Nathan Rott is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk, where he focuses on environment issues and the American West.
Based at NPR West in Culver City, California, Rott spends a lot of his time on the road, covering everything from breaking news stories like California's wildfires to in-depth issues like the management of endangered species and many points between.
Rott owes his start at NPR to two extraordinary young men he never met. As the first recipient of the Stone and Holt Weeks Fellowship in 2010, he aims to honor the memory of the two brothers by carrying on their legacy of making the world a better place.
A graduate of the University of Montana, Rott prefers to be outside at just about every hour of the day. Prior to working at NPR, he worked a variety of jobs including wildland firefighting, commercial fishing, children's theater teaching, and professional snow-shoveling for the United States Antarctic Program. Odds are, he's shoveled more snow than you.
At work every day, Agnes Boisvert attends to ICU patients "gasping for air" and dying from COVID-19. But communicating that harsh reality to her skeptical community has been a challenge.
Efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus are being hampered because many people don't believe it's real. "It's absolute garbage," said Craig Mann of Flathead County in northwest Montana.
Scientists say accelerating deforestation and development may increase the risk of pandemic diseases. The current economic crisis may also make that trend worse if more people cut down trees for fuel.
Medical examiners are now screening for possible coronavirus connections in late January. Emerging evidence suggests it spread far earlier and more widely than initially believed.
Health officials are urging Americans to cover their faces to try and slow the coronavirus outbreak. Given shortages and stay-at-home orders, people are getting creative.
If a major hurricane, flood or wildfire happens during the pandemic, evacuation shelters could be dangerous and cross-state aid impossible. So disaster response experts are planning new strategies.