Team Short Wave is a dynamic cast of reporters, producers, editors and hosts. Some of us started out as scientists, some as journalists — all of us are insatiably curious. We value bringing our authentic selves and identities to our work.
Launched on October 15, 2019, Short Wave has guided listeners through some of the biggest stories of our time – the pandemic and climate change – in collaboration with the NPR Science Desk. Every day for us is a highly collaborative endeavor. Our reporting approach emphasizes inclusivity, curiosity, and data-driven reporting. In 2021, Short Wave won the first-ever Ambie® Award for Best Knowledge, Science or Tech Podcast.
Here are some series we’ve made as a team:
- Taste Buddies: Short Wave Explores the Science of Flavor
- Road Trip! Short Wave Explores U.S. Public Lands
- Short Wave: Black Excellence in STEM
- Short Wave: Latino Excellence in STEM
Meet our team of science journalists:
Emily Kwong (she/her) is the founding reporter and now co-host for Short Wave, NPR’s daily science podcast. Her first homework assignment in kindergarten was to bring in a leaf to class. She’s been looking at trees ever since.
Before joining NPR, Emily was a reporter and host at KCAW-Sitka, a community radio station in Sitka, Alaska. Her work earned multiple awards from the Alaska Press Club and Alaska Broadcasters Association. Prior to that, Emily taught and produced youth media with WNYC’s Radio Rookies and The Modern Story in Hyderabad, India.
Emily won the Best New Artist award in 2013 from the Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition for a story about a Maine journalist learning to speak with an electrolarynx. She was NPR’s 2018 Above the Fray Fellow and reported a three-part series on climate change and internal migration in Mongolia.
Emily’s reporting style is driven by empathy and context — a desire to slow down and spend time with others. There is a sense of people being real people, and of their lives continuing on after the story ends. She is proud to have interviewed both of her parents, shining a light on mental health for StoryCorps with her mom and heritage languages for NPR’s “Where We Come From” series with her dad.
Emily takes great pride in co-leading NPR AZNs, the employee resource group (ERG) for Asian, Asian-American and/or Pacific Islander staff. She is also co-president of the board for the Association for Independents in Radio (AIR) and was a 2015 AIR New Voices scholar. She learned the finer points of cutting tape at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in 2013.
Aaron Scott (he/him) is the co-host of Short Wave, which feels like the joyous culmination of a journey that began as an intern on the NPR Science Desk in 2008.
Prior to Short Wave, Aaron was a producer/reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting’s science and environment team, where he pondered the mind of the octopus, learned why beavers are the answer to seemingly every environmental problem and why you shouldn’t eat bright-colored snow. While at OPB, Aaron created the podcast Timber Wars, which told the story of how a small group of scientists and environmentalists forever changed the way we see — and fight over — forests and the natural world. The podcast has been incorporated into college curricula around the country and won multiple awards, including the National Headliner Award for Best Narrative Podcast and the MIT Knight Science Journalism Program’s Victor K. McElheny Award (it was the first audio work to win).
As a kid, Aaron couldn’t choose between outdoor camp and theater camp, and he still loves to linger in that space where science and culture overlap. He previously produced OPB’s arts and culture show State of Wonder, served several years as the arts editor at Portland Monthly and was a fellow at This American Life. His reporting has won Gracie, Murrow, Emmy, NLGJA and SPJ awards.
Regina G. Barber (she/ella/她) is the Scientist in Residence at Short Wave. She guest hosts and contributes original reporting on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Before Short Wave, Regina taught physics and astronomy at Western Washington University, in addition to working as the STEM Inclusion and Outreach Specialist. She is an active member of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science and was a 2019 Jackson Wild Media Fellow. She is pop culture obsessed and has spent the last decade combining racial and gender equity, science and media. Regina’s path to podcasting was an accident, but now it seems she is exactly where she belongs.
Gisèle Grayson (she/her) is the senior supervising editor of the incredible Short Wave team. Before starting with Short Wave in 2020, she edited science and climate for the Science Desk, and before that, ran the NPR side of a health reporting collaboration between NPR member stations and Kaiser Health News.
Grayson started her NPR career in June 2001. She contributed to NPR’s coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks and the anthrax attacks later that fall. She traveled with reporters and worked on science stories that ranged from the tsunami in Indonesia to black lung in West Virginia, and from dinosaurs to the Y chromosome. Grayson also spent a month in Mississippi working on stories about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In 2008, she traveled around the country with Linda Wertheimer talking to voters. She has worked on All Things Considered, produced election night coverage in 2010 and won a national health care reporting award for producing a story on osteopenia with reporter Alix Spiegel.
Rebecca Ramirez (she/her) is the founding producer of Short Wave. It’s a meditation on how to be a Swiss Army Knife, in that it involves a little of everything — background research, finding and booking sources, interviewing guests, writing, cutting the tape, editing, scoring…you get the idea.
Rebecca’s journey to radio producer was a happy accident. At the University of Southern California, she pursued a double major in history and neuroscience. It was fun and engaging, but with no obvious career path. She answered an ad for an internship while playing an NPR podcast, and got hired! After graduation, she began an internship for Invisibilia, NPR’s podcast about the unseeable forces that control human behavior. From there, she dove head-first into a completely different job: producing daily news on Morning Edition, NPR’s daily morning news magazine. After a year, she jumped at the chance to help start a new NPR podcast. Aside from the joy of the hard work, Rebecca has been involved in increasing NPR’s diversity, both in its journalism through source diversity efforts and on staff as a leader of the Marginalized Genders and Intersex People of Color (MGIPOC) Mentorship Program.
Gabriel Spitzer (he/him) is Short Wave‘s Senior Editor. He came to NPR from member station KNKX in Seattle, where he covered science and health and then co-founded and hosted the weekly show Sound Effect. When the Pacific Northwest became the first place in the U.S. hit by COVID-19, the show switched gears and relaunched as Transmission, one of the country’s first podcasts about the pandemic. Gabriel also spent six years at WBEZ in Chicago, where he created the science podcast Clever Apes. Gabriel’s public radio career started in Anchorage, with the Alaska Public Radio Network.
Gabriel lives in Seattle with his wife, two children and several unruly pets. He enjoys kayaks, bagels and Octavia Butler.
Thomas Lu (he/him) is a producer for Short Wave. He came to NPR in 2017 as an intern for the TED Radio Hour with Guy Raz. After his internship, he continued to develop his radio skills working with How I Built This, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Pop Culture Happy Hour. He pitched and produced All Things Considered‘s annual Thanksgiving music segment with Ari Shapiro. Thomas was then hired as a producer for Hidden Brain — where he worked on narrative episodes ranging from the benefits of nature to the importance of the human voice to our hidden influence on others. He contributed to the Hidden Brain episode “The Ventilator,” which earned an Edward R. Murrow award in 2020. Prior to NPR, Thomas interned for StoryCorps in Brooklyn, New York. He is a 2020 AIR New Voices Scholar. He graduated from Middlebury College in 2016. Oh, and he’s a huge fan of the Golden Girls.
Brit Hanson (she/her) is a producer for Short Wave. Prior to joining NPR, Hanson produced, edited and reported at VOX, St. Louis Public Radio and North Country Public Radio. From police brutality, Ukrainian politics and the rise of Pokémon Go to Sally Ride’s legacy and health worker burnout, public service journalism is her life’s work.
Hanson has earned multiple Edward R. Murrow Awards, awards from the Associated Press and Public Media Journalists Association and the Public Service Journalism Award from The Society for Professional Journalists. She is a proud alumnus of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.
Kimberly (Berly) McCoy (she/her) is an assistant producer for Short Wave. Berly started working with NPR as the program coordinator of the NPR Scicommers, a group founded by Joe Palca and Maddie Sofia to teach scientists and engineers how to better communicate and find community.
After lending a fact-checking hand to the Short Wave team on and off, they graciously taught Berly the production ropes.
In another life, Berly earned her PhD in biochemistry transforming viruses into nanoreactors. She’s also dug through garbage, counted rattlesnake tongue flicks and caught endangered butterflies on mountain tops…all for research. She lives just outside of Glacier National Park and enjoys rock climbing, ice fishing and making food magically appear from dirt.
Margaret Cirino (she/her) is a production assistant at Short Wave. Her job involves pitching, producing and forcing her virtual and in-person co-workers to play board games with her.
Margaret started as an intern on the Short Wave team in 2021 before working with TED Radio Hour and How I Built This as their joint intern in 2022. Now, she’s back and excited to be making nerdy scientific audio.
Prior to NPR, Margaret double majored in physics and narrative studies at the University of Southern California. She was also on the USC Women’s Rowing team. When she’s not producing, you can find her making art, playing piano or futzing around at the climbing gym.