Molly Lowney


In this episode of What on Earth? Molly and Jennifer chat with Grist reporter Zoya Teirstein for a crash course on climate policy.

What On Earth? Episode 3: A Debrief on US Climate Policy

As the 2020 U.S. election draws closer, climate change remains one of the biggest topics that are being talked about. From the candidates’ climate policies and plans to the Supreme Court to the Green New Deal ideology, there’s a lot happening that could affect the way the U.S. acts on climate change in the near future. In this episode of What on Earth? Molly and Jennifer chat with Grist reporter Zoya Teirstein for a crash course on climate policy. Resources: - For all of your environmental-focused news needs. By calling climate change “controversial” Barrett created controversy - What Barrett’s evasive response could mean for the Republican party and climate change. How the U.S. can become a climate leader in 8 simple steps - 8 things the U.S. can start doing right now to take big action on climate change. NRDC Expert Blog - For opinion and analysis from NRDC’s science, legal, and policy experts. - Another source for climate change, energy, and environment news. Don’t forget to vote!

In Episode 2 of What on Earth? Molly and Jennifer discuss all things COVID-19. Photo illustration by Jennifer Ng.

What On Earth? Episode 2: Breaking down COVID-19 with an immunologist

In the U.S., we’re seven months into the coronavirus pandemic which has changed our lives and left us with questions we may have never thought to ask. Where do viruses come from? What does it mean to be asymptomatic? How does a vaccine get made? And what do we do to stop the spread of the virus? In today’s episode of What on Earth? Molly and Jennifer talk with Dr. Susan Murray from UP’s biology department about all things COVID-19.  Resources: New York Times Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker - Stay updated on the progress towards getting a safe and effective vaccine. Oregon Health Authority - For Oregon residents, find information on cases, testing, resources for mental health, and more.

Mattie Vanhonsebrouck started their account in 2019, and currently has 1.4 million followers. Their videos generally revolve around different stories, comedy, and creative skits.Photo Illustration by Ryan Reynolds

Going viral: UP students find fame and friendship on TikTok

At the end of June in 2019, Mattie Vanhonsebrouck received a text message from a friend saying: “Hey, I think you should get this TikTok app. You would totally get famous from it.” Vanhonsebrouck disagreed, but after arguing back and forth, they decided to try it. One month after downloading the app, Vanhonsebrouck had gone viral. 

Episode 1 of What on Earth? covers climate change and the west coast wildfires. Photo illustration by Jennifer Ng.

What on Earth? Ep. 1: Climate Change and the West Coast Wildfires

Wildfires have been raging up and down the West Coast of the U.S. Make no mistake, this is a product of climate change. Today, one year since the Global Climate Strike, Jennifer and Molly talk with Dr. Sharon Delcambre from UP's environmental science department about climate change, the West Coast wildfires, and how to stay hopeful and involved in the movement for climate action.

Molly Lowney is a photographer for The Beacon.

STAFF OPINION: Put out the fires: It's time to take action on climate change

Last week my world went dark. Like most Northern Californians, I woke up to a thick layer of smoke that blocked out the sun and cast a dark red glow over my hometown.  For the past month, wildfires have torn through the western United States, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate from their homes, destroying entire towns and setting startling records. Make no mistake, this is climate change.

Lowney holds a CD version of "Folklore."Photo Illustration by Molly Lowney

Put on your favorite cardigan: 'Folklore' is career defining for Taylor Swift

Swift’s eighth studio album, “Folklore,” is a heartbreaking collection of songs inspired by made up stories. Although this album was released at the end of July, I had to wait to write a review for The Beacon, especially since “Folklore” rocks major autumnal vibes. If you’re looking for an album to spark a cathartic cleansing of emotions, this is the album for you. Do yourself a favor; light a candle, don your favorite cardigan and sit back while “Folklore” tells you tales of woe and wonder. 

Stuck inside, but looking out.

Quarantine from the lens of a photojournalist

Like everyone else, life has shifted abruptly and dramatically for these seven photojournalists. Although The Beacon continues to work remotely amidst the coronavirus pandemic, photojournalists face new challenges as they attempt to capture images that represent the stories we continue to write. They are faced with the grief that comes from what they have lost in the transition, the frustration that comes with helplessness, and the anxiety of not knowing what will happen next. 

Immersion participants explore the trails around Horsethief Butte, a hiking area in the Columbia Gorge.

Environmental Justice Immersion brings revelations from UP's backyard

"Acrid smoke pierced the skyline of the Gorge. Panicked townspeople rushed to evacuate the local elementary school and find safe refuge. The groundwater was contaminated. Old-growth trees burned and lost forever. I opened my eyes and looked at the seemingly normal train depot in Mosier, Oregon. I tried to imagine the scene of destruction caused by the oil train derailment in 2016. The pebbles on the ground started dancing and our group looked down the tracks. The rumble of an approaching train never sounded so evil." 

UP students share their love for stickers.

Students self-express through stickers

We have all seen it before. You walk along your merry way and see countless people with their water bottles layered in copious numbers of stickers, making the actual color of the water bottle hardly visible. Behind the sound of the tip-tapping of fingers flying, typing notes and papers on keyboards, is the image of a completely sticker-covered laptop. With all the opportunities for self-expression stickers make available to us, even refrigerators can gain opinions and personalities.  The Beacon decided to talk to students about their stickers, setting out to discover the reasons why students love putting them on just about any surface and the meanings behind the ones they chose. 

Members of the UP community kicked off the Lenten season by having their foreheads marked with ashes during the Ash Wednesday masses.

Faces of Lent: Community members share why they celebrate

 On Wednesday, University of Portland community members could be spotted around campus with black ashes smudged into the shape of a cross (more or less) on their foreheads. Members received these ashes at an Ash Wednesday Mass, a day to kick off the Lenten season where the application of the ashes represents the Catholic belief that people are made from dust and will return to dust. In commemoration of this day and the season of fasting, praying, and almsgiving before Easter Sunday that is Lent, The Beacon got to talk to these members about why they are celebrating the season this year.