Molly Samuel | KUNC

Molly Samuel

Molly Samuel joined WABE as a reporter in November 2014. Before coming on board, she was a science producer and reporter at KQED in San Francisco, where she won awards for her reporting on hydropower and on crude oil.

Molly was a fellow with the Middlebury Fellowships in Environmental Journalism and a journalist-in-residence at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center.

She's from Atlanta, has a degree in Ancient Greek from Oberlin College and is a co-founder of the record label True Panther Sounds.

The view from the mainland in coastal Georgia is mostly miles of salt marsh and barrier islands, shore birds hunting in the mud, shrimp boats traveling the Intracoastal Waterway.

Since September, from the coastal city of Brunswick, the view has also featured the Golden Ray.

The cargo ship capsized as it was leaving the Port of Brunswick, heading for Baltimore with 4,200 new cars on board. The cause is still under investigation.

Now, crews are beginning work to eventually remove the ship, but getting rid of such a giant wreck is complicated.

Winters are warming faster than other seasons across much of the United States. While that may sound like a welcome change for those bundled in scarves and hats, it's causing a cascade of unpredictable impacts in communities across the country.

Temperatures continue to steadily rise around the globe, but that trend isn't spread evenly across the map or even the yearly calendar.

Gopher tortoises are big, dry, wrinkly reptiles that dig burrows underground in the parts of Georgia where the soil is sandy, down south and near the coast.

To the people who study them, they're "cute," "quite personable," and "just a great little critter."

To the 350-or-so other species of animals that use their burrows, they're property developers.

To businesses, they're a potential problem. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering protecting gopher tortoises under the Endangered Species Act, and that could mean red tape and additional costs.

A decade ago, utility executives and policymakers dreamed of a clean energy future powered by a new generation of cheap, safe nuclear reactors. Projects to expand existing nuclear plants in South Carolina and Georgia were supposed to be the start of the "nuclear renaissance."

This was a record-breaking year for rooftop solar power. It's booming across the country. But as more homeowners make their own power, electric utilities are making less money, and that's shaking up their business model.

Utilities in two states — California and Georgia — are handling the growth of solar in dramatically different ways.

Matt Brown recently got solar panels on his Oakland, Calif., home, but it's dark out right now — his panels aren't working. So Brown's appliances are running on electricity he's buying from his utility, Pacific Gas & Electric.