Rebecca Martinez

Reporter

Phone: 307-766-2405
Email:  

Rebecca Martinez is a general assignment reporter and host for Wyoming Public Radio. Recent features include Yellowstone warding visitors off wildlife after four people in the area were killed by grizzly bears (picked up by NPR) and one covering efforts by the Northern Arapaho Tribe to preserve its language on the Wind River Indian Reservation, (part was re-aired on National Native News). She regularly reports on agriculture and environmental issues, focusing especially on waste management and water quality. Rebecca reported a story featured in a PRNDI-award-winning episode of Open Spaces in 2011. She edited other PRNDI-award winning stories.

After earning her B.A. in Journalism and Media Design at James Madison University, Rebecca worked as a production and editorial assistant at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C., where she produced pieces and wrote scripts for Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Tell Me More. She arranged and scripted interviews for ME and ATC during the 2008 Presidential Election Season and helped organized live coverage on Super Tuesday in New York City.

Rebecca has reported pieces for NPR, APM’s Marketplace,  the BBC/PRI’s The World, National Native News, WAMU-FM in Washington, D.C. and the CBC. Before coming to Wyoming Public Radio, Rebecca moved to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, where she covered the agriculture, environment and community beats at the News Leader, a century-old newspaper in Staunton. She continued audio reporting by producing Soundslides videos for the newspaper’s web site. Much of her reporting focused on the cattle industry, water and soil quality issues, and the effects of environmental legislation on farmers.

Pages

Open Spaces
3:02 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

December 27th, 2013

Stephen Watt (right) and Mark Farnham (left) during a recent visit.

A crime victim and perpetrator talk about how their unlikely friendship came to be

Restorative justice is an approach to dealing with crime that put the victim of the crime front and center and considers how the offense affected the community, rather than looking at it as an isolated incident. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov has a three part series about restorative justice efforts in Wyoming, starting with a case study.

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Open Spaces
4:16 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

November 15th, 2013

UW Board of Trustees President talks about Dr. Sternberg’s resignation

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees announced UW President Bob Sternberg’s resignation on Thursday. The Trustees spent Thursday and Friday in meetings, but President of the Board David Bostrom sat down to talk with Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov about what comes next. Bostrom says the Trustees didn’t try to convince Dr. Sternberg to stay.

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Open Spaces
3:23 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

“Lessons of the Lost” author Scott Hammond advises readers how to find their way home

“Lessons of the Lost” author Scott Hammond.

Wyoming’s quiet, wild spaces attract adventurers from near and far, but we also hear frequently about adventures gone wrong. Throughout the Mountain West, we hear stories of people who go missing.

By day, Scott Hammond is a management professor at Utah State University, but in his free time, he is a volunteer search-and-rescuer with Rocky Mountain Rescue Dogs. Hammond’s spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez about his new book “Lessons of the Lost,” which details his experiences with the search and rescue organization.

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News
7:29 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Pronghorn using wildlife overpasses

Conservationists are relieved that migrating animals are using the recently-built overpasses on U-S Highway 191 near Pinedale. The highway cuts across major wildlife migration routes, and vehicle collisions with animals have been a problem in the area for years.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation finished six underpasses and two overpasses for the wildlife last year, inspired by similar structures in Banff National Park. They were the first ever built for pronghorn antelope, which can't jump roadside fences, and they avoid enclosed spaces. 

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Glass
4:20 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Last day to recycle glass in Laramie

Woman recycling glass, Wallingford neighborhood, Seattle, Washington, 1990
Credit Seattle Municipal Archives / Wikipedia Creative Commons

Today is the last day Ark Regional Services in Laramie will accept glass for recycling.

The organization – which connects intellectually and developmentally disabled people with jobs, education and care – has run a recycling program to help subsidize its operations for 30 years. Although the city also runs a recycling program, the Ark has been the only local entity to recycle glass.

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Open Spaces
4:09 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Yellowstone’s new winter use rule appeases sportsmen and conservationists alike

Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk
Credit Erik Petersen / For The Washington Post

Warm weather tourist traffic is winding down in Yellowstone National Park, and they’re getting ready for winter tourists. The National Park Services bans over-snow vehicles in all national parks, unless individual parks pass rules permitting and regulating them.

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Open Spaces
4:03 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

UW’s WyCEHG program could help Wyoming get the most out of its water

Hydrogeophysicist Steve Holbrook marks the GPS coordinates of points where he and his team will seismically measure the subsurface. Holbrook co-directs the Wyoming Center for Hydrology and Geophysics, which hopes to better understand snowpack and aquifers in the state.
Credit Rebecca Martinez

In such an arid state as Wyoming, water is precious. Last year, the University of Wyoming created the Wyoming Center for Hydrology and Geophysics, combining field experts and state-of-the art technology to better understand where water goes in after it falls from the sky, since much of it ends up in snowpack or underground.

There isn’t too much information available about that, but it’s important to state and local water managers, who need to know just how much water they have to work with. Rebecca Martinez reports.

(beeping)

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Open Spaces
3:37 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

“Cowboys and East Indians” author Nina McConigley shares about her own life as an Indian American

Nina McConigley

Nina McConigley is a lecturer in the University of Wyoming’s English Department. Her new book is a collection of short stories called Cowboys and East Indians.

Her book tells the stories of a variety of Indian characters living in Wyoming, and explores what, often, reads as an unusual combination. McConigley’s father is an Irish-born petroleum geologist, and her mother, Nimi McConigley, was the first Indian-born person to serve in the Wyoming Legislature.  Nina tells Rebecca Martinez she grew up in Casper.

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Data Centers
4:17 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Wyoming is a national leader in data center recruitment

Wyoming is aggressively working to attract data centers to the state.  The industry magazine Expansion Solutions recently recognized the Cowboy State’s efforts to accommodate companies looking to build or expand their computing operations.

Wyoming Business Council CEO Bob Jensen says his organization targets trade shows, real estate directors and data management industry publications to promote Wyoming’s offerings, including a cool climate, cheap power, and lots of space to build.

Jensen says Wyoming has a lot of competition to attract these businesses.

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News
5:16 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Yellowstone releases winter use rule; conservationists approve

The National Park Service has released Yellowstone National Park’s winter use rule. After 15 years of gathering public feedback and scientific data, the new rule will govern how many over-snow vehicles will be allowed in the park.

Instead of capping traffic with a specific number, the new rule will allow 110 “transportation events” a day, broken down up to 60 snow coach excursions, and 50 snowmobile groups.

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Landfill management
4:14 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

DEQ draft rule language worries landfill operators

Park County closed Powell's landfill to comply with DEQ regulations.
Credit Rebecca Martinez / Wyoming Public Radio

Wyoming counties are concerned about confusing language the state's Department of Environmental Quality has used in draft rules guiding the closure and relocation of leaking landfills.
 

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Cody Landfill
4:11 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Park County wants consistency, a level playing field for landfill operations

The Park County Board of Commissioners is concerned that its decision to comply with statewide environmental standards by building a new lined landfill cell will continue to take a financial toll on the County if the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality doesn’t act soon.

In order to renew their permits, the DEQ has required operators to prove their landfills aren’t leaking, or to build a leak-resistant lined landfill cell, or move their trash somewhere that’s leak-resistant. Park County built a new lined cell at the Cody landfill.
 

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Tourism
6:04 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Localities outfits hope to draw tourists Yellowstone turned away

Credit Albany County Tourism Board

The forced closures of Wyoming’s national parks have frustrated tourists and slowed business in gateway communities, but tourism offices in the state are working to draw visitors to other locales that aren’t as strongly affected by the shutdown.

The Albany County Tourism Board has released a series of web graphics to encourage people to visit the region.

Spokeswoman Brittany Richards says they have spread virally over social media. One poster reads “The Tetons may be closed, but the Snowy Range is wide, wide open.”

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Landfills
6:41 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

DEQ seeks state support to move forward with landfill closures

Many of Wyoming’s landfills are leaking or approaching capacity, so the Department of Environmental Quality is working with state agencies and municipalities to develop and fund a plan to close facilities that aren’t environmentally sustainable, and move new waste to landfills which are.

DEQ Spokesman Keith Guille says the existing landfills in the state are permitted, and were built to environmental standards at the time.

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Affordable Care Act
6:55 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Wyoming can expect highest premiums in the country from its health care marketplace

Credit Oklahoma Policy Institute

Starting October first, Wyomingites will be able to go online and shop for medical insurance coverage from the participating providers in the state’s insurance marketplace.

Under the healthcare marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act, Wyomingites will be able to choose from about 16 plans, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. The average premium for the cheapest, medium-coverage plan will be $489 per month. That’s the most expensive in the country.

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Flu shots
5:54 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Natrona Health Officer advises waiting until November to get a flu shot

A U.S. Army soldier administers a flu shot at an Army base in Wiesbaden, Germany.
Credit Flickr user USACE Europe District / Flickr - Creative Commons

Flu shots are available in many pharmacies and doctors’ offices across Wyoming, but an infectious disease doctor recommends people put off getting immunized until next month.


Dr. Mark Dowell is the Public Health Officer for Natrona County and is a physician at Wyoming Medical Center. He says Wyoming’s flu season doesn’t usually peak until January, and he says a flu shot from September might be less potent by then.

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Open Spaces
4:49 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

September 20th, 2013

Natural Gas producers are concerned about the future

More than 500 industry people gathered in Jackson this week for the 17th Annual Wyoming Oil and Gas Fair. Wyoming Public Radio’s energy and natural resources reporter, Stephanie Joyce was there, and she joins us now to talk about the event.

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Open Spaces
4:34 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

UW Pharmacy School prepares graduates to be gainfully employed in an unsteady economy

Sarah Pence (’12) graduated from the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy. Walgreens hired her immediately.
Credit Rebecca Martinez

In this time of job insecurity and a changing medical landscape, the University of Wyoming’s School of Pharmacy Education is graduating dozens of doctoral students who – for the most part – can count on a securing a good-paying job once they get their degree, if not before. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.

(phone rings, “Thank you for calling Walgreens…”)

REBECCA MARTINEZ: Sarah Pence is a pharmacist at Walgreens in Laramie. She says her store fills hundreds of medications on a daily basis, and there’s a lot she loves about her job.

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News
7:17 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Code Camps grant will train Wyomingites to be software programmers

Credit istockphoto.com

The Lander-based software company Pitch Engine has received a grant from the Department of Workforce Services to train 30 Wyomingites to be software developers.

Pitch Engine co-founder Jason Kintzler says there’s a shortage of programmers nationwide, and a growing number of companies need workers who can keep up with changing technology.

“Regardless of the industry, whether it be energy, tourism, agriculture, they’re all impacted by tech, and at some level, they’re all gonna be touched by these type of skill sets,” Kintzler says.

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Open Spaces
4:20 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Cattle industry depends on keeping ranch land in ag production

Rancher Les Stewart, Ninty-Six Ranch, Paradise Valley, Nevada, 1980
Credit Paradise Valley Folklife Project Collection, Photo by Carl Fleischhauer / loc.gov

As we just heard, many Wyoming ranches are being purchased by out-of-state residents. Many of these ranches are up for sale in the first place because older ranchers don’t have heirs who want  -- or know how to -- run a ranch full-time. Or the kids can’t agree on what to do with the family ranch after their parents pass away.

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News
4:31 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Whooping cough is on the rise, is greatest threat to infants

The Wyoming Department of Health has recorded a sharp increase in cases of pertussis – also known as “Whooping Cough”.

The illness has cold-like symptoms, and after a week or two, infected people usually develop a loud, persistent cough and spasms. Sixty-three cases have been reported this year already, four more than in all of 2012.

Health department spokeswoman Kim Deti says pertussis is most dangerous to babies under a year old. More than half need to be hospitalized if they catch whooping cough, and some die.

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Crops
6:52 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Crop recovery is good news for cattle ranchers

Credit Stereogab / Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0

After last year’s crushing drought, wetter weather is helping crops recover, and prices are dropping.
 

US corn yields are up, according to IHS, Inc., a company that publishes stock market industry data. The company expects corn and soybean prices to drop by 10 percent in the third-quarter of this year.


Brett Moline of the Wyoming Farm Bureau says that means it’s cheaper for feed lots to finish more cattle, which is good news for cattle ranchers. 

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Chenzi
6:16 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Enzi supporters launch super PAC to combat Cheney campaign

Sen. Mike Enzi

Wyoming Republicans who favor incumbent U-S Senator Mike Enzi have started fundraising on his behalf. This week, they formed a political action committee – or PAC – called “Wyoming’s Own” to rally voters for his re-election.

Wyoming’s Own co-founder Bill Cubin – son of former Congresswoman Barbara Cubin – says Enzi is hard-working and effective, and shouldn’t be replaced right now.

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News
6:52 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Elk refuge warns outdoorsmen about grizzly sightings

The National Elk Refuge is advising visitors to be on the lookout for grizzlies.

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Open Spaces
4:22 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Workshop aims to help Wyoming scientists communicate with the rest of us

Maize geneticist Anne Sylvester is studying corn to see whether she can control the way it conserves water. Her greenhouse on the University of Wyoming campus is set up to simulate the conditions of an Iowa cornfield.
Credit Rebecca Martinez

Science can be fascinating, even to non-scientists. But when experts use a lot of industry jargon to explain their research, it can be hard to understand.

Now that funding for research is harder to come by, scientists need to do more to win over the public’s hearts and minds to back their work. The National Science Foundation will be hosting a workshop at the University of Wyoming to help scientists, engineers and other academics to communicate with the rest of us about their research.

(fans blowing)

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Open Spaces
4:07 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Ron Carlson’s “Return to Oakpine” is a story of friendship and nostalgia in the West

Author Ron Carlson new novel “Return to Oakpine” tells the story of four high school buddies reuniting in their fictional Wyoming hometown, now that they’ve reached middle age. 

One character, Jimmy Brand, is dying of AIDS, and he and his friends get their high school garage band back together one last time. Carlson tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez that this is a “quieter” book, in which the reader keeps company with these characters.

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