Alec Cowan is a producer for Soundside. His interests have brought many eclectic stories to the program, and his segments gravitate toward history, technology, art and design, and ecology. He's currently obsessed with exploring the history and changing nature of the American West.
Prior to joining Soundside, Alec wore many hats at KUOW. He was a producer for The Record with Bill Radke, and was the producer of Primed season two and three. He also reported and produced an episode of SoundQs detailing how prohibition forever changed Seattle policing and assisted with reporting a breakthrough cold case solved with the use of genetic genealogy.
Before joining KUOW Alec worked in NPR's Story Lab, where he helped pilot the Louder Than A Riot podcast on hip-hop and mass incarceration and assisted in producing a story on volunteerism in Iraq for Rough Translation. Originally from Grand Junction, Colorado, his roots in the Northwest originate in Eugene, where he studied English and philosophy at the University of Oregon and worked as a news reporter for member station KLCC. He is likely neglecting his saxophone, growing book collection, and expanding personal project list in favor of boosting his online Xbox ranking instead.
Languages Spoken: English
When you step into a forest, or walk along a beach, there's a lot to take in -- the sound of waves, crashing against the sand, birds chirping to each other in the trees. But there's a lot we don't hear
Soundside talks to Rico Bembry of the Black Washingtonians Workgroup on Recreation, about the challenges faced by communities of color as they enjoy the outdoors.
Soundside talks with David Dunphy of Seattle Mountain Rescue about their mission, and their new headquarters in North Bend.
Last week, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced a new bill calling for the removal of "space junk." The Orbital Sustainability Act, or the ORBITS Act, aims to promote the development of technology and methods to clean up rocket and satellite debris orbiting Earth.
The Biden administration helped broker a tentative deal that will affect 120,000 rail workers across the country. While many are celebrating the aversion of a potentially disastrous shutdown, some workers have reservations about the new deal. And with a worker vote set for Thursday, rail companies are not out of the tunnel just yet.
In 2007, Seattle's urban forest management plan set a goal for 30% of the city to be canopied, meaning covered with urban trees. However, a recent report from the city showed that Seattle's canopy actually decreased by 1.7% over the last five years -- an area roughly the size of Green Lake.
It's been close to two decades since Washington state last did a "broadcast burn," a kind of prescribed burn that sweeps forest floors of potential fire fuel. Prescribed burns are gaining in use throughout fire-prone states as land managers look to imitate natural cycles and move away from a "no-burn" standard of management.
Washington V. Meta, brought to court by Attorney General Bob Ferguson against Meta, Facebook's parent company, concluded that Facebook ran local political advertisements throughout Washington state without properly disclosing information about who ran them. In response to Facebook's argument that the disclosure law is unconstitutional, King County Superior Court Judge Douglass North called it "very constitutional."
Two years ago this week, a massive wildfire in Eastern Washington nearly destroyed the towns of Malden and Pine City. The Babb Road Fire burned 15,000 acres and hundreds of buildings. While progress has been slow, the people of Malden and Pine City are rebuilding and charting a new path forward.
There are many ways to protect and conserve land here in Washington. Aside from our national and state parks and forests, we have wildlife refuges and conservation areas. Altogether those boundaries include millions of acres. But there’s one tool at the state’s disposal that only covers a fraction of land, while protecting vitally unique flora and fauna. These are called "natural areas" and are protected by the natural areas program.