Laura Hautala

Laura Hautala is a freelance reporter based in Oakland.

Berkeley FIRST


The high cost of installing solar panels is a major obstacle for Bay Area residents wanting to go solar to reduce their carbon footprint. Even though photovoltaic solar panels more than pay for themselves eventually through lower energy bills, many … Read more

GGNRA Big Year Comes to a Close


What brings together professionals and amateur naturalists, butterfly specialists and evolutionary biologists, children and adults, all in the name of endangered species? Try the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Big Year for Endangered Species.

The Sea Scouts Rise Again


A derelict historic building on the Palo Alto waterfront is about to find new life: As the expanded home of the 36-year-old nonprofit Environmental Volunteers, which offers hands-on science learning to thousands of South Bay schoolchildren each year.

Getting to Work on Tennessee Hollow


The Presidio’s Tennessee Hollow watershed is steeped in history. And it’s a magnet for wildlife. Now, the Presidio Trust is embarking on an ambitious restoration project. Find out how you can take part.

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Fall is the Season When Garden Spiders Live Large


Look in your backyard right now, and there’s a decent chance you’ll see the ornate webs of our local orbweaver spiders. After feeding on insects all spring and summer, banded garden spiders and yellow garden spiders get big and very noticeable in fall, just before they lay their eggs and die.

Rebuilding for California Condors


The Ventana Wildlife Society, which leads California condor restoration efforts, is looking for public support after Big Sur’s massive wildfire wiped out its rearing and release facility.