Chris Welter

Chris Welter is an Environmental Reporter at WYSO through Report for America. In 2017, he completed the radio training program at WYSO's Eichelberger Center for Community Voices. Prior to joining the team at WYSO, he did boots-on-the-ground conservation work and policy research on land-use issues in southwest Ohio as a Miller Fellow with the Tecumseh Land Trust.

He is a graduate of Antioch College with a self-designed B.S. in Environmental Journalism and a French Language & Culture focus. He edited the The Antioch Record and later served as chair of the newspaper's advisory board. Through the college's cooperative education program, he interned with an environmental education non-profit in Ypsilanti, MI and worked as a paralegal assistant at a criminal defense firm in Chicago and a bankruptcy center in Philadelphia.

Chris is a lifelong Ohioan, born and raised in Columbus and currently living in Yellow Springs with his two cats, Beaver and Franklin. He moonlights as a mediocre disc golfer and also loves to cook, hike, and read about Ohio history. 

Metabolite hemp being grown at the Central State University research farm in Wilberforce.
Chris Welter / WYSO

Central State University in Wilberforce has received a $1.3 million hemp research contract from the United States Food and Drug Administration.


Over the weekend, the Ohio Investigative Unit cited several bars for violating the state's emergency COVID-19 rule banning the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, overseeing the Election Night Reporting Center, in Columbus, Ohio, calls for the closing of the polls in the Ohio primary election, Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Gene Puskar / Associated Press

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has ordered the Greene County Board of Elections to reject non-citizen voter registrations in the village of Yellow Springs.

A local high school student has received the Governor’s Thomas Edison Award for Excellence in Alternative Energy Research.

Hot weather is coming to the Miami Valley this weekend — and it will stick around until next early week. 

The heat index could hit 100 degrees on Sunday and Monday in the Miami Valley. The heat index, also known as apparent temperature, is a combination of the air temperature and the relative humidity—it’s a measurement of how hot it feels. Heat indexes are higher in places with lots of concrete, like the City of Dayton.

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Greene County. The Ohio Department of Health has been airing a new hyper-local advertisement that features a local doctor and is aimed at getting people to wear their masks. Dr.

In February of last year, nearly 400,000 Miami Valley residents lost their water service when a major water main broke. Last week, the City of Dayton sued a Shelby County contractor and accused them of being at fault.

A mosquito trapped in Clark County has tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

The mosquito was trapped by the Clark County health department in late May and test results confirming the presence of West Nile Virus were relayed to the department this past weekend.

On June 30, heavy rains hit Xenia, leading to flooding throughout much of the city.

The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio says that two inches of rain fell on Xenia in less than eighty minutes. They say another resident recorded 1 inch of rainfall in just eighteen minutes.

tractor in farm field
Jean Beaufort / Public Domain Pictures

A high school student in Springfield has won this year’s Governor’s Award For Excellence in Environmental Protection Research.

The 10 acres of sunflowers along Ohio State Route 68 outside of Yellow Springs won’t be planted this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, 20,000 people visited Whitehall Farm to see the sunflowers during their three week bloom in September. Sharen Neuhardt owns the farm with her husband Dave. They have hired a local farmer to plant sunflowers on a portion of their property every year since 2003. But this year, Sharen says, it’s not safe.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has started community interviews to obtain feedback regarding a contaminated aquifer in Clark County.  The public comment opportunity was moved to a digital format due to COVID-19 concerns.

Ohio Governor Mike Dewine announced this week that county fairs are now permitted to re-open, so long as Department of Health safety standards are met. Fair organizers say these county fairs are important — for both the economy and the sense of community in rural areas.

A local engineering firm has received a new grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency. It’s intended to help them develop new technology that will hopefully aid in the removal of harmful man-made chemicals from the environment.