Lauren Sommer wrote “Live Long, Die Fast” for Symbolia’s preview issue.
What is your favorite thing to do when you get away from work?
You’ll probably find me hiking in the Bay Area hills with my husband and our very neurotic Australian Shepherd, Lola. She would love to have some actual sheep to herd, but for now, we’re her sheep.
What would be your go-to weapon in a zombie attack? The microphone I record with, the RE-50, is a surprisingly good weapon.
What is your office/studio like? Where do you work best?
Most of my time is spent behind a computer screen in mauve-colored cubicles, but it’s made up for when I go snake-hunting with rattlesnake scientists, head out on the water with salmon biologists or follow an avalanche crew into the snowy backcountry.
How did you get into this line of work?
I’ve always loved science and I’ve always loved journalism. Somehow I’ve gotten to do both though dumb luck and an unhealthy work ethic. But my first real job was as a fact-checker at magazine, where I learned the detail-oriented paranoia that makes journalists tick.
What would Batman do?
Find a sustainable financial model for online journalism? Come on, Batman!
Lauren Sommer is a science and environment reporter at KQED Public Radio in San Francisco. As part of her day job, she has scaled mountain peaks, hunted for newts in the rain, and desperately tried to get her sea legs. Before that, she ate croissants in France as a travel writer for Frommer’s. Her work has appeared on Marketplace, Living on Earth, and NPR’s Morning Editionand All Things Considered.