Health and Science Reporter
Mary Scott Hodgin is WBHM’s Health and Science Reporter. Hodgin has been a freelance reporter for WBHM since 2015 covering topics ranging from downtown revitalization to sewer spill notification. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in social and biological adaptation – a self-designed degree that combines biology, anthropology, and documentary to study human behavior. Fluent in Spanish, she most recently produced videos and wrote for a national health care company.
Chimney swifts are a common sight in Birmingham. You might notice large numbers of them as they funnel into chimneys. Many people mistake them for bats. But as new development replaces old buildings and their chimneys, the chimney swift population is at risk. Birmingham Audubon is working to reverse the decline by constructing “swift towers” throughout the city.
The computing workforce continues to grow, but women of color remain largely underrepresented. Tuskegee University recently announced a $1.3 million grant program funded by the National Science Foundation that aims to prepare African-American girls in Alabama for careers in computer science.
On the football field, visual communication is key. That’s especially true for the Silent Warriors, a team of middle and high school students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. They compete against mainstream and deaf schools across the U.S., where having a unique language can be both an advantage and a challenge on the field.
Antarctica happens to be a perfect place to study the impacts of climate change. A UAB researcher has devoted his entire career to just that. This weekend, Professor Jim McClintock brings the issue to the stage, along with a love story. “Ushuaia Blue” explores the issue of global warming through the story of two marine biologists trying to save their relationship.
The National Institutes of Health this week named UAB a Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson’s Disease Research, making it 1 of 8 such centers in country.
The Southern Poverty Law Center wants the state prison system held in contempt for failing to fill mental health positions. Contempt hearings began Tuesday in U.S. District Court involving the Alabama Department of Corrections and lawyers representing inmates.
Alabama’s Chemical Endangerment Law makes it a felony offense to use drugs during pregnancy. A UAB program funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services wants to redirect the focus from criminalizing a woman’s addiction to treating it.
There have been a series of developments in recent weeks on immigration policy and a lot of uncertainty around the fate of undocumented residents. That’s rubbing off on children in Alabama.
Sewer operators are required to notify the public of sewer spills if they endanger public health. Conservation groups say it’s not happening fast enough.