The Science of Sustainability

QUEST Community Science Blog

California On the Green Cutting Edge Again

California On the Green Cutting Edge Again

The eyes of the nation are once again upon California for making bold steps in the water efficiency, energy efficiency, and global climate change arenas.

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Interactive Map: Ants of the Bay Area

Interactive Map: Ants of the Bay Area

Ants aren't just foragers. They're ranchers, farmers and even blood-suckers. Meet some of the amazing ants found in the Bay Area and find out why they're the favorites of local ant scientists.

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A Catch-23

A Catch-23

If the FDA wants to regulate consumer genetic testing companies, there is no way that they will be able to make a profit.

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Finding a Home for Big Solar – Part One

Finding a Home for Big Solar – Part One

California has set ambitious goals for a transition to clean, renewable energy: 33 percent by 2020. Some are skeptical that the goal is within reach.QUEST and Climate Watch continue to examine the promise and pitfalls of this historic transformation. Craig Miller reports on one Silicon Valley company's controversial proposal for Panoche Valley.

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A Night to be Out Under the Stars…and Planets…and Moon…and Meteors….

A Night to be Out Under the Stars…and Planets…and Moon…and Meteors….

A Night to be Out Under the Stars…and planets…and Moon…and meteors….

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Web Extra: Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight Slideshow

Web Extra: Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight Slideshow

Check out behind-the-scenes photos from Science on the SPOT's "Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight" story.

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Producer's Notes: Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight

Producer's Notes: Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight

How do you keep tabs on what is going on in the marine sanctuaries? QUEST producers Lauren Sommer, Jenny Oh and I hitched a ride to find out.

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Science on the SPOT: Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight

Science on the SPOT: Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight

The Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine sanctuaries cover more than 9,500 square miles of ocean habitat. Patrolling such an immense area by boat would take days, but now sanctuary managers are taking to the air in a rugged de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter bush plane to get a bird's eye view.

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Science Event Pick – The Value of Stuff

Science Event Pick – The Value of Stuff

Annie Leonard and Raj Patel engage in a frank conversation about the culture of consumerism. Annie refreshed the national discussion about the dangers of our consumer-driven society when her smart and funny film, The Story of Stuff, became an Internet phenomenon. With his bestselling book, The Value of Nothing, Raj Patel showed how we’ve let economics take over our lives. Each author has offered a powerful warning of what we lose when consumption eclipses community. When they meet in conversation, the result promises to be a lively and provocative dialogue. Book-signing to follow. Event is June 17th 7-9 PM at Brower Center in Berkeley, sponsored by the Earth Island Institute.

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Strawberries and Worker Safety – Part Two

Strawberries and Worker Safety – Part Two

The Schwarzenegger Administration plans to approve a new chemical called methyl iodide, which is used by strawberry farmers. Although methyl iodide can cause cancer and miscarriages, regulators say that protective measures like respirators and buffer zones will keep farm workers safe. Scientists consulting for the state say these measures often fail, and methyl iodide is too toxic to take chances. Amy Standen reports.

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Reporter's Notes: Strawberries and Worker Safety – Part Two

Reporter's Notes: Strawberries and Worker Safety – Part Two

How much can we count on respirators, buffer zones and other tools to protect people from a toxic chemical? That's the focus of this week's QUEST radio story.

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A Realistic Look at Geothermal Heat Pumps

A Realistic Look at Geothermal Heat Pumps

You can do just fine with a medium-efficiency furnace and burn much less fuel than you would with a high-end system—like a geothermal system—and a leaky house.

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Strawberries and Worker Safety

Strawberries and Worker Safety

Methyl bromide – a powerful fumigant used by strawberry growers to sterilize the soil before plants go in – was found to harm the Earth's ozone layer. Strawberry farmers have been clamoring for a replacement, and they may get their wish if the state approves a chemical called methyl iodide. But some state scientists say it could cause cancer and miscarriages in farm workers and nearby communities.

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Web Extra: Exploring the Bay Lab

Web Extra: Exploring the Bay Lab

Join the Bay Lab field trip as fifth graders study the San Francisco Bay's mudflats and eelgrass beds with the help of seine nets, hip wader boots, microscopes, and mud core samplers.

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Reporter's Notes: Strawberries and Worker Safety

Reporter's Notes: Strawberries and Worker Safety

After millions of dollars of research, strawberry growers have come up with an alternative to methyl bromide, which damages the ozone layer: methyl iodide. Unfortunately, methyl iodide has its own set of problems.

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Science Event Pick – World Oceans Day

Science Event Pick – World Oceans Day

For the annual World Oceans Day celebration, join a cleanup along Crissy Field sponsored by Sea Stewards. Following the cleanup will be an after party at Sports Basement, with a percentage of sales going to Sea Stewards shark preservation program. Saturday, June 5th, 3-8PM.

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Go To College, Get A Genetic Test

Go To College, Get A Genetic Test

UC Berkeley has decided to offer its 5500 incoming freshmen of the College of Letters and Sciences the chance at a free genetic test. And all hell has broken loose.

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Exploring the Lower Russian River

Exploring the Lower Russian River

The Russian River originates in the redwood forests of Mendocino County and winds its way gently south thorough Sonoma County. One of the wildest spots on the main stem of the Russian River is towards the end, near its mouth. Here the waters widen, fresh water mixing with the tidal flows of the ocean, and the influences of two dynamic ecosystems merge.

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QUEST Seeking Additional Science Bloggers

QUEST Seeking Additional Science Bloggers

Got science on the brain? Come blog with us. Apply by June 23rd. KQED’s QUEST is looking to add new voices to this here blog, which already offers commentary from our producers, reporters, and several writers from science organizations in our region.

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Dancing Within White Noise

Dancing Within White Noise

Last week, I traveled to Los Angeles to attend the American Association of Museum Annual Meeting and Museum Expo. This year’s theme was Museums without Borders and the pulse of many of the workshops focused on exploring the connections between cultures and genres.

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