Bellamy Pailthorp

Environment Reporter

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment beat from the Seattle offices of KPLU Public Radio News, where she has worked since 1999. She holds a Masters in journalism from New York's Columbia University, where she completed the Knight-Bagehot fellowship in business reporting in 2006 mid-career during her stint on KPLU’s Business and Labor Beat from 2000-2012.

From 1989-98 she lived in Berlin, Germany freelancing for NPR and working as a bi-lingual producer for Deutsche Welle TV after receiving a Fulbright scholarship in 1989 for a project on theater studies and communist history. She holds a Bachelors’ degree in German language and literature from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. (Yes, she is fluent in German.)

She strives to tell memorable stories about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Character-driven narratives of exploration and innovation excite her. 

Outside work, she practices and instructs yoga, walks half marathons with friends, backpacks with her husband and extended family, reads and watches fiction with nieces, enjoys tasting new foods and admiring all kinds of animals -- especially her two house cats, who often remind her she should spend more time sitting on the couch with them.

Ways To Connect

NOAA Fisheries West Coast

Tiny forage fish don’t have the iconic status of Northwest species such as salmon or orcas, but the marine creatures at the bottom of the food chain play a critical role. So scientists are excited to see signs they’re spawning in new habitat created by the Elwha dam removals. 

Courtesy Cliff Mass

The Pacific Northwest stands out as just about the only part of the country that will be largely spared from the ill effects associated with global warming, according to KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, who mapped out all the calamities expected to result from climate change over the next century.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Boeing failed to negotiate in good faith when it refused to provide evidence to substantiate its claim that workers in the Puget Sound area cost more than workers elsewhere, a National Labor Relations Board judge ruled Friday.

The ruling was in response to an unfair labor practice charge filed by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, or SPEEA.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

There will be plenty of sunshine for Seafair weekend, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, but dry conditions and a chance of lightning could mean trouble for firefighters.

Rick McGuire / Courtesy Washington Wild

A bill that would expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area east of Seattle is one step closer to becoming law. For the first time in nearly four years, the proposal has moved forward in the U.S. House.  

Courtesy of King County Wastewater Division.

Gov. Jay Inslee took a walk through King County’s wastewater facility in Discovery Park on Tuesday as part of his tour of sites affected by climate change. 

The last week of July is historically the driest week of the year. And despite record-breaking rain last week, the forecast for the days ahead fits the bill for this time of year, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“We’re going to have sun, warmth and virtually no precipitation,” Mass said of the week ahead.

courtesy Dana Robinson Slote / Seattle City Council

Three tanker cars derailed at a Seattle rail yard early Thursday while carrying oil from North Dakota to a refinery in Anacortes.

No one was hurt and none of the oil spilled, according to Burlington Northern Santa Fe. But the incident spurred renewed calls from the city for a ban on oil train traffic near neighborhoods.  

An expansion of the Northwest’s largest oil terminal will be the subject of a public hearing before the Army Corps of Engineers Thursday evening in Seattle. Environmentalists are calling for limits on oil tanker traffic at BP’s docks at Cherry Point, north of Bellingham. 

Environmental impact statements are usually heard before a project is built. But in an unusual twist, this hearing concerns a facility that’s been up and running for 13 years.

Washington is slowly moving ahead with a long-delayed plan to update its water quality rules. Tuesday's will be the first public meeting on Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposal to dramatically increase the fish consumption rate, which determines how clean discharged water must be. But some say the proposal doesn’t go far enough.

Riex / Flickr via Compfight

A delegation from Germany recently paid Washington’s clean tech lobby a visit. At a meeting in Seattle, the delegation, whose country's emphasis on renewable energy has made it a global leader in the sector, presented some of the lessons local companies are learning from the German example.

Tim Durkan

If you love sunshine, Friday’s the day to get out and enjoy it.

The cooling trend we’ve been experiencing will continue this weekend and even bring some rain with it, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

More than 1,300 Microsoft employees in the Puget Sound region got their pink slips Thursday as part of announced cuts to the worldwide workforce that could total 18,000 by the end of the year — the biggest in the company’s history.

AP Photo

Lawmakers are expressing concerns over an updated report outlining the combined impacts of coal and oil trains that would roll through the Northwest if plans for export terminals move forward.

Courtesy of Kiley Riffell

As much as one-third of our food supply depends on pollinators like insects and birds that fertilize plants when they fly between blossoms.

Doug Mahugh

Sunny skies on the Fourth of July are not something to take for granted in Seattle. But revelers can count their blessings this year, as the clouds are expected to burn off and give way to a decent day for picnics and fireworks displays, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“Much better than some other Fourth of Julys,” Mass said.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

A group of disabled and elderly tenants being priced out of a Seattle apartment building are striking back.

Several residents of the Theodora Apartments in Ravenna have filed suit under federal fair housing laws. 

Tim Durkan

Keep your rain gear handy if you’re headed outside this weekend. KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says we’re starting to pay for the drier-than-usual June we’ve had this year.

But Mass says sunny days are around the corner; things will improve by the Fourth of July weekend.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Ever hear an orca speak? Ken Balcomb, who many regard as the godfather of whale conservation, captured their chatter using a hydrophone on San Juan Island: 

AP Photo/NOAA Fisheries Service, Candice Emmons

Following the release of a federal report on the state of endangered orcas, one local researcher says there's one factor that matters more to the whales' wellness than toxins and vessel traffic: fish. 

Ken Balcomb, who many regard as the godfather of whale conservation, is the director of the Center for Whale Research in Friday Harbor. For almost 40 years now, the center has been keeping track of every individual whale in the three pods that make up the southern resident population of the iconic orcas that live in Puget Sound.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Scientists studying southern resident killer whales for the past decade now know they are among the most contaminated marine mammals and prefer to eat Chinook salmon.

Snohomish County Flickr

Three months after a deadly landslide hit the town of Oso, Washington, Snohomish County is again looking at options to tighten land-use policy in slide-prone areas. 

Bellamy Pailthorp

A cornerstone of Gov. Jay Inslee’s election campaign was the promise of new jobs in clean technology.

But how healthy is the sector in Washington and what’s still holding it back? Hard data on those questions is yet to come, but a visit to the state's inaugural Clean Technology Showcase provided some answers.

Rachel La Corte / AP Photo

Search and rescue teams are combing the east side of Mount Rainier where a Seattle woman has gone missing amid snowy conditions.

Tim Durkan

The nude cyclists at Seattle’s Fremont parade can look forward to comfortable summer temperatures on Saturday afternoon. And it might even be a bit too hot for runners at the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

A weak front has passed through, says Mass, and the clouds and sprinkles are expected to subside in time for the summer solstice Saturday.

AP Photo

Ridesharing services like Sidecar, Uber and Lyft have won the first round in a battle to decide how regulate them in Seattle. There will be no cap on the number of drivers using these apps under a new proposed agreement announced by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

Tim Durkan

Friday will bear the worst of the weekend weather, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, but don’t expect sunshine on Father’s Day.

The rain returned on Friday with a “fairly good drenching” — “the first substantial rain” in nearly two weeks — and the clouds are expected to stick around for most of the weekend, Mass said.

Alison Marcotte / KPLU News

Three sets of oversized orange headphones have arrived at Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park.

They’re parts of  “YOU ARE HEAR,” a temporary installation by Seattle sound artist Trimpin that will be unveiled Saturday.

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