Ali Withers

The Hawaii Island’s Mauna Kea mountain, the most sacred site to Native Hawaiians, is also a prized location to the astronomy community as a home to many powerful observatories. This summer, a community of resistance called Pu'uhonua o Pu'uhuluhulu formed on the access road that leads to the summit of Mauna Kea, where Native Hawaiian protesters aim to stop the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope or TMT. Protesters say they don’t oppose science and astronomy, but the further desecration of Mauna Kea. As celebrities like Native Hawaiian and “Aquaman” lead Jason Momoa join the ongoing demonstrations, Hawaiians are using the opportunity to ask similar questions to those astronomers hope to answer: Where did we come from? How did we get here?

What happens to a forestry community in the aftermath of a disaster? Hurricane Michael - a Category 5 storm - wiped out more than $1 billion worth of timber in the Florida Panhandle when it struck in October 2018, and nearly eight months later the community is still waiting for federal assistance to clean up and replant.

The U.S. government is clearing strips of land inside sensitive wildlife habitats for endangered animals, birds and monarch butterflies as part of President Trump's promised border wall between the United States and Mexico.

The beef and dairy industry in California generates 50 percent of the state's output of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The state is now requiring the beef and dairy industry to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

In West Texas, an oil boom is creating a major problem for producers and locals alike: wasting natural gas by burning or flaring it, which sends billions of cubic feet of CO2 into the atmosphere. Not only does the flaring cost the industry money, but the release of gases damages the climate and could be toxic to those living near the fracking rigs.

Universal basic income—UBI or guaranteed income—is gaining momentum in the U.S. with pilot projects in Chicago and Stockton, California, garnering a lot of attention. A new pilot that just kicked off is in Jackson, Mississippi, where organizers will give out $1,000 a month for 12 months to 16 African-American mothers with an average income of $11,000 a year. But, the “free money” comes at a cost: as these moms' household incomes are boosted by the extra cash, their government assistance benefits immediately change.


Almost 700,000 adults in America have received some kind of therapy designed to change their same-sex attraction. Gay conversion or reparative therapy is currently banned in 14 states and the District of Columbia for people under 18. An openly gay California lawmaker decided to take this law a step further.

Idaho's new trespassing law in the American West expands the rights of property owners to keep people off their land, in a state where private property is one of the core values.

Sarah Haeder was raised in a religious family that brought her along when protesting abortion clinics. When Haeder was in college, she started questioning her anti-abortion upbringing. After terminating a pregnancy in her mid-20s at a clinic in North Dakota, she decided she wanted to help women seeking safe abortions.

A steady stream of thousands of asylum seekers have been arriving at illegal border crossings between the U.S. and Canada since President Trump won the election. Taxi drivers in Plattsburgh, New York, know this journey well, as they compete for fares for those fleeing America and shuttle riders north to an uncertain future in the hands of the Canadian authorities.

Scotland's centuries-old castles are proving vulnerable to the threat of global warming. Rising temperatures and sea levels coupled with an increase in the amount of precipitation are having a measurable impact on these majestic structures. Now, castle dwellers and conservationists are preparing for a different kind of battle. New to Left Field?

Denmark has been consistently ranked in the World Happiness Report among the top three happiest countries in the world, owing, in part, to the presence of a stable government, access to free high-quality education and health care, and relatively low income inequality.

In an effort to fend off the consequences of overfishing, fishermen in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, are turning their sights to a new bumper crop of icebergs-or, speed bumps, as they call them-that are drifting south from Greenland and luring boatloads of tourists.

Following President Trump's shrinking of the protected areas in Utah's Bears Ears National Monument, speculation grew of a land rush and a move to open more uranium mines in the area. But the prospectors hoping to get rich quick never came.

NBC Left Field drove out to Utah's Bears Ears National Monument, and learned the many steps involved when staking a parcel of land for a potential uranium mine.

Sweden has been rapidly moving toward a cashless economy. Nowadays, most banks in Sweden no longer handle cash transactions, and Swedes are using a bank-owned phone app called Swish to send and receive payments in all aspects of their lives.

Mastercard wants Mexico City to join major cities across the globe in taking its first step toward cashless public transportation. The company will introduce a contactless, transit-enabled debit card for Mexico City's Metro, allowing riders to use a tap-and-go payment method tied to their bank account.

The next time you're in a public space, look around you: steel bollards, large concrete blocks, giant flower pots. These barricades are everywhere, and they're meant to provide security from vehicle terrorist attacks, like the recent ones in New York City, Nice, France, or Barcelona, Spain.

A subspecies of reindeer-wild Mountain Caribou-can still be found in the beautiful Selkirk Mountains in Washington and Idaho. But, the last herd is down to just 11 caribou. Conservation efforts are taking drastic and invasive measures to save them before they disappear from the lower 48.

A unique Montana law allows military couples to be married by proxy, with two strangers as stand-ins. Tom Kennedy of Armed Forces Proxy Marriages arranges 500 marriages a year from his Montana home between couples who are deployed or about to be deployed and want to get their affairs in order before they're shipped out.

Amber Sullins is the chief meteorologist at ABC15 News in Phoenix and her forecast mostly call for sunshine. So, she makes the weather a little more interesting with some cold, hard science.

Citizen scientists who voluntarily collect and record data on bats, birds, frogs or other animals, have a new tool from a Boston-based company, Wildlife Acoustics, for finding bats.

SolarCity, America's largest manufacturer and leaser of solar panels, was welcomed into Nevada with economic incentives. But then Nevada's Public Utilities Commission started charging homes with solar panels more to use the public grid. This is bigger than a fight over solar energy - Nevada Energy, is part of Warren Buffett's business empire, and Elon Musk is behind SolarCity.

David Hall is a Mormon engineer who's spent over 40 years developing his plans for a new high-tech high-density futuristic community, based off drawings from the early LDS history. Now he's started to purchase land around a Joseph Smith memorial in Vermont, and the seventh-generation locals are not embracing his vision.

At the luxurious Four Seasons Hualalai on Hawaii's Big Island, a group of homeowners have filed a class-action lawsuit against the resort for imposing new fees for some guests and renters.

Laura Wasser and her father Dennis Wasser are Hollywood's top divorce attorneys, representing just about every A-list celebrity you can think of, from Clint Eastwood to Tom Cruise, from Britney Spears to Kim Kardashian.

The women of Senegal are entering an unprecedented age of political empowerment. A breakthrough law doubled the number of women in the country's parliament, far surpassing the United States' female representation in Congress. Women all over the country are mobilizing to meet the new opportunity head on.