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.

Archway Publishing

It's frequently true that women who return to work after having children feel some concerns about the effect on the kids. 

Pamela Lenehan's book My Mother, My Mentor addresses those concerns squarely. 

Lenehan interviewed and surveyed many people--working mothers and their grown children--to hear their success stories, and a few cautionary tales of practices best avoided. 

Lenehan's bottom line: women, their children, and their careers can all thrive. 

National Park Service

Some parts of the world can afford to think that climate change is a "will happen this century" kind of thing.

But low-lying areas are already getting a taste of higher sea levels, and have to prepare for more.

Michael Furniss, retired from Humboldt State University, travels to such areas to help in education and planning. 

Courtesy of Cal Fire

You can be prepared, but few people can claim to be READY for a disaster. 

Disaster struck the city of Weed more than a year ago, in the form of a fire that burned 150 homes. 

Now the city is embarking on the Resilience Weed project, designed to get the town and its residents better prepared for similar or other disasters in the future.

Do you have a passion in your life?  Is it for your work, or a person, or a pastime? 

Because you CAN have a passion for life in general, says Gregg Levoy. 

Levoy is a speaker and writer, and the author of the recent book Vital Signs

It gets away from the idea of having a specific passion in life, and broadens the focus to a passion FOR life. 

Crater Lake webcam

December gave Southern Oregon a big jump start on winter snowpack.  The National Weather Service office reports that December snowfall at Crater Lake broke a record, with 196.7 inches of snow.  That edged out the old record of 196.0, set in 1948.


Happy New Year!  January 1st is an off-day for the Exchange staff; we offer notable interviews from the past for air today.  

At 8: we spent several decades trying very hard NOT to get into a war with the Soviet Union.  Then the USSR collapsed into Russia and several other countries, and the Cold War was over.  And historian Jon Wiener explains what happened next, in his book How We Forgot The Cold War.

At 9: Get 'em while they're cold: California Glaciers.  River-lover Tim Palmer, who lives in our region, goes in search of the sources of some of our major rivers, in a state where glaciers may be on the way out. 


On New Year's Eve, the Exchange crew gets ready to party.  Or to avoid parties.  We fill the time slot with re-issues of favorite interviews from the past.

At 8 today: Michael Hastings wrote a Rolling Stone article that got Gen. Stanley McChrystal fired from his job running the U.S. war in Afghanistan.  The article led to the book The Operators, and we replay our interview with Mr. Hastings.  

At 9: Psychologist Dr. Jonice Webb finds neglect in childhood nearly as damaging on abuse. 

Gary Halvorson/Oregon State Archives

It is Winter Whale Watching Week on the Oregon Coast once again... a chance to head for the shore to see signs of migrating whales passing by. 

Since we specialize in audio, we'll go beyond the whale WATCHING and move on to whale LISTENING. 

That's the work of a company called Biowaves, that records the sounds of whales and other ocean creatures for a variety of research purposes.

The last VENTSday of 2015 will be a momentous one. 

We'll ask listeners to provide their views on the top news stories of the year--near or far--and offer New Year Resolutions, for themselves or anyone else.

Want to lose weight, or want to provide resolutions for a presidential candidate or four?  Here's your chance.

VENTSday is our weekly forum for listeners--and listeners only--to sound off on topics in the news. 

Three Rivers Press

It's back to school in another key Exchange interview from the past. 

Our teacher is journalist Constance Hale, who whacks metaphorical hands with metaphorical rulers in her blog Sin and Syntax

The blog morphed into a book called Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wicked Good Prose. 

USDA Forest Service

It's a regular rhythm of the seasons: fish return to rivers at certain times of the year.

And laws change on January 1st of nearly every year. 

2016 is no different, and laws and regulations affecting fishing take effect in Oregon when the calendar changes. 

The Native Fish Society provided a good deal of input to the new rules, favoring some and opposing others. 


Our species is pretty good at making more people.  So far, we have not found ways to create new water. 

And that mismatch is becoming a problem around the planet, a problem the organization Dig Deep refers to as "water poverty". 

Dig Deep works to ensure clean water supplies to people experiencing water poverty, some of them right here in the United States. 

Select Books

A surprising number of Americans are willing to give up a little privacy for a little security.

Do NOT count John Whitehead among them.  Whitehead is a civil libertarian and an attorney who fights--sometimes in court--for civil liberties like privacy. 

He offers his take on what he sees as a growing police state in his book Government of Wolves

Maybe the Christmas carols are gone after Christmas Day, but there's a world of music still happening. 

Including a chamber music concert in Ashland tonight (Dec. 28) featuring the violinist Ariel Horowitz

She's not even out of college yet, and already electrifying audiences with her skill and virtuosity, in front of major orchestras. 

Hestia Biogas

About the time the winter gas or electric bill shows up, you may start wishing you had another form of fuel to access. 

And you might--from your own food scraps. 

Hestia Home Biogas offers products that convert compost--food scraps and garden waste--into natural gas. 

Almonroth/Wikimedia Commons

We close the year with some notable Exchange broadcasts of the past. 

In this hour, technology industry analyst William Meisel makes his case for computers that complement the work of humans, but do not replace it. 

Meisel's book is The Software Society.


The Christmas hiatus continues for the Exchange, with replacement programming taking up our time slot. 

At 8 AM: A Christmas Carol: Start your Christmas morning with the wonderful Oregon Stage Works production of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, featuring Caroline Shaffer, Doug Rowe, Liisa Ivary, Kevin Kennerly, Bob McCracken, and  JPR's own Don Mathews, with original music by Todd Barton.                    
At 9 AM: A Celtic Christmas: Tomáseen Foley's A Celtic Christmas recreates the joy and innocence of a night before Christmas in a farmhouse in the remote parish of Teampall an Ghleanntain in the west of Ireland, when the neighbors gather around the fire to grace the long wintry night with the laughter of their stories, the joy of their music, and dances they always said they were much too old for. This special holiday show features Foley's charming tale "Parcel from America," plus music from guitarist William Coulter, fiddler Deby Benton Grojean, and piper Todd Denman, as well as songs from Moira Smiley.

The Exchange takes a hiatus for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, substituting alternate programming for our usual time slots. 

At 8 AM: Innovation Hub's Holiday Special: Innovation Hub is heading home for the holidays. In this 1-hour program, fascinating guests explore the science and invention behind family traditions we love – from dinner table debates to department store trips.  
At 9 AM: Living on Earth: Hope for the Holidays: This year's Living on Earth holiday show presents tales from Celtic traditions, an African-American parable, and other stories all centered on the theme of hope.

Southern Oregon University

A presidential candidate calls for excluding people of one religion from entering the country.  College students insist on greater attention to minority needs, and succeed in convincing top campus leaders to resign. 

Diversity, or at least efforts to secure it, has been in the news a lot of late. 

Southern Oregon University President Roy Saigo took note.  Saigo was on the receiving end of racial exclusion in his own life, spending time in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans as a child. 

Now he urges non-exclusion and tolerance from his perch atop a college administration. 

Chronicle Books

Now THIS may be a first: after all the book interviews we've done, our first (we think) coloring book.  But we won't be talking about Batman or Minions or Casper The Friendly Ghost, because this coloring book is for adults. 

Steve McDonald is the creator of Fantastic Cities, a perusal of urban spaces that exist in the real world, plus a few that exist only in the artist's mind. 

Steve McDonald says the people who buy and color in his book will help him complete the art he started there. 

He joins to talk about the vision behind his project.