Sara Bernard

Multimedia Journalist

Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA

Sara Bernard

Writer, radio reporter, photographer, globetrotter


The Climate Movement’s Secret Weapon: Kids!

It’s a Friday night at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford, and Joey and Grace, ages 9 and 11—tiny, wiry, and ebony-haired—are tumbling over each other to tell me what they know about climate change. Their introduction to the concept is pretty difficult to pinpoint, though, since it’s always been there, “like all those other facts,” says Grace.

The Cost of Clean Coal

Barbara Correro was at home drinking tea, reading the paper. She had spent the past five years and most of her savings on a long-cherished retirement dream: a small mobile home on 24 acres of pine and hardwood forest, a large organic garden, and a pack of friendly dogs in rural Kemper County, Miss.

Tent Cities: When Society Fails to House

Tent cities have popped up across the country, from New Jersey to Texas to New Mexico. Many are starting to build more permanent living structures. So what are the benefits of living in a cluster of tents? And is this part of a real solution to homelessness?

Not In Our Backyard: Fighting Pollution in Richmond, California | Clearing House for Environmental Course Material

Richmond, California is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, world-renowned for its natural coastal beauty. Though Richmond enjoys the ocean breezes like many of its neighbors, those breezes often come laden with chemical fumes, hazardous waste residues, and particulate matter. Richmond is one of the lowest-income communities in the Bay Area.

South Seattle Residents Complain of Industrial Dust

Kelly Welker knew Seattle’s Georgetown area was an industrial neighborhood when she moved here nine years ago. The air quality isn’t great. But lately, she says, it’s been getting worse. “I had never experienced going outside of my house and having my eyes burn within a couple of minutes,” Welker said.
Oregon Public Broadcasting Link to Story

Why Have Seattle's Urban Forests Dodged Development?

“With so much building going on in Seattle, why haven’t urban forests like Interlaken and Ravenna been developed?”. Adam Goch of Greenwood asked that question as part of KUOW’s Local Wonder project. With all the construction going on, it’s no wonder that Adam Goch of Greenwood worries about the city’s green spaces. Link to Story

Seattle Suspends $1 Fine For Failure To Compost

Breathe easy, Seattle. The proposed fines for not following Seattle’s new food composting rule have been delayed. The fines were originally scheduled to start July 1. But on Wednesday, Mayor Ed Murray said he would suspend those fines for the rest of the year. The earliest they could go into effect -- and that's a big if -- is January 2016. Link to Story

Richmond’s Toxics

Decades of industrial pollution have left toxic contaminants in Richmond's air, water, and soil. Click on the icons to learn more.
Richmond Confidential Link to Story

Retracing Buffalo Soldiers' Trek to Yosemite

In 1899, Buffalo Soldiers in the 24th Infantry carried out mounted patrol duties in Yosemite. This weekend, history buffs will gather in San Francisco to commemorate a little-known slice of the state's past. They'll travel from the city's old Army base, the Presidio, to Yosemite National Park. It's a sped-up version of a trek made to the Sierras more than a century ago by black Army troops known as Buffalo Soldiers.
KQED's The California Report Link to Story

This fracking protest is more like Bonnaroo than Occupy

On a bone-dry October day in Oakland, Calif., activists from Food and Water Watch, UC Berkeley’s Students Against Fracking, and a group of folk singers called the Occupellas gathered to celebrate the third annual Global Frackdown. Food and Water Watch launched the Global Frackdown in September 2012 in an effort to eventually ban fracking worldwide.

Youth Crew Builds Memories at Spencer Glacier

This summer, five agencies came together to create a ten-week outdoor career program for Anchorage youth, aged 17 to 20. The program took them from city parks to the Chugach National Forest, clearing trees, building bridges, and cutting trails. The students’ last project was at the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop, where they spent a month building a new trail and learning about the environment — and the employment options — in their own backyards.
Alaska Public Media Link to Story

The Giving State: Volunteering at the Zen Hospice Project

We meet San Francisco artist Tracy Grubbs, who volunteers with the Zen Hospice Project. It's the latest installment of our ongoing series on people who volunteer in California, "The Giving State." Reporter: Sara Bernard. More: Hospice Doctor Finds Calling Through Near-Fatal Accident (Forum) Please ensure that all comments adhere to our community guidelines.
KQED's The California Report Link to Story


Sara Bernard

I'm a staff writer at Seattle Weekly, formerly a fellow at, staff writer and multimedia producer for Edutopia magazine, freelance journalist, and avid international traveler. I grew up in upstate New York and the San Francisco Bay Area, studied abroad in Toulouse, France, and spent several years freelancing, traveling, and volunteering in Thailand, Vietnam, India, France, England, Peru, Ecuador, Haiti, and Nicaragua before obtaining a master's degree at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

As a writer, photographer, radio reporter, and Web producer, I've fallen pretty hard for the myriad possibilities of multimedia storytelling. I spent a year reporting part-time for Crosscurrents on KALW 91.7 FM in San Francisco and a summer reporting for the Alaska Public Radio Network. I've produced radio pieces for broadcast on KQED’s The California Report, KUOW in Seattle, the National Radio Project’s Making Contact, and KALX 90.7 FM in Berkeley, along with many audio slide shows for news outlets and nonprofit organizations. I've shot and edited Web videos, mapped data, and built stories using a variety of software platforms and CMS systems including Creatavist, Drupal, and Wordpress.

In addition to Seattle Weekly and Edutopia, I've written for Grist, Wired,, VIA, Bay Nature, Afar, Ode, Yoga Journal, Adirondack Life,, KQED’s MindShift, and The Bold Italic, among other publications, about education, travel, food, health, science, art, social justice, and the environment. I'm passionate about the power of high-integrity media to inform and inspire… and intensely curious about pretty much everything.