The Science of Sustainability

QUEST Community Science Blog

Farm Waste Fashionistas

Farm Waste Fashionistas

In this video, discover how a biochemical engineer in Nebraska is transforming corn husks into fibers for clothing. Could husk fibers rival cotton as a mainstay for textiles in the future?

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Dredging Up a Problem

Dredging Up a Problem

The Cuyahoga River in northeast Ohio — known for catching fire in the 1960s — relies on frequent dredging to keep the shipping channels open. Now a controversial new proposal to dump the dredged material into Lake Erie has residents worried about contamination of the public water supply.

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Dog Detectives: A Nose for Conservation

Dog Detectives: A Nose for Conservation

Not just sniffing around, wonder dogs guide scientists to treasure troves of information and play leading roles in efforts to protect wildlife and wilderness.

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Building Better Forests

Building Better Forests

Scientists in Wisconsin are drawing on both new research and traditional Native American knowledge to create forests that will be more resilient in the face of climate change.

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The Science of Measuring Snow

The Science of Measuring Snow

Much of the water flowing through the West starts as snowpack high up in the mountains. A complex system of remote and manual data collection helps water managers calculate how much water they'll have for the season ahead.

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QUEST TV: Highway to Hydrogen

QUEST TV: Highway to Hydrogen

Although auto makers have spent decades and billions of dollars to develop hydrogen fuel cell cars, only a few hundred of them are on the nation's roads. With new refueling stations in development and new models recently unveiled, are these zero-emission vehicles finally ready to roll?

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QUEST TV: Wolves and the Ecology of Fear

QUEST TV: Wolves and the Ecology of Fear

In Washington state, wolves and deer are playing out a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse that could have profound impacts on the ecosystem. Watch the video and find out what conservationist, Fred Koontz has to say about the need to protect "the big bad wolf."

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Out of Sight, Out of Mine

Out of Sight, Out of Mine

Many Midwestern mines ceased operation long ago, but surrounding land and streams still feel their toxic effects.

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The Ski-cast: Is There Hope for the Slopes?

The Ski-cast: Is There Hope for the Slopes?

Despite predictions that many ski resorts in New England and around the nation may no longer be economically viable in just 15 years, researchers point to adaptation as the key to staying the course.

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Getting the Munchies for Hemp

Getting the Munchies for Hemp

More people are turning to hemp seeds as a source of healthy fats and protein, and as a sustainable crop.

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Ocean Acidification: The Basics

Ocean Acidification: The Basics

More than half of the CO2 emitted by humans has been absorbed by the ocean. Scientists say this means less CO2 in the air, but it also means a change in ocean chemistry — ocean acidification. Now what?

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Ocean Acidification: Vocabulary Game

Ocean Acidification: Vocabulary Game

Test your knowledge! Ocean acidification has 14 important vocabulary words. Educators can use this flashcard game as a pre-test or to check what students have learned. Easily play on screen or print the cards.

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Bison and Cranes Reunited to Support Habitat Restoration

Bison and Cranes Reunited to Support Habitat Restoration

Find out how the reintroduction of bison to a central Nebraska island can help restore habitat for flocks of sandhill cranes during their annual visit on the Platte River.

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Pteropods: Very Small and Very Important

Pteropods: Very Small and Very Important

Pteropods are sometimes called “sea butterflies,” but they’re actually free-floating snails. They play a big part in the ocean food web. How does ocean acidification impact these small creatures?

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Balancing Act: Otters, Urchins and Kelp

Balancing Act: Otters, Urchins and Kelp

By balancing their ecosystem, otters are playing a role in the fight against climate change. Watch this video and learn about the important connections among sea otters, sea urchins, kelp forests, and climate change.

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Ocean Acidification Awareness Game

Ocean Acidification Awareness Game

Challenge your brain in the categories of Ocean Dynamics, Ocean Chemistry, and Life in the Ocean! Play your way to ocean acidification knowledge in this multiple-choice game.

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Landowners Make Way for More Shoreline

Landowners Make Way for More Shoreline

How one family’s decision to remove their waterfront wall has sparked the recovery of coastal ecosystems on a popular Washington island.

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Lessons from a Global Garden: Growing More Food with Less

Lessons from a Global Garden: Growing More Food with Less

Farmers and community gardeners from around the world gather in Mendocino, California to explore a method for growing more food on less land — that reduces the need for precious resources.

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Nonrenewable and Renewable Energy Resources

Nonrenewable and Renewable Energy Resources

This infographic depicts the two major categories of energy resources: nonrenewable and renewable.

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The Key to Sustainable Fish Farming? Vegetarian Fish

The Key to Sustainable Fish Farming? Vegetarian Fish

World demand for seafood is rising, but many of the world’s oceans are already overfished. Now scientists are creating vegetarian diets for species like trout, which may lessen the strain on over-fished oceans.

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