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WFAE hires Zachary Turner as climate reporter

Man sitting on dune
Courtesy Zachary Turner
Zachary Turner, working in the Outer Banks.

WFAE has hired Zachary Turner as our reporter covering the climate beat, effective March 4. He will be reporting directly to Ely Portillo, Interim Executive Editor. Turner is a recent master's program graduate of the UNC School of Journalism, and his work has appeared on NPR ("Here and Now") and WUNC, as well as in The Assembly.

Turner grew up in central North Carolina, and he has a deep connection to the state's land, water, plants and animals. His work has covered the National Park Service's demolition of houses in the Outer Banks to deal with erosion and rising sea levels; the lingering effects of pollution and segregation in Badin; and threats to North Carolina's crucial oyster beds. He also writes the Swamp Boy newsletter on Substack and hosts a podcast of the same name.

Turner will relocate to Charlotte from Durham. He enjoys cooking, growing plants, rock climbing and roller skating, as well as playing music and singing. His favorite places to be are in the woods or at a skatepark.

“I am so excited to work with fellow journalists at the station. Working alongside other people with a passion for audio storytelling is a dream come true," Turner said. "On air, I look forward to continuing my work of connecting North Carolinians — and now some South Carolinians — with the environment and helping them understand how the world around them is changing due to climate change."

Turner succeeds longtime WFAE reporter David Boraks, who retired in January.