Wants To Vaccinate Mice

Laboratory mice eating oral vaccine that protects them from Lyme disease bacteria.
Division of Vector-borne Diseases, CDC

It begins with a rash – red, and expanding. Then, exhaustion. Joints ache as if with arthritis. There may be a headache, fever, chills. If it goes untreated, the arthritis can last years. Even worse, the brain may be affected, leading to shooting pains and tingling limbs, or even memory loss.

These are the symptoms of Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that affects around 300,000 Americans each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is no human vaccine for Lyme, but now a CDC researcher has developed a new way to fight the troublesome disease: by vaccinating the mice that carry it. 

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Fri October 17, 2014

Biologists Criticize Science In Federal Plans To Help Sage Grouse

Greater sage grouse at a lek near Bodie, California.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Region

In late 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will decide whether to list the Greater Sage Grouse as an endangered or threatened species.  In preparation for this decision, another federal agency, the Bureau of Land Management, is coordinating a set of plans aimed at protecting the bird and keeping it off the endangered species list.

A group of sage grouse scientists, however, say those plans lack sound science and fail to adequately protect the grouse.

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Mon October 13, 2014
Climate Change

In Four Corners, Satellite Sees Hot Spot Of Leaking Methane

The Four Corners area (red) is the major U.S. hot spot for methane emissions in this map showing how much emissions varied from average background concentrations from 2003-2009 (dark colors are lower than average; lighter colors are higher).
NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan

Down in the Four Corners area, near the towns of Durango, Colorado, and Farmington, New Mexico, a NASA satellite has spotted an unexpected hot spot of methane leaks.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and a precursor to ozone, an air pollutant. In a paper published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, lead researcher Eric Kort, of the University of Michigan, and other scientists report that the region may be responsible for 10 percent of the total U.S. methane emissions from the natural gas sector.

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Tue September 30, 2014

Saving Sagebrush Helps More Than Grouse: Deer, Local Economy Benefit Too

Mule deer bucks in velvet Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, also greater sage grouse habitat.
Tom Koerner U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Rolling sagebrush-covered foothills may seem like an almost commonplace symbol of the American West, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service calls it "one of the most imperiled ecosystems in America," threatened and fragmented by invasive species, wildfire, and development.

Loss of quality habitat has led to steep declines in the numbers of greater sage grouse, a bird that lives and breeds in the sagebrush. Because of this, many Western states are working on plans to improve and preserve the sagebrush steppe the birds rely on. Now, two new studies show that saving sagebrush can benefit more than just the grouse.

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Tue September 30, 2014
Climate Change

Colorado's Iconic Aspens Face Steep Decline From Climate Change

Aspens outside of Frisco, in Summit County, Colorado.
Nathan Heffel KUNC

In late September and early October, Coloradans swarm to the mountains, clutching cameras and phones, hoping to experience the magical transformation of aspens from green to gold.

A few decades from now, though, those glorious aspen stands are likely to be fewer, as global climate change shifts the places where aspen grow and thrive.

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