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Miles O’Brien is a veteran, independent journalist who focuses on science, technology and aerospace.
He is the science correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, a producer, director, writer and correspondent for the PBS documentary programs NOVA and FRONTLINE and an aviation analyst for CNN. He owns MOBIAS Media, Inc., a production company that creates award winning documentary films primarily for PBS as well as several educational and corporate clients.
For nearly seventeen of his thirty-nine years in the news business, he was a staff correspondent and anchor with CNN, based in Atlanta and New York. He served as the science, environment and aerospace correspondent and the anchor of various programs, including American Morning.
While at CNN, O’Brien secured a deal with NASA to become the first journalist to fly on the space shuttle. The project ended with the loss of Columbia and her crew in 2003 – a story he told to the world in a critically acclaimed sixteen-hour marathon of live coverage. He later served for ten years as a member of the NASA Advisory Council, offering strategic advice to the NASA administrator.
Prior to joining CNN, he worked as a reporter at television stations in St. Joseph, MO, Albany, NY, Tampa, FL and Boston. He began his television career as a desk assistant at WRC-TV in Washington, DC.
O’Brien is an accomplished pilot and is frequently called upon to explain the world of aviation to a mass audience.
He has won numerous awards over the years, including six Emmys, a Peabody and a DuPont.
He has produced, written and directed nine films for PBS NOVA: Mind of a Rampage Killer (2013), Manhunt Boston Bombers (2013), Megastorm Aftermath (2013), Why Planes Vanish (2014), Nuclear Meltdown Disaster (2015), Fifteen Years of Terror (2016), The Nuclear Option (2017), Inside the Megafire (2019) and The Great Electric Airplane Race (2021).
He also produced, wrote and directed FRONTLINE Coronavirus Pandemic (2020) and was a writer and correspondent for four FRONTLINES: Flying Cheap (2010), Flying Cheaper (2011), Nuclear Aftershocks (2012) and Dollars and Dentists (2012).
In February of 2014, a heavy equipment case fell on his forearm while he was on assignment. He developed Acute Compartment Syndrome, which necessitated the emergency amputation of his left arm above the elbow. Despite the loss of his arm, he has completed two marathons, several ultra-distance bike rides, a half Ironman, and has returned to flying airplanes.
Born in Detroit and raised in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, he is based in Vero Beach, Florida. He was a history major at Georgetown University. Miles has two grown children. His son is a US Navy Lieutenant stationed in Catania, Italy and his daughter is a social worker in New York City.
The COP27 climate negotiations in Egypt put a spotlight on the problem of methane emissions, which are responsible for more than a quarter of the warming on the planet today. More countries are pledging to reduce those emissions, but methane…
For the first time in half a century, NASA is starting to make its way back to a lunar landing. The Artemis rocket was finally able to launch early Wednesday morning after prior delays, sending an unmanned capsule around the…
As demand grows for seafood, the business of fish farming is growing. Companies are raising and harvesting salmon on land, sparking pushback over sustainability and genetic engineering. Science correspondent Miles O'Brien has the second of a two-part look at what's…
NASA is trying an experiment to answer a question that’s straight out of science fiction. What could we do if a large object was hurtling through space on a collision course with Earth? Science Correspondent Miles O’Brien joined William Brangham…
If all goes as planned, NASA will launch a rocket to return to the moon Saturday afternoon. This first phase will send an unmanned capsule to lunar orbit and back, but NASA wants humans to land on the moon in…
There has been a growing appetite around the world for fish. But that growth in demand is raising all kinds of questions and concerns for the industry about sustainability and impact. Science correspondent Miles O'Brien has the first of a…
Climate change's connections with the extreme heat and weather events in the U.S. and around the globe have been well established. But climate change is also having a measurable impact on a much slower-moving development: the loss of glaciers and…
NASA shared new revelations Tuesday from the James Webb Telescope, the largest space observatory ever made. The new images capture distant galaxies, new stars and planets, and the furthest look into the birth of the cosmos ever recorded. Science correspondent…
Even before summer began, there were extreme heat waves and new heat records throughout the Northern Hemisphere, and the forecast calls for a hotter-than-normal summer in much of the U.S. Scientists say climate change is accelerating and intensifying these kinds…
In a special 90-minute live event, the PBS NewsHour will explore the connections between climate change, warming oceans, migrating fish populations, the economic stressors facing fishermen and the fishing industry, bad actors on the high seas, and ever-growing seafood demand.
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