Carmen Baskauf | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Carmen Baskauf

Producer, Where We Live

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Carmen Baskauf is a producer for WNPR news-talk show Where We Live, hosted by Lucy Nalpathanchil. She has also contributed to The Colin McEnroe Show.

Carmen produces shows on a wide variety of topics for Where We Live; her favorites tend to be related to science and/or gender. Highlights include producing a full hour about menstruation (recipient of a national PRNDI award), and meeting a real-live glowing axolotl in studio for a show on bioluminescence and biofluorescence.

Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Carmen now lives in New Haven, Connecticut. She has a B.A. in History from Yale University, where she studied nationalist movements in 20th-century North Africa and the Middle East, as well as international migration and human trafficking.

In her free time, Carmen likes reading about anything having to do with evolutionary biology, dinosaurs, public health, or a combination of the three.

Ways to Connect

Credit Kenneth Catania

They might look like something out of science fiction, but star-nosed moles are real-life creatures that can be found across the East Coast, including in Connecticut. These small, furry mammals are a bit larger than a house mouse, and live underground in wetlands, digging tunnels with their enormous claws.

But their most distinctive feature is their pink, star-shaped nose.

Ken Catania, Stevenson Professor of Biological of Sciences at Vanderbilt University has studied the neurobiology of the star-nosed mole’s strange snout for decades. He told Where We Live about the science behind these incredible creatures:

Rob Russell / Wikimedia Commons

Scientists estimate bush fires in Southeastern Australia have killed hundreds of millions of animals. This hour, we talk about the fires’ impact on biodiversity.

And we learn about how climate change is shaping wildfire patterns around the globe. Are severe natural disasters becoming the “new normal”?

Pixabay

If your smartphone screen cracks, do you get it fixed or trade it in for the latest model? Repairing items can be less wasteful, but there are also growing legal challenges for people whose business is to repair technology from smartphones to tractors.

Piqsels.com

Demand for social services in Connecticut has grown in the same decade that’s seen the state struggle to pass balanced budgets. The nonprofit sector has provided more and more of these services but now its facing more pressure, as Americans charitable donations decline and government cutbacks continue.

Pixabay

Deaths related to alcohol have been rising over the past two decades, especially among women.  Today, we look at the impact of alcohol on public health.

And on this day in 1920, Prohibition went into effect around the country, making it illegal to sell alcohol. 100 years after the beginning of this national experiment, we ask: what is a productive policy approach today to dealing with addiction?

Groman123 / Flickr Creative Commons

Most of us enjoy high-speed internet. But in some areas in Connecticut, residents still don’t have broadband access.  A recent court ruling may make it easier for municipalities to provide broadband services.  But is a city or town-run internet service the best way to bridge the ‘digital divide’?

Later, NPR TV critic Eric Deggans joins us with an update on the latest players to enter the streaming market, services like Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus. Just how many streaming services are you willing to pay for?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Leading Democratic presidential candidates meet once again on the debate stage this week.  The stakes are higher than ever for presidential hopefuls, because the first primaries are just around the corner. This hour, we check in with New Hampshire where voters will head to the polls in less than a month.

Is there a better way to narrow candidates for President than the state-by-state primary system? 

And later, a high-profile murder case in Connecticut has led to a proposal to reform the way domestic violence cases are treated in family courts.

Connie Tsang

When you got to an art gallery, how much of what you see has been made by women? Women artists are underrepresented in most museums. But this year, a special series at the New Britain Museum of American Art will exclusively feature exhibitions by female artists. This hour, we talk with the museum’s director, Min Jung Kim.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

How is Connecticut’s governor doing? Today, we’ll sit down with Governor Ned Lamont, who will have been in office one year this week. We ask him about his priorities for the state in 2020. Got a question for Ned Lamont? Join the conversation on air and on Facebook Live.

U.S. Census Bureau

It's officially 2020, which means you may see a census taker knocking on your door this Spring. 

The decennial census also will be online. This hour, we talk with NPR’s Hansi Lo Wang about efforts to count everyone who lives in the United States, and why it matters.

Life-of-Pix / Pixabay

Walking instead of driving is better for the environment and our health, but in the United States, it’s becoming an increasingly dangerous choice.

Since 2009, the rate of pedestrians killed by a car in Connecticut has more than doubled, even as cars have become safer for drivers and passengers.  How can cities and towns make sure their streets are safe for everyone?

And later: college sports are a billion-dollar industry, but athletes aren’t the ones benefiting the most. We talk about efforts to allow college athletes to make money from the use of their names and images.

Connecticut Historical Society

This summer marks 100 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in the United States. This hour, we hear about the Connecticut women who fought for suffrage. And: despite the progress seen over the last century, what barriers remain for women’s full participation in the political process today?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

At sixteen years of age, Reginald Dwayne Betts went to prison for carjacking. Decades later, Betts is a celebrated poet and graduate of Yale Law School. But, like many ex-offenders, the consequences of those teenage mistakes have followed him for years.

Ryan Leigh Dostie

Ryan Leigh Dostie is an Iraq War veteran. She joined the U.S. Army to serve her country. But before she was deployed, she experienced violence from one of her own when she was raped by a fellow soldier. 

This hour, we sit down with Dostie. She is a Connecticut resident and author of the new book: Formation: A Woman’s Memoir of Stepping Out of Line.

Recent statistics show sexual assaults in the military have surged in recent years. We talk with a retired colonel about this disturbing trend.

And we want to hear from you. Are you a veteran? How do you think the U.S. military should confront this epidemic of violence in its ranks?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Donald Collins first told his mom he was transgender when he was a senior in high school. His mother wasn’t totally sure what the word transgender even meant. From there, they began a difficult emotional journey as Donald began his transition.

This hour, we sit down with Donald and his mother, Mary Collins. They have written about their experience in the book At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces. We ask them how they rebuilt their relationship and what lessons they hope to share with other families.

Cathy Malin / RiverQuest

They are one of our most recognizable national symbols, but have you ever seen a bald eagle in the wild? This hour we head out of the studio and into the field to see these birds of prey in their natural habitat--right here in Connecticut! We take you along with us on a Winter Wildlife Eagle Cruise down the Connecticut River to view these majestic birds, who nearly faced extinction in this state just a few decades ago.  

Susanne Nilsson / Flickr

The holidays are expected to be a season of joy, but annual traditions can highlight the absence of a loved one. This hour, we talk about grief.

We hear from Connecticut residents about how they approach the holidays after losing a family member, and we hear from a grief counselor, too. How should you respond to the people around you who are grieving?

Bill Smith / Flickr

Literacy. It's something many of us take for granted. The ability to read health forms, headlines, or the latest bestsellers. Yet, across the U.S., there are millions of adults who have difficulty reading.

This hour, we find out why. We talk with literacy experts and advocates, and we also hear from you.

Later in the hour, we hear about controversy in Killingly, Connecticut over a school mascot that Native Americans groups in Connecticut say is offensive. Connecticut Public’s Frankie Graziano will join us for more.

Debby Shapiro

Middletown today is known for its vibrant main street and the scenic grounds of Wesleyan University.

But the city began as a trading port on the Connecticut River, and from its founding, much of the wealth that came into that port was tied to the transatlantic slave trade. This hour, we hear about a new UNESCO memorial that has brought recognition to that city’s role in slavery.

We also learn about members of a historic African American family in that city who were at the forefront of fighting slavery. The Bemans were prominent abolitionists and leaders in the Middletown’s free black community in the 19th century. 

Some residents today are hoping to see a new public school bear the name of that family. Are you a Middletown resident? How do you think your city should approach its history?

Wokandapix / Pixabay

As college students wrap up their fall semester, there is an expectation their professors are tenured. But three out of four faculty today aren’t eligible for tenure. And many are adjuncts, part-time faculty without strong benefits or job security.

What’s the human cost to this model of education? We find out and we want to hear from you.

Studio Incendo - P1111040 / Wikimedia Commons

For nearly six months, pro-democracy protesters have taken to the streets of Hong Kong. Some demonstrations have turned violent, as protesters clash with the police. 

This hour, we talk about the roots of this protest movement and learn more about the history of the territory's relationship with mainland China. We also hear from a reporter who sat down with a Hong Kong father and son, two men on opposite sides of the police-community divide.

image of fiber optics
Groman123 / Flickr

Most of us enjoy high-speed internet access. But in some areas in Connecticut, residents still don’t have broadband access. We hear about a recent court ruling that could change this.

Pixabay

If your smartphone screen cracks, do you get it fixed or trade it in for the latest model? Repairing items can be less wasteful, but there are also growing legal challenges for people whose business is to repair technology from smartphones to tractors.

This hour, we talk about the “Right to Repair” movement. It's a debate that pits concerns about users’ ability to modify their own items against big companies’ concerns about intellectual property rights.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

When you head to New York, do you ever take a break from the city and get lost on a trail in Central Park? This hour, we take a look at the life of the man behind that beloved and iconic city park: Connecticut native Frederick Law Olmsted.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

While the U.S. is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, states like Connecticut are still committed to reducing their carbon emissions. Offshore wind power is one way.

This hour, we take a look at proposals to bring wind energy to Connecticut. How will the Trump administration’s inaction on renewables impact this emerging industry in our region?

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

At sixteen years of age, Reginald Dwayne Betts went to prison for carjacking. Decades later, Betts is a celebrated poet and graduate of Yale Law School. But, like many ex-offenders, the consequences of those teenage mistakes have followed him for years.

Kishi Bashi playing violin outdoors
Max Ritter

Violinist and singer Kishi Bashi is Japanese American. His most recent musical project, Omoiyari, takes a look at the history of Japanese internment, when 120,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated, fueled by xenophobia during World War II.

This hour, we sit down with Kishi Bashi to talk about why he’s turning to history to better understand our present, and we ask him about his unique musical style.

Max Pixel

High-profile cases of sexual harassment in the workplace have made headlines in recent years, from Hollywood to Capitol Hill.

A new series from Hearst Connecticut Media finds workplace sexual harassment and abuse is pervasive across Connecticut. This hour, we talk with one of the reporters behind the series.

Debby Shapiro

Middletown today is known for its vibrant main street and the scenic grounds of Wesleyan University.

But the city began as a trading port on the Connecticut River, and from its founding, much of the wealth that came into that port was tied to the transatlantic slave trade. This hour, we hear about a new UNESCO memorial that has brought recognition to that city’s role in slavery.

We also learn about members of a historic African American family in that city who were at the forefront of fighting slavery. The Bemans were prominent abolitionists and leaders in the Middletown’s free black community in the 19th century. 

Some residents today are hoping to see a new public school bear the name of that family. Are you a Middletown resident? How do you think your city should approach its history?

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

In April, 18-year-old Anthony Jose Vega Cruz was driving in Wethersfield, Connecticut, on the way to dinner with his girlfriend. But he was stopped by police. He fled. The pursuit ended when an officer fatally shot Vega Cruz, known as "Chulo" to family and friends. 

This hour, we sit down with reporter, Vanessa de la Torre. She is the supervising producer of Collision Course, a new Connecticut Public documentary.

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