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Cassandra Profita / OPB

Job Title

Environment reporter based in Portland at Oregon Public Broadcasting


Cassandra has been immersed in Columbia River issues since she started reporting for The Daily Astorian newspaper in 2006. She's followed an array of fossil fuel project proposals along the river: Liquefied natural gas imports, then LNG exports, followed by coal exports and crude oil shipping. Meanwhile, she's kept close tabs on salmon recovery efforts, dam management and fisheries. As OPB's Ecotrope blogger, Cassandra added a focus on urban sustainability to her beat with posts on everyday pollutants, bee die-offs, electric cars, urban chickens and even a homeless goat herd.

She grew up in Chicago and earned a degree in journalism at the University of Missouri. She's a fellow with the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources and a recipient of the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environment Reporting Award of Special Merit.

What I cover

Urban sustainability and the environment in Oregon and Southwest Washington


Mountains and fresh seafood.


Blisters and not-so-fresh fish

Favorite Story From The Field

When I was a reporter at The Daily A, I went out on a charter boat to cover the salmon season. The captain's name was Butch Smith, and after I caught two Chinook "king" salmon in a row – my first ever – he started calling me "the king killer." I thought that was cool, so I worked it into the story I wrote about the trip. Just for fun, I also filed a photo of me holding up my two kings. Then, after deadline, I dashed out of the office to chase another story and didn't get a chance to see the paper before it was published. I came back to the office later in the day, and stopped dead in my tracks. There I was, splashed across the top of the front page of the paper, holding up my two salmon under a screaming headline: "Cassandra the 'king killer' strikes twice." I was mortified, but as I made my way around town that day, it was clear the story was a smashing success. Astorians loved it!


email | desk 503-293-1936 | cell 503-338-9581 | Twitter | [Google+

Recent Articles:

Portland Regional Government Approves Climate Strategy

Dec. 18, 2014

Appeals Court Finds No Bias In Commissioner's Oregon LNG Vote

Dec. 18, 2014

Scientists Report Rare Sightings Of Tropical Species Off West Coast

Dec. 17, 2014

Carbon Tax Could Cut Oregon Emissions With Little Economic Harm, Study Finds

Dec. 8, 2014

Fund Approved To Help Columbia River Gillnetters When Fishing Rules Change

Dec. 5, 2014

Defense Spending Bill Includes Lots Of Land Deals

Dec. 3, 2014

Oregon Caves To Get More Protection As Bill Moves Through Congress

Dec. 3, 2014

LNG Project On North Oregon Coast Ready For Public To Have Its Say

Nov. 28, 2014

5 Ways To Reduce Your Thanksgiving Food Waste

Nov. 26, 2014

3 Ways Northwest Companies Are Turning Food Waste Into Energy

Nov. 19, 2014

No One Said Curbside Composting Would Be Easy

Nov. 18, 2014

Northwest Cities Show Food Waste Isn't A Total Loss

Nov. 17, 2014

Research Suggests Sea Lions Are Eating More Columbia River Salmon

Nov. 7, 2014

SolarWorld To Expand, Add 200 Jobs At Hillsboro Plant

Oct. 30, 2014

Portland Bike Share Company Moving To New York Under New Owners

Oct. 28, 2014

Oregon Divers Find Hope In Thousands Of Baby Sea Stars

Oct. 22, 2014

Oregon On Track To Begin Wolf Delisting Process

Oct. 16, 2014

Wyoming Offers Northwest Tribal Leaders A Free Trip To Coal Country

Oct. 6, 2014

Two Challenges To Oregon's Coal Export Permit Denial Move Forward

Oct. 2, 2014

Oil Spill Task Force Braces For More Crude By Rail

Oct. 1, 2014

Why The Northwest Is the New Frontier For Geothermal Energy

Sept. 29, 2014

Lakeview Biofuel Plant Proposal Raises Air Quality Concerns

Sept. 25, 2014

Portland Wins International Climate Leadership Award

Sept. 23, 2014

Oil Train Protesters Block Tracks To Oregon Shipping Terminal

Sept. 18, 2014

Study Links Flame Retardants In The Columbia To Household Laundry

Sept. 17, 2014

Coal Export Backers Appeal Permit Denial For Columbia River Project

Sept. 8, 2014

Why It's Harder To Create Wilderness Now, 50 Years After Landmark Law

Sept. 4, 2014

Biologists Discover Landlocked Chinook Salmon In Oregon

Aug. 22, 2014

Oregon Approves Subsidies For Oil Transport, Not For Coal

Aug. 22, 2014

Oregon Denies Permit For Controversial Coal Export Dock

Aug. 18, 2014

Oregon To Decide On Controversial Coal Export Dock Permit Monday

Aug. 15, 2014

The Perilous Life Of A Professional Honeybee

Aug. 11, 2014

Report: Banned Toxic PCB Still Showing Up In Everyday Products

Aug. 7, 2014

New Rule: No Bee-Harming Pesticides, GMO Crops On U.S. Wildlife Refuges

Aug. 4, 2014

5 Safety Concerns With Shipping Oil By Water

July 31, 2014

Turning Plastics To Oil In Portland? Maybe Later

July 29, 2014

New Bill Pushes For $50 Million To Restore Columbia River

July 28, 2014

Oregon Oil Train Safety Report Calls For More Rail Inspectors, Fees

July 25, 2014

Seattle Considers Fining Residents For Failing To Compost

July 24, 2014

Columbia Sportswear Fined For Failing To Label Clothes Treated With Pesticide

July 22, 2014

A Likely Exception To No-Pesticide Rule: Invasive Crazy Ants Attacking Baby Birds

July 16, 2014

Feds Phase Out Bee-Harming Pesticides In Northwest Wildlife Refuges

July 15, 2014

Poll: Most Northwest Residents Support Oil Trains But Don't Know Much About The Issue

July 9, 2014

EarthFix Conversation: Is There Hope For Salmon In Northwest Cities?

July 1, 2014

Appeals Board Finds Bias, Orders County To Re-Vote On LNG Pipeline

June 27, 2014

Field Notes: Crawling Through A Cormorant Colony

June 13, 2014

Corps Plans To Kill Nearly 16,000 Cormorants Nesting In Columbia River

June 12, 2014

Controversial Crude Oil And Coal Export Dock In Line For Oregon Subsidies

June 11, 2014

Video: Black Bear Captured In Northeast Portland

June 11, 2014

Wyoming Governor Visits Washington To Promote Coal Exports

June 3, 2014

Vancouver City Council Votes 5-2 To Oppose Northwest's Largest Oil Terminal

June 3, 2014

Can You Taste An Old Growth Forest In This Beer?

June 2, 2014

Oregon Delays Decision On Morrow Pacific Coal Export Dock

May 30, 2014

Intel Agrees To Test Air Pollution, Analyze Health Risks At Oregon Facilities

May 29, 2014

New Rules Make It Easier To Log Damaged Federal Forestland

May 27, 2014

Scientists Discover California Brown Pelicans Nesting In The Northwest

May 21, 2014

Central Oregon Grapples With Rising Oil Train Safety Risks

May 19, 2014

Groups Aim To Put GMO Food Labeling Measure On The Ballot In Oregon

May 15, 2014

Oregon's Wandering Wolf May Have Met His Mate

May 12, 2014

Opponents Challenge Coast Guard LNG Approval

May 9, 2014

States Put No Limits On Use Of Portable Classrooms

May 8, 2014

Is My Portable Classroom Making Me Sick?

May 8, 2014

Environmental Group Appeals Court Ruling On Mount Hood Logging

May 7, 2014

Report: Climate Change Likely To Reduce Hydropower In The Northwest

May 6, 2014

Sea Star Wasting Syndrome Arrives In Oregon

May 5, 2014

Advocates Applaud Less Toxic Pesticide Use At Oregon Refuge

May 5, 2014

Kitzhaber To Feds: Pick Up The Pace On Oil Train Safety

May 5, 2014

Coal Export Developer Challenges Tribal Claims To Fishing Sites On The Columbia

May 2, 2014

Oregon Oil Terminal Owner Commits To Using Safer Rail Cars

April 30, 2014

Oregon Leaders Question Oil Train Safety Officials At Briefing

April 29, 2014

Kitzhaber: 'It Is Time Once And For All To Say No To Coal Exports'

April 25, 2014

Industry Ponders How To Pay For Electric Car Charging Without Stimulus Money

April 23, 2014

Investigators Link Bee Die-Off To Unauthorized Hives In Oregon

April 22, 2014

Lawsuit Challenges Sale Of Elliott State Forest Parcel

April 21, 2014

Sportman Group To Picket Native Fish Advocates' Banquet

April 11, 2014

Neighbors Press Precision Castparts To Cut Air Pollution

April 11, 2014

Propane And Butane Export Terminal Proposed For Longview, Wash.

April 10, 2014

The Wetland That Saved Highway 101 From Flooding

April 8, 2014

New Rules For Commercial Composting In Portland: Food Only

April 7, 2014

Elected Officials Ask Oregon Governor To Deny Coal Export Permit

April 2, 2014

Court Orders Agencies To Consider Fewer Hatchery Fish For The Elwha

March 31, 2014

Oregon Company Defies State Order To Stop Work In Salmonberry River

March 28, 2014

Would Oregon Forestry Rules Have Stopped Logging Above The Oso Landslide?

March 27, 2014

Study Tallies Economic Risks Of Oregon Coal Export Project

March 20, 2014

Oregon Says Coal Export Project Will Need To Lease More Land

March 17, 2014

Judge Reduces Hatchery Releases On Sandy River

March 17, 2014

You Know Your Car's Fuel Efficiency. What About Your House?

March 14, 2014

EarthFix Conversation: Using Environmental Law To Combat Climate Change

March 13, 2014

Why Northwest Mills Want China To Buy Lumber Instead Of Logs

March 6, 2014

Port Of Portland: We'll Pass On Crude Oil By Rail ... For Now

March 4, 2014

EarthFix Conversations: Former NASA Scientist Hansen's Climate Change Solutions

March 4, 2014

Corps Announces The Scope Of Longview Coal Export Review

Feb. 18, 2014

Wyden Confronts Critics Of His Oregon Logging Bill

Feb. 6, 2014

Green Light For Floating Wind Farm Off Southern Oregon Coast

Feb. 6, 2014

Oregon Minnow Is The First Fish Recovered From Endangered Species List

Feb. 3, 2014

Oregon Governor Seeks Review Of Oil Train Safety

Feb. 1, 2014

Wyden, Merkley Take Railroads To Task Over Oil Train Safety

Jan. 24, 2014

Methanol Plant Proposal Draws Support, Questions In Clatskanie

Jan. 23, 2014

Build Your Own Garden Box With Recycled Plastic Lego-like Blocks

Jan. 17, 2014

Group Calls For Expanding Killer Whale Habitat Protection

Jan. 16, 2014

Power Planners Ponder The Northwest Without A Nuclear Plant

Jan. 14, 2014

Oregon Proposes Removing Hatchery Fish From Wild Fish Areas

Jan. 14, 2014

Oregon Governor Gives Vision For Federal Forest Management

Jan. 9, 2014

Report Ranks The “Dazzling Dozen” States With The Most Solar Power

Jan. 7, 2014

Oregon Bill Would Limit Household Pesticide Use To Protect Bees

Jan. 3, 2014

Under Pressure, General Mills Makes GMO-Free Cheerios

Jan. 3, 2014

Conservation Group Turns Christmas Trees Into Salmon Habitat

Dec. 27, 2013

Northwest Teams Lead A Growing 'Green Sports' Movement

Dec. 19, 2013

Portland Turns To Crowdsourcing To Pay For Solar Power

Dec. 3, 2013

Displaced By Development, Urban Goat Herd Needs A New Home

Nov. 27, 2013

Turning Deep-Fried Thanksgiving Turkey Grease Into Biofuel

Nov. 22, 2013

Oregon Restricts Pesticides Responsible For Bee Die-offs

Nov. 22, 2013

Emergency Responders Prepare For Higher Risk Of Oil Spills In The Northwest

Nov. 19, 2013

Comments On Longview Coal Export Project Reach 195,000

Nov. 18, 2013

For Those Who Want To Avoid GMO Foods, There's An App For That

Nov. 15, 2013

How Public Officials Manage To Review 200,000 Comments On Coal Exports

Nov. 14, 2013

Northwest Governors Face Legislative Roadblocks On Climate Agreement

Nov. 4, 2013

Feasting On 'Trash Fish' For Sustainability

Nov. 1, 2013

Hundreds Attend First State Hearing On Vancouver Oil Terminal

Oct. 29, 2013

Oregon And Washington Governors Agree To New Controls On Carbon Emissions

Oct. 28, 2013

Public Scoping Meeting For Vancouver Port Oil Terminal

Oct. 25, 2013

Goats In Boats: An Answer To Invasive Species On Islands?

Oct. 25, 2013

Port Of Vancouver Votes Again To Approve Controversial Oil Terminal Lease

Oct. 22, 2013

How Hotshot Oregon Businesses Are Responding To Climate Change

Oct. 15, 2013

Time To Cast Your Vote For The Greenest Restaurant

Oct. 11, 2013

New Plans For Oregon Mill Site Restore Public Access To One Of The Country's Largest Waterfalls

Oct. 10, 2013

Longview Coal Export Project Hearing Draws A Thousand People

Oct. 9, 2013

Oregon Counties Plan For The Health Impacts Of Climate Change

Oct. 9, 2013

Photographer Zooms In On Adorable But Endangered Baby Animals

Oct. 7, 2013

New Sportfishing Fees Will Help Move Gill Nets Off Columbia River

Oct. 4, 2013

Activists Regroup After Ore. Lawmakers' Trump Local Push To Restrict GM Crops

Oct. 3, 2013

Environmental Groups Sue To Overturn Vancouver Oil Terminal Lease

Oct. 2, 2013

Hotter Summers Mean More Health Risks In Urban Heat Islands

Oct. 1, 2013

Citizens Turn Out To Learn About Vancouver Oil Project

Sept. 30, 2013

What Does A 'Green Restaurant' Look Like To You?

Sept. 20, 2013

Public's Turn To Speak on Longview Coal Export Plan Comes Amid Market Doubts

Sept. 16, 2013

Turn Your Reject Plastics Into Oil This Weekend In Portland

Sept. 13, 2013

Intel Reveals Unreported Emissions Of Fluoride Air Pollution In Oregon

Sept. 13, 2013

Army Corps Shrinks Endangered Species Review For Columbia River Coal Export Project

Sept. 5, 2013

Hundreds Gather In Portland For Conference On Climate Change Science

Sept. 5, 2013

Portland Manufacturer Challenges Its Ranking As Top Toxic Polluter

Aug. 29, 2013

Wildlife Refuge In Oregon Will Allow Pesticide Use For Mosquito Control

Aug. 27, 2013

Sunken Vessel On Columbia May Be Spilling Oil

Aug. 27, 2013

Wash. Court Dismisses Gillnetters' Lawsuit

Aug. 26, 2013

Field Notes: These Chefs Make A Mean Feral Swine Pork Chop

Aug. 26, 2013

Portland-Based Company Tops List Of Toxic Air Polluters

Aug. 22, 2013

Restored Marsh Breeds Swarms Of Mosquitoes On Oregon's South Coast

Aug. 20, 2013

Activists Deploy Underwater Camera To Research Fish Habitat

Aug. 20, 2013

Clackamas: Helping Fish Up The River, Reintroducing A Salmon Predator

Aug. 14, 2013

Clackamas River Collects Drinking Water And Pollutants

Aug. 13, 2013

EPA Says Oregon Needs To Change Water Temperature Rules

Aug. 9, 2013

EarthFix Conversations: Is Climate Change Making Us Sick?

Aug. 8, 2013

Oregon Zoo Polar Bears Help Climate Change Researchers

July 30, 2013

Vancouver Oil Terminal Lease Would Allow Exports

July 29, 2013

Country's First Tiny House Hotel In Portland Gets A Grand (Or Petite?) Opening

July 26, 2013

Port of Vancouver Approves Biggest Oil-Train Project In NW

July 23, 2013

SW Washington Port Set For Crude Oil Vote

July 19, 2013

Hundreds Turn Out For Hearing On Columbia River Coal Plan

July 9, 2013

Xerces Society: Wilsonville Bees Died From Pesticide Poisoning

June 20, 2013

Columbia River Pilot Sees No Extra Risks With Coal

March 4, 2013

Coal Export Critics Ask: What About Pollution From Trains And Barges?

Dec. 7, 2012

Kitzhaber Might Not Like It, But Voters Could Still Ban Gill Nets

Oct. 29, 2012

Clean Water: The Next Act - New Pollutants

Sept. 12, 2012

Keeping Drugs Out of Northwest Waters

Sept. 12, 2012

Polluting The Water With Toothpaste, Shampoo, And Drugs

Sept. 12, 2012

Doctors Urge The State To Re-Evaluate The Health Risks Of Coal

July 20, 2012

Columbia River Towns May Team Up To Export Coal

July 9, 2012

Scientists: Columbia's Needs To Go Beyond Salmon Recovery

June 1, 2012

New Waste Permit Under Review For Hanford Nuclear Site

May 16, 2012

Oregon Governor Wants Power Users To Help Meet Clean Energy Goals

May 10, 2012

Kennedy's Anti-Coal Message Draws A Portland Crowd

May 7, 2012

Will An Industrial Washington Town Embrace The Coal Export Industry?

May 7, 2012

Oregon Utility Vetoes St. Helens Coal Export Terminal

May 2, 2012

Solar Workers' Job Losses Blamed On Chinese Competition

May 1, 2012

Bottle Bill Expansion Helps Grow Recycling In Oregon

April 27, 2012

Kitzhaber Calls For Environmental Impact Study Of Coal Exports

April 25, 2012

Oyster Decline Linked To Ocean Acidification

April 12, 2012

Port Orford Joins Fight To Preserve Fishing

April 11, 2012

Reaction Mixed To Coal Prospects In St. Helens

April 6, 2012

EarthFix Conversations: The Economic Pull Of Coal Exports In The Northwest

April 3, 2012

Big Pipe Project Holds Up Under Record March Rains

April 2, 2012

Car2Go Launches In Portland Saturday

March 30, 2012

In Tillamook: Turning (More) Cow Poop Into Power

March 29, 2012

Salazar Sets Voluntary Rules Protecting Wildlife From Wind Farms

March 23, 2012

Oregon Delays Forest-Spraying Pesticide Investigation

March 21, 2012

How To Turn Imported Food Into Local Food

March 9, 2012

U.S. Solar Manufacturers Struggling With Chinese Competition

March 2, 2012

Pacific Power Announces Major Solar Project

March 1, 2012

A Plant, Fish And Energy Farm Under One Greenhouse Roof

Feb. 27, 2012

Company Applies For Permit To Export Coal From Longview Port

Feb. 24, 2012

Recycling The Televisions of Super Bowls Past

Feb. 3, 2012

Feds Invest In $390 Million Biofuel Refinery In Oregon

Jan. 26, 2012

Chemicals From Geothermal Project Concerns Doctor In Bend

Jan. 24, 2012

Scientists On the Watch for Bat-Killing Fungus

Jan. 19, 2012

Why the U.S. is Running Out of Organic Milk

Jan. 16, 2012

Depaving Portland: Will Your Driveway Be Next?

Jan. 11, 2012

Forestry Board: State Should Boost Logging Rules On Streams

Jan. 6, 2012

OR-7 Gets a Name, Portrait and First Public Photo

Jan. 5, 2012

In Pendleton: Newfound Well Power

Dec. 30, 2011

A Northwest Feast of Seven (Sustainable) Fishes

Dec. 20, 2011

What It Takes To Grow Organic Christmas Trees

Dec. 15, 2011

10 Shades of Green Christmas Trees

Dec. 13, 2011

Environmental Group Sues To Protect 'Forage Fish'

Dec. 13, 2011

Imnaha Wolves Kill Another Wallowa County Cow

Dec. 13, 2011

Thinking 'Climate Change' While You Shop

Dec. 8, 2011

Dog's Death Sparks a Fight Over Wildlife Trapping

Dec. 1, 2011

Portland's DIY Model For Reducing Air Pollution

Nov. 30, 2011

The Easiest Way To Compost Thanksgiving Scraps

Nov. 29, 2011

Net Cameras Help Fishermen Catch the Right Fish

Nov. 21, 2011

What Rainy Cities Can Teach (And Learn) About Stormwater

Nov. 16, 2011

Why The Northwest Is Lagging On Smart Grid

Nov. 11, 2011

EarthFix Podcast #1: Blasting Through Condit Dam

Oct. 28, 2011

Bald Eagle Eggs Show Dioxin Regulations Working

Oct. 27, 2011

Mixing Business Cash With Fashion and Trash

Oct. 12, 2011

Oregon’s Next Solar Farm: Somewhere Out There

Oct. 4, 2011

Q&A: Can 'Catch Shares' Programs Help Manage West Coast Groundfish

Sept. 15, 2011

2,000 Float Across Willamette To Celebrate Water's Quality

Aug. 1, 2011

Big Float Celebrates Portland's Cleaner, Swimmable Willamette River

July 28, 2011

ODFW kills five bighorn sheep to protect herd

July 19, 2011

Central Oregon Wind Project Moves Forward

July 14, 2011

New App Finds Green Lights for Green Drivers

July 6, 2011