Joan Johnson is an TV Associate Producer for QUEST. Joan got her start making science television back in 1998 when she joined the team at Sea Studios in Monterey, working as a researcher and production coordinator on National Geographic Television projects for 4 years. Following that she pursued a career in features and network television down in Los Angeles, working on seven full length feature films, three television shows and several pilots. Joan graduated in 1993 from U.C. Santa Cruz with honors in Biology, and spent several years working as a marine biologist, naturalist and SCUBA guide. Originally from San Francisco, Joan is thrilled to be home and working on QUEST, fulfilling a long-term goal of combining her interests in science and entertainment.
Joan Johnson's Latest Posts
Solar and wind power may get the headlines when it comes to renewable energy. But another type of clean power is heating up in the hills just north of Sonoma wine country. The Geysers, the world's largest power-producing geothermal field, has been providing electricity for roughly 850,000 Northern California households, and is set to expand even further.
After multiple unmanned missions to Mars, we still don't know if life has ever existed there. NASA scientists are hoping a new high-tech rover will help them solve the mystery. The Mars Science Laboratory is scheduled for launch in late 2011 and will search for any evidence that the Red Planet was once capable of supporting life.
Thousands of northern elephant seals — some weighing up to 4,500 pounds — make an annual migration to breed each winter at Año Nuevo State Reserve, on the San Mateo County coast. Marine biologists are using high-tech tools to explore the secrets of these amazing creatures, which can hold their breath for an hour and dive a mile below the surface.
Although not as famous as its bald cousin, Golden Eagles are much easier to find in Northern California – one of the largest breeding populations for Golden Eagles is right here in the Mount Diablo valley. Meet one of the largest birds of prey as QUEST visits the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, CA.
When I first head about Healy Hamilton at a meeting QUEST was having with the California Academy of Sciences, I just knew I was going to like her.
Seahorses are some of the most enchanting and mysterious creatures in the ocean. They are struggling to survive in threatened habitats around the world, while large-scale trading of seahorses for the traditional Chinese medicine market goes unchecked. Meet the Seahorse Sleuths – local scientists who are working to save them from extinction.
Everyone knows that eight planets orbit the Sun. But thousands of other objects, including icy comets and football field-sized asteroids, are also zooming around our solar system. And some of them could be on a collision course with Earth. QUEST explores how these Near Earth Objects are being tracked and what scientists are saying should be done to prevent a deadly impact.
In 1935, the USS Macon went down in 1000 feet of water off the coast of Monterey, California. Now, as scientists study the recently-discovered wreckage, dirigibles are returning to the Bay Area. But these aren't the same dirigibles – these are new and improved.
For hundreds of years, scientists have been poaching design ideas from structures in nature. Now, biologists and engineers at UC Berkeley are working together to design a broad range of new products, such as life-saving milli-robots modeled on the way cockroaches run and adhesives based on the amazing design of a gecko's foot.
Bio-inspired design borrows its creative inspiration from models and systems in nature, that is, plant and animal parts that have been slowly tweaked for over 3.8 billion years. But that doesn't mean that nature's designs are perfect.
Over the past 15 years, the number of people who die of AIDS each year in the United States has dropped by 70 percent. But AIDS remains a serious public health crisis among low-income African-Americans, particularly women. QUEST meets two Bay Area research groups studying innovative approaches that could lead to new treatments and possibly a cure.