QUEST’s goals are to explore a diverse array of topics that touch our lives, to spotlight innovations that connect different fields of study, and to offer accurate and insightful reporting that inspires people to engage in informed conversations about our changing world.
QUEST Pressroom – Find out the latest news about QUEST.
Jason Black started his entertainment career in feature film as an Assistant Director and was welcomed into the Directors Guild of America as a Unit Production Manager in 2003.
In 2002 he founded a production company in Los Angeles called Blue Cactus Pictures, Inc. which was the production engine for fifteen feature films in four years. Over the years Jason has produced feature films, documentaries, music videos, commercials, and educational videos in every format. His projects have screened and garnered awards at various film festivals including Sundance, Toronto, Berlin and Busan. Jason started in public media at KQED as the Series Manager for the cross-platform KQED Science unit in 2011 before being hired as the Executive Producer of QUEST in 2013. He has spent 4 years in the Marine Corps (1992-1996) and holds a degree in Film and Digital Media with honors from UCSC.
Lisa is an Emmy nominated producer and writer whose work includes documentaries, museum exhibitions, and educational multimedia.
Her work has covered a diversity of subject matter including natural history, ecological and social issues, cultural exploration, music, and architecture. She’s developed and produced films for broadcasters such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Channel, and the Discovery Channel. Her work as an exhibition developer and multimedia producer has been featured at institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, the National Building Museum, and The Tech Museum. Her writing has appeared in print online publications for Rough Guides Travel, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Earthwatch Institute, among others. Lisa holds a B.A. in architectural studies from Tufts University.
Lead Coordinating Producer
Adrienne has been a producer of PBS films, specials, and series for the last 12 years.
In 2006, she joined the KQED arts series, "Spark" as Coordinating Producer, and became Series Producer in its 6th season. Segments she produced for the series earned her four Northern California Emmy nominations. Adrienne then went on to work with social justice media company The Working Group, serving as a producer on their national PBS film “Not In Our Town; Light In the Darkness”, a portrait of a Long Island community in the aftermath of a hate crime. Most recently, Adrienne was the Coordinating Producer of the national PBS series "Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders", which uses music to tell stories about international culture and politics. In the course of her broadcasting career, Adrienne has also contributed to programming for ABC News/Nightline, This Week in Northern California, and Austin City Limits.
Lucy B. Laffitte
Lucy B. Laffitte, PhD has been a science communicator and environmental educator for over thirty years.
She has produced in-class and on-line instructional design, curriculum development, and certificate programs to a variety of conservation organizations, including the Oregon Museum of Natural History, Tall Timbers Research Station, North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, Salt River Project, New England Wildflower Society, Rachel Carson Institute, and Nicholas School of the Environment. She has published in print and on air—writing a nature column for The Cape Codder and was the founding radio producer for the environmental program the Allegheny Front. She has a bachelor’s degree in natural science, from the University of Oregon, a Master’s in adult education and graphic design and a PhD in environmental resources from North Carolina State University. She has been science education consultant for UNCTV working on Quest Beyond Local and NC Science Now since April 2013.
Social Media Producer
Mike has spent most of his career working at the crossroads of digital media and environmental sustainability.
He first joined KQED in 2011 as the Partner Stations Content Coordinator for QUEST, helping organize the program's pilot expansion project with six other PBS stations. He later worked as a Project Supervisor for KQED Presents, facilitating national television distribution for documentaries and series including California Forever, Food Forward, Joseph Rosendo's Travelscope, and Roadtrip Nation. Prior to KQED, Mike was the Digital Media & Marketing Manager for EcoIQ and founded Green Stock Media, a stock photo and video footage agency focused on environmental problems and solutions. Mike holds a B.A. degree in Sociology from U.C. Berkeley and an A.S. in Interactive Media Design from The Art Institute of California-San Francisco.
Anne Glausser is the Coordinating Producer for QUEST Ohio.
Before taking on this role, she was WCPN 90.3 FM & WVIZ/PBS ideastream’s health reporter and produced award-winning radio pieces. She’s spent time on both coasts (her college mascot was the banana slug!), but grew up in the Midwest and is happy to be back home. She got started in radio at PRI’s Living on Earth, and has also spent time as a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health. Anne got her SM from MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing.
Gary is a senior producer at NET Television.
He’s produced documentaries worldwide, bringing science to audiences through TV, the web, museums, and schools. Gary has twice received the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award. His recent documentary, NOVA: Secrets Beneath The Ice, examines how researchers explore, drill and prospect to detect how Antarctica’s climate history can forecast Earth’s global climate future. His national productions include: NOVA: Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land, NOVA: Buried In Ash, NOVA: Edgerton and His Incredible Seeing Machines, Behind Lab Doors, Jungle Under Glass, Profit the Earth, Sexuality and Aging, and Seeking the Real Jesse James.
QUEST Northern California
Lindsey Hoshaw is the coordinating producer for KQED QUEST and a culinary aficionado.
She passed the Court of Master Sommeliers introductory exam and wrote her first wine article about boutique Argentine Malbec while living in Buenos Aires. Before joining KQED she collected honeycomb as a beekeeper at Sunset magazine and authored a vegetarian food blog.
QUEST North Carolina
As a producer/reporter for UNC-TV, David Huppert has spent the last 6 years immersing himself in the Old North State's culture and folklore, consuming as much of state's rich legacy (and barbecue) as possible.
David returns to UNC-TV after a one-year hiatus in NYC where he produced for CBS This Morning. Since 2000 David has produced pieces for public television (UNC-TV, Charlie Rose) and commercial news (CBS, FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor, CNBC). When he’s not telling stories for television, David is either working on a documentary about Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, or gallivanting around North Carolina with his wife, @mediumish. You can follow him @hupdiggs and at vimeo.com/davidhuppert
Katie Jennings returns to KCTS as QUEST Northwest Coordinating Producer.
A public television veteran, she has produced numerous award-winning national documentaries and series including Fire on the Rim and Teachings of the Tree People. Katie also served as Head of Educational Media at the outdoor learning center IslandWood on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, where she developed and produced educational projects for National Geographic and the National Science Foundation. She recently completed a Master's degree in Media Psychology and Social Change. In her spare time she’s working to create a web app, Passion Dragon, connecting learners with online educational materials based on their passions..
Andy Soth is a senior producer at Wisconsin Public Television based in Madison.
His work has included environmental, technology and feature reporting for the magazine program, In Wisconsin, as well as numerous Web projects. He is content editor for WisconsinVote.org, which was recently named best election Web site by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association. The WBA, along with the Milwaukee Press Club and the Northwest Broadcast News Association have frequently honored Soth’s television stories. In 1999, Soth shared in a national Emmy as segment producer for The :30 Second Candidate.Soth has an MS in Life Sciences Communication from the University of Wisconsin and graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in Art History. He has also attended the WETA Producers Academy and was recently selected a Fellow for the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources Asian Carp Institute.
WPT Director of Production
Kathy Bissen is the Director of Production at Wisconsin Public Television (WPT).
She is responsible for overseeing the creation and delivery of a wide range of broadcast, education and web based projects for the statewide network. During her tenure, WPT has won numerous state, regional and national awards including more than a dozen regional Emmys and four consecutive national USC Annenberg Walter Cronkite Awards for Excellence in Political Journalism. Prior to becoming Director of Production, Bissen was the Executive Producer of News and Public Affairs and produced or co-produced nearly a dozen PBS specials including The 30-Second Candidate, a documentary on political advertising which won a National Emmy. She was co-founder and Executive Producer of GET REAL!, a unique children's series with science content funded by the National Science Foundation. Prior to her work in public broadcasting, Bissen was a commercial news reporter and anchor at an NBC affiliate focusing on political, environmental and education issues.
KCTS 9 Executive Director of Programming
Randy is a program maker, project manager and executive leader with more than 35 years of experience in public media.
Among other accomplishments, he acted as Co-Principal Investigator and executive producer for the National Science Foundation-funded science literacy project The Eyes of Nye. He currently serves as Executive Director of Programming for Seattle PBS station KCTS, where he directs program acquisition and broadcast scheduling and manages special projects. Randy graduated with High Honors from the University of Florida where he majored in Broadcasting. He holds a Master’s degree in Television Production from Syracuse University. He also graduated from Seattle University’s Executive Leadership Program, a rigorous postgraduate certificate program which develops ethical leaders dedicated to serving the common good.
UNC-TV Director of Grants
Cathy Dobbins majored in Radio-TV-Motion Pictures at UNC Chapel Hill.
She worked for one year for a commercial TV station, then she moved and transitioned into fundraising at a nonprofit for six years. She then became an assistant public information officer for Wake County Public Schools for five years. She joined UNC-TV in 1997, first working in production for three years, then moving into grant writing. She has been the director of federal and foundation grants for about five years. Cathy is married and has one son, Scott, who is pursuing a PhD in Bio Chem from Stanford.
NET Television Assistant General Manager
David Feingold is the Assistant General Manager for Content at NET.
He is the senior manager responsible for production and programming for all of NET’s media services, including its three state-wide television channels (NET Television), the state-wide public radio network (NET Radio), and across a range of digital distribution platforms, including NET News and NET Sports. NET is recognized as a creator of original and innovative programming in news, sports, documentaries, and arts and performance for audiences across Nebraska and the United States. Among its many cross-platform projects, NET is a partner in the Harvest Local Journalism Center, and is a regional hub for the NSF-funded QUEST science initiative. NET’s recent national PBS productions have included Standing Bear’s Footsteps; NOVA’s Secrets Beneath The Ice; and loopDiver: Journey of a Dance. NET’s newest major production, Great Plains: America’s Vanishing Wild, premiered in November. Before joining NET, he served as Executive Editor of Reuters Television, Ltd., and held several senior positions at CNN, including Business News Editor, National Editor, and London Bureau Chief. David is a member of the Editorial Committee of POV; the Public Media Editorial Integrity working group; and the advisory committee for the E. N. Thompson Forum on World Issues at the University of Nebraska. He received a BA in Psychology from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and an MA in Mass Communications from Central Missouri State University, with emphasis in broadcast and journalism law.
Sue Ellen McCann
KQED Executive Producer, Science and Environment
Sue Ellen McCann is an Executive Producer at KQED in charge of Science and Environment.
She specializes in multi-platform productions and has a long and successful history working on local and national media projects and informal science education initiatives. She is a Co-PI for the Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE), advisor to the Bay Area Science Festival, a core member of the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) and the Vice Chair for the Whitman Institute. She currently serves as the PI for QUEST Beyond Local, a six-station public media science and environment reporting and education collaborative. She holds an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.
WVIZ/ Ideastream Senior Director of Content
Mark Smukler is Senior Director of Content for ideastream® with responsibility for programming, production, news, and special projects and for WVIZ/PBS, 90.3 WCPN and associated websites.
Prior to joining WVIZ/PBS as Station Manager in 1999, Smukler was Director of Programming and Production at WPSX. Previous positions include Station Manager of WQED/Pittsburgh, Operations Manager at WHA and Producer/Director for KERA. His credits include Return of the Cuyahoga, The Cleveland Orchestra in Performance, Legendary Lighthouses, Ohio: 200 Years, Mister Rogers Neighborhood, A Quiet Crisis, and Newsroom (w/Jim Lehrer in Dallas). Smukler has an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin and a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.
UNC-TV Director of Productions
Shannon Vickery is an award-winning correspondent and producer.
She has been working for UNC-TV since October 1995 and currently serves as UNC-TV's director of production. She came to UNC-TV after working as a news anchor and reporter at KDRV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Medford, Oregon. Shannon is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with bachelor's degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. She also has a Master's of Arts Degree (with an emphasis in Health Policy) from Duke University. Shannon oversees UNC-TV's production and technical operations departments in the development, production and distribution of more than 340 hours of original programming each year.