The Science of Sustainability

QUEST Community Science Blog

Could your driveway be poisoning your kids?

Could your driveway be poisoning your kids?

Parking lots coated with coal tar, a gooey black waste product of steel manufacturing, shed the coatings at a high rate. This toxic residue is showing up in dust on nearby apartment surfaces.

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Denimite: Discovering New Frontiers for Old Jeans

Denimite: Discovering New Frontiers for Old Jeans

A husband and wife team explore the potential for using recycled denim to create solid composite countertops, dashboards and other unexpected items.

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Canola, Flax, and Sunflower: The Hidden Power of Oilseeds

Canola, Flax, and Sunflower: The Hidden Power of Oilseeds

Much more than just an alternative to cooking with butter and animal fats, oilseeds hold the promise of additional benefits to our health, economy, and environment.

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Sea Otters v. Climate Change

Sea Otters v. Climate Change

Discover the surprising connection between sea otters, kelp forests, and our quest to slow the progress of climate change.

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Birds, Blades, and the Brutal Business of Clean Energy

Birds, Blades, and the Brutal Business of Clean Energy

Does a shift toward renewable energy sources mean choosing between wind turbines and wildlife? Author William H. Funk weighs in.

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Prairie Power

Prairie Power

Scientists investigate the ecological and economic benefits of turning Midwestern prairie grasses into a renewable fuel source.

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In Dry Year, California Looks to Cloud Seeding

In Dry Year, California Looks to Cloud Seeding

There’s no doubt about it – it’s dry out there. 2013 ended as the driest year ever recorded in many parts of California. So water managers are trying to squeeze out every last drop with an old technology: cloud seeding.

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Tracking Your Own Footprints: Digital Tools to Inspire Conservation

Tracking Your Own Footprints: Digital Tools to Inspire Conservation

Oberlin researchers hope to change the public’s personal habits by offering tools to help track resource use in buildings and cities.

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Look What’s Killing Our Oldest Trees

Look What’s Killing Our Oldest Trees

The tale of an exotic pest that threatens the survival of the east’s old-growth forests.

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Why a Dark Sky Matters

Why a Dark Sky Matters

Big city lights may put some dazzle in the night sky, but they also cause problems for people and other creatures attuned to darkness.

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Symphony of Science: Q&A with John Boswell, A.K.A. melodysheep

Symphony of Science: Q&A with John Boswell, A.K.A. melodysheep

John Boswell of Bellingham, WA — also known as “melodysheep”– speaks with QUEST Northwest producer Katie Jennings about his musical remixes of science lectures and documentaries known as the "Symphony of Science."

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Reconstructing a River for Wildlife

Reconstructing a River for Wildlife

Pulling up vegetation, starting fires, and letting animals graze on riverbanks are just some of the steps being taken to improve habitat for migrating birds, including endangered species.

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How Were Fossil Fuels Formed?

How Were Fossil Fuels Formed?

In this activity you will learn more about how one fossil fuel — shale gas — formed thousands of feet beneath certain parts of the United States.

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How Does Hydraulic Fracturing Work?

How Does Hydraulic Fracturing Work?

Learn how engineers developed the techniques of hydraulic fracturing.

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Claims of Advocates: The Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing

Claims of Advocates: The Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing

Learn more about claims that hydraulic fracturing helps people.

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What Are the Challenges of Fracking Natural Shale Gas Reserves?

What Are the Challenges of Fracking Natural Shale Gas Reserves?

Learn about the concerns some people have about the practice of fracking.

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Energy and a Sustainable Future

Energy and a Sustainable Future

Learn about the sustainability efforts being developed.

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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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#Digital Landfill

#Digital Landfill

Can an Instagram trend create a litter-free world?

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A Better Way to Patch Potholes

A Better Way to Patch Potholes

Inspired by footraces across a giant bathtub of cornstarch, engineering students think they have hit on a more efficient and environmentally friendly way to fix potholes.

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