The Science of Sustainability

QUEST Community Science Blog

Oil Spills and the Environment

Oil Spills and the Environment

The volume of oil recently spilled in the Gulf of Mexico is several thousand times what was spilled in San Francisco Bay in 2007, but the ecological studies conducted in the wake of the SF spill give us an idea of what we can expect in the Gulf.

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Energy Storage: The Holy Grail

Energy Storage: The Holy Grail

This week, we continue our series "33 by 20," a look at California's ambitious renewable energy goals. Solar and wind power are booming across the state. But renewables have a downside: there are times when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow. California utilities are looking to smooth out those bumps with a new strategy: storing electricity.

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Reporter's Notes for Energy Storage: The Holy Grail

Reporter's Notes for Energy Storage: The Holy Grail

Energy storage (through batteries) is something we use everyday in our cell phones and computers. So it may be a little surprising that when it comes to the electric grid, storing energy is something that's rarely done.

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Mars Trek: The Next Generation

Mars Trek: The Next Generation

They just keep getting bigger and better-and curiouser. The next generation Mars rover-The Mars Science Laboratory, "Curiosity"-is well off the drawing board and into its gestation phase…no longer just the gleam in the eye of robotics engineers and Marsologists.

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Science on the SPOT: DIY Fog at The Exploratorium

Science on the SPOT: DIY Fog at The Exploratorium

For a demonstration on how advection fog is created (and how you can do this at home), check out this video we filmed with The Exploratorium's Eric Muller.

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Producer's Notes: DIY Fog at The Exploratorium

Producer's Notes: DIY Fog at The Exploratorium

Ever wonder how advection fog is produced? Learn how from The Exploratorium.

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Computer Memory Poised to Get Shock Therapy?

Computer Memory Poised to Get Shock Therapy?

In recent years, scientists have been playing around with more exotic forms of data storage. It turns out that some very specialized materials are not only like to be magnetically ordered, but are also naturally charged.

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Whooping Cough Epidemic Exposes Holes in California's Immunization System

Whooping Cough Epidemic Exposes Holes in California's Immunization System

The whooping cough epidemic that has killed six babies and made an estimated 1,500 people sick in California this year is exposing holes in the state’s immunization system, which leaders in the public health community are now racing to patch.

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Science Event Pick – Open Science Summit

Science Event Pick – Open Science Summit

The Open Science Summit is the first and only event to consider what happens throughout the entire innovation chain as reform in one area influences the prospects in others. The three day conference will cover many aspects of the Open Science spectrum and is open to anyone.

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Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf Star at San Jose Electric Car Convention

Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf Star at San Jose Electric Car Convention

After years of stops and starts, electric cars and plug-in hybrids are on the cusp of a new era of mainstream acceptance, starting this year.

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Homegrown Particle Accelerators

Homegrown Particle Accelerators

QUEST journeys back to find out how physicists on the UC Berkeley campus in the 1930s, and at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in the 1970s, created "atom smashers" that led to key discoveries about the tiny constituents of the atom and paved the way for the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

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Producer's Notes: Homegrown Particle Accelerators

Producer's Notes: Homegrown Particle Accelerators

If you’re enthralled by the Large Hadron Collider, you’ll want to watch QUEST’s story on atom smashers.

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Delta Predators

Delta Predators

As the state dries out from a long, rainy winter, the battle over water rights in the Sacramento Delta continues. Water contractors are hoping an upcoming court ruling will find that water pumps are not the only threat to the imperiled Delta Smelt. Some of the blame is getting pinned on a bigger fish that happens to have an appetite for endangered species. Alison Hawkes reports.

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Legalize Marijuana–Save Our Houses?

Legalize Marijuana–Save Our Houses?

Are high energy use and a rotting housing stock in the North more reasons to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for anyone?

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Reporter's Notes: Delta Predators

Reporter's Notes: Delta Predators

Striped bass are almost a naturalized citizen to the Delta, but farmers hope to blame the big fish for the plummeting numbers of endangered fish.

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NASA Moon Mission Reveals New Clues About Water on the Moon

NASA Moon Mission Reveals New Clues About Water on the Moon

NASA scientists reveal that water on the moon isn’t spread out in vast oceans, but rather is concentrated in oases, and that the lunar surface appears to contain a wealth of other materials.

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Video Games for Women?

Video Games for Women?

What video games are appealing to women?

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Web Extra: Restoration of the San Joaquin River Slideshow

Web Extra: Restoration of the San Joaquin River Slideshow

QUEST traveled along the San Joaquin River to produce our story on the restoration of more than 150 miles of the San Joaquin River, California's second-largest river. See behind-the-scenes photos in our narrated slideshow of the journey we took to document the historic comeback of the mighty San Joaquin.

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Restoration of the San Joaquin River

Restoration of the San Joaquin River

Flowing 330 miles from the Sierras to the delta, the San Joaquin River is California's second longest river. But since the construction of Friant Dam near Fresno in the 1940s, most of the San Joaquin's water has been siphoned off to farmland in the Central Valley. Now, after years of lawsuits, a new effort to restore the river is offering hope that fish and farmers can co-exist.

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Producer's Notes: Science of Fog

Producer's Notes: Science of Fog

While foggy days aren't ideal for a summertime picnics, coastal fog does benefit the ecology of the Bay Area.

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