The Science of Sustainability

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Turning Contaminated Sites Into Wildlife Refuges

Turning Contaminated Sites Into Wildlife Refuges

One of the nation’s biggest wildlife refuges used to be a hotbed of military weapons production, and resulting contamination. It’s now been cleaned up and restored as an urban habitat refuge.

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“The Vine That Ate the South” Heads North

“The Vine That Ate the South” Heads North

The invasive vine known as kudzu has twined itself into Southern culture, but it’s a big environmental headache, causing crop and property damage and loss of biodiversity. And now the vine’s coming north.

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Cranberry Producers Strive to Save Water

Cranberry Producers Strive to Save Water

Water is used in every aspect of cranberry production. Wisconsin cranberry producers are using soil temperature monitoring technology to help conserve water.

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Green Energy, Sustainable Agriculture Vital to Brewery Business Plan

Green Energy, Sustainable Agriculture Vital to Brewery Business Plan

Central Waters Brewery in Amherst, Wisconsin is committed to using green technology in their manufacturing process and local sources for their ingredients. And, it benefits the bottom line.

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From Cheese to Energy

From Cheese to Energy

Wisconsin produces a quarter of all the cheese made in the United States. Since only about ten percent of the milk becomes cheese, there is an abundance of milky-water waste. Comstock Creamery and GreenWhey Energy have teamed up to turn this wastewater into natural gas and electricity.

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Protecting Summer Hang-Outs For Bats

Protecting Summer Hang-Outs For Bats

Bats help humans in a variety of ways, but their populations are declining across the country. Now researchers have created a “bat map” to help save them.

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Saving the Swift Fox with Snapshots, Students and Science

Saving the Swift Fox with Snapshots, Students and Science

An endangered fox species is fighting for its existence in western Nebraska, but it’s not alone. Students from across the state are helping conduct a new study to aid in the animal's recovery.

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Forget the Lawnmower, Hire Sheep

Forget the Lawnmower, Hire Sheep

At a vacant lot in Cleveland, sheep are employed as urban “eco-mowers” — part of a growing number of global initiatives to replace mowing with munching.

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Road Kill or Road Crossing: California Slow to Protect Wildlife

Road Kill or Road Crossing: California Slow to Protect Wildlife

Drivers hit thousands of animals every year on California freeways, often killing the wildlife, and sometimes killing or injuring the human, too. Several western states have built fencing and other infrastructure to help wildlife cross freeways safely, and critics say California could be doing a lot more of the same.

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Recycling Dirt: A New Niche in the Fracking Industry

Recycling Dirt: A New Niche in the Fracking Industry

As an alternative to the landfill, some companies now recycle contaminated rock shavings left over from drilling for natural gas.

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City Chickens: Pets with Perks

City Chickens: Pets with Perks

Take an inside look at the new trend of raising chickens within city limits, and see why the flocks inspire pride for eco-minded owners.

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Triple Threat: Trees At Risk From Drought, Heat, And Fire

Triple Threat: Trees At Risk From Drought, Heat, And Fire

In the western U.S., trees are facing a triple threat of heat, drought and wildfire. Despite efforts to find more resilient tree species, some forests may not survive past mid-century.

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Farmers Fight Back Against Toxic Algal Blooms

Farmers Fight Back Against Toxic Algal Blooms

Agricultural runoff is the leading cause of recurring algal blooms in Lake Erie. Now farmers are inviting researchers onto their fields to figure out why — and what they can do about it.

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Water Recycling Comes Of Age In Silicon Valley

Water Recycling Comes Of Age In Silicon Valley

Though engineers can purify sewage water to make it cleaner than what’s coming out of your tap, there's a bigger challenge: convincing people to drink it.

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With Condors on the Brink, California Considers a Lead-Bullet Ban for Hunters

With Condors on the Brink, California Considers a Lead-Bullet Ban for Hunters

Lead poisoning is a major obstacle to recovery for the endangered California condor, but a bill to address the problem has gun owners up in arms.

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The Green Side of Drones: Science and Environmental Apps Abound

The Green Side of Drones: Science and Environmental Apps Abound

Drone enthusiasts in Silicon Valley are going beyond military and spy applications, exploring new uses for science and the environment.

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In Search of the Bacterial Garden of Eden

In Search of the Bacterial Garden of Eden

Now that scientists are starting to get a handle on what kinds of microbes live in the human body and, roughly, how those populations differ from one individual to another, a key question will be whether there is such a thing as an “ideal” microbiome.

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Another Try For California's Second National Conservation Area

Another Try For California's Second National Conservation Area

Just north of the Bay Area is a vast and varied expanse of land and water that could be in line for new federal protections. The proposed Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Conservation Area would link wilderness zones and other lands in five counties. But it’s been a tough sell in some parts.

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Brain Mapping: From the Basics to Science Fiction

Brain Mapping: From the Basics to Science Fiction

Obama's BRAIN Initiative directs $100 million in public money toward basic brain research. But what's the goal?

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Bay Area Biotech Industry Braces for Gene Patenting Court Case

Bay Area Biotech Industry Braces for Gene Patenting Court Case

The Supreme Court is hearing a case on a key question: can you patent a human gene?

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