Tom Banse

Regional Reporter

Tom Banse covers business, environment, public policy, human interest and national news across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding. Tom's stories can be heard during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Before taking his current beat, Tom covered state government and the Washington Legislature for 12 years. During the early 1990s, he worked in the Seattle bureau of United Press International. He got his start in radio at WCAL–FM, a public station in southern Minnesota. Reared in Seattle, Tom graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota with a degree in American Studies. In 1996, he spent two months reporting from Bonn and Berlin, Germany on an Arthur F. Burns Fellowship. In 1999, he traversed the globe to cover the Pacific Rim (Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan) on a Jefferson Fellowship.

When not sifting through press releases, listening to lobbyists, or driving lonely highways, Tom enjoys exploring the Olympic Peninsula backcountry and cooking dinner with his wife and friends. Tom's secret ambition is to take six months off work and travel to a faraway place beyond the reach of email.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute announced Monday that trace amounts of radioactivity from Fukushima have been detected off the West Coast.

More swimmers in the Northwest are trading the comfort of the pool for a workout in open water.

Wildfires scorched nearly 1.5 million acres in Oregon, Washington and Idaho this year. And with increased demand for timber from lumber mills, there is a growing market for scorched trees.

A woman from the central Oregon Coast was arraigned in Lincoln County Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon on charges of murder and manslaughter in the death of her son.

Growing populations of wild horses in the inland Northwest are creating headaches for federal land managers. Wild and feral horse herds overrun tribal lands in our region too.

An Oregon chef is asking if you have the guts to celebrate World Tripe Day on Friday.

The long-range weather outlook from the Climate Prediction Center gives high probabilities for a warmer and drier than average winter across the Northwest.

From a temperature standpoint, autumn is off to an unusually mild start across the Northwest.

Job growth stalled during September in Oregon and Washington according to new numbers from the respective state employment departments.

The old saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words." That was the reaction of a U.S. Forest Service researcher when he rediscovered a trove of landscape panoramas called the Osborne Panoramas.

Managers at Insitu, a military drone maker headquartered in Bingen, Washington, say they see great potential for civil and commercial uses for their best known aircraft.

When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled plans for aerial drone delivery of packages last year, many observers dismissed the concept as science fiction or pie-in-the-sky.

Both Oregon and Washington’s state forestry departments had hoped to try out drones this summer to provide reconnaissance at wildfire scenes. But neither firefighting agency managed to pull it off. Now both plan to try again next year.

A drone test range in northeastern Oregon launched its first flight Tuesday.

It may be difficult to eat our way out of the invasive species problem, but it can be satisfying to try.

People along the Oregon Coast ran for their lives on Sunday to escape an imaginary tsunami.

On September 28, several hundred people are expected to gather at a vineyard near Salem, Oregon, to chew on the problem of invasive species.

The Western Hockey League opens its regular season next weekend. The players you'll see on the ice are mostly teenagers. That fact has state labor investigators asking if the four Washington teams are breaking child labor laws.

Remotely monitored video cameras are replacing some human fire lookouts on mountaintops around the Northwest.

The Army Surgeon General Thursday suspended the commander in charge of Army hospitals in 20 western states.

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