The Science of Sustainability

QUEST Community Science Blog

Reporter's Notes: Greening The Grow

Reporter's Notes: Greening The Grow

Hardy’s lived in the hills of southern Humboldt County since the early ‘70s, when many people shared sense of idealism and environmental responsibility. That’s why he’s so upset about the environmental impacts of the big, indoor marijuana growing operations that have proliferated in the region.

Continue Reading

The Sun—Live In Your Own Backyard!

The Sun—Live In Your Own Backyard!

Chabot volunteers are running a live solar observatory for the public.

Continue Reading

The Great Migration

The Great Migration

For thousands of years and countless generations, migratory birds have flown the same long-distance paths between their breeding and feeding grounds. Understanding the routes these birds take, called "flyways," helps conservation efforts and gives scientists better knowledge of global changes, both natural and man-made. QUEST heads out to the Pacific Flyway with California biologists to track the rhythm of migration.

Continue Reading

QUEST Lab: Bridge Thermometer

QUEST Lab: Bridge Thermometer

The roadway across the Golden Gate Bridge rises and falls as much as 16 feet depending on the temperature. When the sun hits the bridge, the metal expands and the bridge cables stretch. As the fog rolls in, the cables contract and the bridge goes up. Curators from the Outdoor Exploratorium in San Francisco have set up a scope two miles away so you can see how the bridge is moving up or down depending on the weather.

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: The Great Migration

Producer's Notes: The Great Migration

When people think of bird migration, most naturally think of water fowl. Ducks and geese seem to get a lot of attention in that regard.

Continue Reading

Sea Water Showdown

Sea Water Showdown

A plan being considered by California's State Water Resources Control Board would end the practice of allowing power plants along the coast to suck in ocean water to cool their machinery. Environmentalists say it kills millions of fish larvae, small animals and other ocean life, but the power industry says tighter rules would raise California's electricity prices, already among the nation's highest.

Continue Reading

Reporter's Notes: Sea Water Showdown

Reporter's Notes: Sea Water Showdown

Read about John Vincent's brush with death due to a cooling plant.

Continue Reading

Field Notes From New Orleans

Field Notes From New Orleans

Historians will one day come to view the post-Katrina rebuilding of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast as the first major example of green design and technologies.

Continue Reading

Would You Eat A Tiger For Lunch?

Would You Eat A Tiger For Lunch?

Most people don’t know that the animals we are eating from the ocean are vastly different from the animals we eat on land.

Continue Reading

Cool Critters: Dwarf Cuttlefish

Cool Critters: Dwarf Cuttlefish

What's the coolest critter in the ocean under 4 inches long? The Dwarf Cuttlefish! These little guys can change their color and texture, and feeding time is a show like no other. Get an up-close look at these tiny underwater aliens as QUEST visits them at the California Academy of Sciences.

Continue Reading

Science of Taste

Science of Taste

Did you know that about 95 percent of what we think is taste is actually smell? Or that the way we perceive flavor comes from a complex relationship between our senses, emotions and memories? As scientists decode how our taste and olfactory receptors work, top California chefs are taking that knowledge and creating alchemy in the kitchen.

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: The Science Of Taste

Producer's Notes: The Science Of Taste

I love producing QUEST stories because there's so much I learn in the process. Who knew that 95 percent of what we think is taste is actually smell?

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: Cool Critters – Dwarf Cuttlefish

Producer's Notes: Cool Critters – Dwarf Cuttlefish

They’re kind of like an octopus and kind of like a squid; they aren’t fish, and they’re not cuddly. But cuttlefish are some of the coolest critters you’ll ever find in the ocean.

Continue Reading

Web Extra: City Egg, Country Egg

Web Extra: City Egg, Country Egg

Is there a difference in taste between eggs gathered right from the farm and ones bought at the supermarket? Sebastian Nava, Research Assistant at the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone, presents his ongoing study of store-bought eggs and their country cousins.

Continue Reading

Greenpeace or Golden War?

Greenpeace or Golden War?

It is an open question about whether the risks outweigh the benefits with these GM crops.

Continue Reading

Notes From An Environmentalist

Notes From An Environmentalist

The oldest grassroots environmental organization in the U.S. is the Sierra Club and it's undergoing a change in leadership. After 18 years running the organization, Carl Pope has just stepped down as executive director, but he remains involved as ever in his new position as chairman. Andrea Kissack spoke with him about the biggest challenges facing the environmental movement today.

Continue Reading

Pluto On the Horizon!

Pluto On the Horizon!

Since childhood I've been fascinated by Pluto—probably more for our lack of knowing it than for anything we actually know.

Continue Reading

Reporter's Notes: Environmentalism Today

Reporter's Notes: Environmentalism Today

40 years after the modern environmental movement began, it's a mixed report card with what seems like the toughest test still ahead.

Continue Reading

Can We Live With Wolves?

Can We Live With Wolves?

I fell in love with wolves after reading Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat ten years ago. Their grace, playfulness, loyalty, keen sense of hearing and smell, and beauty made my heart bow low in respect.

Continue Reading

Plastic in the Pacific

Plastic in the Pacific

Imagine every person on earth had 100 pounds of plastic. That's how much new plastic will be manufactured in 2010. Sadly, much of that will end up in the ocean within a massive area dubbed the Pacific Garbage Patch. Can anything be done to clean it up?

Continue Reading