Geoffrey Riley

News Director | Jefferson Exchange Host

Geoffrey Riley began practicing journalism in the State of Jefferson nearly three decades ago, as a reporter and anchor for a Medford TV station. It was about the same time that he began listening to Jefferson Public Radio, and thought he might one day work there. He was right.

Geoff came to JPR as a backup host on The Jefferson Exchange in late 2000, and he assumed the full-time host job at the beginning of 2010. The two hours of the Exchange allow him to join our listeners in exploring issues both large and small, local and global. In addition to hosting The Exchange, Geoff oversees JPR’s news department as its News Director.

Geoff is a New York native, with stints in broadcast news in Missouri, Alabama, and Wisconsin before his arrival in Oregon. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Christopher A. Michaels/U.S. Navy

"Does anybody here know CPR?"  It's a scary question to ask, and it apparently presents some challenges to the person who can answer YES. 

A recent study shows that people who know CPR are more likely to give it to a man than a woman. 

So the aftermath of a heart attack can be different, based on gender. 

Audrey Blewer led the study at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Shaik Basha is a physician with Providence in Medford. 

Southern Oregon Digital Archives

The height of the hippie years in America coincided with the peak years of logging in the country. 

And those trends came together in forest replanting efforts staffed by people who came to the Oregon woods to get away from "the establishment." 

Robert Hirning was part of one of those, based in Takilma, called "Green Side Up." 

The story is kept in SODA, the Southern Oregon Digital Archives at Southern Oregon University. 

Christian Ferrer, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Think about some of the most divisive issues in our country, and what's at the heart of them. 

Abortion?  Procreation caused by sex.  Gay rights?  All about who you have sex with. 

You get the picture: sex and attitudes towards it figure prominently in our national debates. 

R. Marie Griffith tracks the debates back a century in Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics

Stillwaterising, CC0,

We forget which movie character said "I'm addicted to breathing." 

We all can relate, but Andy Lovering at the University of Oregon understands better than most people HOW we make use of the air we breathe. 

Dr. Lovering runs the Cardiopulmonary & Respiratory Physiology Laboratory, examining issues like how people live well at very high altitudes, and what breathing issues show up later in life for people who were born prematurely. 

Dr. Lovering is our guest in this month's edition of cUriOus: Research Meets Radio. 

Santeri Viinamäki, CC BY-SA 4.0,

This time of the year features some colorful characters: Santa Claus, various elves, abundant snow-people, and the Debt Monster.  You may not know that last one--by name, anyway. 

But Debt Monster is the term used by Mark Brauer, a financial planner and the director of the Prosperity Center at Goodwill in Eugene. 

He gives talks about avoiding the clutches of the Debt Monster, which may be especially helpful in this season of high consumer spending.

You can start an argument in America talking about Muslims living here.  But facts are facts: some Americans are Muslim, plain and simple. 

And anyone growing up Muslim in America has some tricky balancing acts to maneuver. 

Sociologist John O'Brien explains in his book Keeping It Halal: The Everyday Lives of Muslim American Teenage Boys.  Through the book, we get to meet young people facing competing cultural demands. 


The U.S. House passed HR 2936 in early November, the Resilient Federal Forests Act. 

It is designed to get more people working in the woods and more trees out, all in the name of healthier forests and communities. 

Environmental groups are not buying.  The Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center calls it "The Clearcut Logging Bill." 

The Senate has yet to take up the measure, co-sponsored by Oregon 2nd District Representative Greg Walden. 

George Sexton, Conservation Director at KS Wild, is our guest.

Life can be hard on anyone, but just imagine trying to navigate daily life while dealing with mental illness. 

People consider and commit suicide when they just can't see a way to a better life. 

Southern Oregon Compass House in Medford takes up the issue of suicide in the latest chapter of Compass Radio. 

We hear the voices of a clubhouse member, a mental health expert, and Executive Director Elizabeth Hazlewood. 


"Love is all around us," an old song assures us.  Insert your preferred lyrics on love here... there are LOTS of them. 

Corvallis therapist Linda Carroll explores love and its expressions in her work... that led to a book called Love Cycles: The Five Essential Stages of Lasting Love

She joined us in October 2014, and we revisit the interview here. 

BLM/Public Domain

The weeks of smoke and fire over the summer did more than torch some trees.  They also touched off a renewed debate about the best way to manage forests so that fires are less of an issue and less destructive. 

Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon's 2nd Congressional District helped pass the "Resilient Federal Forests Act" in the House (Senate action is pending). 

One of its features: a mechanism to pre-empt appeals and get salvage logging done faster. 

Active management has the support of Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities, an advocacy group.

Jim Richmond/Wikimedia

California was once home to an estimated 500,000 elk. 

The number is quite a bit smaller now, maybe 13,000, but elk--in three subspecies--are on the rebound, and have been for years. 

California Fish and Wildlife now has its first draft plan for managing elk across the state, and it is available for public review and comment until late January. 

Joe Hobbs is an environmental scientist for CF&W. 

Peter Edelman has been focused on poverty in America for a very long time. 

He's one of the two Clinton Administration staffers who resigned in protest when the president signed a welfare reform bill in 1996. 

America is hard on poor people, a situation Edelman covers in his book Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America

Examples abound: Ferguson, Missouri, where fines and fees were used to fund city government, is just one. 

Andreas Trepte, CC BY-SA 2.5,

It's not the most pleasant beach experience, picking up dead birds.  But it's an important task, one that can shed light on the health and mortality challenges to birds that live on and near the ocean. 

And it's not just for scientists: COASST, the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, uses trained citizen scientists to collect data on seabirds for use by credentialed scientists. 

And yes, there's more to it than picking up bird corpses. 

Wikimedia Commons user order_242

You've heard plenty about research into the use of stem cells to heal humans. 

But our pets, too?  Yep... stem cells show just as much promise in treating the ailments of dogs as in people. 

Animal Cell Therapies is running trials, with the help of vet clinics like West Ridge Animal Hospital in Klamath Falls. 

ITU-R.Farrell, AI for GOOD Global Summit/Wikimedia Commons

"Another cup of coffee, ma'am?"  Stop and ask yourself if it would make a difference to you who asked that: person or machine. 

Because those days may be coming; we're already saying "OK Google" to our phones, and some of us are making requests of Siri and Alexa. 

Artificial Intelligence will play a prominent role in the future, and Amir Husain suggests we get ready.  NOT by either popping champagne corks or hiding under the bed, but by understanding the possibilities of AI and humans side-by-side. 

Husain, an AI expert, is the author of The Sentient Machine: The Coming Age of Artificial Intelligence


Language and pronunciation are constant issues in the radio business.  If we call Yreka "Eureka," we're not just wrong, we're off by 200 miles (by road). 

But even we can't say for sure that there's a dialect unique to Southern Oregon. 

Aside from place names, are there differences in how we say things from, say, Southern California? 

That's what Anna Kristina Moroz is researching in her work at the University of Washington


First came the grapes, then came the pot.  Southern Oregon agriculture switched many properties from pears to wine grapes in recent years. 

Now the hot cash crop is cannabis.  And there's already evidence of disgruntlement about marijuana's possible effect on nearby vineyards, concerns about flavors and odors of cannabis creeping into the wine grapes. 

Maureen Battistella built the "Wine of Southern Oregon" collection at Southern Oregon University; Mark Wisnovsky runs Valley View Winery and grows hemp for CBD; Katherine Bryan runs Deer Creek Vineyards and grows cannabis as Bryan Family Farm.

Public Domain

"I am not a physicist and this is not a physics book." 

That's the statement from David Schwartz, the son of a physicist and the author of a new biography of Enrico Fermi, The Last Man Who Knew Everything

Schwartz figured it was time for a new biography, because Fermi's work (he died in 1954) continues to influence physics and its practitioners today. 

Tim McCabe, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Public Domain,

Two things are generally true about conventional agriculture: 1) it takes people, 2) it takes pesticides. 

So there are situations where people are exposed to pesticides when they work on farms and orchards. 

Oregon OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) adopts new rules to protect farmworkers and people who handle pesticides, effective sometime next year.   We explore the rules and the reactions to them: Michael Wood from Oregon OSHA visits. 

We still have a love affair with our cars and trucks in America.  Until they start acting up... then the love begins to feel conditional. 

Zach Edwards is in the business of fixing that relationship through car repair; he's the boss at Ashland Automotive

And he joins us once a month for a segment we call The Squeaky Wheel, a chance to talk about car car issues and swap stories.