News Director

Lauren joined KUCB as a summer intern, and stuck around to work as a producer and reporter. She now covers transportation, local politics, Arctic shipping, unexploded ordnance, and much more.

In the past, Lauren has worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Conservation Minnesota. She is a product of western Washington State.


Season Winds Down for Aleutian Herring Fleet

Tuesday, July 22 2014

Courtesy of ADF&G

There's still fish in the water, but seiners are done harvesting herring in the Aleutian Islands.

The purse seine fleet picked up their last load of herring on Saturday night north of Akutan. Fish & Game biologist Nathaniel Nichols says that leaves about 160 tons of herring on the table out of the 1,805 tons up for harvest this season.

"The processors decided they had enough before we got to the allocation, so they quit fishing," says Nichols.

Aleutian Herring Fishery Kicks Off Near Akutan

Thursday, July 17 2014

Courtesy of ADF&G

The Aleutian Islands herring fishery is off to a slow start.

Nathaniel Nichols is a biologist monitoring the harvest for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. In a good year, he says, the entire 1,805-ton allocation can be taken in three days.

The season officially opened on Tuesday.

"So far, I think we’ve got around 500 tons already caught," Nichols says. "So we’re chugging along."

Store Owners Plead Not Guilty to Drug Charges

Thursday, July 17 2014

Two local business owners accused of running a large drug operation out of their store and home have pleaded not guilty.

Tam Nguyen, age 46, and Thu McConnell, 45, operated the Dutch Harbor Asia shop for several years. They were arrested in May after police traced an alleged heroin sale to the store.

An Anchorage grand jury indicted Nguyen and McConnell on July 9. Nguyen is facing a dozen felony charges for allegedly using the business -- and the house he shared with McConnell on Biorka Drive -- to sell cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and Oxycodone. 

Arctic Climate Researchers Zoom In on Plankton

Wednesday, July 16 2014

Researchers collect water samples in the Chukchi Sea. (Courtesy of Amanda Kowalski/

They’re not recognizable like polar bears or whales. But phytoplankton are a key part of life in the Arctic -- and now, they're at the center of a new research effort to predict how the region will respond to climate change.

Almost every animal in the Arctic eats -- or eats something that consumes -- phytoplankton.

They’re tiny specks of algae that usually blossom into big clouds out in the ocean in the springtime.

Canada's Arctic Monitors Hit Communications Snag

Tuesday, July 15 2014

Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent (Courtesy of Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Canada’s Coast Guard is suffering from crossed wires at their only manned field station in the Arctic.

The CBC reports that some radio transmissions aren't making it through to the Coast Guard office in the northeastern province of Nunavut because of a lag in their new software system.

North Pacific Fuel Workers Walk Out

Friday, July 11 2014

About a half-dozen North Pacific Fuel employees picketed on Friday. (Lauren Rosenthal/KUCB)

Laborers from North Pacific Fuel walked off the job in Unalaska on Friday to protest the firing of a co-worker.

The incident follows a rising tide of interest in unionizing among local fuelers.

Rasoul Charkhandaz is one of them. He was a truck driver for North Pacific Fuel until this week. On Friday, he stood outside the company's office with a picket sign, asking for his job back.

Sand Point Man Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse of Minors

Thursday, July 10 2014

A Sand Point man is facing up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to the sexual abuse of two minors.

James Griffith is 26. He had been accused of molesting a seven-year-old boy during a babysitting job in 2011. The case moved slowly, and Griffith was granted a conditional release -- as long as he stayed away from children.

But Sand Point police arrested Griffith in December 2013 for exchanging electronic messages with a 15-year-old boy.

Halibut Fishermen Cast for Glory in Holiday Derby

Monday, July 07 2014

The winning team (clockwise from bottom R): Sean Perry, Roger Bacon, Dawson Bacon, and Justin Perry. (Jeri Rosenthal/KUCB)

A heavy mist fell on Unalaska’s 4th of July festivities this weekend, but the weather was fine for fishing. As KUCB's Lauren Rosenthal reports, a group of anglers spent this holiday searching for a monster halibut -- and a big payoff. 

Derbies are an old tradition in Unalaska, dating back to the days when you could catch a record-breaking halibut right outside town.

Atka Camp Serves Up Subsistence Lessons

Thursday, July 03 2014

The campsite at Korovin Beach on Atka. (Lauren Rosenthal/KUCB)

A pop-up subsistence school has opened in the Western Aleutians. As KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal reports, Atka’s second-annual culture camp is meant to keep Unangan traditions going strong.

Earlier this spring, Danny Snigaroff visited the campsite where he’d be teaching younger folks how to fish and hunt.

"At culture camp, we don’t eat no hot dogs -- no beef hamburgers, nothing [like that]," Snigaroff said. "It’s all Native food."

Snigaroff and other Unangan elders grew up on sea lions, birds, and seal.

Unalaskans Plan to Celebrate 4th of July By Land and By Sea

Thursday, July 03 2014

Unalaska’s Independence Day celebration will kick off bright and early tomorrow morning with the return of an old tradition.

"The halibut derby is basically just a competition to see which boat can catch the heaviest halibut," says organizer Nick Cron. He’ll be at the Carl E. Moses harbor at 6 a.m. tomorrow to register fishermen.

Unalaska anglers haven't squared off in a halibut derby for years. It's back as a city-organized event, with support from the old hosts -- Pacific Stevedoring.

Site by Joseph Redmon